Saturday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on October 5, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Jeremiah 25:1-14 (NKJV)
25:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying: 3 “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the Lord has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened. 4 And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear. 5 They said, ‘Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever. 6 Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’ 7 Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
8 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words, 9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. 10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12 ‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation. 13 So I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning all the nations. 14 (For many nations and great kings shall be served by them also; and I will repay them according to their deeds and according to the works of their own hands.)’”
For generations the Lord sent prophets to Judah. Preaching repentance and the righteousness of faith was their chief task in life, and they did it vigorously, rising early each morning to fulfill their ministry. Through His preachers God called to His people, telling them to forsake their deaf and mute idols, which could not hear or answer prayer, and turn to Him, the only living God, who hears and answers prayer. But they refused. They provoked Him to anger with the works of their own hands to their own hurt, meaning that by their sinning and despising the Word they afflicted themselves.
Even when the Lord pronounces judgment and exile on Judah, His mercy is present. They will go to Babylon in captivity. They will lose the land God graciously gave them. Their temple, worship, and way of life would be destroyed. But after seventy years the Lord would punish their punishers. Judah’s exile would have an end. This is what allows Jeremiah, in the midst of his Lamentations, to confess, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:21-23). As long as it is today, it is the day of salvation. Let us live lives of daily repentance, continually seeking mercy from God for Christ’s sake.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy succor, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.