Let’s turn now in our Bibles to the book of Jeremiah, chapter fifty, as we are coming to the end of the prophecies of Jeremiah. Jeremiah now turns his attention toward Babylon. The next two chapters are directed against Babylon, and he commanded Zerahiah to take these prophecies to Babylon and to read them to the Israelites, those who were taken captive by the Babylonians. As there are the pronouncements of God’s judgement against Babylon. Then he was to take these prophecies, Zerahiah, and he was to tie a rock to them and toss them into the Euphrates river, and pronounce, “So shall Babylon sink”.
So, Babylon has been God’s instrument in the judgement of the nations. God told Habakkuk that He was going to use Babylon as His instrument of judgement against Judah, because they had turned their backs against the Lord. In the prophecies that we have been studying against Edom, and against Damascus, and against Elam, and against the Ammonites, and against Moab. Babylon was to be God’s instrument of judgement against them against Egypt.
But having served the purposes of God, as His instrument of judgement, yet they also are to be judged. Just because God used them, does not exempt them from the judgement of God. I believe that many times people make a mistake in thinking, “Well God has used my life. I’ve been used of the Lord, and therefore I have some kind of special dispensation or some kind of exemption from God’s judgement”, and they begin to live carelessly, recklessly, and they too are to be judged. Now Babylon has been used by God. It has been God’s instrument of judgement of the nations. But Babylon shall not escape God’s judgement.
Thus in chapters fifty and fifty one, during the fourth year of king Zedekiah, when a portion of the children of Israel had already been carried away as captives to Babylon, Jeremiah writes these prophecies against Babylon.
The word that the Lord spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet (50:1).
Babylon is a reference to the great city itself. The land of the Chaldeans is that territory that was occupied around the great city of Babylon, but it was more the whole Babylonian territory, known as the land of the Chaldeans.
[So, the Lord tells Jeremiah to] Declare among the nations, publish and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: and say, Babylon is taken, Bel [Who is the chief god of the Babylonians] is confounded, Merodach [One of the lesser gods.] is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces (59:2).
The Babylonians had attributed their success and their victories unto their god Bel. Bel is the same as Baal. It’s just the Babylonian spelling. It means Lord, and it is the worship of the sun god. Merodach means little Lord, perhaps the worship of the moon, but the Babylonians were great into astrology. They attributed their success over the other nations to their gods. The idea being that, “Our god is stronger, and thus able to defeat the other gods”, so Babylon itself is going to fall, and their gods are to be broken in pieces.
For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast (50:3).
Out of the north would be a reference to the Medes, who were going to come, along with the Persians, and will conquer Babylon. Now the conquest of Babylon was sort of gradual. It didn’t all happen at once. They city of Babylon was taken by Cyrus. The city of Babylon was so vast, that when Babylon fell, half of the people in the city didn’t even know it for a few days! The troops under Cyrus really didn’t wreak great devastation against Babylon. Later on, He left the city pretty much intact.
Later on the Babylonians rebelled against the powers of the Medes and the Persians and Darius came and slaughtered then, a great number of people. He executed 4,000 of the chief inhabitants, the lords of Babylon at a later date. Even later yet, Babylon was conquered again and they began to destroy the walls of the city and it remained after the conquest by Cyrus, for many years, a strong and powerful city. It wasn’t actually until the time of the Roman Empire under Adrian, that the walls of Babylon were destroyed, and the city then became uninhabited.
Now an interesting thing about prophecy, is that often times, prophecy has a dual for fulfillment. In other words there is an immediate fulfillment, but it is only a precursor and a type of a future kind of fulfillment that shall take place. Thus the dual fulfillment that we find throughout the bible in prophecy. Thus the prophecies here in Jeremiah, had an immediate kind of fulfillment, that is it will take place within a hundred years or so, but then there is that dual fulfillment, and much of it is yet to be fulfilled, and remains for the last days. Thus, some of these prophecies that we read here concerning Judah and Israel returning really have to do with the last days, as well as the time when Babylon was conquered, and they began under Cyrus, to return to the land.
“So, out of the north, the land of the Medes, there comes a nation against her, which will make her land desolate.”
And in those days, [verse four] and at that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: and they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. And they shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten (50:4-5).
