We’ve just about completed the book of Jeremiah. Tonight we are in chapter fifty, which happens to be the longest chapter in the book. Next week we finish the book of Jeremiah. Fifty two chapters, at the pace we’ve been going, it’s been just about a year with Jeremiah. We’ve become pretty familiar with the old boy! Gonna, you know he’s become a real friend, and it’s going to be sort of sorrowful leaving him. But we don’t leave him completely. We go through his tears in the book of Lamentation, as he weeps over the destruction of Jerusalem, as he looks at the ruins of the city and weeps over the failure of the people to really seek God and find God’s help.
But tonight we have this second chapter that deals with God’s judgement against Babylon. The most of the book of Jeremiah is taken up with the judgement of God that is going to come against Judah because as the people of God, they have turned their backs upon God and they’ve been worshiping the gods of the heathen. So they are going to be judged. God is going to use Babylon as His instrument of judgement. But now God’s instrument of judgement, Babylon, is to be judged by God. Chapter fifty one, we are continuing in the judgement that is to be meted against Babylon.
So thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; And I will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about (51:1-2).
So, this destroying wind and those that would fan. The threshing of the wheat. They would usually try to find a good breezy hillside. But lacking a good breezy hillside, they would have these people with these large fans. Not the electric models that you use, are used to but, these African type models. And what they would do is they would rub the wheat, or they would actually have the ox tread the wheat. They would pile the wheat up on the rock and then they’d have the oxen treading the wheat, and it would knock the hull off of the kernel, then they would throw the wheat into the air and they would pan rapidly, and it would blow the chaff away. So, God is sort of speaking of how He’s gonna blow Babylon away. He’s going to send this devouring wind, and the fanners and Babylon is to be blown away.
So against him that bends let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifts himself up in the brigandine: [That is his metal plate armor.] spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host (51:3).
So God is commanding those that are coming against Babylon not to spare, but to destroy completely.
Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets (51:4).
This is God speaking concerning His faithfulness to His people.
For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel (51:5).
So God is now sort of judging Babylon for what she did to Judah. For even though Judah had sinned against God, there was sin in the land, it was filled with sin, as they sinned against God. Yet God did not fully forsake them. There is something wonderful about the grace of God, towards His children. We often times fail, fail miserably. We are not immune from falling. But if you are a child of God, God is so faithful in dealing with you. Bringing into your life that which is necessary to bring you back to Himself. So, as a child of God, God will chastise you. Now, there is an interesting thing involved here and that is that a person who is not a child of God, can get by with all kinds of evil. You can’t. You’ll get caught. God will see to it that you don’t get by with evil. If you, you know, you’ve been messing around, you’ve been caught, and you’re in real deep water, just thank the Lord, it means you’re His child. He’s not letting you get by with it.
God had not forsaken His people. They were still His people, and He looked at them as such. They were not forsaken, nor Judah, they were not forsaken by their God, though they should have been. Their land was full of sin. So God’s saying to them,
Flee out of the midst of Babylon, deliver every man his soul: not to be cut off in their iniquity; for this is the time of the lords vengeance; and he’s going to render unto her recompense (51:6).
God is gonna get even with Babylon now. So God is telling His people to flee out of it, so that you don’t suffer the judgement that will be coming against Babylon. It is interesting that when you turn to the new testament, the book of Revelation, chapter eighteen. As God is there speaking of Babylon, again at that point, the commercial center of the world, commercial Babylon. God says the very same thing, “Flee from her, my people. That you’re not destroyed with the judgement that is going to come against her”. So here, you have God saying the same thing from Jeremiah, as He said through John, in the book of Revelation, there concerning commercial Babylon.
Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; and therefore the nations are mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. [Then the Lord said,] We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go everyone into his own country: for her judgement reaches unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. The Lord has brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God (51:7-10).
So God is again announcing this judgement that’s gonna come against Babylon. An utter destruction. Daniel the prophet there in Babylon, when king Nebuchadnezzar had his dream and Daniel was brought in to interpret it, he said to Nebuchadnezzar, “The vision that you saw, a great image, with a head of gold, the chest of silver, stomach of brass, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay. The Lord of heaven has shown unto you the kingdoms that shall rule over the earth, and you O Nebuchadnezzar are the head of gold! For God has given to you a kingdom, power, glory. All of the nations have come to rest under you”. That’s basically what Jeremiah’s saying here. Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hands. The whole earth is made drunk. The nations have drunken her wine and they’re in derision. But Babylon is suddenly fallen, the head of gold is going to be replaced by the shoulders, the chest of silver.
