August 1, 2021
"Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and those thrust through in her streets. For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by his God..."
“Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and those thrust through in her streets. For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by his God, the Lord of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.“ Jeremiah 51:4-5
In the Divided Kingdom era of the Hebrew people, both the Northern Kingdom (aka Israel) and The Southern Kingdom (aka Judah) were conquered and sent into exile. So, had God un-chosen His “Chosen People”? By no means! The rebuke of God does not mean the rejection of God for believers, although it may seem like it at times!
The focus of today’s chapter rests on the judgment of the mother of all idolaters: Babylon. God is telling His people to leave Babylon because He is about to destroy her and her idolatrous, spiritually fornicating ways. He likens Babylon to a whore who entices men by getting them drunk.
“Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time for the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her. Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged. Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her!” Jeremiah 51:6-8a
Babylon is mentioned as a “golden cup in the Lord’s hand,” but that does not mean that God endorsed her ways. He simply allowed those who refused to turn to Him to turn to Babylon’s idolatry. Even in this, we see God’s grace in that He allows us to pursue our sin so that we can come to the end of ourselves. Consider our nation’s present moral compromise. Perhaps, when we reach rock bottom, we will turn from our sin and receive His forgiveness through Messiah Jesus. In the light of Jeremiah’s prophecy, consider John’s words about Babylon in the Revelation:
“After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. He cried in a mighty voice: It has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen! She has become a dwelling for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, and a haunt for every unclean and despicable beast. For all the nations have drunk the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury. Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues. For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Pay her back the way she also paid, and double it according to her works. In the cup in which she mixed, mix a double portion for her. As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, give her that much torment and grief, for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen; I am not a widow, and I will never see grief.’ For this reason her plagues will come in one day—death and grief and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.” Revelation 18:1-8