Did they scoff back then? When Jeremiah spoke a message from the Lord, who took him seriously? If he walked into a room today with this message, would anyone even care about what he said?
29 The earth trembles and writhes in pain,
for everything the Lord has planned against Babylon stands unchanged.
Babylon will be left desolate without a single inhabitant.
30 Her mightiest warriors no longer fight.
They stay in their barracks, their courage gone.
They have become like women.
The invaders have burned the houses
and broken down the city gates.
31 The news is passed from one runner to the next
as the messengers hurry to tell the king
that his city has been captured.
32 All the escape routes are blocked.
The marshes have been set aflame,
and the army is in a panic.
33 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the God of Israel, says:
“Babylon is like wheat on a threshing floor,
about to be trampled.
In just a little while
her harvest will begin.” (Jeremiah 51:29-33, NLT)
Peter cautions believers:
This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. 2 I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.
3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”
5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. (2 Peter 3:1-7, NLT)
And even with a warning, and even in the waiting, the day of the Lord’s return will come as unexpectedly as a thief (verse 10). The verses in these readings arrest me. Is there much difference in the people in the times of the holy prophets “long ago”, the people in the apostles’ day, the people today? It comes down to believing who God says he is and that he’ll do what he says he’ll do–but regardless of the belief, I think on that verse: for everything the Lord has planned (against Babylon) stands unchanged.
I imagine Jeremiah’s scroll, Peter’s letters, all the books of the Bible (oh, his very voice in the garden!)–at what point does one take God’s word to heart?
14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
17 You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:14-18, NLT)
Lord, help me to grow in the grace and knowledge of you. May I not be found ignorant and unstable, twisting your word into a meaning that would lead to my destruction.