Jeremiah 46-48

Prophesy to the Neighboring Nations

As was the case with Ezekiel, now that Babylon has conquered Jerusalem, God gives Jeremiah prophesy regarding the neighboring nations. First up is Egypt.

This prophesy begins with a look back at the decisive battle of Carchemish where Nebuchadnezzar soundly defeated Egypt. Pharaoh Neco boasted of rising up like the Nile River and taking control of the whole earth.  Though Egypt was soundly defeated,. Nebuchadnezzar stopped his pursuit of Pharaoh Neco when word came that His father had died. Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to be made king. This gave Pharaoh Neco a false hope and apparently he was boasting that he would march out and defeat Babylon. Judah was depending on Neco to do just that but it did not happen. Starting in verse 13 we read of the coming judgment and defeat of Egypt. Even his own people will say Pharaoh Neco missed his chance and his boast was nothing but a big noise.

Sadly, Egypt did miss a big opportunity years earlier when God brought Israel out of Egypt as we read in the book of Exodus. The plagues against the gods the Egyptians trusted in and the miraculous deliverance of Israel was God’s witness to the Egyptians that He was God. They saw God's power but did not turn to Him. To them Pharaoh was god and the people followed him as we read in verse 25.

Next up are the Philistines in Chapter 47. Though they lived next door and saw the witness of Israel they were in constant opposition to Israel. God is going to hold them accountable for that.

Moab is the subject of Chapter 48 and God has a lot to say to this neighbor who is related to Israel. Moab was the son of Abraham’s nephew Lot. We read that Moab was proud of their achievement and treasures. They also felt secure because they joined with Babylon as they invaded Israel when Jehoiakim was king. In the eyes of Moab Israel had become a laughingstock and they rejoiced at God’s discipline of the nation.  Verse 27. But God is not rejoicing when He disciplines a nation as we see in verse 36. The Bible’s definition of God’s discipline is a checking restraint that results in education and correction. When this is accomplished God can bless as we see in verse 47.

Five years after the fall of Jerusalem Nebuchadnezzar will begin his campaign against Egypt and Ammon fulfilling these prophesies.

The lesson we need to learn from this is that how we treat Israel has grave consequences. They are the ones whom God has chosen to bring to the world God’s Law. We hear when we read and take it in. We see when we observe the message of the prophets and learn from the history of the nation. Are they perfect? No. No one is. But the Church is to do as God says and to live for Him. Like Israel the Church is to be His witness to the world.

Let Matthew 7:12 be your guide.

Pastor Dave