JEREMIAH CHAPTER 49 (Part 1, verses 1-6): Do you think Israel has no children to inherit the land when parents die???
Once again, let us remember that Israel as a nation later divided into two kingdoms: The Northern kingdom that retained the name, Israel (ten tribes) and then the southern kingdom called Judah (two tribes). Just as we discussed before, the Northern Kingdom of Israel had been captured and taken captive by Assyria in 722 BC (2 Kings 15:29; 17:6) And the southern Kingdom was later attacked and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in times of prophet Jeremiah. That said, I want us to realize that Ammonites, like Moabites, were also descendants of lot through his incestuous relations with his young daughter (Gen. 19:20–38) and the enemies of the Jews (better to use ‘mutual antagonists’ of Israel for in some context, they were friends).
The message we see here was delivered to Ammonites after the same messages of judgment had been delivered to Egypt, Philistines, and Moab. However, according to Gill John’s expositions, some writers believe that Ammonites were destroyed before the Moabites. But since we have always believed that the arrangement of these judgments and their audience represent the order of their destruction, then we must think Moab was destroyed before Ammonites. Heshbon, a Moab city is asked to prepare for destruction here (verse 3) and this gives a base to those who construct that Moab was attacked later. But some have thought that Heshbon was a double city, divided by a river, which ran through it; and that, that city which was on one side of the river belonged to Moab, and that on the other side to Ammon. Thus, it is possible the city in question belongs to Ammonites.
Back to the point, the Ammonites took over the land that belonged to Gad, a tribe of the ten that had been taken into captivity. God was furious and asked, do you think that Israel has no Children? Do you think there is no one to take the land when the parents die? (Verse 1). Time was thus coming when such theft would be punished. Israel would return and drive out everyone enjoying their land. The Ammonites country was surrounded by mountains and fertile land that provided enough foods and other resources, resources that provided a political, geographical, and economical hope of winning over enemies who would threaten them. But all this would not save them from God’s anger (verses 2-5). The destruction will be completely sweeping over the city, the dwellers, the gods (molech-see 1Kings 11:5), and its priests.
Surprisingly, there is always love even amidst God’s anger. I remember there is a leader who was asked to choose between being punished by God or go out and face the enemy. He chose to be punished by God for even amidst punishment, He still cares (see Jeremiah 46:28).
Historically, Judah and Benjamin, tribes of southern kingdom were the next blood to inherit the land of Gadites following their capture among the ten tribes by Assyria and leaving no child behind to inherit the land. However, the Ammonites pretended to bear such rights by virtue of either being descendants of Lot, Abraham’s nephew or the land having been formerly theirs (John Gill’s expositions). According to Jarchi and Josephus (bible commentators), Nebuchadnezzar smashed Ammonites only 5 years after destruction of Jerusalem. When the Israelites returned from captivity, they did not recapture their land only but added that which belonged to ammonites as well (see Maccabees leadership). During the times of Cyrus rule in Babylon, it seems the Ammonites were restored and built up as a great nation for when the conquest of Ammonites by Judas Maccabeus took place, Ammonites were a great nation (John Gill’s observation, read 1 Maccabees 5:6). However, the complete restoration is referred to the times of gospels and Messiah, the second coming of Jesus.
Today’s message: Do you think that Israel has no children? Do you think there is no one to take the land when parents die? I remember the yesterday’s coupdeta of President Nkurunziza of Burundi. I think those soldiers did not think about this question. So when they heard that the president was out, they thought there were no people to protect his leadership, they were wrong. So many of us enjoy taking chances and exploiting the vulnerable and so when a mother dies, we steal the food that belonged to her children. When a parent dies, neighbors start deciding on the remnants’ lands, is not what we do? I heard that humans feed on other people’s misery, true? You see, when people are in troubles we may be tempted to steal from them, blackmail as if they no longer have a means to salvation, but God is watching us. Even when your workmate is grounded by your same boss, better be careful with taking her positions and exploiting the chances, an angel somewhere is still looking after her things and possessions. The Ammonites saw Israel under God’s punishment and thought there was no one to talk on behalf of them, they were wrong. Judah and Benjamin tribes were the next blood and GOD was there for their land too.
Let us be careful with our strategies among those we think have no defender anymore. God will defend our territories even when we are under stress, strain or holy punishments. I can never end without inviting you to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. Say this prayer with me: “Oh God, I am sorry I have wronged you. I now see you sent your only son to die for me so I can live forever in happiness. I am a sinner and I regret it all. Please, forgive me Jesus and receive me in your family as your child. Thank you for loving me. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen”. If you have prayed this prayer, we believe you have been saved. Find a true church near and be part of it. Good day.
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