7/26/2017

God Guarantees Salvation Amid Punishment (Jeremiah 46-52)

"Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. 28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, for I am with you," declares the Lord"Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished" (Jer 46:27-28).
  • Ch. 46 (Judgment and Salvation): God in his sovereignty will bring judgment on prideful nations, but he will provide salvation for the remnant that truly believes.
  • Ch. 47-49 (Judgment on the Nations): God is at work throughout the world, judging and restoring.
  • Ch. 50-51 (The End of Babylon and the Future of Israel): The end of Babylon is contrasted with the everlasting restoration of God's people.
  • Ch. 52 (The End of Jerusalem, Yet Hope for the Future): Even in the context of imminent and well-deserved judgment, God offers hope.
Jeremiah, as the prophet to the nations (Jer 1:5, 10), prophesies judgment on some of Judah's neighbors. Thus, Jeremiah 46-51 is appropriately referred to as the Judgment on the Nations. The nations are: Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar and Hazor, Elam and Babylon. Starting with Egypt provides continuity with Jeremiah 43-44. Ending with Babylon is appropriate because Babylon is the most powerful nation in the region, the one that brings judgment on the other nations, including Judah, and the nation whose future most affects that of the remnant of Israel.

Oracles against other nations are a common feature in the prophetic books (Isaiah 13-23; Amos 1-2; Ezekiel 25-32). Jeremiah's oracles, in general, make the point that the coming of Babylon is God's judgment on all the nations -- but that in the end Babylon too will be judged, and Judah saved from its oppression (Jer 25:15-19).