Flee from Babylon!
Scripture reading for August 17th: Jeremiah 46-52
“Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves. Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her.” Jeremiah 51:6-8a
Jeremiah’s prophecies in the last chapters of his book are absolutely amazing and encouraging to every student of Scripture. God has promised to watch over His word to perform it and we get in on some amazing performances; others are yet to be confirmed. Jeremiah ends his book with the story of God’s dealing with Babylon because of her treatment of the people of God. Babylon is to be destroyed suddenly and the people who will do it are named by Jeremiah 70 years before it happens. The Medes and Persians would carry out God’s purposes and be his war club! (Jeremiah 51:11, 20) Jeremiah had earlier told the people that the captivity would last 70 years and that word came to pass! (Jeremiah 25:11-12)
Through Jeremiah God calls to His people to flee from Babylon. Although they will live there for 7o years, they must be ready to return to the promised land and to escape the punishment of God upon that land. The end of Babylon would come quickly or suddenly. Jeremiah tells how Babylon will fall. In Jeremiah 51:36-40, he tells that God will dry up the sea or springs of Babylon. The officials of Babylon will be aroused and drunk at a feast. They will be shouting with drunken laughter and suddenly they will sleep forever! This word was probably known by Daniel and helped him interpret the handwriting on the wall the night that Babylon fell! The Babylonian officials were drinking from the golden goblets from God’s House in Jerusalem when the handwriting appeared on the wall. (Daniel 5) Daniel was called to interpret and God’s judgment fell before morning! (Daniel 5:30) It is said that the Medes damned up the river and came in under the wall, taking the city from within! What a fulfillment of God’s prophetic word!
This prophecy about the destruction of Babylon was to be read aloud to the captives in Babylon by Seraiah, an aid to King Zedekiah. When he was finished, he was to tie a rock on it and throw it into the Euphrates River. It was to sink to the bottom as a symbol of how Babylon would sink at the appointed time! (Jeremiah 51:59-64) For a real rush of adrenaline, turn to Revelation 18 and read the whole chapter in light of Jeremiah’s prophecy. God’s word has multiple fulfillment and speaks to the time of the end as well as to the fall of Babylon in Daniel’s time.
“Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. . . .Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her; death, mourning, and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” ” Revelation 18:4-5,8