So at the time when Babylon falls, there will be a regathering of the Jews back into the land. We know historically that that’s exactly what happened. When Babylon fell, and Cyrus, the conquering general became the king of the Neo-Persian empire, it is said that Daniel brought, according to Josephus, Daniel brought to Cyrus, the prophecy of Isaiah. He showed Cyrus, in the prophecy Isaiah, where the prophet Isaiah had named him as the prince that God would use to allow His people to return to captivity.
So, two hundred years before this time, God had announced that Cyrus would be His instrument. First, you might look at Isaiah, chapter forty four, beginning with verse twenty eight, the last verse of chapter forty four. “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, He shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” “Thus saith the Lord (on into forty five), to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue the nations before him; and I will loose the loins of the kings, (That is the king of Babylon, you remember when the handwriting came on the wall, we read that Belshazzar’s knees smote one against another, his loins were loosed,) to open before him the two leaved gates; (and of course he conquered the city by diverting the river Euphrates, came up and the two leaved gates within the city were left open, and the troops entered and took the city of Babylon) the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, cut in sunder the bars of iron: I will give you the treasures of darkness, the hidden riches of the secret place.
And of course when Cyrus took Babylon, he also received a tremendous wealth, that had been amassed by Babylon. For when Babylon would conquer a nation, they would sack it. They would take all of the gold, silver, brass, and valuables. So, there was tremendous wealth in Babylon, which of course was then transferred to the Neo-Persian empire, which was later transferred to Alexander the Great, when he conquered the Neo-Persian empire.
Alexander the Great had so much treasure and booty from the conquer of the Persian empire, that he used to just delight in giving wealth away. It was meaningless to him. So, the story as they were crossing over to try to conquer India, he saw this young fellow who had this mule, and it was, had these bags on it, and the mule was just struggling under the weight of the bags, and so, finally the mule just dropped. The young fellow was trying the mule along, but it finally just dropped. He watched as the young fellow took up these bags and started carrying them and struggling with them himself. Alexander the great came up and said, “What in the world are in those bags that you are struggling so to get them to camp?” And he stood up and he said, “Sir, I bear in these bags the treasures of Alexander the Great. Alexander said, “When you get to your tent tonight, take them to your tent. Their yours”. Don’t you know they became a lot lighter at that point!
But God had promised unto Cyrus, that He would give him the treasures of Babylon. “And for Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called you by your name: I have surnamed you, though you have not known me. And I am the Lord, there is none else.” The Lord tells him actually that he is the one who is to allow the children of Israel to go back to their land.
So here the prophecy of Jeremiah is that the time that Babylon falls, that Israel and Judah will return to the land. Verse four. And on their way to Zion, they’ll ask people, “What direction is Zion?”, and they will come back and they will be saying, “Let’s join ourselves to the Lord. Let’s return to God, let’s keep the covenant of God. Let it be a perpetual covenant. Now, this portion of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. That complete turning of the nation unto God, and that perpetual covenant with the Lord.
My people [The Lord said] hath been lost sheep: [Or as lost sheep] for their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace (50:6).
Where is their resting place? Their resting place was in God. They had forgotten the Lord. And the Lord places the blame upon the shepherds, who had led the sheep astray. God cries for the sheep, lost sheep. But God places the blame upon the shepherds. It’s a very sad and tragic thing when men who are ordained to the ministry, become so liberal in their thinking, that they begin to deny God’s word. The aberrancy of God’s word. The inspiration of the scriptures. They have their degrees, they have their titles, but yet, they do not believe in the basic foundational truths of the Bible. They do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. They do not believe in His resurrection. They believe that the stories of the bible are myths by which morality was to be taught. They lead people astray.
That’s a very sad thing and God will hold the shepherds responsible. James in writing his practical epistle said, “Don’t be many teachers, knowing that you will receive the greater condemnation.” Thus a warning for those that would teach the word of God. With it comes a responsibility of teaching the word of God correctly. I think that those who are involved in the ministry, need to realize the awesome responsibility that is theirs, in guiding the sheep and leading the sheep in God’s paths. In nurturing, strengthening the sheep. God said, “My people are lost sheep, because their shepherds hath caused them to go astray. Turned them loose, and the people have forgotten the real resting places in God.”
