August 24 (Daily reading: Jeremiah 51-52) The judgement against Babylon required one hundred ten verses (chapters 50-51). “This is what the LORD says: ‘See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon’” (51:1, NIV). But even though Babylon had conquered Judah and taken captives into exile, we are told: “For neither Israel nor Judah has been forsaken by his God, the LORD of hosts, although their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel” (51:5). Thankfully, God is faithful even when we are not. “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9).
Jeremiah reminded us that God is not only faithful. He is powerful and able to fulfill His prophecies: “It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding He stretched out the heavens” (51:15). He confirmed God’s power by once again comparing Him to idols: “They have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish. (God) is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including the people of his inheritance—the LORD Almighty is his name” (51:18-19, NIV).
As God prophesied His judgement on Babylon, there is a warning to us. We must separate ourselves from the ways of the world that God has condemned. “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and each of you save his life! … Come forth from her midst, My people, and each of you save yourselves from the fierce anger of the LORD” (51:6, 45). We must make choices as we live out our Christian faith. Paul quoted Jeremiah 32:38 and Isaiah 52:11, “‘I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.’” (2 Cor. 6:16-17).
– Al Gary