FROM PASTOR TIM JOHNSON:
We are close to the end of our series in Jeremiah, this coming Sunday marks the end of it with a message on Jeremiah 52 and a sprint through Lamentations. So, to be best prepared for the message, read Jeremiah 52 and the short 5-chapter book of Lamentations.
This past Sunday we looked at the coming complete collapse of Babylon. Jeremiah does not include Babylon in the list of nations that while being judged, will rise again on the last day.
As the “anti-Jerusalem”, Babylon is the location of where wickedness seems to dwell, just as God seeks to dwell in Jerusalem. I wanted to unpack Zechariah 5:5- 11 a bit on Sunday but ran out of time.
In that passage, the prophet has a vision of “wickedness” being stuffed into a basket with a lead cover on it to keep it from escaping. The location where the basket is to be taken is “Shinar”, which is one of the names for Babylon(ia).
In Shinar the basket remains until a house is built for wickedness so that the basket can then apparently be placed within it. This “basket” strikes me as being the opposite of the ark of the covenant. There are many “antis” in the Bible, and this is apparently another one. Naturally, the anti-Christ is the most prominent.
Thus, Jeremiah’s prophesy against the city of Babylon in his day received their punishment from the Medes and Persians, but the judgement was not complete. And until the events of Revelation 18 and 19 unfold, Babylon, in some context remains a viable “anti” in God’s plan.
And just as Jeremiah prophesied that the Jews would be allowed to return to the land, which happened in 538 BC at the behest of Cyrus, their return was not complete. God’s plan to call all Israel to the land is still future and will play a pivotal role in the completion of His global plan for salvation.
Rest assured, God is not done. Rest assured that God will ultimately defeat wickedness, evil and rebellion. The Bible does not portray God and the Devil in some kind of dualism where the struggle between good and evil is uncertain.
God has won already, because of Jesus. Jesus’ death ensured that God has triumphed and we who believe are the living proof of that victory. We are in the mopping up stages leading toward the consummation of this plan.
We are called to faith, hope, courage, obedience and love. No better example of all these can be found in these qualities than when we tell others about Jesus.
Joining you in the process of honoring Christ in the aftermath of His victory,
Rescued by Christ,