All that found them have devoured them: [Wherever the Jews went, they were persecuted. Of course this has remained to the present day. The tremendous persecution against the Jew. It seems like the whole world is against the Jew! Of recent years under the Bush administration, and Baker, our nation is turning really, against the Jew. There are many churches that have turned against the Jew, by declaring that the church is Israel, and God is through with them as a people. Not so. If you’ll look at history, you’ll find that everyone that turned against the Jew was judged by God. God said to Abraham, in His covenant with Abraham, “I will bless those that bless you, and I will curse those that curse you”. Thus the Jews were driven away. Everywhere that they went, they were devoured by their adversaries.] And their adversaries said, We don’t offend, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice. even the Lord, the hope of their fathers (50:7),
In other words, we’re right in doing this, because they turned their backs against God. But God will deal with them. You know, you don’t, you don’t spank another person’s child, unless you want to be in real trouble with that other person. If you touch God’s child, though they may be wrong, though they may be doing wrong, though they may be guilty, you don’t touch them. You leave that to the Father, He’ll take care of them. Thus the Lord speaks about those that felt justified in what they were doing.
Remove out of the midst of Babylon, go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks (50:8).
In other words, lead the people back. The he goats always sort of go out in front, and the flocks sort of follow the goats. So be like those goats, where the leading them back to the land that the sheep may follow back.
For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: [So both the Medes and the Persians, an assembly.] and they shall set themselves in array against her; and from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldean shall be a spoil: and all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord (50:9-10).
The reason why God is going to allow Babylon to thus fall, is
Because ye were glad, because you rejoiced, O you destroyers of my heritage, because you are grown fat as the heifer at the threshing, and you bellow as bulls (50:11);
So they were excessive in their cruelty against the people of God. They had grown fat, they had robbed the temple of God. They had taken the gold and the silver vessels of tremendous value. They even took the pillars of brass that were on the porch of Solomon, in the temple that Solomon had built. They had sacked the city. Thus they had grown fat as a heifer, at grass. The another translation of the Hebrew word, is as the heifer at threshing. Now they used the strongest heifers for threshing, and they would trample the wheat, separating the hull, the kernel from the husk. You remember that under the law, you were not to muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. Thus those oxen that were used for the treading purposes, became real fat because they weren’t to be muzzled, and as they would tread out, they would just eat all day long, and the good grain, and just got fat. So, Babylon became like a fat heifer, then also bellowing like the bulls.
Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert (50:12).
The hindermost of the nations, the whole land is going to be left as a desert area.
Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues (50:13).
The city of Babylon did become wholly desolate. That once great city. In fact the greatest city of the ancient world, as far as the power, the size, the walls 300 feet high, 80 feet thick, and they had double walls around it with huge towers on the walls. It was thought to be totally impregnable and yet God pronounces the fact that it is going to be taken, and when people see the destruction of it they will hiss at it.
Put yourselves in array against Babylon [God is challenging now, the instruments, Cyrus and the Medes and Persians. “Put yourselves in array against Babylon”.] round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she has sinned against the Lord (50:14).
And thus is to be judged and punished.
Shout against her round about: she has given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance upon her; as she has done, do unto her (50:15).
God, so often measures out in kind. The Lord said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged. For whatever measure you judge, ye shall be judged”. By the standard by which you judge others, that will be the standard by which you will be judged. The Bible says, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. Thus, “As she has done to others, so do unto her”. Has a way of coming back! God has a way of allowing things to come back. The judgement comes back in the same measure as you meted it out. So, God’s judgement. Be the instruments. It’s the vengeance that the Lord is taking. You know it’s a part of our human nature to want to get even. That’s just part of our whole make up. The Lord tells us that we are not to try to get even. He said, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay”, saith the Lord.
