The Scriptorium

The Nations Judged

But with a promise of hope. Jeremiah 49

Judgment on the Nations (2): Jeremiah 49 (7)

Pray Psalm 62.11, 12.
God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You render to each one according to his work.

Sing Psalm 62.11, 12.
(Germany: Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness)
Once God has spoken, twice I have heard: Power belongs alone to the Lord!
And lovingkindness, Lord, is Yours; You recompense us for our works.

Review Jeremiah chapter 49; meditate on verses 6, 22, 24, 39, and Psalm 72.8, 9.

1. What reason might the people of God have had to be afraid of what was going on around them?

2. Why did God say they should not fear?

With the exception of Kedar and Hazor, all the nations that come under the judgment of God in this chapter are also given at least an oblique promise of restoration. Judgment is in the foreground because these nations have both transgressed against the Lord and been hostile to His people. The details of the judgment God would inflict through the armies of Babylon are terrifying and complete. These nations, like the people of Judah, will know the wrath of God in great measure.

But God had promised Abram that the people descending from Him would be a source of blessing to all the families of the earth (Gen. 12.1-3). He had promised a King Who would rule over all the Gentile nations (Gen. 49.8-11). And King David had foreseen a day when all the nations, even the desert tribes like Kedar and Hazor, would bow down to God’s chosen King.

The judgment of the nations, prophesied in these latter chapters of Jeremiah, had both immediate and eschatological implications. In the near future, God would carry out all He had threatened through the prophet. But this judgment was itself a portent of a greater day of judgment to come. At that time all the nations and peoples of the earth will stand before the Lord. His judgment will be final and, for many, terrible; but it will be based on what people have chosen to follow throughout the course of their lives.

The Good News is that, just as deliverance through God’s Word rang out through the prophet Jeremiah, salvation from judgment is available through Jesus Christ, the Word of God. He has borne the wrath of God against our sins; and He has fulfilled all the righteousness that is needed for us to have fellowship with God. All who believe in Him are born again, out of misery and confusion and darkness into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. And though in this life they may know many trials, and perhaps even the discipline of the Lord, on that final day, all who believe in Jesus will be brought into His promised Kingdom forevermore.

1. In what ways might we expect God to exercise judgment against unrighteousness in our day (Rom. 1.18-32)?

2. How should we expect to know the Lord’s discipline, if we stray from His path?

3. What is the Good News that Jesus offers to all who believe in Him?

 And we know that it is said of Christ, that God would gather under his hand all things scattered both in heaven and earth. (Colossians 1:20.) A part of this scattering was God's vengeance on the Elamites. Gathered then have been Elamites with others; and thus God at that time stretched forth in a manner his hand to them through Christ the Mediator, and opened to them the door of hope as to eternal life. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 49.39

Use me, Lord, to gather scattered peoples to You, as I…

Pray Psalm 62.1-10.

Wait silently on the Lord, asking Him to show you how best to serve Him in the day ahead.

Sing Psalm 62.1-10.
Psalm 62.1-10 (Germany: Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness)
My soul in silence waits, O Lord – safely I stand within Your Word!
You are my Rock, my Stronghold true, and my Salvation, Lord, are You!

How long will foes give me offense, striking me like a tottering fence?
They counsel to destroy with lies; they bless, but all the while despise.

My soul in silence waits, O Lord, hoping in You, and in Your Word.
You are my Rock, my Stronghold true, and my Salvation, Lord, are You!

On You my hope and glory rest, Rock of my strength, and Refuge best.
Trust always in our God, the Lord; take refuge only in His Word.

Trust not in men of low degree; lighter are they than breath shall be.
Do not rely on strength or gold; trust in the Lord, Who rules from old.

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