What does it say?
The long collection of prophecies against Babylon continues in Jeremiah 51. The messages here begin by emphasizing the certainty of Babylon’s destruction. This passage also reveals that the Medes will be the power to destroy Babylon, acting in God’s sovereignty over the nations. In these prophecies Jeremiah warns the Hebrew captives still there at that time to return to the land as they see Babylon fall. Many Bible students observe that the historical fall of Babylon falls short of the type of total destruction that Jeremiah foresees. Therefore, they believe that the final fulfillment of these prophecies on Babylon will come with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and they point to the focus on Babylon in Revelation 17-18. Symbolic or literal, in part or in whole, it is evident that what is happening here has implications still future.
Jeremiah 52 is an historical appendix that is very similar to 2Kings 24-25 and records the fulfillment of many of Jeremiah’s prophecies in the fall of Jerusalem. In the end, time vindicates the truth of what Jeremiah predicted.
What does it mean?
Trying to remember the names, dates and places of ancient history and then seeing the same stories repeated several times can be a bit overwhelming. This is a simple reminder that you are not expected to remember all this information. In this chronological read-through of the Bible, we are looking for patterns and principles. We are tracing the history of God’s mission to reach and restore the peoples of the world and receive glory and honor from them.
One of the most compelling evidences of the truth of the Bible is fulfilled prophecy. As we have read Jeremiah, we have seen other prophets who speak for themselves and not for God. They predict what people want to hear, not what God wants said. Jeremiah paid a high price to be God’s spokesperson, but the difference between him and the others is that what he said came to pass. We can trust God’s word.
We are moving closer and closer to the arrival of the Messiah. We saw him prophesied initially all the way back in Genesis 3:15. Since then the plan has remained the same. Despite the many failures of God’s people, the mission continues to move forward, God even using his enemies when necessary to accomplish his will.
How will I respond?
Seeing God’s faithfulness to do what he promises to do, what is one practical application of this truth to my life today? What promise can I trust that will influence the decisions I make, the things I do and say and my attitude today?