What does it say?

Chapter 45 ended the section of the book where Jeremiah has personally played a major role. From Jeremiah 46-51 we have a collection of individual prophecies given to Jeremiah concerning the surrounding nations.

Jeremiah 45 is a set of three prophecies against Egypt. The first predicts Egypt’s defeat at the battle of Carchemish in Syria in 605 B.C. at the hands of Babylon (46:1-12). The second predicts the actual Babylonian invasion of Egypt a few years later (46:13-24). Finally, God speaks through Jeremiah that Egypt will ultimately be humiliated and Israel delivered (46:25-28).

Chapter 47 is a prophecy directed against the Philistines. To date this prophecy with precision is not possible, but it probably was given sometime during the reign of king Josiah.

Moab is the subject of Jeremiah 48. Several Old Testament prophecies focus on Moab, descendants of Lot from his incest with his eldest daughter, but this is the longest and most complete. Again, precise dating to a particular time in Jeremiah’s ministry is not possible, but the prophecy was probably given as a single message.

What does it mean?

All the nations mentioned in these prophecies are perennial enemies of Israel. We wonder at times why God delays his judgment, but are reminded continually that he is motivated by his grace and mercy to invite all the peoples of the world to turn to him. Though they respond as enemies, we remember that God chose Abram and established Israel as a nation with the express purpose of blessing these nations and all others if they will only allow him to do so (Gen 12:1-3).

In a world of sin and rebellion God and his people will always have enemies and be opposed. The biggest takeaway from this passage is that sin and rebellion are ultimately dealt with in judgment, by Jesus Christ on the cross, or directly, and that the loving force of God’s mission in unquenchable.

How will I respond?

Who are my enemies (individuals or groups)? Do I really understand that God loves them as much as he loves me? Am I willing for God use me to be a blessing even to my enemies? Not that I have to hang out with them as best friends, but as God used Jonah to speak to Nineveh, am I willing to be used?