As Judah makes the final turn in their downward spiral, the LORD concludes with a promise for vengeance.
“Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The LORD has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, Because His purpose is against Babylon to destroy it; For it is the vengeance of the LORD, vengeance for His temple.” (51:11)
Because Babylon shares Canaan’s rampant idolatry problem, it seems wrong they should be the ones who defeat Judah. The LORD lines out that it’s all part of the plan. Babylon will face its own consequences soon enough.
I get weirdly giddy about the Medes and Persians; Darius, Cyrus and Xerxes. I’m fascinated by the LORD’s relationship with them, how He uses them, and brings them to know Him at different times and in different ways. I love that these people are so impacted by the influence of His people during their exile that it prompts a visit of Magi at exactly the time deduced by their priests that the Jewish Messiah would come.
Right when Babylon has hauled its last group into exile– exactly when the “bad guys” seems to be defeating our “good guys” –the LORD unveils a grander mosaic of His purposes flawlessly finding their fulfillment.
Still, while we know the LORD is never out of control, we are allotted a moment to lament. Which is where we will meet up tomorrow.
The beautiful Jerusalem has fallen along with the temple, a golden age of monarchy and independence. It will be quite some time before Israel returns, finds independence or their Davidic king. That’s sad. It’s sad that they so royally missed their chance to bless the nations.
But this isn’t over.