Nothing Surprises God!
Father, You are my strength and the origin of my hope. Grow my hope as I read Your Word now.
Read Jeremiah 49:1-39
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Our Lord made the blind see and the deaf hear. His Spirit opens our eyes and ears to him, also.
In this passage Jeremiah fulfills one of the most important roles of a prophet: he interprets history. He lived in turbulent times when not only Israel suffered, but also the surrounding nations. Country by country and city by city he describes the terrible destruction that Nebuchadnezzar would inflict. These places represented people’s lives and families in Jeremiah’s time. They were places that he knew well. Some of them are known to us today, such as Rabbah (modern Amman) and Damascus. Others, such as Bozrah, have vanished (13).
This chapter does not make pleasant reading. Entire nations are swept away and, at the level of individual families, this represented thousands of stories of terrible suffering and anguish. Why is this catalogue of carnage included in the Bible? Jeremiah wanted people to know that God was not detached from what was happening in the world. God knew every detail of the terrible misery that the Babylonians were inflicting on others, and he is not oblivious to the atrocities that are perpetrated in our world today.
Christians can appreciate more fully than Jeremiah that God is not detached from the suffering in the world. He entered our world and through the miracle of the incarnation he shared in our suffering. Through Jesus Christ becoming the sacrifice for our sins, God paid the price for the world’s crimes and accepted in his own body the pain and humiliation of death on a cross. The great demonstration of God’s love on the cross revealed his heart–and we as Christians today can experience God’s love by his Spirit. God dwells in us and is present to help in every situation. We know that events both personal and international are known and controlled by him.
Pray for any nations, people groups or individuals you know are suffering. Pray that they will know God’s presence and care.
Sovereign God, help me to look beyond the turbulence in the world, and sometimes my world, and remember Your steady, loving hand.
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