Jeremiah 50 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson
Now God’s judgment comes to Babylon. We have seen God judging the surrounding nations. But Babylon has been THE nation discussed in this book. Since this is a long section, here are some observations about the chapter overall.
From the Word Biblical Commentary, “The oracles concerning Babylon in 50:1-51:58 compose almost half of the material in the collection of oracles concerning the nations in Jer. 46-51 (104 verses compared to 121 verses for 46-49). Two main themes run throughout: (1) the coming judgment of the Lord on Babylon and (2) the restoration of the exiled people of Judah and Israel to their homeland by the intervention of the Lord.” P. 357.
God will use pagan nations to discipline His people. We can rightly say that an individual is a servant of God or chosen by God without implying that person is a believer, righteous, or everything that person does is sanctioned by God. So to call Kings like Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar a servant of God implies a lot less than many think.
The rub for these pagan nations or kings is that they do not see themselves as God’s servant. They serve no one. They view themselves as autonomous (literally self law or a law unto themselves). Therefore they enjoy the plundering, robbing, and exile a bit too much. So since these pagan kings go too far, God then has to turn around and discipline the very ones that disciplined His people.
So these two chapters (50-51) details God’s judgment against Babylon. We can’t comment on every verse but notice in verse one that this introduction plainly shows this is a word from God not Jeremiah’s own words. These words of judgment carry authority. Then in vs. 3-8, the exiles are returning to the promised land. Notice the repetition of “nations, from the north country” which is what Israel heard from Jeremiah about Israel’s punishment and exile (4:6; 6:1,22; 10:22; 16:15;23:8, etc.). These same words are used against Babylon.
Just as God said He was bringing a country from the north against Israel, God says to Babylon in v. 9, “For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a gathering of great nations, from the north country.” So just as God punished Assyria earlier, now he will punish Babylon according to v. 18, “Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria.”
Here are some ways to prompt your thinking. If you are used by God, hold that position lightly. Someone will come after you. Someone may be smarter, better, wiser, or even more gifted. But for the moment, God has called you to do this task. Be thankful, be a good steward, but never take advantage of others or forget Who placed you there.
If you involved in any discipline, correction, or punishment: do your job but no more than your job. God holds you accountable. He has extended grace to you so you ought to extend that grace to the person you are correcting. Remind yourself, “How would you like to be corrected?”
Finally, all that we do is stewardship. We are given everything we have. Be a good steward and fulfill your obligations and duties with kindness and love. That doesn’t mean you are sentimental or soft. You may have to fire someone, write up someone, or correct a person as your duty and to make them better. Just don’t act like a Babylonian!
Christ has saved us and we will stand before Him. For our righteousness, we will point to Him and say we followed him and placed our trust in Him alone. He is the one who corrects us but died in our place to save us.