Loving Savior, you are the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome you. Thank you for the gift of your life, death, and resurrection.
Read JEREMIAH 51:1-32
51 This is what the Lord says:
“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.[a]
2 I will send foreigners to Babylon
to winnow her and to devastate her land;
they will oppose her on every side
in the day of her disaster.
3 Let not the archer string his bow,
nor let him put on his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
completely destroy[b] her army.
4 They will fall down slain in Babylon,[c]
fatally wounded in her streets.
5 For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land[d] is full of guilt
before the Holy One of Israel.
6 “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 repay her what she deserves.
7 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.
8 Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.
Wail over her!
Get balm for her pain;
perhaps she can be healed.
9 “‘We would have healed Babylon,
but she cannot be healed;
let us leave her and each go to our own land,
for her judgment reaches to the skies,
it rises as high as the heavens.’
10 “‘The Lord has vindicated us;
come, let us tell in Zion
what the Lord our God has done.’
11 “Sharpen the arrows,
take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,
vengeance for his temple.
12 Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon!
Reinforce the guard,
station the watchmen,
prepare an ambush!
The Lord will carry out his purpose,
his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters
and are rich in treasures,
your end has come,
the time for you to be destroyed.
14 The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:
I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,
and they will shout in triumph over you.
15 “He made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
16 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
17 “Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
for he is the Maker of all things,
including the people of his inheritance—
the Lord Almighty is his name.
20 “You are my war club,
my weapon for battle—
with you I shatter nations,
with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider,
with you I shatter chariot and driver,
22 with you I shatter man and woman,
with you I shatter old man and youth,
with you I shatter young man and young woman,
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock,
with you I shatter farmer and oxen,
with you I shatter governors and officials.
24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia[e] for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.
25 “I am against you, you destroying mountain,
you who destroy the whole earth,”
declares the Lord.
“I will stretch out my hand against you,
roll you off the cliffs,
and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
nor any stone for a foundation,
for you will be desolate forever,”
declares the Lord.
27 “Lift up a banner in the land!
Blow the trumpet among the nations!
Prepare the nations for battle against her;
summon against her these kingdoms:
Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander against her;
send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her—
the kings of the Medes,
their governors and all their officials,
and all the countries they rule.
29 The land trembles and writhes,
for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand—
to lay waste the land of Babylon
so that no one will live there.
30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;
they remain in their strongholds.
Their strength is exhausted;
they have become weaklings.
Her dwellings are set on fire;
the bars of her gates are broken.
31 One courier follows another
and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
that his entire city is captured,
32 the river crossings seized,
the marshes set on fire,
and the soldiers terrified.”
- Jeremiah 51:1 Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
- Jeremiah 51:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
- Jeremiah 51:4 Or Chaldea
- Jeremiah 51:5 Or Almighty, / and the land of the Babylonians
- Jeremiah 51:24 Or Chaldea; also in verse 35
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.
As we pray, ‘your will be done,’1 may we align all our being, faculties, and energies with God’s will so that we may always only serve God’s purposes.
Why has Babylon, once a ‘gold cup’ (v 7) in the Lord’s hand, now become an object of his wrath? How is it that the once prominent ‘pro-Babylonian’ ideology in Jeremiah’s preaching has been turned on its head? Then, Jeremiah had insisted that submission to Babylon was the Lord’s will and the only way for survival.2 Nine times in four verses the Lord repeats that with Babylon (‘you’) ‘I shatter’ nations and kingdoms, armies, societies, leaders, and their followers (vs 20–23). Now, however, the fury of the Lord’s anger is focused on his once preferred instrument. Why?
It is scary to read what the Lord has purposed to do to Babylon. He has determined to destroy Babylon: ‘I am against you’ (v 25); and ‘I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon … I will send foreigners … to winnow her … in the day of her disaster’ (vs 1,2). Babylon was that tall spreading cedar with fantastic boughs under which all the nations of the world came to shelter. Now they are all urged to ‘Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives!’ to avoid getting caught up in its destruction (v 6). The downfall of Babylon was to be so terrible that there could be no healing for it. All this has come about because the Lord Almighty, the Maker of all things, against whom all idols are powerless, the Portion of Jacob, is bringing all his resources to act on behalf of Israel, the tribe of his inheritance. The chastening of Israel by Babylon was to purify it, but Babylon became arrogant, proud, and conceited, forgetting that it too must give account to the Lord, who alone is Sovereign.
In everything that the Lord assigns to us, it is his will alone that matters. Let us, then, like Jesus, always say, ‘not my will, but yours be done.’3
Gracious Father, I need your wisdom to do what is right. Give me courage to make decisions that serve your purposes and bring you glory.
Last Updated on December 18, 2023 by kingstar