Published on
April 25, 2024

Jeremiah 49

"Against the Ammonites. Thus, says the Lord: ‘Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then does Milcom (Molech) inherit Gad..."

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Jeremiah 49
“Against the Ammonites. Thus, says the Lord: ‘Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then does Milcom (Molech) inherit Gad, and his people dwell in its cities? Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will cause to be heard an alarm of war in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall be a desolate mound, and her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 49:1-2 (NKJV)

Every kid loves a "snow day." For you people living in Hawaii or Los Angeles who may not know, a snow day is when children don’t have to go to school because the icy roads are deemed too dangerous for school buses. One year, when I was in Jr High, my friend Jeff and I were making the most of our snow day by throwing snowballs at cars driving by.   Most people would laugh, honk and wave when we hit their cars, but one guy got very angry! He got out of his car and chased us through the neighborhood. When Jeff and I decided to split up, the psycho driver chose to chase me! Like any scared kid, I ran home. I figured I would be safe if I could lock myself in my house. I made it home, hopped the fence, and shot straight for my back door, but it was locked! Then the psycho driver hopped my fence! No bueno!

Just when I thought all was lost, my mom looked out the window and saw an angry stranger about to attack her son. Immediately, the pursuer was being pursued by a butcher’s knife-wielding mom!! When my father got home, he already knew the whole story. Apparently, my snowball had struck one of his company cars. The psycho driver was one of my dad’s co-workers. I got a spanking for disrespecting other people’s (aka company) property. And my dad was right. I deserved it.

If you can understand that story, perhaps you can understand how God was justified in His punishment of Israel’s idolatry, as well as in His punishing Ammon, whom He used to punish Israel’s idolatry. It was the people of Ammon who had enticed Israel to sin with their false idol worship of Molech in the first place. And worship of Molech was particularly evil.

“You are not to make any of your children pass through the fire to Molech. Do not profane the name of your God; I am YHWH.”  Leviticus 18:21 (HCSB)

Israel had chosen to turn away from God and His Word, choosing to affiliate with worldly Ammon, to the point where they were sacrificing their children to Ammon’s false god, Molech, by burning them! Lest we get self-righteous, consider who many followers of Jesus seek to justify abortion in our generation.  

But was God done with Israel? No! He sought to punish them by the same people they idolized, but He also sought justice on their behalf. And that is the difference between God’s rebuke of His children and His punishment of unbelievers: Mercy. God loves His own, even though He does not condone all their behavior. Choose Him today! His grace is offered to all who, by faith in Jesus, would believe.

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