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Babylon’s Double Fall

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SYLLABUS
STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF Jeremiah

JEREMIAH 51
Lesson #44
BABYLON’S DOUBLE FALL

  • Memory Verse: Jer 51:15
  • In the previous chapter of Jeremiah, we began to discuss God’s judgment on Israel’s greatest enemy, Babylon.
  • In this chapter we continue to look at the fall of Babylon and the broader view of the prophecies given to Jeremiah by God Almighty.
    • Because Babylon was the greatest Middle Eastern empire to that date, the fall of it would change the power politics of the world scene.
    • For this reason two chapters in Jeremiah give us the impact of God’s judgment.
    • However, the prophecies concerning the fall of Babylon are very detailed and complicated. They require a deeper interpretation.
  • Read Jer 51:1-5 God’s Destroying Wind
    • In verse 1 God says He will send a destroying wind upon Babylon.
      • That image gives us some insight in how God will bring judgment to the Babylonian Empire.
      • Wind in the Bible is one of the symbols of the moving of the Holy Spirit. (Act 2:1-2)
      • By the power of the Holy Spirit, Babylon will fall very quickly.
        • We learned in Jer 50 that the Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and Persians.
        • The Medes were fierce, powerful archers on horseback. (3) However, they were not a swift moving army because the warriors took their wives and children with them to war.
      • The rapidity of the fall of Babylon was due to the power of God that gave the Medes and Persians the advantage.
    • Remember that almost all the Jews at that time were taken captive to Babylon.
      • The Assyrians before the Babylonians took the people from the Northern Kingdom of Israel captive. Those people ended up living under the Babylonian Empire when Babylon defeated Assyria.
      • The Babylonians had taken the Jews in the Southern Kingdom of Judah to Babylon in three groups.
    • Now that the Medes are attacking Babylon, what will God do with His people, the Jews?
      • In verse 5 God tells us that He will not abandon his people who are captive in Babylon.
      • While they were not free to return to the Promised Land with the change of political power, God would protect them. However, they are told to flee out of the city of Babylon. (6)
      • Remember that the Babylonian captivity was prophesied to last seventy years. That period of time had not yet passed. Therefore, they would still be slaves under the Medo-Persian Empire until the end of the 70 years.
  • Read Jer 51:6-9 Babylon and the Golden Cup
    • In verse 7 God says that Babylon has been a golden cup in God’s hand and all the nations have drunk from it.
      • That is a significant statement repeated in the New Testament.
      • What does it mean?
        • Read Rev 17:1-6 and Rev18:3-4
          • We see the same images from Jeremiah repeated in Revelation.
          • The cup of abomination which represents idolatry and the blood of God’s people.
          • The fact is that all nations of the earth have chosen to partake of her sins of idolatry and persecution against the Jews and Christians.
        • God was judging Babylon in Jeremiah’s day because of their idolatry (Jer 50) and for their persecution, destruction, and enslavement of God’s people.
        • God will repeat a second time the destruction of Babylon for the very same reasons…their idolatrous worship of the Antichrist and their persecution of God’s people, Jews and Christians. Remember that Bible prophecy has a double fulfillment.
          • The first fall of Babylon was in 538 BC.
          • The second fall of Babylon will be in the tribulation period of 7 years when the Antichrist reigns on earth persecuting Jews and Christians.
    • For centuries God has permitted peoples and nations to go their own way and worship whatever gods they wanted to worship. They have all drunk from this same cup.
      • The spiritual darkness of pagan worship has led mankind to the persecution of God’s people. (Christians and Jews)
      • The Old and New Testaments (Jer and Rev) tell us that God will one day judge all nations for this abominable behavior.
  • Read Jer 51:10-13 The Work of the Lord
    • God’s work is aligned with God’s character.
    • God is a just God. He has the right to judge man’s actions.
    • “O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come…” (13)
      • The original location of Babylon was on the Euphrates River next to the Tigris River.
      • Babylon had stolen the golden treasures from the temple in Jerusalem.
      • Babylon’s King Belshazar was using those sacred temple treasures in a political orgy the night Babylon fell. (Dan 5)
  • Read Jer 51:14-19 God the Almighty Creator vs. the False Gods of the Earth
    • God points out how the false gods created nothing in comparison with God’s beautiful creation of the universe.
    • God points out how Israel is the inheritor of all that God created.
  • Read Jer 51:20-24 The Weapon in God’s Hand
    • Who is the weapon in God’s hand?
      • The immediate weapon in the hand of God the Father in the days of Jeremiah:
        • We have already discussed in the book of Jeremiah how God used the Babylonia Empire to punish Israel for idolatry, unbelief, and disobedience.
        • Now in the book of Jeremiah God will use the Medo-Persian Empire to punish Babylon.
      • However, the passage from verse 20-24 has a broader answer in mind.
        • Notice that the passage mentions more than nations, rulers, and armies.
        • It talks about individuals. (22)
    • The eternal weapon in the hand of God the Father is Jesus Christ:
      • All humans will stand or fall in the final judgment depending on what they believe about Jesus Christ and how they respond to Him.
      • Jesus Christ is God’s eternal measuring stick. This is the tool in God’s hand.
  • Read Jer 51:25-27 Babylon, the Destroying Mountain
    • Notice how Biblical prophecy works:
    • The prophet moves back and forth in time from the days of Jeremiah to the tribulation period when Christ returns to earth a second time. Some verses refer to Jeremiah’s day and some verses cannot possibly refer to Jeremiah’s day.
      • For example: Verse 25 says that Babylon destroyed all the earth. That description could not apply to the Babylonian Empire of Jeremiah’s day.
      • Therefore, the ultimate destroying mountain is the Mystery Babylon of Rev 17-18.
        • This is the world false religion that will promote the ultimate idolatry with the worship of the Antichrist during the tribulation period.
        • This world false religion embodies all false religions. They will be combined into one religion in the tribulation period. The purpose will be to deceive all the nations of the world into the worship of the Antichrist as the true Messiah.
      • Notice verse 26 about a corner stone and a foundation stone.
        • Read Eph 2:20 and 1Pet 2:6-7
        • The New Testament tells us that the corner stone and foundation stone are Jesus Christ. In other words, Jeremiah is telling us that the corner stone and foundation stone do not come from the world false religion of Mystery Babylon.
        • Instead, Jesus Christ will fall on all false religions grinding them to dust. (Dan 2:35)
          • Therefore, the testing of all nations and people is about the identity of Jesus Christ, God’s measuring tool.
          • The actions of all nations and people through history will be determined by how they have treated God’s people, Jews and Christians. (The judgment of nations Rev 11:15-19 Mat 25:31-46)
    • God’s tool, Jesus Christ, will destroy the world false religion, Mystery Babylon, at His second coming.
  • Read Jer 51:28-33 The Double Fall
    • The Babylon of Jeremiah’s day will fall to the Medes and Persians.
    • Mystery Babylon will fall in the tribulation period when all the world’s nations are involved, terminating in the Battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.
  • Read Jer 51:34-40 Nebuchadnezzar Devoured Me
    • God says that this destruction on the Babylon of Jeremiah’s day is because of what Nebuchadnezzar did.
      • Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon that destroyed the nation of Judah, the city of Jerusalem, and the temple.
      • Notice that God takes that personally Nebuchadnezzar’s actions. God identifies himself with His people and with the things that God gave to His people. To fight against God’s people is to fight against God.
    • We have already seen that Nebuchadnezzar was already dead by the time Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians but his kingdom still existed to continue the captivity of God’s people.
  • Read Jer 51:41-64 The Fall of Babylon, an Astonishment to the World
  • Summary:
    • We have seen how so many details of the fall of Babylon in Jeremiah’s day have a broader meaning. These details refer to the fall of the world false religion in the tribulation period.
    • We have seen very specifically how Bible prophecy works:
      • One event in history prefigures a similar event much later in time.
      • One passage in scripture can refer to one of the events or to both of them moving back and forth from detail to detail through time.
  • Important things to remember:
    • God is the creator of the universe and in control of it all constantly.
    • God identifies himself with His people and with the things that God gives to His people.
    • God’s measuring tool through all human history is Jesus Christ. Man will spend eternity based on two facts:
      • What you believe about Christ and what you do with Him will determine your eternal destiny.
      • How you treat Jews and other Christians will determine how blessed you will be.

HOMEWORK
Jeremiah 52 and Lamentations 1

  • Application of Jer 51 and Review of the whole book:
    • What are some of the most important things you learned from the study of the whole book of Jeremiah?
  • Preparation of Jer 52 and Lamentations 1
    • Read Jer 52:1-34
      • This chapter is Jeremiah’s historical review of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians that fulfilled his prophecies.
    • Be sure to do the Application section of the homework as we will share it in class.
    • Read Lam 1:1-22
      • Create an original title for this chapter.
  • Memory Verse: Lam 1:18

 

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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