For an introduction to this series, click here.
Sept. 20, 2006
I have to admit, I have a hard time with prophetic passages like this. In this passage, Jeremiah pronounces judgments on the nations of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and Elam. I am trying to make these as much about my reaction to the text as I possibly can, so I'm trying to just read and react without consulting a lot of commentaries, Bible notes, whatever. Actually one of my problems is I can't afford a lot of commentaries and it's too hard to find good commentary on the Internet.
Anyway, my reaction to this passage is simply that God is in control of everything, and He has His reasons for why he does everything. God's ways are not our ways. I hear people say "If I was God, I would do thus and such," to which I respond, verbally if appropriate, "No you wouldn't! If you were omnipotent and omniscient and stood outside of time like He does, you would do things exactly the way He does them."
Back to the subject, these nations all in some way or another oppressed Israel, and that was their major sin, besides their idolatry and other sins listed. I guess the key verse here is 49:19, which reads, in reference to Edom, the descendants of Esau:
"Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan, against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him run away from her. And I will appoint over her whoever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?"
Psalm 115:3 is also applicable here:
"Our God is in the heavens; He does all that he pleases." (ESV)
I have given up trying to figure God out. I have come to the conclusion that I can rely on Him that as His child He is doing good for me, and that my attempts to fight it or try to figure it out are counter-productive to both my good and His glory.