Jeremiah 46 … Consider Him Who Stands His Ground

…They did not stand their ground.
For the day of their calamity has come upon them,
The time of their punishment,
(46:21).

The Word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah concerning the nations, beginning with Egypt.

That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations. To Egypt, concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was by the Euphrates River at Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, (46:1-2).

And it seems fitting that He would begin with Egypt, since His people have fled there for safety, placing their hope in the hopeless as the answer to their need.

And while the army of Pharaoh may be convinced they are somehow a threat to the Babylonian army, they are an empty threat indeed. And the prophet jeeringly challenges Egypt to get ready for the battle, daring them to take their stand.

“Line up the shield and buckler,
And draw near for the battle!
“Harness the horses,
And mount the steeds,
And take your stand with helmets on!
Polish the spears,
Put on the scale-armor!”
(46:3-4).

Jeremiah further summons them to take their stand, else they find themselves destroyed like the others around them who have been slaughtered and devoured.

“Declare in Egypt and proclaim in Migdol,
Proclaim also in Memphis and Tahpanhes;
Say, ‘Take your stand and get yourself ready,
For the sword has devoured those around you,’”
(46:14).

And the scene Jeremiah predicts is tragically laughable as the resistance of their mightiest warriors is thrust down, with their strongest and bravest finding themselves face down in fear, now fully cognizant that none is able to stand against Him Who Stands His Ground.

“Why have your mighty ones become prostrate?
They do not stand because the Lord has thrust them down,”
(46:15).

Even the help they have hired are like fattened calves prepared for slaughter, fleeing to try and save their own necks.

“Also her mercenaries in her midst
Are like fattened calves,
For even they too have turned back and have fled away together;
They did not stand their ground.
For the day of their calamity has come upon them,
The time of their punishment,
(46:21).

And Egypt would surely come under the wrath of the Almighty Lord of Hosts, absolutely incapacitated and utterly unable to stand their ground against the One Who will never retreat, never lose His advantage against His opponent, never be pushed backward, and never be pushed to change or give in on all that He has purposed. Oh yes, they would surely come to know they could never stand their ground against Him Who Stands His Ground.

to stand one’s ground: to not retreat or lose one’s advantage in the face of opposition; to refuse to be pushed backward; to refuse to change your opinion or give in to an argument.

Consider Him Who Stands His Ground

He Stands His Ground for He is the Almighty, the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, the Lord over all creation. He will never lose His advantage in the face of opposition and He will never be pushed to change His mind on what He has purposed. And in today’s chapter there are two distinct purposes clearly depicted: His Stand in exacting His Judgment and His Stand in keeping His Covenant.

  • He Stands His Ground: His Judgment against His enemies Will Stand
    • The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I shall give them over to the power of those who are seeking their lives, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of his officers. Afterwards, however, it will be inhabited as in the days of old,” declares the Lord, (46:25-26).
      • Thus I will punish the world for its evil
        And the wicked for their iniquity;
        I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
        And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless,
        (Isaiah 13:11).
      • A jealous and avenging God is the Lord;
        The Lord is avenging and wrathful.
        The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries,
        And He reserves wrath for His enemies,
        (Nahum 1:1).
      • But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds, (Romans 2:5-6).
      • And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire, (Revelation 20:15).
  • He Stands His Ground: His Covenant with His people Will Stand
    • “But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear,
      Nor be dismayed, O Israel!
      For, see, I am going to save you from afar,
      And your descendants from the land of their captivity;
      And Jacob will return and be undisturbed
      And secure, with no one making him tremble.
      28 “O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the Lord,
      “For I am with you.
      For I will make a full end of all the nations
      Where I have driven you,
      Yet I will not make a full end of you;
      But I will correct you properly
      And by no means leave you unpunished,”
      (46:27-28).

      • “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
        But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
        And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
        Says the Lord who has compassion on you,
        (Isaiah 54:10).
      • “I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. 41 I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul, (Jeremiah 32:40-41).
      • “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins,” (Matthew 26:28).
      • Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, (Hebrews 13:20).

How do we respond to Him Who Stands His Ground?

Reading of His coming Judgment is anything but easy, but we must remember why He sent His warnings again and again. It has been His heart of compassion all along, His heart so desirous for people to hear that they would perhaps turn to Him for mercy, and place their faith in His Covenant of Grace.

This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple and speak all the words I have commanded you to speak to all Judah’s cities that are coming to worship there. Do not hold back a word. Perhaps they will listen and return—each from his evil way of life—so that I might relent concerning the disaster that I plan to do to them because of the evil of their deeds, (Jeremiah 26:2-3).

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans 10:17).

And God promised that when we hear His Word and are moved to turn to Him and place our faith in His Covenant Promises in Jesus Christ, He Will Stand His Ground in sparing us His Judgment and granting us Eternal Life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).

But He has also promised that He Will Stand His Ground to punish, correct and discipline His children as needed, always for our good and prompted by His Love

“O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the Lord,
“For I am with you.
For I will make a full end of all the nations
Where I have driven you,
Yet I will not make a full end of you;
But I will correct you properly
And by no means leave you unpunished.”
(46:28).

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? (Hebrews 12:7).

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent,” (Revelation 3:19).

God is serious about sin, and we must be as well, for He will be no means leave sin unpunished. Let us learn well from the history of God’s chosen people, because the truth is, every one of us has a gnawing propensity towards rebellion and sin. And perhaps, the most effective way to be serious about our sin is to spend concentrated time seriously considering the cost of our salvation, considering what Christ endured to Stand His Ground on our behalf, that we would not grow weary in laying aside our sin, but rather grow in gratitude so as to pursue righteous and holy living.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart, (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Oh that today and every day, we would be undone with gratitude as we consider our Sinless Savior Standing His Ground at the cross in order that we might stand before Him holy and blameless.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach, (Colossians 1:21-22).

Oh, that we would daily Stand Our Ground in thanksgiving for Him Who Stands His Ground. How can we not? For truly, our salvation is indescribable!

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Let’s Grow Together!

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