Jeremiah 50:33-34 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.
Jeremiah’s prophecy ends with two long chapters (50-51; a total of 110 verses) pronouncing God’s judgment on Babylon, and then a final chapter (52) describing the Fall of Jerusalem. Most of the prophecy has been directed against God’s chosen people, warning them that because of their disobedience, and in spite of their confidence that the LORD’s Holy City Jerusalem and his Temple were indestructible, God would actually use the mighty power of wicked Babylon to carry out a tsunami of destruction that was, to them, unthinkable. Jeremiah’s words throughout his prophecy are so unpalatable to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea that they also need to be reminded that their God, the LORD Amighty (‘Yahweh Sabaoth’) is in control and holds in his hands the destiny of every nation.
They need to know that they have a ‘Redeemer’ – not just One who wants to redeem them, but who can because he is strong, he is the LORD Almighty, the LORD of Hosts/Armies. Babylon, the instrument of God’s judgment on them would itself come under his Judgement and be held to account before him.
Perhaps we need this reminder today when so much in our world, and even in the Church, seems out of control and under God’s judgment. We are in a much better position than they were because we know not only who the Redeemer is but how he achieved our redemption in history by apparent defeat on a cross of suffering and shame. There may be yet more suffering for us ahead as we take up our cross to follow him; our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Middle East, Asia and the Subcontinent, and North Africa; but we know that Satan is defeated and Christ is Risen – ‘Babylon’ will have its Day!
The Lord Christ makes this plain to the Apostle John that we may be encouraged (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21). With Job, from the depths of his suffering and confusion, we can say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
– Bruce Christian