Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for August 20

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for August 20


Jeremiah 50:11–20, 33–34

The closing chapters of Jeremiah focus on the nations surrounding God’s people. Jeremiah predicted the judgment of God upon the nations for their sins.

Unlike other prophets, Jeremiah did not preach to the nations from within the boundaries of the nations; rather, Jeremiah preached God’s Word from the safety of the boundaries of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Jeremiah taught the doctrine of individual responsibility. Each person is responsible before God. The prophet also preached on accountability of nations and people groups to God.

The Bible teaches that God will judge individuals at the end of the age. Jeremiah affirms that God also judges nations within history.

For example, Jeremiah described the judgment of God upon the evil Babylonian empire. “Leave Babylon; save your lives, each of you! Don’t perish because of her guilt. For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance — he will pay her (Babylon) what she deserves” (51:6).

Vengeance Exacted (11–16)

Jeremiah 51 aids the interpretation of chapter 50. God would rouse the spirit of the kings of the Medes to destroy Babylon (51:11). The approach of the Medes mandated the preparation of the implements of war.

Sharpen the armor. Fill the quivers. God purposed to utilize the Medes to judge Babylon for destroying the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.

In poetic language, Jeremiah described God as the commander of the army of the Medes.

Raise the signal flag. Fortify the watch post. Set the watchmen in the places of duty. Prepare the ambush. Jeremiah describes God as a warrior.

God’s judgment of Babylon meant the end of Babylon through the agency of the Persian army that captured the city without a battle by diverting the Euphrates River. The enemy entered the city by marching up a dried up riverbed. The city’s source of life became a reason for the downfall of the city.

Return Promised (17–20)

Israel was a small nation located on the major trade routes east (Egypt) to west (Assyria and Babylon). The location of the small nation was a perfect spot for the development of missions outreach to the major powers of Egypt and Babylon.

Many Hebrews, however, shared the mindset of Jonah, who took a ship to avoid going to Assyria. Assyria and Babylon devoured the small nation of Judah.

The Lord of Armies would punish Babylon and return Israel to grazing lands. Jeremiah connected the return of Israel from captivity to the forgiveness of sins.

Redemption Assured (33–34)

This Scripture highlights the action of the Lord of Armies on behalf of His people.

While the Israelites and Judeans experienced oppression, the Redeemer of God’s people will champion their cause.

While enemies have oppressively held God’s people, the Redeemer is “the Lord of Armies,” a fervent champion for His people for the purpose of bringing “rest to the earth.”

“Lord of Armies” is one of the prophet’s favorite titles for God.

By Mark Rathel
Professor at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida

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