Now you remember that when Daniel revealed the dream and the interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar made a proclamation in all the earth, “There’s no god in all the earth like the God of Daniel who is able to reveal secrets”, and all. But acknowledging God or the God of Daniel, he immediately set about to defy God, for he made a great image and set it up in the plain of Durham. This image was made of all gold. What was he saying? “You, O Nebuchadnezzar, are the head of gold. You saw the chest of silver, stomach of brass, legs of iron. You are the head of gold!” What Nebuchadnezzar was actually saying, by the image all of gold was that Babylon will never fall! He was making a statement that Babylon and the government of Babylon, the kingdom of Babylon would be eternal! It would never be replaced. He was defying the interpretation of the dream.
He ordered that all of the people in the kingdom bow down to this great golden image. Bow down to the concept that Babylon would exist forever. But God hath pronounced the judgement. God, through Jeremiah, saying that it’s gonna come upon them suddenly. They will be destroyed. There will be no cure. Thus the people of God were to forsake her. The declaration will be, verse ten.
The Lord has brought forth our righteousness: come, let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God (51:10).
Now to the enemies that are to destroy them, the Medes with the Persians, the Lord said,
Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple (51:11).
The fact that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple of God in Jerusalem. The fact that he sacked the temple. He took the golden cups and the instruments of gold and silver from the temple; and brass, and carried them to the treasuries in Babylon. God now, is gonna take vengeance for what Babylon did to His temple in Jerusalem. God called the temple His house. “My house”, God said.
So set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the Lord hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon (51:12).
God has devised a strategy by which Babylon is to fall. Now, it should be noted that Babylon continued to exist after this prophecy of Jeremiah for another fifty plus years. It remained in glory and power and prominence. But surely Babylon will fall, for God has declared it. So God, addressing Himself to Babylon said,
O thou that dwellest upon many waters, [The river Euphrates flowed through it and was divided into many canals and all. And so “Thou that dwellest upon many waters”,] abundant in treasures, [Babylon had conquered the world and had taken booty from all of the nations. As she took the treasures from Israel, or Judah, so she had taken the treasures from Egypt, and the treasures from the other countries that she had conquered. Thus very rich. So the Lord said, “The abundance of your treasures, and your time is come”,] your end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness (51:14).
You know it’s rather awesome to realize that God says to everyone sooner, or later, “Your time has come”.
Basically, you remember again, the story of Daniel, as Belshazzar had prepared a great feast for a thousand of his lords. It was really in disdain against the Neo-Persian army that was attacking him. It was during the celebration of their god Sheshach, and he felt that Babylon, the city of Babylon was impervious. That there was no way they could conquer it. So while they’re out there in the fox holes, and in the misery, he’s partying in his palace with a thousand of his lords.
But there came the handwriting on the wall, and basically God said, “Your days are numbered. You’ve been weighed in the balances and you’ve been found wanting. This night your soul will be required of you. The time of your appointment with God is come. It’s appointed unto man once to die.” So, the end is come. “The measure of thy covetousness”, you poured it for yourself, and now the time is come.
For the Lord of hosts hath sworn by himself, [As we mentioned, you always swear by something greater. God can’t swear by anything greater so He swears by Himself, when He wants to affirm a statement. “So the Lord of hosts hath sworn by himself,] saying, Surely I will fill thee with men as with locusts; and they shall lift up a shout against thee. He hath made the earth by his power, [Speaking now of the Lord of hosts. He’s taken this oath against Babylon. “This Lord has made the earth by His power”,] he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heaven by his understanding (51:14-15).
I love it when the prophets begin to talk about the greatness of God. “Made the earth by His power, established the world with His wisdom.”
I look at the various life forms and I find them intensely interesting. But I also wonder why God made certain little bugs and certain little insects. I wonder what the purpose is for them. As I was studying last night, the smallest little bug with sort of a greenish colored shell, flew on to my paper. Now if I had not had my glasses on, I’d have never seen it. I mean it was very, very small. But I marveled that that little thing could fly. But I wondered if it knew where it was going when it was flying. I mean does it have a real purpose when it flies? Does it think, “Well I’m gonna go over to that paper over there”, and I wondered about you know, the purpose of the bug, because you know, I squashed it and, I thought, “You shouldn’t fly on my paper”. But yet, I was curious, about, and marveled really again of the creative genius of God. Making even these tiny little bugs and I look at the various animals and life forms, and I was thinking the other day about the fruit trees and how that God has created them. The fruit that is good for you, it’s edible, it’s nourishing. And how God designed and planned it all, and I just marveled at the wisdom of God. Here the prophet talks about how that God established the world in wisdom, and surely the wisdom of God is manifested all around us, in the life forms that we see. Then becoming a little poetic, he says,
When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causes the vapors to ascend to the ends of the earth: he makes the lightenings with rain, and he brings for the winds out of his treasures (51:16).