You know it’s interesting how that all the way through, the Lord is calling us to a higher standard of living. In those cultures, and those primitive cultures exist today right in the streets of our communities. For in those cultures, there were those avenging of wrong. If one of your family members was killed by a neighbor, then it was part of the whole code to kill one of their family members. Vengeance. Getting even. But the Lord said that, as His people, our standards should be higher. We should not be under that kind of a primitive code, natural desire for violence and vengeance. The gang warfares that are going on, the shootings and so forth, it’s a thing of, “We owe you one now!”, and it just continues to grow and escalate. It’s the same kind of a thing. Getting even. “You know, they came by and shot up our party, let’s get in the car, and we’ll go shoot up their parties!”. It’s the idea of getting even. But the Lord says, “No! That’s not to be. You’re to live in a higher standard than that”. You’re to leave the getting even to God, commit it to the Lord. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” I think our problem is that God’s a little slow in taking vengeance. We want to see it right now on our enemies. We don’t want to wait down the road a ways. But we’d like to see it happen now! Yet, ours is to just commit it to the Lord. “Lord, they’re in your hands. They’ve done wrong, and I leave it to you to deal with them and to take care of them.” To allow God to bring His vengeance upon them.
Cut off the sower from Babylon, [Now it used to be a place of tremendous agriculture. In fact it is said that they got 200 percent, Herodotus, the historian said that they reaped 200 percent in their corn planting. In other words, plant one seed and get 200 kernels. It’s just, still you see the weather is quite warm, and they had though the vast river Euphrates, and they made all of these canals, irrigation canals, and they, the whole area was just a full, productive area, as far as growing. Very, very fertile. So they took full advantage of the weather, the water, and it was just a great agricultural area. But the Lord said, “Cut off the sower, those that plant from Babylon”.] and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: [The place is going to become barren. It’s going to become like a desert.] for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land. Israel is a scattered sheep; [Called the lost sheep earlier, now it’s scattered sheep.] for the lions [Babylonians] have driven him away: First of all, the king of Assyria, he devoured him. Then this Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon has broken his bones (50:16-17).
So scattered sheep of Israel.
Therefore [Because of this,] thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria (50:18).
Assyria was conquered by Babylon. God brought His judgement against the Syrians, now He will bring it against the Babylonians.
And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, [Now, Carmel of course is that area near the valley of Jezreel, and it is where Haifa is on mount Carmel, and it extends east from Haifa, back to the mountains of Samaria. It is a beautiful area. They will be there again. On Bashan, Bashan is the Golan Heights of today.] they shall be satisfied on mount Ephraim [These are the mountains that go south from mount Carmel down towards Jerusalem. Then,] also in Gilead [The mountains that are south of Golan Heights, and today the present area of Jordan.] (50:19).
Israel will come back and they’ll inhabit the land that was once there.
In those days, and at that time, saith the Lord, [And I love this! This of course is yet future. God is gonna, God says it was His land. You know, the big thing today whose land is it? The Palestinians, or who. It’s God’s land. God gave it to Abraham, and to his descendants. “So in those days, and at that time, saith the Lord”,] the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, will not be found: for I will pardon whom I reserve (50:21).
In other words the Lord said, “Hey, they’ll look for their iniquity and sins, but they won’t find them, because I’m going to pardon”. That’s the kind of a covenant that we’re under. God has forgiven us through Jesus Christ. So, Paul, the apostle said, “Who is he that condemneth?”, and in answer to that question, he said, “It isn’t Jesus. It isn’t Christ, for He died for your sins, in fact He’s risen again and is at the right hand of the Father, making intercession. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s account, Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” It is God who is justified. In other words, God doesn’t have any charges against you if you’ve received Jesus Christ. Let them look for your sins, they won’t find them. God’s forgiven them. You know, let them come with their accusations to God. Satan may come with his accusations against you, “Lord”, the Lord says, “Hey! It’s not there. I’ve pardoned that already”.
How glorious it is! If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect. It is God who has justified. In other words God’s the one that’s forgiven you. He’s not laying charges against you. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who has died, yea rather is risen again, and is even at the right hand of the Father, making intercession. He’s up there pleading your case! If you had an attorney that went to court and said, “Hey this guy’s a rat. Throw the book at him!” You’d sue the attorney for malpractice and you’d ask the court to allow you to have another attorney. He’s supposed to be representing you! Here he’s turning against you, asking the court to throw the book at you.
