Opening Prayer

Lord, you are my strength, my rock, my high tower. I come to you for shelter and protection today.

Read JEREMIAH 50:29-46

29 “Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.
Encamp all around her;
    let no one escape.
Repay her for her deeds;
    do to her as she has done.
For she has defied the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord.
31 “See, I am against you, you arrogant one,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall
    and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.”

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“The people of Israel are oppressed,
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.
34 Yet their Redeemer is strong;
    the Lord Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
    so that he may bring rest to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 “A sword against the Babylonians!”
    declares the Lord—
“against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise men!
36 A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!
    They will be filled with terror.
37 A sword against her horses and chariots
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.
A sword against her treasures!
    They will be plundered.
38 A drought on[a] her waters!
    They will dry up.
For it is a land of idols,
    idols that will go mad with terror.

39 “So desert creatures and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
    along with their neighboring towns,”
declares the Lord,
“so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.

41 “Look! An army is coming from the north;
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
42 They are armed with bows and spears;
    they are cruel and without mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets
    to a rich pastureland,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?
    And what shepherd can stand against me?”

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians:
The young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;
    its cry will resound among the nations.

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  1. Jeremiah 50:38 Or A sword against

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


When we are in the depths of hopeless despair, may we know for certain that there are no limits to God’s willingness or power to save.

Think Further

For a long time Babylon was the foe from the north, summoned by the Lord to chasten Judah and the surrounding nations. Now, in a reversal of fortunes, it is Babylon which will bear the brunt of the chastening by the Lord at the hands of a foe from further north: an invincible army, a coalition of the Medes, Persians, and mercenaries from their vassal states (v 3). The day had come for Babylon to be filled with fear, consumed as in a fire, cut down by the sword, plundered, and made desolate so that no self-respecting human being would choose to inhabit it (vs 39,40). But why? What did Babylon do to become the enemy of the Lord?

Babylon became arrogant, led astray by false prophets and idolatry. It had not recognized that its power had been delegated from the Lord, the Holy One of Israel (v 29) and, like Pharaoh of old, it oppressed Israel and refused to set its people free (v 33). In its arrogance, Babylon did not take account of Israel’s Redeemer (go’el), the divine role akin to the human next of kin whose duty it was to avenge the killing of a loved one or redeem a relative and their property from slavery; this Redeemer is so strong that no shepherd (king) can stand against him (v 44). Just as the Lord had redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt through Moses, so now he would repeat that feat by saving Israel from Babylonian exile in a second exodus. So, although Israel was in dire straits, it could always depend upon its Kinsman Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, to come to its people’s aid and liberate them. In Jesus, that Kinsman Redeemer (with his inexhaustible resources) is available to us.


The Lord graciously allows us to share in his mission to bring the world to the obedience of faith. Let us not take this privilege for granted nor become arrogant.

Closing prayer

Almighty God, give me eyes to see the spiritual realities of the challenges I face. Thank you for your care and protection as I face them.

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by kingstar

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