An exposition of Jeremiah 49:1-39. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 19, 2009.
Sermon Outline »
There is something very satisfying about it. That feeling you get watching a movie when the “bad guy” finally gets his. You’ve watched him throughout the movie act with impunity and finally he pays for it in the end. I’ve been in theaters where the crowd actually cheered! Because in spite of the corruption that surrounds us and regardless of how jaded we’ve become we want to believe in justice. Justice is satisfying as long as we are focused on those who, unlike us, are guilty. The problem with justice is that it cuts both ways. If I’m guilty I don’t want justice I prefer mercy. God’s truth is a two-edged sword. The very thing that brings me satisfaction and comfort strikes terror in others. Perspective is everything. God is holy, just and righteous. That comforts me when I am unjustly attacked, criticized or maligned. It frightens me when I am heartless, cruel or indifferent to those in need. The thought of the glories of heaven and the hope of the people of God is reassuring and comforting. The thought of judgment and eternal damnation is horrifying. Yet both come from the same God. A God who is holy, just, majestic, sovereign and full of wrath; who is also loving, merciful, kind, gracious and compassionate. This is the God consistently set forth by Jeremiah the weeping prophet as he ministered to Judah during her final days before exile. In the text we are going to consider this evening Jeremiah presents yet another moving portrait of this sovereign yet gracious God. Our text is found in Jeremiah chapter 49.
Text: Jeremiah 49:1-39
God had promised that Jeremiah’s ministry would be an “international” ministry. He was appointed over nations and kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (1:10) In the closing chapters of his book we find a collection of prophecies related to the nations. God speaks His judgment on the nations surrounding Judah.
Thesis: As we explore chapter 49 we find ourselves standing in awe of both God’s sovereign justice and His tender mercies.
There are three things I want to call to your attention.
- God in sovereignly promises to bring an end to all His enemies.
He speaks His judgment on the Ammonites – 49:1-6
He speaks His judgment on the Edomites – 49:7-22
He speaks His judgment on Damascus – 49:23-27
He speaks His judgment on Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor – 49:28-33
He speaks His judgment on the Elamites – 49:34-39
- God in holy justice comes in solemn judgment.
- God in tender mercy assures His sovereign grace.
When considering the mystery of God’s grace, Derek Kidner pointed to Luke 23 and the story of the two thieves. Both hurled insults at Jesus. One acknowledged guilt and sought mercy the other did not. One was saved, the other was left in his sin. Here 5 nations are under judgment God sovereignly extends mercy to only 2.
Kidner remarks, “One was saved, that none might despair; yet only one, that none might presume.” (The Message of Jeremiah: Against the Wind and the Tide Inter-Varsity press p. 143)
That none might despair – God’s grace reaches even to his enemies.
That non might presume – God owes salvation to none.