American philosopher and theologian Jonathan Edwards once preached: “In that He is God, He is worthy to be sovereign over all things. Sometimes men are the owners of more than they are worthy of. But God is not only the owner of the whole world, as all is from and dependent on Him, but such is His perfection, the excellency and dignity of His nature, that He is worthy of sovereignty over all.”
Because God is the only One in charge, not even Babylon, the superpower of Jeremiah’s day, could oppose Him or escape His wrath. The nation that God used to accomplish His purposes as an instrument of His judgment would now come under His judgment. Babylon would be conquered by a nation from the north (vv. 2–3). This was fulfilled in 539 B.C. by Persia, that is, the Medes and the Persians. Just as with the gods of lesser nations, the gods of Babylon would be overthrown: “Bel will be put to shame, Marduk filled with terror” (v. 2). The nation who had destroyed so many others would now be destroyed (vv. 9–10).
At that time, the Jews would be allowed to return home from exile (vv. 4–8). They had been “lost sheep” with bad shepherds, wandering unprotected due to their sinfulness and unfaithfulness (vv. 6–7). They would “go in tears to seek the Lord” and renew the covenant (vv. 4–5). Their true “resting place” was not the land but the Lord.
Many of these prophecies were fulfilled under Cyrus, king of Persia, as seen in the books of Nehemiah and Ezra. Some, however, will not be fulfilled until the end times, including the “everlasting covenant” (v. 5).
>> Our enemies may taunt us, ridiculing us for our beliefs. While we are tempted to even the score, we must remember that God is ultimately the One in control. It is not our score to settle. Our Redeemer is strong!
Extended reading: Jeremiah 50–51
Lord, give us childlike confidence in You. May our fear of You be greater than our fear of others. May our love for You spur us on to share the gospel, even when there’s rejection!