Talking really here about the water cycle, how that He gathers up the waters from the ends of the earth. He draws them into the clouds, He pushes them with His winds over the land, He sends forth His voice, the thunder and He makes the lightenings with the rain.
And every man is brutish by his knowledge; [In other words, when you start talking about the knowledge of God, you’re pretty stupid. Every man is brutish in comparison. As Shakespeare said, “Man, poor man. So ignorant in that which he knows best.” Now what do you know best? What is your field of expertise? In what subject are you a vast reservoir of knowledge? Now let me ask you, that subject that you know best, how much do you really know of that subject, compared with all that could be known with that subject. Then you realize what Shakespeare said, “Man, poor man. So ignorant in that which he knows best.” The knowledge of God. Every man is brutish, in comparison with the knowledge of God. Then he said,] every founder is confounded by the graven image: [The founder is the guy who is molding and making these little idols, these little graven images that they are going to be worshiping.] for his molten image is a falsehood, there is no breath in them (51:17).
Again, the prophet, as with Isaiah, and as with David notes, “The folly of man making his own god. Forming his own little god. Then worshiping his own little god”. Isaiah says, a guy cuts a branch off of a tree, and he carves this little wooden god out of it, but with the whittlings and the chips and so forth, he makes a fire to bake his bread. So part of the limb is a god, and part of it’s fuel to bake his bread and all. Here now he’s bowing down, worshiping, praying to this little piece of wood that he has carved into a shape to represent some kind of an idea that he worships. Now in our sophisticated age in society, we no longer carve out branches.
Nonetheless people still have the ideas that they worship. Though you may not have it in a representation in some kind of a form, nonetheless, those same gods that they worshiped by these little representative idols, are the same gods that many people worship today. For they were the gods and goddesses of lust. The goddesses of fertility. The gods of power, money, possession. The gods of pleasure. They had little shapes for them and forms for them, but you see what difference is it, just because you don’t have a form, if pleasure is your thing? If you worship pleasure. If your whole life is geared around the pleasure principle, and you’re living for pleasure, that’s your chief passion in life. Just because you don’t have a little form over here, of a little guy on a surfboard coming down on the crest of a wave, and you got little candles on each side and you go over every morning, and pray for a good surf. Not having that idol doesn’t change the fact, that the chief value of your life, and goal of your life is to exact pleasure. Sensation, thrills, and that’s your god, even though you haven’t made a little image. The bible says that there’s confusion with that, and that is true.
It is interesting that the people who make money their god, and their desire for money is power. They say they live by the golden rule, “He who has the gold rules”, and so they want the gold so they can rule, the power that it represents. But have you ever noticed those people who live and worship this power, money, how tight they are? My wealthiest friend, who calls me up for lunch every once in awhile, always sticks me with the bill. Now he’s a multimillionaire. But boy he has a hard time spending his money. He’s a slave to it. He can’t let it go! Sort of tragic. So are those who worship false gods, rather tragic. “For your gods are a falsehood”, the prophet said, “That little idol, it can’t breathe. That should tell you something. It can’t breathe. There’s no life in it”.
They are empty, they are the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they will perish. [I mean, they’re gonna pass.] The portion of Jacob is not like them; [The true and the living God is not like them. You see, He is the former of all things. You can’t form Him. You can’t make any image. He formed everything! You don’t form Him, He formed you! You don’t create Him, He created you! Now many men are worshiping gods that are the gods of their own creation. They have created that god. “If I were God, this is what I would be, this is what I would do, this is where I would live, this is how I would use my powers”. Many people have created their own god. They take a little bit from this, a little bit from that. “Well I like this in the Hindu religion, and I like this from the uh Mohammed’s, and I like this from Christianity, I like this…”, and so you know you made a composite, sort of put together with a lot of different concepts and ideas. He said, “Well this is my god, you know”, you’ve made it you’ve created it. And if you look closely, he looks a lot like you. For when a man makes a god, he actually is making a projection of himself to immensity. But not so with Jacob.] His God is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts, or Yahweh of hosts is his name (51:18-19).
Thou art my battle axe and my weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; And with thee will break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces the old and the young; and I will break in pieces the young man and the maid; Break in pieces with thee the shepherd and the flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all of their evil which they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the Lord (51:20-24).
