The Judgement of the Nations has been decided long ago
In chapter twenty-five, during the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim (eighteen years before the fall of Jerusalem), the Lord had given Jeremiah the prophecy of seventy years of exile for Judah. He then gave Jeremiah “the wine cup of the Lord God’s fury”. He told Jeremiah to cause the nations to drink it beginning in Jerusalem through the entire known world ending with Babylon.
In chapters 47 – 51, we have descriptions of God’s judgment, both the reasons and the effects of His judgments. All nations will be judged by Jesus Christ whom God the Father has ordained, giving faith in this to all by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:31) All of the judgments listed are results of the nation’s actions and history would prove it so. For our sake, we will look at the nations Moab and Ammon. These nations are the two cousin nations of Israel, descendants of Lot, whom God would not allow Israel to invade because of their relationship with Abraham.
Moab – 48
Pride is a substitute for righteousness. Moab is proud and arrogant and believes itself to be righteous and entitled to all Israel has been given. Many times, during Israel’s history Moab would come against Israel to drive them out of the Lord’s land that He gave Israel to inherit. When we seek to establish ourselves before God, based on our rights (or self-righteousness), we are falling into the pride of Moab. Hatred and arrogance will grow towards others desiring what they have and wanting them to fail. Moab for us as believers is a strong warning not to be arrogant, proud, and self-reliant.
“We have heard the pride of Moab (He is exceedingly proud), of his loftiness and arrogance and pride, and of the haughtiness of his heart. I know his wrath,” says the Lord, “But it is not right; His lies have made nothing right.” Jeremiah 48: 29, 30
“Moab has been at ease from his youth; He has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore, his taste remains in him, and his scent has not changed. Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I shall send him wine-workers who will tip him over and empty his vessels and break the bottles.” Jeremiah 48:11, 12
Our warning as Americans is not to be haughty, but to fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches [Israel], He may not spare us either. (Adapted from Romans 11:21)
Ammon – 49
Ammon had taken advantage of Israel’s judgment and occupied their cities, believing they had a right to the land. Discipline of the Lord may displace us from our inheritance for a season but never is the inheritance in Christ taken from us. Our call always is to humble ourselves and repent of our sins, accept God’s discipline, and receive His forgiveness and healing, then the Lord will forgive, heal, and restore us into our inheritance.
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.” Jeremiah 31:10, 11
Against the Ammonites, thus says the Lord: “Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then does Milcom [the king of the Ammonites] inherit Gad, and his people dwell in its cities? Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will cause to be heard an alarm of war in Rabbah of the Ammonites; It shall be a desolate mound, and her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 49:1, 2
Many other nations are dealt with in these chapters and all for their pride and treatment of Israel. Even though they had been a part of God’s discipline, they became haughty and did not fear. The fear of God is to depart from evil and hope in His mercy. The Lord alone determines nations’ boundaries and pre-appointed times so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him. (Acts 17:26, 27)
The Lord promised Moab and Ammon that after His discipline He would bring back their captives. The Lord’s discipline is always to return hearts to Him, wills to submit to His and to partake in His nature and inheritance in Christ. When we seek the Lord, we are seeking His heart, His will, His ways, and His inheritance in Christ. Christ always is the answer to all problems, conflicts, and wars.