As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:
- What does God reveal about Himself?
- How is your own heart revealed?
- How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
- Turn these truths into prayer and praise.
13 November Jer 46:1-12
The closing chapters of Jeremiah address the surrounding nations, in line with his calling (see 1:10). He warns that Babylon’s expansion will bring God’s judgement on all the nations (chs.46-49), but promises that in the end Babylon too will be judged (chs.50-51). In 46:1-12 he foresees Egypt, in which Judah had place so much false hope, being exposed. The surging pride of vv.7-9 leads not to glorious victory over Babylon but to painful defeat (vv.2-6). That day belongs to the Lord, not Egypt (vv.10-12).
14 November Jer 46:13-28
Jeremiah’s next oracle warns of a Babylonian attack on Egyptian territory. Egypt’s mercenaries desert her (vv.16, 21), her own armies flee in disarray (vv.20-24), and Pharaoh will be a figure of contempt (v.17). The judgement is on Egypt’s gods and kings, and on those who place their hope in them (v.25), including the Jews who have sought refuge from Babylon by fleeing to Egypt (43:7). Yet God still speaks a word of hope even to Egypt (v.26) and to the scattered Jewish remnant (vv.27-28).
15 November Jer 47:1-7
The general upheaval of nations in Jeremiah’s time had dreadful consequences for many. Pharaoh (v.1) was no match for the Babylonians but he could still wreak havoc on the much smaller Philistine nation (vv.2-3), possibly on Egypt’s return from the battle of Carchemish (46:2). This is seen as God’s judgement on the Philistines (v.4-7). Note vv.6-7: as long as human mutiny persists, how can the sword of the Lord rest?
16 November Jer 48:1-10
Moab had ties of kinship with Israel but frequently behaved as an enemy. The frequent place-names in this chapter are locations in Moab. Jeremiah describes Moab suffering invasion just as Israel and Judah had done. Verse 7 highlights the bitter fruits of false trust, namely exile and the removal of the image of their false god, Chemosh, and his servants. Moab’s destruction by Babylon is the Lord’s judgement (v.10).
17 November Jer 48:11-47
The picture of Moab that builds up in this chapter is chiefly one of arrogance. Her prosperity had bred complacency (v.11) rather than godly character. Her pride will be brought low (vv.14-25), especially her pride against Israel (vv.26-30). Jeremiah wails for her, as he once did for his own people (vv.31-39). The eagle of v.40 is Nebuchadnezzar, God’s instrument of judgement. Yet the final note is one of grace and renewal to those who have been God’s enemies (v.47).
18 November Jer 49:1-6
Ammon, like Moab, was an ancient enemy of Israel. Ammon’s sin (v.1) was to seek to dispossess Israel of her territory, and all in the name of their god, Molek (or Molech). God will act in judgement (v.2), resulting once again in the exile of the people and the humiliation of their god (v.3). Boastful – and false – trust in wealth is condemned (vv.4-5). Yet once again there is the prospect of ultimate mercy (v.6)
19 November Jer 49:7-22
The proud Edomites were more used to inspiring fear than experiencing it (v.16). Yet God speaks of total disaster that will befall them (vv.9-11). We find the reason for this judgement in Obadiah vv.11-14: Edom had assisted Babylon against Judah and gloated over Judah’s downfall. This was particularly reprehensible given their kinship (Edom being descended from Jacob’s brother Esau). Now Jeremiah warns that all Edom’s famed wisdom cannot avert this judgement (v.7), nor can they hide even in this land of hiding places (vv.10,16).