The Scriptorium

Savage Lion

Jeremiah's message becomes more urgent. Jeremiah 25.30-38

Promise and Wrath (6)

Pray Psalm 57.1-3.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up.

Sing Psalm 57.1-3.
(Faben: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him)
Lord, be gracious, gracious to me, for my soul retreats in You.
In Your shadow keep me safely till the storms of life are through.
I will cry to You, the Most High; You do all things well for me.
You will save me when I thus cry, routing all who threaten me.

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 25.30-38.

1. In what condition would God’s judgment leave the nations?

2. What would happen to the “shepherds” of God’s people?

This is Jeremiah’s most urgent message yet, and the reason is clear: Nebuchadnezzar has arrived for the third time, and he has laid siege to Jerusalem. This time he would make sure he didn’t have to come back again.

Jeremiah pictured the Babylonian armies as a ravening lion (v. 30). No one can stand against them, and their roaring will cover all lands and peoples (v. 31). Disaster is coming, “And a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth” (v. 32). 

A roaring and ravening lion, and a terrifying and disastrous whirlwind: Clearly, the destruction about to come on Judah and all the surrounding nations would be total.

No one will bother to bury the dead, either, and they’ll just rot away on the ground (v. 33).

The shepherds of God’s people – king, priests, and prophets – will see the destruction of their nation and cry out before they too are slaughtered and dispersed (vv. 34-36). And though the Babylonians would be the proximate cause of all this disaster, God Himself is the Lion raging against them in His fierce anger (v. 38). He is the ultimate cause of Judah’s destruction, “because of His fierce anger” against the hard hearts and wicked ways of His people.

It is truly a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Believers in Jesus do not fear the eternal wrath of God for their sins, because Jesus has paid the price for them and borne them away. But we should fear the Lord enough that we hate sin, because we know that He disciplines those whom He loves when they stray from the path of righteousness (Heb. 12.3-11). Jesus is still the Lion of the tribe of Judah, after all.

1. What was God’s relationship to the Babylonian armies? Does He still do this in our day?

2. Which aspects of this passage show Jeremiah’s increasing sense of urgency about this situation?

3. The last words of this passage are “His fierce anger.” Why is that significant? Is there still room to repent, or has that been removed?

Jeremiah joins together two clauses, that God would forsake his Temple, as when a lion departs from his covert, and also that enemies would come and find the place naked and empty; in short, he intimates that they would be exposed to the will and plunder of their enemies, because they would be at that time destitute of God's aid. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 25.38

Show me my sins, O Lord, and I will repent, lest…

Pray Psalm 57.4-11.

You may have to deal with some “raging lions” of your own today; but the Lion of the tribe of Judah is with you. Seek His strength and commit your day entirely to Him and for His glory.

Sing Psalm 57.4-11.
Psalm 57.4-11 (Faben: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him)
Send Your truth and lovingkindness; raging lions seek my soul.
Threats and sland’rous words without rest they against me fiercely roll.
Be exalted o’er the heavens, let Your glory fill the earth!
To Your Name all praise be given, let all men proclaim Your worth!

Nets and pits they set before me; overwhelmed, my soul bows down.
Let them all in their own works be thrown and scattered on the ground.
Let my heart no more be shaken, I will sing Your praises, Lord!
Harp and glory, now awaken to extol God’s faithful Word!

Praise and thanks among the nations I will sing with all my might!
For Your truth and love are stationed far above the highest height!
Be exalted o’er the heavens, let Your glory fill the earth!
To Your Name all praise be given, let all men proclaim Your worth!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore