The Year of Punishment (Jeremiah 46-51)

He who flees from the terror
    shall fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
For I will bring these things upon Moab,
    the year of their punishment,
declares the Lord, Jeremiah 48:44

Beginning in Jeremiah 46:1 and following, we see God’s wrath being poured out against the nations that existed in the days of Jeremiah. It was the year of punishment. It was our loving and long-suffering God who carried out this judgment. As I sit here at my desk, I can seen in my minds eye the destruction of entire nations by war, famine, pestilence, and disease. I see the leaders blaming everyone but themselves.

The truth was, the nations had walked in their own ways and had rejected the Lord. This was not a momentary sting that would be like how one feels for a second when a parent swats them on the backside. No, this was eternal stinging in every soul that perished without Jesus (46:10

Brothers and sisters, as I grieve for the nations of the world, I realize how shallow I have been in focusing only on my immediate circle in these days. Oh that the church in America would take the wisdom of God from the past and apply it to the now.

The world is quickly coming apart at the seams. Could this be God’s hand of judgment? Could it be that God is removing His restraining of evil from the world? (Rom. 1:25-27)

As I look back to Jeremiah’s day I also realize how the year of punishment came to God’s people as well. Here is what Jeremiah wrote:

Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
declares the Lord,

    for I am with you.
I will make a full end of all the nations
    to which I have driven you,
    but of you I will not make a full end.
I will discipline you in just measure,
    and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”

Let us not think that this turmoil will not touch us. We in the church are being disciplined because of lack of action in our generation. It is time, in the midst of the year of punishment for the world and discipline for the church, to get back on course with God.

I leave you with two things to chew on:

  1. What is happening, in our world, is not an accident. It’s high time we wake up.
  2. The church has only a small window of opportunity. It is now or never.

Two questions:

  1. What is happening in your life?
  2. What will you learn from what is happening in your life?

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