Jeremiah 51:1-12

 Jamma Mokhriby


Continuing our study of Jeremiah Chapters 50 & 51 we pick up where we left off at verse 1 of Ch. 51.
Verse 1 prophesies that God will raise up "a destroying wind" against Babylon, Iraq in the last days.
The following Scripture in verse 4 might suggest that this "destroying wind" could be understood as only symbolic, but if one reads ahead in verse 16 we find equal reason to believe God will send a literal "destroying wind."
During the initial stages of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" during April of 2003, the US and British invasion forces experienced firsthand the potential power of the wind.
For 3 days the 50 plus mile an hour winds whipped up impenetratable sandstorms. Laser guided ordinances were useless, sensitive electronics were vulnerable, aircraft were grounded and vehicles of every type were brought to a standstill.
The sand clogged up air filters and found its way into every nook and cranny. Visibility was so reduced that guide ropes had to be strung between tents in military camps to keep soldiers from getting lost when they had to venture out from cover.
It is alarming to consider what kind of damage a powerful tornado, or even a swarm of tornados might produce when combined with the abrasive qualities of sand.
Another thought for serious consideration is that chemical, biological and dirty radioactive weapons are all at the mercy of the wind. It may well be God Who will make the determination which way a destroying wind full of agonizing death will blow.
It is significant that in verse 1 of Jer. 51 God calls Babylon, Iraq, "Leb Kamai." The literal translation for this term is, "them that rise up against Me."
As a power vacuum has developed in Iraq during the absence of Saddam Hussein, Shiite Muslims have begun a relentless campaign to seize power.
An April 26, 2003 Colorado Springs Gazette article which headlined, "Iranian cleric tells Shiites to grab reins in Iraq" reported that, "Sheikh Muhammad Fartousi, the cleric...charged with the administration of Eastern Baghdad," has stated "We are in control of all of Iraq, especially central and southern Iraq, not only Baghdad."
A week earlier, hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims marched in the streets to reinstitute the mourning of the death of one of their holy men. Saddam Hussein had put a stop to the practice. The recent gathering for the rite soon turned into an anti USA rally.
Many would have you to believe that Muslims worship the same God of heaven as the Christians and Jews. This is not the truth.
Muslims reject the God of Jacob and the Word of God through His Old Testament prophets which have foretold of the right of Israel to possess the land she now holds and a great deal more.
In turn they reject the Christian belief as blaspheme that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Referring to Himself as the Son of God, Jesus said in Chapter 5:23 of the Gospel of John, "...he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
The religion of Islam, as seen from the perspective of the God of the Bible is Leb Kamai, "them that rise up against Me."
Moving on to verses 2-4 of Jeremiah 51 we are first told, in connection with the wind of verse 1, that God will send winnowers to Babylon.
This is the process used to sift the grain from the chaff by tossing it up into the wind. This is an analogy of how the land of Babylon will be cleared of what is unacceptable and looted of any treasure by her spoilers.
We are told it will be the day of her doom and that she shall have enemies all around her.

