For an introduction to this series, click here.
Sept. 21, 2006
Once again, Jeremiah is pronouncing God's coming judgment on a nation, this time upon Babylon. When Jeremiah was receiving this message from the Lord, Babylon was the most powerful city in the world. It was the capital of a mighty empire that stretched from Egypt to India. And yet God said that soon Babylon was to be laid waste, never to be rebuilt. In fact, Jeremiah sent his prophecy against Babylon with one of deposed Jewish king Zedekiah's attendants, with the command that he was to read it in Babylon. The fact that God was planning to destroy Babylon was probably an encouragement to the Jews living there (they would be the only ones interested in a prophecy from a Jew pronouncing destruction on Babylon). But at the same time, it did not change their present state of bondage. Some men like Daniel did see both the ruin of Jerusalem and the defeat of Babylon, but most did not. They just had to rely on the faith that God would avenge Babylon's harsh treatment and live their lives the best they could.
I wish I could see everybody who's done me wrong get exactly what I think they deserve, but that's not going to happen, just like most of the Jews did not see God's vengeance upon Babylon (not that I have been terribly mistreated in my life, but we all have been slighted, misjudged, and basically dissed lots of times). God said that vengeance belongs to Him, and most of us will not see that vengeance until we get to heaven, if we see it at all. A lot of the slights and insults we get in this life are often the result of our own actions. I think we will see our lives very differently when we begin to see it from God's perspective. Of course that can't really happen until we are with Him, but we should learn to be patient, just like the Jews listening to Jeremiah's word had to.
It's not my place to judge because I am partial and I want to get even. When God settles the score, it is settled perfectly, and none of us will be able to gloat or celebrate, because all of us who are saved get infinitely more than we deserve from God. As sinners we deserve nothing but hell, and whatever wrong is done to me pales in comparison to the wonderful gift God has given me.