“I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light. I looked at the mountains and hills, and they trembled and shook. I looked, and all the people were gone. All the birds of the sky had flown away. I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness. The towns lay in ruins, crushed by the Lord’s fierce anger.” Jeremiah 4:23-26
When God was leading me to start the Bible Study in Jeremiah I did not realize how close the message Jeremiah and Revelation are alike. Revelation is God’s judgment on the entire world and Jeremiah is God’s judgment on Judah. None of us like to hear the news in these two books but it is important that we know the truth. The truth is unless we turn back to God and repent, we will face the judgment of God.
With prophetic vision, Jeremiah saw what the Babylonians would do to the land, producing chaos such as that described in Genesis 1:2-14. No matter where he looked, he saw ruin. Even the stable mountains shook! It was only by the mercy of God that everything in Judah wasn’t completely devastated. In turning around the images from Genesis 1, Jeremiah gives a poetic and powerful picture of the utter devastation that would come upon Judah in the coming judgment. The point for Jerusalem and Judah was plain: the God who could devastate the entire earth by His presence and fierce anger could easily bring judgment to them through an invading army. They needed to remember the greatness of the God they had offended. Jeremiah rightly used this poetic imagery to describe the horror that would come upon Judah in the Babylonian invasion. Yet we should consider that the fullness of God’s judgment – even worse than what Judah experienced – came upon Jesus Christ, God the Son, as He was crucified and judged as our substitute.