October - Reading 19

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    The bulk of the message in Jeremiah today concerns the eventual downfall of Babylon, Judah's conqueror. Jeremiah was led with his Israeli bretheren into exile but certainly did not live long enough to see this prophecy come to pass. Just as Babylon had been the unspoken threat from the north to Judah, so would come a time that Persia would become the threat to Babylon from the north. We also see Israel referred to as a flock of sheep in two seperate passages: 50:6 and 50:17. These passages may have very well inspired Jeus' Parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3-7.

    In John we read this Gospel's account of Christ walking on the water. This same story is told in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:47-51. It should be noted that some view verse 21 as a seperate miracle in that the boat was in the middle of the lake as the story begins (Mark 6:47).

    In 1Peter the Apostle reafiirms the teachings of Paul in Ephesians 5:22-33. I have seen folks who interpret verse 3 to mean that women should not wear jewelry or braiding hair. I do not believe that this passage is prohibiting that but instead is saying that the emphasis of a Christian woman's beauty should be evident in her morals and attitude.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 5/22/05

    Jeremiah 50

    True to Jeremiah’s call of 1:5, chapters 46-51 of the Book that bear his name show us that he was indeed a prophet not only to Judah, but also to all nations. In these chapters we find some of the most eloquent poetry in the entire Bible. It deals primarily with God’s judgment upon the pagan neighbors of Judah, judgment that appears consistently as war. There is an underlying motif throughout the entire section of God’s sovereignty concerning the fate all nations.

    Dating this section is rather tricky. Our only definite clue comes in 46:34 that states that that particular prophecy concerning Elam came in the early reign of Zedekiah. However, much of the section, such as our focus today, seems to have an exilic or post-exilic theme to it. Other portions such as chapter 47 concerning Philistia is undeterminable at the present date because Jeremiah’s references to the defeat of certain nations have been lost to antiquity.

    The material has seemingly been organized in a west to east configuration beginning with Egypt and moving across the Middle East to Babylon. The prophecy against Babylon is by far the longest section of the collection encompassing two whole chapters. Throughout the Book and Jeremiah’s ministry, Babylon had been cited as God’s agent in bringing about His judgment on Judah. Now God’s judgment will fall on Babylon itself. Because of the sovereignty of God, all power and authority are rooted in Him (Colossians 1:16). Since all power is rooted in Him, all governments are established and instituted by Him (Romans 13:1; John 19:11). However, what God, the author of history, has established, He can also destroy. In chapter 50 of Jeremiah, we see the coming of God destroying the greatest world power that had come to date, the Babylonian Empire.

    Jeremiah 50:1-9 Babylon’s Doom Announced

    Though most of the references throughout chapters 50 & 51 are stated against Babylon, verses 1 & 10 make it clear that most are not only against the city but against the nation as a whole. First of all, the idols of the Chaldean people are discredited. Bel and Marduk are derivatives of the same false god and are equated with baal of the Phoenecians. These idols are discredited because they could not save the people who worshipped them.

    For forty years Jeremiah preached that judgment would come upon Judah in the form of a foe from the north. That foe turned out to be Babylon. Now, in an ironic turn of events, Babylon would also face judgment in the form of a foe from the north in the form of the Medes and the Persians. Having paid their penance, the children of Israel are exhorted to flee Babylon and the coming destruction. This will be a time when they will reunite and return to their homeland and join themselves to the Lord in covenant once again.

    Jeremiah 50:11-16 Babylon’s Sin and Judgment

    Judgment against Babylon will come because of its treatment of Israel. They rejoiced at the ruin of the Jews and grew arrogant in their victory. In their pillage of the nations of the Middle East, the Babylonians had grown fat (acted proudly) like cows, being cruel to those they oppressed, and loud and arrogant like steeds (KJV-bulls). Because of this Babylon would become a desolate land. The region had once been a fertile agricultural area but with the decline of her political power the irrigation canals silted up. As the allied nations of the north gathered power, the farmers of Babylon abandoned their plowshares to take up swords causing a collapse in the agricultural system.

    The Medes are known in history as tremendous horsemen and excellent archers. Though not named in this prophecy, they are certainly the invaders of which Jeremiah spoke in verse 14. It would be Cyrus, mentioned first in 2Chronicles 36:22 who would unite the allied forces of the Medes and Persians. Cyrus would become God’s agent and play a crucial role in Israel’s history as the time of the exile drew to a close.

    Jeremiah 50:17-20 Consolation to Israel

    This short portion of the prophecy gives us the Biblical summary of Israel’s history. The suffering of the nation is stated, then the judgement upon the invaders and then her return to peace and prosperity. Finally, God will forgive her iniquities, a reality that would culminate in the time of the Messiah.

    Jeremiah 50:21-28 God’s Vengeance on Babylon

    Here God calls once again for the foes of Babylon to execute His Judgment on her. “Merthaim” and “Pekod” are not proper names but descriptive titles used for Babylon. Merthaim means literally “double rebellion” and Pekod means “punishment”. These were likely word plays on the name of a region in Babylon, Marratu, and an Aramean tribe that lived along the banks of the Tigris River. Babylon, who had hammered so many nations, will now be hammered herself and the unexpectedness of the event is pointed out. It is once again noted here that the sovereign Lord will use His armory, that is the allied nations, against the enemies of His people. This will all come about because the Babylonians had striven against the Lord. The strongest demonstration of this animosity towards God is in th4e destruction of the Temple in Jeusalem.

    Jeremiah 50:29-32 Babylon’s Arrogance

    The preceding verses were the prediction. Beginning here, God calls upon the Medes and Persians to fulfil it. When the invaders strike Babylon, both the seasoned warriors and the young men will be slaughtered, thus insuring that no army would arise to retake power.

    Babylon is shown here as insufferably arrogant and that arrogance is personified in verse 32. Not only will the cities of Babylon be destroyed but that arrogance as well.

    The exiles are shown as exulting over God’s retribution upon their captors. They would return to proclaim God’s victory in Zion. The call is made to the nations to completely eradicate the haughty empire. The arrogance of the people of Babylon can only result in the fall, fire, and final consumption of their nation.

    Jeremiah 50:33-41 Israel’s Kinsman-Redeemer

    Here the concept of the kinsman redeemer is brought into play. In Old Testament culture, the nearest male relative of a person was their “redeemer.” While this person had the duty and the right to insure inheritances, purchase or redeem lands for widows (as in Ruth), or provide legal defense, the role was also established for the right to take blood for blood (Leviticus 25:25; Numbers 35:21). God as kinsman-redeemer had the right to voluntarily champion Israel’s cause. From the writing of Jeremiah, He took the task to its extreme, destroying even the horses and chariots. Babylon would be as utterly destroyed as the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Jeremiah 50:42-46 The Permanence of Babylon’s Doom

    In chapter 49:19, Nebuchadnezzar was called a lion who would be the instrument to punish Edom. Here Cyrus (not named) is the lion. The doom of Babylon would terrify the nations that witnessed it. The nations that would ally themselves with Cyrus would be Babylon’s executioners as God was their Judge. Their armies, cavalries, war machines and merciless attitudes would be part of God’s arsenal and He would use them to accomplish a defeat so complete that the cities of Babylon would be uninhabitable. Because of the vast power and influence of Babylon at the time, the destruction would have a wide audience.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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