Jeremiah 47

Jeremiah 47 has the prophet once again getting a word from the Lord.  This time it was “concerning the Philistines” who were concerning the Philistines.  The prophecy was given before the calamity came upon Gaza, a significant Philistine city.  Jeremiah’s prophecy talks about “waters are rising out of the north, and shall become an overflowing torrent”.  The Babylonians did not only come to conquer the Kingdom of Judah and the Egyptians, but to rule the entire region as their empire. They would also come from the north to overwhelm the Philistines as flood waters overwhelm a land.

It’s going to be a painful and crushing victory for the Babylonians over the Philistines.  “Men shall cry out, and every inhabitant of the land shall wail. At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, the fathers look not back to their children, so feeble are their hands”.  Fear will be the action of the day and men will run for their lives, ignoring even their own children as they are consumed by fear of their enemy.

But Jeremiah makes it clear that “the Lord is destroying the Philistines”.  This is not a victory won solely by the enemy army but one appointed by God.  He is in control of all things, even the evil enemy that is coming to destroy the Philistines.  God wants them all to be killed, down to the remnant along the coast and the allies who were going to assist the Philistines in their battle.  God is in control of all things in all places at all times.  And Jeremiah hears clearly and passes on the coming truth – the Philistines are going down.

It can’t get much clearer than how Jeremiah describes the “sword of the Lord”.  The very sword of God’s judgment that came heavily upon the Philistines.  The sword of God still has the same ability and responsibility today.  “How can it be quiet when the Lord has given it a charge”?  We read these old testament stories and think God’s work then is somehow different than it is today.  That’s not the case.  He is still in the business of dealing with evil and bringing people to justice.  His sword is alive and active today.  He may not use it in exactly the same ways now as He did in the old testament times, but never wonder if the charge has changed.  It hasn’t!

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