I give praise and thanks to our merciful Living God, whose love is unfailing and unending and His grace overflows my cup. During a recent prayer, the good Lord faithfully spoke to me through Jeremiah 25. The passage is justification of a universal judgement from God, brought about by His wrath against those who sin without repentance. Through His Word, the Holy Spirit reminds us that this is not the time to be complacent; but instead, to grow closer to the Lord, in faith; unwavering faith, in obedience and with perseverance. The Holy Spirit brought to my understanding that we are drawing near to more testing times in 2011 which will lead us to the divine judgement of God, and greater trials, in the years beyond. I now share this with you.
The Word of the Lord spoken to the prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 25:1-5 says: “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, ‘Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever.”
Here, Jeremiah took courage to deliver a national judgement from the Lord, a judgement which would first come upon all the peoples of Judah and Israel. This judgement came about because of their hard heartedness, stubbornness and evil ways. These attitudes resulted in obstinate resistance to His persistent calls for repentance given through God’s prophets, messengers of His mercy.
Jeremiah 25:6-11 reads: “Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm. Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
In v6-8, the Lord spoke to those who were against His glory, those who were disobedient to His Word and whose sin was idolatry: which brought destruction upon themselves. The Lord demands us to have pure worship of Him alone! What seems a provocation to our sovereign God, in the end, will bring destruction to us.
In v9-11, the prophet announced that the Lord would bring all the tribes of the north under Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem and against all the adjoining nations; all of whom, would drink the cup of judgement from the Lord. Additionally, Jerusalem was to serve the King of Babylon, for seventy years.
The Lord continued to speak to Jeremiah in v12-14: “Then, after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste. I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
Verses 15-29 reads: “Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them. So I took the cup from the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, all his people, and all the mixed tribes among them; all the kings of the land of Uz and all the kings of the land of the Philistines (Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod); Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon; all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who cut the corners of their hair; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed tribes who dwell in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media; all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Babylon shall drink”. Then you shall say to them, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you. And if they refuse to accept the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: You must drink! For behold, I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the LORD of hosts.”
God sent to them His servants, the prophets, but His prophets were ignored. He therefore sent for His servant, the King of Babylon, whom they could not mock, or despise, or persecute, as they did His prophets. After that, the King of Babylon himself was judged and punished, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah against all the nations. Though having begun first with Jerusalem, this was a universal judgement. Next came the judgement upon the nations around Palestine. Finally, came the judgement on Babylon itself, which had been the instrument of the previous judgements. The fact that the city of Jerusalem — the city named by Jehovah Himself — was to be laid waste, implies the judgement is of and for ALL the nations. Consequently, in the symbolical action of the prophecy, all the nations connected with Israel, all those of the then known world, were forced to drink of the cup. Note that this is expressed here in terms which include all the nations of the whole earth.
The Lord told Jeremiah in v30-38: “You, therefore, shall prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: The LORD will roar from on high, and from his holy habitation utter his voice; he will roar mightily against his fold, and shout, like those who tread grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. The clamour will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD has an indictment against the nations; he is entering into judgement with all flesh, and the wicked he will put to the sword”, declares the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth! And those pierced by the LORD on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground. Wail, you shepherds, and cry out, and roll in ashes, you lords of the flock, for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come, and you shall fall like a choice vessel. No refuge will remain for the shepherds, nor escape for the lords of the flock. A voice — the cry of the shepherds, and the wail of the lords of the flock! For the LORD is laying waste their pasture, and the peaceful folds are devastated because of the fierce anger of the LORD. Like a lion he has left his lair, for their land has become a waste because of the sword of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.”
The Lord told Jeremiah in v30-38 to prophesy to all the people, warning them the wrath of God will roar like a lion from heaven to all inhabitants, to the ends of the earth. The time had been fixed by God for the slaughter of many and the dispersion of the rest and for making the nations of the earth, completely desolate. Multitudes will fall by the sword of the Lord, for they have provoked the fierce anger of the Lord. Seeing themselves utterly unable to make headway against their enemy, and seeing their countries under their charges unavoidably ruined, the kings and rulers will abandon themselves to sorrow. The loud voices of the shepherds will cry out and the howlings of the principals of the flock will be heard, yet they will all die. Even those used to living in peace and quiet and giving no provocation to any other, shall not escape. This is one of the direst effects of war; that even those who were the most harmless and most inoffensive, will suffer hardships during hard times.
Blessed be God, that there will be peaceable habitation in heaven for all His Kingdom children of peace; a home, out of the reach of fire and sword.
Amen and Amen!