Highlights In Today's Reading:
God the Father issues His judgement against the nations because of their deliberate warring against Him and His people. We count six in Chapter 49. Chapter 50 reveals no nation can survive that defies God and deals directly with the fall and judgment of Babylon (vs 1-3, 8-16, 21-32, 35-46) and Israel's deliverance and restoration (vs 4-7, 17-20, 33-34).
Jeremiah sent a written prophecy to the exiles in Babylon concerning its overthrow — The Word that the Lord spake against Babylon (capital of Chaldea) and against the land of the Chaldeans (50:1). He was to reassure them that Jehovah had not forgotten His Covenant promise to their forefathers and was still in mercy lovingly working out His purposes for His covenant people.
Babylon's defeat was foretold to prepare the exiles for their return to Jerusalem: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land. . . . And I will bring Israel again to his habitation. . . . and his soul shall be satisfied (50:18-19). How would those in exile accept this prophecy? Surely, it should restrain them from participating in Babylon's idolatries and reaffirm their trust in the sovereignty of Jehovah. Later, to fulfill God's Word, Cyrus did urge the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple (II Chronicles 36:22-23).
As foretold by the prophets (Isaiah 14:22; 21:9; 43:14; Jeremiah 25:12; 50:9; 51:37), King Cyrus of Persia successfully led his armies against Babylon to destroy it after it had served the purpose of God who allowed it to exist.
Judah's faith in the prophetic message of God was a precious type of the repentant backslider who believes that God has freed him from sin, who leaves the world of slavery and returns to worship the Lord.
What a contrast from the time when Judah was carried into its captivity! By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth (Psalm 137:1-3). Now, they left the land of their captivity where they were slaves to idolaters.
Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away. . . . The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, beside their servants and their maids (Ezra 2:1-65).
Jesus promised: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36).
Thought for Today:
God is constantly working in our lives to persuade us to forsake sin and to bring us into His presence in true worship.
As the Redeemer who pleads our cause (Jeremiah 50:34). Blessed (Praised and extolled and thanked) be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people (Luke 1:68). It is Christ . . . who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Romans 8:34).
49:1 their king =b> Ammonite god known as Malcham/Malcam, Molech or Moloch, to whom children were sacrificed through fire; 50:5 thitherward =b> toward it; 50:31 visit =b> punish; 50:36 shall dote =b> will become fools.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Country: Congo, Republic of the, (2 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom, but government hostility has lessened • 41% Roman Catholic; 20% fetishism and belief in ancestral spirits; 17% Protestant; 9% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national leaders and their families (Ezra 6:10).
Optional Reading: Revelation 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:18