Whether big or small, the demise of a city is no small thing. It could be because of failing to respect God, or if it’s because of mismanagement, or if it’s because of something out of the city’s control.
A city is a home to many people, and its demise should never be glossed over. Often, especially in the Scriptures, the fall of the city is the larger picture of the fall of humanity.
Imagine Jeremiah prophesying the demise of Jerusalem, a city he loved if for no other reason it was the place God put God’s name. There is a reason why Jeremiah is often called the weeping prophet. He mourned the loss of Jerusalem.
The heartbreaking part is that the loss and fall of Jerusalem meant that God was taking God’s name and blessing away. While Jeremiah foretold hope, it wouldn’t be for a long time. It is also quite possible that Jeremiah wondered if Israel would really return.
The fall of Jerusalem was because of the unfaithfulness of the people. That unfaithfulness was in the Promised Land and in the City of God! It is quite possible that he was afraid that they would fall so far when they were in exile, that they would defy God again.
Babylon could be considered symbolic of that exact scenario. The time for possible redemption had long since passed. Babylon had knowingly and willingly gone against God. It became a place of abandonment. Even those allied to it, and who benefitted from it stayed away as it fell.
Those around Jerusalem would celebrate its fall as they looked forward to benefiting from its demise. On the other hand, Babylon was mourned as it fell, not because of the people, the depravity, or the lack of God, but because people would no longer benefit (especially make money) from it.
The “death” of both cities was something mourned by God. God wants Creation to seek redemption and reconciliation. Eventually, Jerusalem (or those who descended from it) did. Babylon is in the last throes of the end of times. There is no turnaround for it.
While time flows, there is always time for redemption and reconciliation. However, at some point, time will end, and redemption and reconciliation are no more.
- Just as people’s ability to reconcile to God has an end, so does our time on earth (death). Is there some reconciliation and redemption that you need to seek or grant?
- With the painful throes of politics, economies, lives, and viruses, have perceived the end of time, yet? If so, what has changed in how you approach others regarding the Gospel? If not, why do you think you haven’t been impacted?
Lord, may we see the end of things as imminent, no matter how far away they are. Help to feel the urgency and importance of sharing the Gospel. Help us to partner with you to reconcile and redeem the world. Amen.