Jeremiah 25: 8-14: Remember Who’s in control(please click for passage)
‘’An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.’’ Sidney J. Harris (quoted by Warren Wiersbe.)
Remember Who is in control.
People in Jeremiah’s day thought of Nebuchadnezzar as a ‘master’. He was big in their eyes. But the Lord of history saw him in true perspective. He called him ‘’my servant’’ (9). He was less than small in God’s eyes. Nebuchadnezzar was God’s agent of judgment, even though he didn’t realise it. He was not a believer, but in his conquests he was accomplishing God’s will (51:20-23). God is sovereign and He can use whoever He chooses to get His will done – even unconverted people. The ‘’seventy years’’ (11) represented a lifetime in the Old Testament; so those who went into exile would not see their homeland again. That’s the point. But there is probably a further matter here: ‘’One reason God determined a period of seventy years was that the land might enjoy the rest the Jews had denied it (2 Chron.36:20-21; Lev.25:3-5). The law of the sabbatical year had been ignored for nearly five hundred years!’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT),p.1240. But God never forgets His own Word. We don’t so much break it as we are broken by it in the breaking of it!
There are at least two implications of God’s Sovereignty as seen in this section:
• Sin will be punished. God’s Word had been repeatedly preached by Jeremiah and other prophets. It had also been repeatedly pushed away, like unwanted plates of lovingly prepared food. God is patient. He gives plenty of time for the children to change their minds and ‘eat their dinner.’ But the moment will arrive when there are no further chances. No one gets away forever with rejecting God;
• People will reap what they sow (12-14). A day was coming when the punishers would be punished; the instruments of judgment would be judged; those who enslaved others would themselves be enslaved. Although God used the Babylonians in His purposes, He did not make them sin. They too would have to pay for the wrong things they had done. The ‘’many nations’’ spoken about were Media, Persia, and their allies, who defeated the Babylonians in 539 B.C. The ‘’great kings’’ were Cyrus the great and the tributary kings allied with him. No one is so great that God cannot fell them like a gigantic tree.
It all goes to show that ‘’what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.’’
Prayer: Lord help me to be careful about the choices I make today.