“I’ll get even”, God said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay”, saith the Lord. So for all of the evil that they did to God’s people, the whole spectrum of their society is to suffer at the hand of God. To be judged by God.
Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyed all the earth: and I will stretch out my hand upon you, and I will roll you down from the rocks, and make you like a burnt mountain (51:25).
Like a volcano that has blown and finally just collapses in on itself.
And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, [No corner stone.] nor a stone for foundations; but thou shall be desolate for ever, saith the Lord. So set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, [Over in the area of Turkey.] and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as rough caterpillars [Or locusts.] Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant (51:26-29).
Now, as we have mentioned before, many times prophecies have a dual fulfillment. That which is gonna happen almost immediately, and then down the line. A double fulfillment, sort of history repeating itself. In as much as the Lord used the Medes and the Persians to destroy Babylon, so again in a double type of fulfillment, it’s quite possible. Because all of it wasn’t completely fulfilled in Jeremiah’s, you know in the generation following Jeremiah. Some of this has yet to be fulfilled.
Still the Medes seem to be involved. Who are the Medes today, Iraq. No, yes, no. The Medes today, are Iran, and of course Babylon is Iraq. Now, there is bad blood between Iraq and Iran. Iraq and Iran. Syria and Iran have formed a military alliance. Now there is a great desire by the Muslims to rule the world. They have a tremendous potential, because, first of all there are so many Muslims in the world, some 750 million, worldwide.
Actually, Saddam Hussein sought to rally the Muslims behind his banners, when he invaded Kuwait. He was planning to invade Saudi Arabia, for if he could’ve controlled the oil of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, he could’ve controlled the world. The economies of the world. That is why the United Nations and the Unites States, and all of us got involved in the Gulf war, because we knew that the survival of the western world depended on those oil supplies that are there in the Persian Gulf.
Now, Iran does not have any real love for the western world. You notice all their rallies, they direct their anger towards Israel and against the United States, we devils. They are determined to destroy Europe and the United States. The Israeli intelligence has been following their plot, and one of the ex-generals was lecturing, just recently in San Antonio, and he was telling of the meetings that had been going on. Iran has purchased three powerful nuclear devices from the Moslem state in Russia, formerly the Soviet Union. They have told the Syrians, that by June of 1992 they can provide for them an atomic covering, or a nuclear covering, in case they want to attack Israel.
Now that’s not very far off. It is quite possible that the destruction of Babylon, you see we didn’t complete it in Desert Storm, but it could be that it will be completed by Iran. They brought 250 of the top nuclear scientists to Iran, and then they hired 25 more who were specialists in the multiple war heads. Iran is becoming quickly a nuclear power. But we know that they’re fanatics, and they would not hesitate using that power. It could be that Hussein would be one of their first targets, but ultimately the western world. So, the Israeli officer who was briefing on the subject said that he feels that the possessing of the nuclear weapons by Iran, is a greater threat to the world, then Adolf Hitler. And he said, “I say that as a Jew, very familiar with the Holocaust”.
So things are not so smooth in the world in which you live. Don’t be lulled into a sense of security. Things could explode at any time there in the Middle East. Babylon could be utterly destroyed as the prophecy declares, as God brings against her the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof and the rulers thereof.
And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might has failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken. And one post [That is a man who carries the news. The postman.] shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end (51:29-31),
Now this of course was fulfilled by the Medes, the whole city of Babylon, there were three days before the people in Babylon really knew that it had been conquered by the Persians, and by the Medes.
And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds have burned with fire, [When Cyrus diverted the river Euphrates, these reeds grew along the bank and he burned them. This of course, the prophet is telling about it sixty years before.] and the men of war are frightened. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor, and it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and her harvest shall come (51:32-33).
They sowed to the wind and reaped the whirlwind. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me up like a dragon, he has filled his belly with my delicates, he has cast me out. The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; [So those of Judah, Jerusalem were carried away. Destroyed.] and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry (51:34-36).
Cyrus diverted the river Euphrates. He dried up the river itself, by diverting it into canals around the city.
And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, a hissing, without an inhabitant. They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions’ whelps. In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord (51:37-39).
Again, sixty years before it happened. What happened? It’s that old Belshazzar. They had this feast, they were all drunk. They were so drunk that they didn’t really realize what was going on. God says that He will put them in a perpetual sleep. The word of the Lord to him that night, was “Hey this night, your soul shall be required of thee and your kingdom will be divided to the Medes and the Persians”. So, how is Sheshach taken?
