Day 204: A Culture that Refused to be Healed

Jeremiah 51:9-14

“We would have healed Babylon,
but she is not healed.
Forsake her,
and let’s each go into his own country;
for her judgment reaches to heaven,
and is lifted up even to the skies.
‘Yahweh has produced our righteousness.
Come, and let’s declare in Zion the work of Yahweh our God.’

“Make the arrows sharp!
Hold the shields firmly!
Yahweh has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes,
because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it;
for it is the vengeance of Yahweh,
the vengeance of his temple.
Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon!
Make the watch strong!
Set the watchmen,
and prepare the ambushes;
for Yahweh has both purposed and done
that which he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
You who dwell on many waters, abundant in treasures,
your end has come, the measure of your covetousness.
Yahweh of Armies has sworn by himself, saying,
‘Surely I will fill you with men,
as with locusts,
and they will lift up a shout against you.’

In this part of the prophesy against Babylon, God makes it clear that the Medes are to be the ones He will use to bring down Babylon. History tells us that this is exactly what happened, once again demonstrating that the Bible holds the very words of the God who cannot lie. That’s one of the most amazing things about the Bible. It is perched precariously on its claim of perfection. If it could ever be demonstrated that the Bible contained an error, the whole thing would have to be thrown out. With all of the enemies of the Bible, not a single error has been discovered. There are many who claim to have found an error, but every single one of those has been demonstrated to be an error in the human making the interpretation. This book is something to be feared. If the Bible predicts the destruction of a city or a nation, then it will be destroyed exactly as it predicts.

The first paragraph in this passage is very surprising to me. It appears to be saying that if Babylon had been willing, the Jews would have brought healing to it. In context, God appears to be telling us that Babylon chose to reject the teaching of men like Daniel. Then, the prophesy appears to be quoting the Jews as saying that they are returning to Israel. It also says that God produced their righteousness. I don’t think that I should make too much of the wording of this translation. Other translations, like the ISV say: “The Lord will vindicate us.” That’s quite a different idea than I get from the words in this translation, but isn’t it true that when people are against the truth about what we say, that it feels very dark and oppressive to us? There are many things in our cultures today that oppose the truth about what Jesus says to us through the Bible. We feel the pressure of those around us. If we could heal them, we would, but many of them refuse to be healed. Just like the Jews in those days, we also know that in the end, God will show everyone that we were right and the culture was wrong.