Now Jesus is your attorney, up there, in essence. He’s pleading your case. He’s not saying, “Father, throw the book at him! Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Pleading our case. “It is Christ who died, yea rather who is risen again, even at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us.” So, here with Israel when God’s salivation comes, God will pardon. He said, “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy”. Being God, you see, He can do anything! Neat! Who can say, “Well you know that’s not fair!” Just how fair are you to challenge the fairness of God? So, His people, and God gives special treatment to His people. Special loving treatment. I’m so glad I’m one of His people. “I will pardon them”, He said, “whom I reserve”. “I’ll pardon who I want!” I like that!
So go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, the inhabitants of Pekod: [These are areas of Babylon.] waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the Lord, and do all according to what I have commanded you (50:21).
In other words God is directing the forces that would bring destruction upon Babylon.
A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction. The hammer [Babylon was the hammer], pounded the whole earth! but the hammer is cut in two. It’s broken! Babylon has become a desolation among the nations (50:22-23).
The judgement of God has fallen, and Babylon cannot stand.
I’ve laid a trap for the, and you also are taken, O Babylon, you are not aware: you’ve been found, you’ve been caught because you have striven against the Lord (50:24).
The Bible says, “Woe unto him who strives with his maker!” I’ve always thought, “How foolish for a man to fight God”. Yet we see so many people trying to fight against God. People who so foolishly shake their fist at God. “God, you know, I hate you, I don’t know why you did this or that”. If you fight against God you’re in a no win situation. Because if you win, in resisting Him, then you’ve really lost totally. Striving against the Lord.
The Lord has opened His armory. He’s brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land with the Chaldeans (50:25).
This is God’s work in judgement. They fought against God, or chose to fight against the Lord, and thus they are to be destroyed.
Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left (50:26).
That has not yet been fulfilled, so that lies yet for the future.
Slay all of her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion, [to Zion, in Zion] the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple (50:27-28).
They destroyed the temple of God. God is now taking vengeance against them for what they have done.
Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; [That is again, you know, being judged in kind.] according to all that she has done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel (50:29).
So, striving against God, proud against God, she’s to be brought low.
Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord. Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord God of hosts (50:31):
Remember how the problem with Nebuchadnezzar was his great pride. That’s why God brought him down. He had this dream, and in this dream he saw this great tree, and all of the birds lodged in the tree. But then he heard the voice say, “Cut the tree down!”, and the tree was cut down and out of the roots there began to grow another tree. He asked Daniel to interpret the vision, and he said, “Ooh this dream is one that your enemies are gonna like! Not a good thing. Because God has made you great. Your branches cover out over the earth and the nations of the earth find shelter under your strength. But your pride is gonna bring you low. You’re gonna get cut down”. So, he said, “Walk carefully, be careful Nebuchadnezzar. Don’t let pride get the best of you”.
He behaved himself for awhile. But about a year later when he was walking in the midst of the glorious city of Babylon, the hanging gardens and all, he said, “Is this not the great Babylon that I have built?” And Wham! He was smitten by God. He became mad. He went insane, he lived with the oxen for a period of seven seasons, until he knew that it was the God of heaven who ruled, and set over the kingdoms of the earth, those whom He would.
Again the pride of Babylon. They thought they were invincible. When the city of Babylon was under siege, the armies of the Medes and Persians had surrounded, and were besieging the city. Because they felt so secure within these tremendous walls, and fortification. While the city was under siege, Belshazzar ordered this huge party for a thousand of his lords, just in disdain against the enemy that would think they could possibly conquer the great city of Babylon, and destroy her fortification. So, just in utter disdain he ordered this huge party, so it went on for weeks. Rather than war and desolation, “Party time men! Let’s celebrate!” You know and they felt so secure. Thus their pride for which they are to be brought down.
[Verse thirty two] And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; The children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go. [But] Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name: [I love that. Your Redeemer is strong. I will trust in the Lord, “I will not fear what man can do unto me.” My Redeemer is strong. He is the Lord of hosts.] he shall thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, upon her princes, and upon her wise men (50:32-35).
Babylon was known for the many counselors, the wise men.
