Rev. Mark Barz, pastor at Crown of Life Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Jeremiah 51:34-64.
The people of God lament what Nebuchadnezzar has done in devouring them and pray for the LORD’s vengeance. The LORD promises that destruction will come upon Babylon, a foreshadowing of how the LORD defeats death and the devil by taking all the judgment against us upon Himself. The LORD calls His people out of Babylon, and they sing His praises as they once praised Him for the Exodus. In the same way, the LORD calls His Church out of the world to sing His praises for the resurrection victory of Jesus on Easter. The LORD calls His people to remember Him and their homeland even in their exile, just as He calls us to remember what He has done for us in Jesus Christ as we live in this world awaiting the resurrection. Jeremiah fulfilled his call to be a prophet to the nations by sending the Word to be proclaimed in Babylon. In the same way, the LORD sends His Church to proclaim His Word for repentance and faith to all nations.
“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.
34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me;
he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel;
he has swallowed me like a monster;
he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;
he has rinsed me out.[a]
35 The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
let Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will plead your cause
and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea
and make her fountain dry,
37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
the haunt of jackals,
a horror and a hissing,
38 “They shall roar together like lions;
they shall growl like lions’ cubs.
39 While they are inflamed I will prepare them a feast
and make them drunk, that they may become merry,
then sleep a perpetual sleep
and not wake, declares the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and male goats.
41 “How Babylon[b] is taken,
the praise of the whole earth seized!
How Babylon has become
a horror among the nations!
42 The sea has come up on Babylon;
she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become a horror,
a land of drought and a desert,
a land in which no one dwells,
and through which no son of man passes.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed.
The nations shall no longer flow to him;
the wall of Babylon has fallen.
45 “Go out of the midst of her, my people!
Let every one save his life
from the fierce anger of the Lord!
46 Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful
at the report heard in the land,
when a report comes in one year
and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
and ruler is against ruler.
47 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming
when I will punish the images of Babylon;
her whole land shall be put to shame,
and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth,
and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon,
for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,
declares the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
just as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.
50 “You who have escaped from the sword,
go, do not stand still!
Remember the Lord from far away,
and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 ‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
dishonor has covered our face,
for foreigners have come
into the holy places of the Lord‘s house.’
52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will execute judgment upon her images,
and through all her land
the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,
and though she should fortify her strong height,
yet destroyers would come from me against her,
declares the Lord.
54 “A voice! A cry from Babylon!
The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For the Lord is laying Babylon waste
and stilling her mighty voice.
Their waves roar like many waters;
the noise of their voice is raised,
56 for a destroyer has come upon her,
her warriors are taken;
their bows are broken in pieces,
for the Lord is a God of recompense;
he will surely repay.
57 I will make drunk her officials and her wise men,
her governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
58 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad wall of Babylon
shall be leveled to the ground,
and her high gates
shall be burned with fire.
The peoples labor for nothing,
and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”
59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O Lord, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this book, tie a stone to it and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’”
Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
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.