Read Jeremiah 49 – 50
Jeremiah delivers a prophecy concerning Ammon (49:1-6); Edom (49:7-22); Damascus (49:23-27); Kedar, Hazor (49:28-33); and Elam (49:34-39). Next a prophecy of judgment on Babylon and hope for Israel, Judah, and the remnant (chap. 50). The Good Shepherd speaks of wayward shepherds and His sheep (50:6).
The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces (Jer. 50:1-2).
In today's verses, we read a reference to setting up the standard. Bible commentators reveal to us that the word used here represents a place to rally around. This would be some sort of banner or flag. Therefore, The setting up of the standard could mean the raising of the flag.
The term “standard” is seen quite a bit in the Old Testament. It is mentioned often in connection with the tribes of Israel. It appears that each individual tribe had their own identifying markings on a flag or banner. Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch (Num. 2:2).
Every nation in the world has a national flag that represents them. Every state in the United States of America has a state flag that represents them. You can even find sports teams, corporations and civic organizations that have their own flags.
A flag can sometimes reveal much information about a nation, or about the people of that nation. The flag of the United States tells much about us as a country. The thirteen stripes on the flag represent the original thirteen colonies that came together to declare their independence from England. The fifty stars on the flag represent the number of states in the United States. The number and pattern of the stars has changed multiple times over the course of more than two hundred years as states have been added.
A flag becomes a symbol of who or what it represents. The flag of a nation will spark feelings of patriotism from the people of that nation. Some flags, when seen, can spark great anger or hostility because of what they represent to certain people. For instance, the swastika of Nazi Germany brings about terrible feelings from just about the entire world. The atrocities done to the Jews and others should never be forgotten. We need to remember such injustice so as to not repeat the sins of the past. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions (Heb. 10:32).
All this has been said to show the importance of a flag. The Lord has placed a flag in the life of every believer. The choice is up to us as to whether we let it fly high enough that all the world knows that we belong to Christ, or whether we conceal it so that we will not be known as a believer. Denying Christ will never allow us to be fruitful for Him. We must let the world know to whom we belong.
Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33).
Thought for Today:
Hatred, suspicion and strife are in the camp of the wicked.
As the Redeemer who pleads our cause (Jer. 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 (Rom. 8:34).
49:1 their king, Ammonite god known as Malcham/Malcam, Milcom, Molech or Moloch, to whom children were sacrificed through fire; 50:5 thitherward, toward it; 50:31 visit, punish.
Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for the privilege of publishing His Word (Ps. 68:11).
Optional Reading: Revelation 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 90:12