This final stage of the Iraq conflict has still not taken place as of the time this message is being written.
Later in this chapter we will be shown that Turkey and Iran will join this encirclement of Iraq.
The Lord then concludes with a call for Iraq's army to be utterly destroyed.
To date tens, or even hundreds of thousands of Iraqi troops are unaccounted for. An April 20, ‘03 article reprinted in the Denver Post from Night Ridder which headlined, "Baghdad defenders ordered to withdraw," reported that the disappearance of Iraqi troops "wasn't the result of desertion or a disorganized rout, but was ordered by the highest levels and communicated to field units by telephone."
Iraq still has its army in hiding. It is very likely that many just changed clothes and now walk among the US and British troops in the cities awaiting Saddam's next command. God says they will be, "thrust through in her streets."
Verses 5-6 of Jer. 51 then interjects a prophecy for Israel which intertwines the present time of this war with an event from the ancient past that has brought about this judgment.
God reassures us at the outset that He has not forsaken Israel, nor Judah. He makes it clear that even though Israel has not repented and received forgiveness for their sins as of yet (which can only be obtained by believing in His Son Jesus, see John 5:39 & 47), He has not abandoned them.
That God has interposed this pronouncement with such forcefulness at this point in Jeremiah should cause the reader to pause and consider the importance of His declaration.
It is revealed that this prophecy will be fulfilled while Israel is still filled with sin, just as it is at this present time. The phrasing of the language intimates that at the time of this prophecy being fulfilled, Israel will begin to turn back to God. This intimation is corroborated by Jer. 50:20.
God then warns everyone to flee from the midst of Babylon if they value their life and once again declares that this will be the time of His vengeance.
In Jer. 50:28 God revealed that this prophecy of vengeance has been in waiting against Babylon, Iraq since Nebuchadnezzar defiled and destroyed His temple in 586 BC.
Verses 7-9 of Jeremiah 51 then reveal a flow of Babylonian history from the past to the present for comparison with what had just been revealed in the previous verses about Israel.
We are shown where God once looked with favor upon Babylon. Daniel spoke of that day when he interpreted a dream from God for King Nebuchadnezzar in Dan. 2:36-38.
Jeremiah's prophecy then quickly declines to a denouncement of how she made the nations drunk and deranged from the "symbolic" wine they received from her.
Historically we know that this deranging wine came from the corrupt fruit of false religion and globalization against God.
Jeremiah then pronounced by God that "Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed," which brings us up to the present since Babylon has never before in history been destroyed in such an abrupt manner.
Then a fleeting prophecy of hope that is not to be is shared by God through Jeremiah. A prophecy of an attempt to heal Babylon is put forth from God as though it is being spoken by the nations.
After Babylon is suddenly destroyed a call for a healing balm is to be made.
In our modern day we might call it relief or aid. It sounds as though there at first will seem to be a chance for Babylon to recover from her ordeal.
The prophecy then reflects upon an apparently lost opportunity to heal her in the past.
Considering Iraq's failure during the extended occasion it has had to comply with International demands since the close of the 1991 portion of the Gulf War through the present opportunity to be rebuilt in the future under the auspiciousness of the United Nations, we can see where her chance at being healed will have been missed. If Iraq would have conformed to the wishes of the global community, we have little doubt she would have been richly rewarded and would have been held up as an example of the global communities generosity towards those who obey.
Instead, Iraq will be forsaken and will become an example of what happens to those who defy the New World Order. They will say, "Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country."
God then concludes verse 9 by declaring that "her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies."
That her judgment will reach heaven could only be meant in the spiritual sense. No physical debris is implied. But on the other hand when we are told that her judgments "is lifted up to the skies," we can think of the debris thrown up into the atmosphere after a nuclear weapon is detonated.
Verses 10, 11 & 12 of Jer. 51 then begins to give some specifics on who will benefit from this victory over Iraq. If one does not examine these Scriptures closely it can easily be understood why someone might think this passage is referring to ancient history.
We are told that the Medes are to have a part in exacting vengeance for God's Temple. After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed God's Temple it was the Medes and Persians who then did indeed conquer Babylon.
That is where any further resemblance to this prophecy and ancient history ends.
The Medio-Persians conquered Babylon with very little effort by sneaking in under the wall after diverting the river. They occupied Babylon without ever destroying it. The Medes must still have their day in finishing the task God has foreseen for them.
The modern day areas where the Medes were originally located is northwestern Iran and northeastern Iraq. These ancient Medes are the ancestors of the people who now harbor some of the greatest hatreds imaginable against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. They are now known as the Kurds.
God says He will raise up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. This could mean that God is going to stir up against Iraq the individual spirits of the leaders over the Kurds, or it could mean that a demonic spirit from the Kurd's ancient past will be raised up by God to once agin establish itself in a place of influence. In either case this does not bode well for Iraq.
God then speaks in place of the believing Jews in verse 10 of Jer. 51 as they say, "Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God."
This prophecy could apply to the ancient past if it were not for the incongruity we just presented. The Jews held in captivity in Babylon could very well have at first viewed the fall of Babylon to Medio-Persia as the day being spoken of in this prophecy and would have probably behaved just as portrayed, but the fact remains that this prophecy is for modern day Israel in the day of God's vengeance for His Temple.
Verse 12 of Jer. 51 then closes this week's study with God calling for a "standard" to be put up at Babylon. This is a rallying point and can be symbolized by anything from an emblem or a coat of arms to a flag.
It should prove interesting to see what this standard will be and what it will signify. In our modern language it can mean something required to be upheld or lived up to.
God continues on in this verse by telling us how this war will be fought with strong defenses, established surveillance and tactical ambushes.
At first it could appear that God is telling the Iraqis to make these preparations in anticipation of the final assault, but when reading the close of the verse we find there is a second possibility. God tells those He has given His instructions to, that it is He who has finalized this prophecy against Babylon.
As God speaks to them in the past tense it could appear that He is addressing the victors rather than the victims. It might possibly be the conquerors defenses, surveillance and ambushes being addressed.
The only drawback on this interpretation, which we will discuss more thoroughly as we study the appropriate Scriptures in the future, is that after Babylon is destroyed in the fashion described in the ensuing prophecy, it is hard to imagine anywhere a flag or emblem will be desirous to display, let alone a need for one.
On the other hand, America does lay claim to a flag on our desolate moon.
These are the last days and one day very soon the world will explode with uncontrollable violence and suffering. The only answer for peace will be when Jesus Christ returns after a 7 year period which will close out this present age.
We believe this war we have been studying will precede this final 7 year countdown and will in fact be the catalyst for the confirming of the 7 year Mid East peace covenant that will signal the start of these 7 years.
Before this treaty can be strengthened by the man known as the Anti-Christ, we are persuaded the true believers who make up the Church of Jesus Christ will be caught up to be with their Lord as prophesied in I Thess. 4:15-18.
For those who have not put their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins we can only warn you that the wrath of God and eternity in the Lake of Fire awaits you. Don't put if off. Jesus shed His own precious blood on the cross so that you might at this very moment inherit everlasting life. Time is always running out.