And the sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; they shall be dismayed. On their horses, and upon their chariots, upon the mingled people are in the midst of her; they shall become as a woman: [That is weak and in a physical conflict. But don’t think just weak.] a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. [As we mentioned earlier.] A drought is upon her waters; [An interesting verse.] they shall be dried up: [The great river Euphrates. When they built the city of Babylon, the river Euphrates ran right through the middle of it, so the, there was always that water supply. You know usually when a city was besieged, they would cut off the water. Well you can’t go long without water. But here was the great river Euphrates flowing through Babylon, and thus they had a sufficient water supply there from the river. There were walls along the river with gates, and there were these little ferry boats that would take the people from one side of the river to the other, so you’re going down Fifth street, you get in a boat, go across, and then you continue on down Fifth street. There were, in the middle of the town, there was this large bridge that went over the river Euphrates, and each side protected by these great gates. But the Lord is declaring that there is to be a drought upon her waters, and the waters would be dried up. What actually happened, Cyrus, the general of the army of the Medes, had his soldiers build a dam, north of the city of Babylon, and divert the river of Babylon, or the Euphrates, around the city of Babylon. They built these canals. So, at the given moment, they closed these, the river, they diverted the river into these canals, and the river dried up in Babylon. Then the troops went on the river bed, on under the bars, and the walls, and they came in the river bed on up into the city, and that’s where they had left the gate open. They were so drunk as a result of this party, they left the gates open and the troops were able to come right in to the party itself. Belshazzar was defeated. So, here again, as Isaiah said, “The Lord would open to them the levied gates, they would not be shut”. That was the case. Here the waters be dried up. That was how the city was conquered. Interesting prophecy.] for it is a land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols (50:36- 38).
Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the coasts shall dwell there, the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation (50:39).
The great city of Babylon is going to be made waste and desolate, and become a dwelling place of wild animals.
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord; so shall no man abide there, neither any son dwell therein (50:40).
Desolate like Sodom and Gomorrah. Now that has not been quite literally fulfilled yet. Probably is yet to be fulfilled.
Behold, the people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, [Now, here it seems like it’s another battle against Babylon. Here not only the people from the north, but many kings from the coasts of the earth, they’re from all over the earth. “They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel,] they’ll not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon (50:41-42).
This particular part of the prophecy of Babylon’s destruction, could be yet future. It could be that ole Saddam Hussein still has his coming. But this will describe the complete destruction.
The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold upon him, as pangs as of a woman in travail. Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is the chosen man, that I may appoint over her? and who is like me? who will I appoint me in the time? and who is the shepherd that will stand before me (50:43-44)?
The one that will rule? Sounds like Jesus doesn’t it? The chosen man. “The one He appoints, One who is like me? The one He will appoint in His time, the shepherd that will stand before me?”
Therefore hear ye the counsel of the Lord, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: For surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them. At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations (50:45-46).
So, God’s judgement that will fall upon Babylon. Did fall over a period of years, but it is not yet complete. Thus many of these aspects of the prophecy, we may yet see fulfilled in our time.
Chapter fifty one he goes on and finishes the prophecy against Babylon, and then chapter fifty two, sort of a recap, and we’re through with Jeremiah, for the time being. Shall we stand?
Things to learn from the study. The Lord is your resting place. Don’t forget that. The nation of Israel was in trouble because they forgot their resting place. They had become restless, gone into captivity, because they forgot God. Their place of strength, their place of rest.
God’s special favors for His people, not remembering their transgressions. Forgiving, and pardoning those whom He will. Then the folly of fighting against God, striving against your maker. The folly of pride. God resisteth the proud. How foolish it is, the man who has pride, is the man who has not yet really met God. When you come into a real awareness and consciousness of God, you, like Isaiah, say, “Woe is me!” Rather than, “Look at me! I’m great, I’m wonderful”, you say, “Woe is me! For I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips. I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips”. God’s purposes shall stand. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. Commit your ways to the Lord, and allow God to do His work in His time.
What important lessons for us to learn. May the Lord be with you and teach you His ways. That you might walk in His statutes, that you might fulfill His will. That you might be used of God in the accomplishing of His purposes. May God protect you from pride, and from that kind of arrogancy that feels, because God has used you, you can get by with anything you want. Don’t be deceived. God measures out in kind. God is not mocked. “And whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” You can’t escape it. God bless. Make this a special week as we remember His love, as we remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, and revel and glory in the resurrection.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7307