Today’s chapter in Jeremiah is very disturbing. The prophet receives visions from God of future events; some of them are of a time that was far distant. His main message is that God’s judgements are about to fall on Jerusalem and that “this whole land shall become a ruin and waste and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (25:11). Many years later and elderly Daniel in Babylon, “perceived in the books” that God had revealed to Jeremiah that they would be in captivity 70 years (Daniel 9:2).

Let’s consider the traumatic history of the Jews: they are the people to whom God’s prophets came with divine messages; in Jeremiah’s day they had experienced the glory of the temple Solomon built for almost 400 years, and many other blessings. Greatest of all was to come when God’s Son came and did wonders in their midst.

Remember how Jesus, at the end of one of his parables said, “Everyone to whom much was given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). There is a Godly principle here: the failure to appreciate and respond to blessings, especially the blessings of hearing and knowing God’s word, will ultimately bring judgements from God.

Reading on in Jeremiah it says, “Thus says the LORD of hosts … I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you go unpunished? [He is addressing other nations] You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth … for the LORD has an indictment against all the nations; he is entering into judgment with all flesh and the wicked will be put to the sword … Behold, disaster is going forth from nation to nation and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth” (verses 28,29,31,32).

We note how chapter 30 concludes, “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this”. Those who understand must make sure they are on the Lord’s side and develop the godly character described in Romans 12.