Friday, August 29. Jeremiah 45 – 47

Beginning with Jeremiah 46, we enter a section of six chapters where judgment is pronounced on the kingdoms of the world – specifically the ones around the land of Israel. The material is very similar to what we have already seen in Isaiah 13-23 and what we will see again in the books of Ezekiel and Amos. As Robert Davidson, former Professor at the University of Glasgow observed: “Prophets from Amos to Jeremiah insisted that to believe in the Lord is to believe in a God who has the whole world in His hands, a God who is the ruler of all nations. This is a God whose purposes all nations exist to serve, whether they know it or not; a God whose universal standards of justice and righteousness nations, including Israel and Judah, ignore at their peril.”

But there is something else in this section.

Have you ever wondered why the Lord didn’t address the nations of Greece, people living in what today we call Spain and the British Isles?

The people of the nations addressed in Jeremiah and the prophets are not the only people. They are, however, the only people who surround the people of God, interact and influence them. It’s not that the Lord doesn’t know about such people or care how they live. But the focus of the Lord is on His people. The ones mentioned in these chapters are mentioned because they are on the periphery of God’s people. To this day, the Lord’s longing and eyes are focused on His people. Such a notion should bring comfort to Christians, and perhaps not a little unease as well.

Sunday, September 1. Jeremiah 46 – 49

Chapter forty six begins a series of oracles against foreign nations, much like Isaiah 13-24 and the series begins by addressing Egypt. The specific message about Egypt was received about 605 B.C. when Egypt was decisively defeated at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt will do battle against the Egyptians again in 601, but will not prevail.

The scattering and exile of God’s people is already underway – if not by force, then by simple circumstance. God’s people are becoming refugees to the nations around them. To these nations, God’s people are placing their trust. But it will all be in vain. One by one, those nations too will fall, beginning with Egypt in the west and moving to the east until the section culminates in the judgment of Babylon.

As the very old song goes, He’s got the whole world in His hands. Wise people will seek refuge only in Him.