I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats. How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! And the sea [That is the multitudes of the Persian and Mede army.] is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwells, neither does any son of man pass thereby. And I will punish Bel [One of the chief gods that we said was Baal.] in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall (51:40-44).
The wall of Babylon was eighty seven feet thick, two hundred and fifty, uh three hundred feet high, there were two hundred and fifty towers on it, and God is here declaring this wall is going to fall! Imagine! It was thought impossible. It took them a whole year. 200,000 men for a whole year to dismantle the wall of Babylon. They dismantled one stadia a day, and the wall was 365 stadia, so it was a year in dismantling the wall. 200,000 slaves. Yet God said, “It’s gonna come down”.
My people, [God says,] go out of the midst of her [The second time God is telling them, “Get out!”] deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord. Lest your heart faint, and you fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall come both one year, and after that another year shall come a rumour, and the violence of the land, and the ruler against ruler (51:45-46).
The rumor came you know, that the Medes are arming and gonna invade. A year later the rumor came that the Medes are on their way.
Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgement upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the Lord. [That is the Medes and the Persians.] As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth (51:47-49).
So, the reversal. She’s caused the slain of Israel to fall, so Babylon shall fall.
Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. [Remember the place that God has given to you.] But we are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of Yahweh’s house. Where, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will do judgement upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan. Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, [The walls were like you know, you come up to a wall, it’s three hundred feet high, “mounting up to heaven”.] and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord. A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans: Because the Lord has spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered: Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of the bows is broken: for the Lord God of recompenses shall surely requite (51:50-56).
God, the God of recompenses, that is the God who balances things out. As you have heard said, “The wheels of justice grind slow, but exceedingly fine”. And “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. The bible says, “Don’t be deceived about this. If you’re going to sow to the flesh, you’re going to reap from the flesh”. Babylon has sown and the time of reaping is come. It’s a bitter harvest that she’s going to reap because she sowed seeds of bitterness. So God calls Himself a God of recompenses. A God who evens things out. You may think you’re getting by, you’re not. The God of recompenses shall surely requite.
And I will make drunk her princes, [And so they were drunk when the judgement came.] and her wise men, her captains, her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, they’ll not wake, saith the King, whose name is Yahweh of hosts (51:58).
So God is pronouncing this awesome, certain judgement. And again sixty years before. The night when they were all drunken, just for entertainment. Belshazzar said, “Bring the gold and silver cups that my father brought from the temple in Jerusalem, that we might drink our wine out of those cups”. As they were drinking their wine out of these golden cups, that had once been used in the service of God, in the temple of Jerusalem, and they were praising and all, the gods of gold and silver, in their drunken stupor. That is when the hand appeared and the letters on the wall, announcing the end for the Babylonian kingdom. That was the night the captain, the mighty men, the wise men, and the king, went in to a perpetual sleep.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon [Eighty seven feet thick.] shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, they shall be weary [And not put the fire out.] The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah [Or as he went not with the approval, or he was sent. Zedekiah was not yet taken as a captive at this point, but he was sent by Zedekiah, to Babylon.] the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign (51:59).
Zedekiah was actually in the eleventh year of his reign when he was taken as a captive. So in the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, is when this prophecy was given by Jeremiah, to this fellow Seraiah, to take to the captives to Babylon and to read. You see, here were Jews that were there in Babylon, they were captives and they were being mistreated by their Babylonian captors. So it was sort of a word of encouragement to them. God is gonna take care of Babylon. Their day is coming and God will recompense. God will take care of them. So it was just sort of a word to encourage the people of God.
And thus Jeremiah wrote these words in a book. That the evil, all of this evil that was going to come against Babylon, and then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When you come to Babylon, and you will see the people, read to them all of these words; And then shall you say, O Lord, thou has spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it will be desolate for ever. And it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, take a stone, and tie it to the stone and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates river: And then say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. And this is thus far the words of Jeremiah (51:60-64).
This is the words of this prophecy against Babylon, tossed in the river Euphrates, as it sinks, Seraiah is to say, “Thus shall Babylon sink”. It happened. God’s word came to pass as it always does. You can count on God’s word coming to pass. That’s why it’s important that we pay attention to what God says, because it shall surely, surely come to pass. Shall we stand?
May the Lord be with you and may His love fill your heart and life. May you experience just that nearness of the Lord this week, as you seek Him, may He guide you with His counsel. May it be a week of spiritual growth, as you develop in your walk and your relationship with Him. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7308