Babylon’s Promised Retribution
Scripture reading for August 17th: Jeremiah 46-52
Vengeance belongs to the Lord alone; only He can repay people and nations for their sins. His judgments are right and true because He alone knows the truth about motives and actions. As we read these last chapters of Jeremiah, we see that God has the final say concerning judgment on each nation and people mentioned. He does nothing by judgment unless He warns people by prophetic word. Even Gentile nations were warned by Jeremiah of God’s coming judgment. Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Syria, and Israel were all spoken to. The final warning was sent to Babylon, the nation God used to punish Israel and who had destroyed God’s temple and killed many of His people. Although God used them to accomplish His purposes, they still stood accountable for their attitudes and actions.
This retribution would come from repentance by God’s people. “In those days, at that time, declares the Lord, “the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the Lord their God. They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 50:4-5) This repentance would be followed by a new covenant that would not be forgotten. They would petition God for Zion and seek God with all their hearts and He would hear them!
Babylon would be punished because they opposed the Lord. (Jeremiah 50:24) He would punish them because of their arrogance. (Jeremiah 50:31-32) He would punish them because of their false prophets and idols. (Jeremiah 50:36-38) They would feel His wrath because they destroyed His temple and did wrong in Zion. (Jeremiah 51:11, 24) They would fall because of Israel’s slain at the hands of the wicked in Babylon. God does repay and is a God of retribution! (Jeremiah 51:56)
This punishment for Babylon was written down 70 years before it would happen and Jeremiah sent it by messenger to Babylon to be read aloud. (Jeremiah 51:60-63) After the reading of the scroll, the messenger was to tie a rock to it and throw it into the Euphrates River. He was to proclaim, “So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.” (Jeremiah 51:64) God’s word is always right, and 70 years later, Babylon fell as Jeremiah predicted!