Rev. Andrew Jagow, pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Jeremiah 49:23-39.
Jeremiah’s oracles against foreign nations continue to work their way closer and closer to Babylon. Damascus, the capital of Aram, had often been at war with Judah; the LORD promises that His judgment will come against them, even as His love for these sinners is expressed. Kedar and Hazor were nomadic Arabian kingdoms famous for their warriors; the LORD tells them that He will work His plan and purpose of their judgment through Nebuchadnezzar. Elam was a neighbor of Babylon; its capital was at Susa. The LORD makes it clear that He is the One to act against them, yet He promises their restoration, seen particularly in connections to the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Even as the LORD speaks judgment against foreign nations, He reminds us that He does so to bring about repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ for people of every nation.
“A Time to Destroy and a Time to Build” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Jeremiah. The prophet calls the people of Judah and Jerusalem to repent of their faithless idolatry and warns them of the destruction that is coming in the Babylonian exile. Yet Jeremiah does not leave us without hope in the midst of such dark days. Jeremiah and all who believe the Word of God he preached survive because of hope that is found in the righteous Branch from the line of David, Jesus Christ.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Judgment on Damascus
23 Concerning Damascus:
“Hamath and Arpad are confounded,
for they have heard bad news;
they melt in fear,
they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee,
and panic seized her;
anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,
as of a woman in labor.
25 How is the famous city not forsaken,
the city of my joy?
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,
and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day,
declares the Lord of hosts.
27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”
Judgment on Kedar and Hazor
28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down.
Thus says the Lord:
“Rise up, advance against Kedar!
Destroy the people of the east!
29 Their tents and their flocks shall be taken,
their curtains and all their goods;
their camels shall be led away from them,
and men shall cry to them: ‘Terror on every side!’
30 Flee, wander far away, dwell in the depths,
O inhabitants of Hazor!
declares the Lord.
For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
has made a plan against you
and formed a purpose against you.
31 “Rise up, advance against a nation at ease,
that dwells securely,
declares the Lord,
that has no gates or bars,
that dwells alone.
32 Their camels shall become plunder,
their herds of livestock a spoil.
I will scatter to every wind
those who cut the corners of their hair,
and I will bring their calamity
from every side of them,
declares the Lord.
33 Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals,
an everlasting waste;
no man shall dwell there;
no man shall sojourn in her.”
Judgment on Elam
34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.
35 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. 36 And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come. 37 I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, 38 and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.
39 “But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the Lord.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.