Jeremiah 50:11–13 “Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls; Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.”
This section of verses makes it clear that Babylon’s destruction is a direct result of God’s wrath against her because of her treatment of the people of Israel, His possession or portion among the nations on earth (from the Hebrew).
Deuteronomy 32:8–9 “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”
I am reminded that prophecy is often presented as a whole, when in actuality the fulfillment may be intended to occur in phases. This was demonstrated by Jesus when He read from the scroll in Isaiah and stopped in the middle of a sentence regarding the part that He was fulfilling at that time.
Luke 4:16–21 “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Notice that the rest of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled; this will occur at His second coming.
Isaiah 61:1–3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
In this regard, I think the destruction declared for end times does apply and that Jeremiah’s prophecy goes hand-in-hand with Isaiah’s.
Isaiah 13:19–21 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”
Jeremiah 50:14–15 “Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD. Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.”
In these verses the alliance of nations coming against Babylon are encouraged to surround her and spare no effort in unleashing destroying weapons against her. God is declaring this attack to be a result of His judgment against her for her sin against Him. He is determined to see that she reaps what she has sown in light of her mistreatment of His people. I doubt, however, that the enemies attacking Babylon realize that they are vessels of judgment in the hand of God. The message declares God’s intent to make the nation barren.
I can’t help but think that there is valid application regarding the treatment of Israel by Iraq in fairly recent years.
(to be continued)