Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2051-52&version=NIV;NLT
As you begin reading this, you may think (or have thought) —-“hummmmmm, we’ve already read this a few times…WHY again?…Maybe today is a good day just to zip through.” HOWEVER……. this is the END of the book of Jeremiah. This is the LAST time we will read about the prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem from his vantage point. We will also read about prophecy about the fall of Babylon….the WORLD POWER at the time.
CHAPTER 51 — You may want to underline a few things in this chapter. LOOK at the detail Jeremiah gives as he prophesies about the FALL OF BABYLON…..even WHO will take them down.
In the midst of such saddness .. God reminded them/ and us that Jeremiah 51:5 ”For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.” THAT is HOPE amid the destruction!!
In verses 7-8, Jeremiah warned Jerusalem that when Babylon fell, they needed to LEAVE there once released!! Verse 22 discusses the Medes….the Medes are the people who will DESTROY Babylon in 539 B.C.
Here is a map that may help you actually visualize where things were happening. Compare this map to things that are happening today in these SAME locations:
CHAPTER 52 — The details of the fall of Jerusalem from another vantage point. This is the LAST TIME we will read about the fall of Jerusalem from “outside” of captivity. Jeremiah is prophesying about what will happen, had already started but Jeremiah was a free man. He had been freed by Babylon and given a choice of whether he would remain in Babylon and live a comfortable life OR whether he would return to Jerusalem with his people who hated him and tired to kill him. Provisions in Jerusalem were over abundant because Nebuchadnezzar had taken all the wealthy, talented people and left the poor to fend for themselves. Jeremiah knew his life would not be easy not would it be filled with the comforts of Babylon. However, Jeremiah KNEW he needed to still prophesy to the last of his people in Jerusalem. Keep in mind Jeremiah tells of the captivity strictly from a prophetic view point since he was never in captivity. We will soon begin to read from Ezekiel and Daniel and we will read from a different perspective. They were in captivity. They were on the “inside”….. IN captivity and IN exile in Babylon.
Verse 6 actually marks the day of destruction of Jerusalem: “By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. 7 Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah, 8 but the Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, 9 and he was captured.”
THIS is the day on the calendar in OUR modern times, in the synagogues, that the Book of Lamentations is read by the Hebrews. A significant day!!
Verse 13 — the day had come when the Temple that David had planned in great detail….that Solomon had built in all its glory….that King Josiah restored….is destroyed by Babylon…..JUST had it had been prophesied!!!
Verse 16…very important. HERE is the HOPE…. The REMNANT people (Nebuchadnezzar left behind the poorest people,) the ones that Jeremiah chose to stay with are left behind. And finally Verse 27 the Babylonians executed King Zedekiah and all the officials and Jerusalem and all of Judah was now completely in captivity….in exile….in Babylon!!
We have finished yet another Book of the Bible in our journey!!! Celebrate this special moment of faithfulness. God is sharing things with you I am confident you have never noticed before…pray over them…allow them to sink in….and ASK HIM what HE would like you to learn from what you have read.
Sharing HIS love,