Bring your worries into the open before the Sovereign Lord, who reigns over history and wants only your good.
Read Jeremiah 51:33–64
33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor
at the time it is trampled;
the time to harvest her will soon come.”
34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,
he has thrown us into confusion,
he has made us an empty jar.
Like a serpent he has swallowed us
and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
and then has spewed us out.
35 May the violence done to our flesh be on Babylon,”
say the inhabitants of Zion.
“May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”
36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“See, I will defend your cause
and avenge you;
I will dry up her sea
and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
a haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,
a place where no one lives.
38 Her people all roar like young lions,
they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused,
I will set out a feast for them
and make them drunk,
so that they shout with laughter—
then sleep forever and not awake,”
declares the Lord.
40 “I will bring them down
like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and goats.
41 “How Sheshak will be captured,
the boast of the whole earth seized!
How desolate Babylon will be
among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon;
its roaring waves will cover her.
43 Her towns will be desolate,
a dry and desert land,
a land where no one lives,
through which no one travels.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon
and make him spew out what he has swallowed.
The nations will no longer stream to him.
And the wall of Babylon will fall.
45 “Come out of her, my people!
Run for your lives!
Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
46 Do not lose heart or be afraid
when rumors are heard in the land;
one rumor comes this year, another the next,
rumors of violence in the land
and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come
when I will punish the idols of Babylon;
her whole land will be disgraced
and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
will shout for joy over Babylon,
for out of the north
destroyers will attack her,”
declares the Lord.
49 “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,
just as the slain in all the earth
have fallen because of Babylon.
50 You who have escaped the sword,
leave and do not linger!
Remember the Lord in a distant land,
and call to mind Jerusalem.”
51 “We are disgraced,
for we have been insulted
and shame covers our faces,
because foreigners have entered
the holy places of the Lord’s house.”
52 “But days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will punish her idols,
and throughout her land
the wounded will groan.
53 Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens
and fortifies her lofty stronghold,
I will send destroyers against her,”
declares the Lord.
54 “The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
the sound of great destruction
from the land of the Babylonians.
55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
he will silence her noisy din.
Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;
the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon;
her warriors will be captured,
and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
he will repay in full.
57 I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
her governors, officers and warriors as well;
they will sleep forever and not awake,”
declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled
and her high gates set on fire;
the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,
the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”
59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”
The words of Jeremiah end here.
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.
ReflectWhat causes you the greatest anxiety and fear?
God, the Lord Almighty, must eventually exert his reign. All oppressors and everything that sets itself up in opposition to God must finally succumb to his control. The Babylonian Empire seems impenetrable with its thick walls and high gates (58). But even its strength, power and sophistication must bend to his power. The walls will fall (44), just as in time, every knee will bow to another Lord, Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:10). But prior to that, evil will be in the ascendancy. God’s people will be “devoured” (34) and “disgraced” (51); holy places will be defiled (51).
It is no surprise that Babylon, with its arrogance and boastfulness (41), in the book of Revelation becomes the personification of opposition to God and his plans. The extent of its power is not hidden from us, even describing the saints being conquered (Rev. 13:7). This is ferocious opposition, so that one might even call into question God’s ability to intervene. But God will always defend the cause of his people (36). We are his and his glory is to be displayed through us. We must flee evil (45–48) but never lose heart or be afraid. The outcome is never in doubt.
How can you allow God’s glory to be displayed through you today?
Pray for the overthrow of “Babylon-type” behavior in our world and for the protection of God’s people.
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