The neighbouring nations to be subdued. (1-11) Zedekiah is warned to yield. (12-18) The vessels of the temple to be carried to Babylon, but afterwards to be restored. (19-22)
Verses 1-11: Jeremiah is to prepare a sign that all the neighbouring countries would be made subject to the king of Babylon. God asserts his right to dispose of kingdoms as he pleases. Whatever any have of the good things of this world, it is what God sees fit to give; we should therefore be content. The things of this world are not the best things, for the Lord often gives the largest share to bad men. Dominion is not founded in grace. Those who will not serve the God who made them, shall justly be made to serve their enemies that seek to ruin them. Jeremiah urges them to prevent their destruction, by submission. A meek spirit, by quiet submission to the hardest turns of providence, makes the best of what is bad. Many persons may escape destroying providences, by submitting to humbling providences. It is better to take up a light cross in our way, than to pull a heavier on our own heads. The poor in spirit, the meek and humble, enjoy comfort, and avoid many miseries to which the high-spirited are exposed. It must, in all cases, be our interest to obey God's will.
Verses 12-18: Jeremiah persuades the king of Judah to surrender to the king of Babylon. Is it their wisdom to submit to the heavy iron yoke of a cruel tyrant, that they may secure their lives; and is it not much more our wisdom to submit to the pleasant and easy yoke of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, that we may secure our souls? It were well if sinners would be afraid of the destruction threatened against all who will not have Christ to reign over them. Why should they die the second death, infinitely worse than that by sword and famine, when they may submit and live? And those who encourage sinners to go on in sinful ways, will perish with them.
Verses 19-22: Jeremiah assures them that the brazen vessels should go after the golden ones. All shall be carried to Babylon. But he concludes with a gracious promise, that the time would come when they should be brought back. Though the return of the prosperity of the church does not come in our time, we must not despair, for it will come in God's time.
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