Well I finished the book of Jeremiah this morning and my head is spinning with thoughts.
In the closing chapters, God speaks through the prophet making it clear that the pagan nation of Babylon is being used as a tool in God’s hands to discipline the nation of Israel for failure to keep their hearts devoted to Yahweh.
I am oversimplifying but they had celebrated festivals and performed the religious rituals with no real genuine worship of the God who had instructed them to observe each one as a reminder of His deliverance and care for them.
They blended in other practices from other religions to hedge their bets for divine provision and just because everyone else was doing it.
By finding ways to work around the laws God had put in place to ensure that wealth and property remained evenly distributed among families according to their inheritance and by using loopholes; they continued to work the land during the 7th year of rest and managed to keep property and people that should have been restored to rightful order.
And so God called Babylon His “hammer” by which He would destroy the city of Jerusalem and thus it happened.
The city was besieged and burned to the ground and all but the weakest citizens were taken into captivity.
As they were led away with the smoldering city to their backs, it would seem God had allowed the “bad guys” to win.
But Jeremiah continues with a prophecy against Babylon that he even writes down and sends along with a messenger to be tied to rock and tossed into the river that ran along the conquering people’s land.
The prophecy tells of how God will raise up another nation, and believe me, they were not a godly nation who would destroy the Babylonian/Chaldean empires. The Medes would come and would bring an end to the nation that He had used to send His people into exile so the land of Israel could have its long-overdue rest.
It boggles my mind.
God prophecies all of this through,Jeremiah.
We know from the book of Daniel it played out exactly as it is written. God used two pagan nations to discipline His people out of a love for them that is beyond my complete understanding.
In my Western thinking, I am focused on individual lives and the quality of that life for the span of time allowed on planet Earth. It stretches me to think of big pictures and the work of God across the span of all the times and seasons and places that cover what we can know of human history, let alone eternity.
I don’t have answers or a real point. I am not trying to compare the story of Israel with the story of the country I was born into. I have many of my own questions and so much ignorance that I am not even sure what questions I should be asking.
And that is why I read through this Bible every year.
Daily pushing through difficult passages, stopping to look up a new thought or question along the way – I learn more each year.
I see how small I am on the scope of time and how big God is and I begin to understand more and more how study of His Word is a form of worship.
God bless you today in whatever you are doing.
We can know that no matter how big and beyond our understanding our God is, He cares deeply about the smallest parts of your life and day. And no matter how crazy it seems out there in the world, He remains Sovereign over His creation and He knows what He is doing <3