Jeremiah is given the task of telling ALL the nations of God’s wrath that is to come. Judgment “from one end of the earth to the other.”
God promised Noah that He wouldn’t again judge all flesh by the use of a flood. He did NOT say He wouldn’t again judge ‘all the earth’. This time is one among several judgments that the people of the earth will receive. This one will be by the sword; war and conquest.
I’m curious. Did God ‘give’ Jeremiah a physical cup to bring around to all the nations or was it a metaphorical cup? If it was indeed physical, HOW did he entice all the leaders in the list of lands to drink from it? It seems clear that He took God’s message to each of these nations and told them that they were in line for God’s wrath. And the LAST place he was sent was to Babylon.
History tells us that Babylon conquered all these lands around Judah. They maintained control of those lands until the Medo-Persians empire came along and conquered them. The completion of God’s promise of His cup of wrath.
Babylon was not known for its kindness to its captured people. God used Babylon as His instrument of correction for His people, but Babylon enjoyed that power a bit too much. They would in turn pay for their sins against God’s chosen people. They too would fall by the sword.
As a person who lives on the opposite side of the planet from all that took place in the Bible, I’m curious to know how God handled this side of the world. God speaks of “the ends of the earth”. Was it because He was speaking to men who would never travel farther than their own region. I’m curious to know if man had settled on my part of the earth yet. I KNOW it was already round by then. But man had no concept of that yet. So, Jeremiah carried God’s message to the kingdoms of his ‘known’ world.
Most, if not all, the kingdoms that Jeremiah was sent to were enemies of Israel. There had been tensions between them and Israel going back hundreds of years. And many of them are still at war with Israel today! How much work did Jeremiah have to do to convince the leaders of the need to listen to what God had for them? Many of these nations had been on the losing side when God acted on behalf of Israel. They KNEW of Israel’s God. Did some of them fear Him? Is this what motivated them to listen? And if they didn’t listen, God told Jeremiah what to do. Jeremiah was to tell them about what He was doing in Jerusalem first. And to tell them that if God didn’t spare His own people, what makes them think they would be spared. ALL were being judged.
God promises great battles and bloodshed during His time of judgment. So many that they lie on the ground instead of being buried. Even the remote and peaceful places of the shepherds will see warfare. It will not be confined to the cities or places of strong defense. All will feel God’s wrath and sword.
Jeremiah doesn’t say it here and neither does God, but God stops short of destroying all. God does not destroy His righteous people. And He does this devastation a few groups at a time. He uses Babylon, the one who was saved for last, to do much of His work of judgment. Babylon’s punishment will come because of the pleasure they took in inflicting as much pain and degradation as possible on those they conquered. But God protected those who surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar. God told them they would find life in doing so.
God KNEW what was going to happen with Babylon before it even happened. God knew they would be over exuberant in their conquest. He also knew that He would deal with them in the end. God KNOWS ALL the tools He uses. This includes all those that are still to come. He will also protect His children during the process. We can trust Him on BOTH counts.
Father God, I KNOW I am safe in Your hands, no matter what comes. I also KNOW that You will bring about judgment. This world is in SERIOUS trouble because of the sin that is so rampant. You WILL settle accounts. And, THANK YOU that You have my life in Your hands during whatever is to come.