The Sword Of The Lord
Text: Jeremiah 47:1-7 (6-7)
Proposition: Why is the sword of the Lord not quiet?
The book of Jeremiah isn’t in chronological order. Chapter 47 chronologically comes as the beginning of the book. This was before Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land of Palestine the first time. After Egypt and Assyria were defeated in the battle of Carchemish, Nebuchadnezzar moved south into Palestine. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre for 13 years and finally destroyed mainland Tyre. The Philistines were Tyre and Sidons allies, but they couldn’t help them because Nebuchadnezzar fought against Philistia also. The sword of the Lord wielded by Nebuchadnezzar was not going to be quiet. The time for mercy was over. Jeremiah is pleading with the sword of the Lord to return to its sheath. Jeremiah even had compassion on Israel’s worst enemies, but the sword would not be quiet it had been given an order to destroy. When God’s is at war nothing can stop it.
The Philistines had been God’s and Israel’s enemies for hundreds of years.
- They were enemies in the time of the Judges. The story of Samson being the most famous. He killed 1,000 of them with the jaw-bone of a donkey. They finally hired Delilah to find the secret of his strength and they blinded him. Then they put him in prison grinding corn for many years. They took him out of prison to mock him one day. He prayed and asked God to restore his strength, and he pushed the pillars the supported the roof of the building they were in.
- When Samuel was Judge the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant
- Saul and Jonathan fought against the Philistines. They Philistines defeated Saul and killed him and Jonathan.
- David killed Goliath, the giant Philistine. During his reign David’s men killed four more giants of the Philistines. During David’s reign he ruled over the Philistines and so did Solomon.
- They regained power as Israel’s power subsided.
- In Jeremiah 47 God is at war with them again. This time by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.
I. Justice must come on God’s enemies. (Why must Justice come to God’s enemies?)
A. They sought their own revenge
1. Joel 3:1-8, When Israel was weak they took advantage of their weakness. God said, “I will repay you for what you have done.” When the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity the Persians sold people captured as slaves to the Jews from Tyre, Sidon, and Philistia and later Alexander the Great sold slaves to the Jews from Tyre, Sidon and Philistia. The Jews then sold them to distant nations.
2. Ezekiel 25:15-17
3. Amos 1:6-8 they deported an entire population to make room for themselves II Chronicles 28:18
4. II Chronicles 21:16-17, they took the kings whole family except one, Jehoahaz.
5. Zephaniah 2:4-7, Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great destroyed the land of the Philistines.
B. We are not to take our own revenge.
1. Romans 12:17-21
2. This isn’t easy to do. We want to get our own revenge. We want to see our enemy suffer. We need to be more like Jeremiah who wants to see the sword of the Lord return to its sheath even when it is bringing justice to our enemies.
3. Proverbs 24:17-18
4. The Philistines rejoiced at the downfall of Samson.
5. Judges 16:24-30
6. When you rejoice at the destruction of your enemy remember that your turn is coming.
7. David didn’t rejoice when Saul was killed. He mourned his death II Samuel 1:17-27
II. To bring relief to the oppressed (How does the sword of the Lord bring relief to those who are oppressed?)
A. It delivers those who have no hope of victory
1. I Samuel 7:5-14
2. Israel had not gathered to fight against the Philistines. They had gathered together because Samuel had told them to. The Philistines didn’t believe they had the right to assemble (The right to assemble is in the First Amendment to the Constitution). The Israelites were no match for the Philistines without God. God unsheathed his sword and went to war and the Philistines were defeated.
3. Later at the beginning of Saul’s reign only Saul and Jonathan had swords and spears. The Philistines didn’t think the Israelites had the right to bear arms. (The Second Amendment to the Constitution) Saul started out with 3,000 men, but as the time for battle came closer he was down to 600. His men got scared and left. The Philistines had 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and people that couldn’t be numbered.
4. I Samuel 13:19-22, God delivered Israel from the Philistines through Jonathan and his armourbearer. They climbed up a cliff and attacked a Philistine garrison (fort). They killed 20 men. The rest panicked and fled.
B.It destroys the oppressor
1. Psalm 72:4
2. Babylon was a great oppressor. They had disciplined the nations that had forgotten God. Babylon also forgot God.
a. It seems to me that God had a tender spot in his heart for Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. He made himself known to him in many ways. Through Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego he made himself known. He gave him the statue dream with the head of gold, shoulders of silver, the bell of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron mingled with clay.
b. Then Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands and struck the statue in the feet. The statue fell and was crushed by the stone. Then the stone grew and became a mountain that filled the earth. The fulfillment of the dream was the kingdoms that were to come after Babylon. The Medes and Persians, then Grecian, The Romans, and then Christianity.
c. He warned him of his pride with the dream of the great tree that was cut down. Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself for a while, but his pride returned and he became a beast for 7 periods of time. After that he acknowledged the greatness of God.
d. After he died his descendants didn’t learn from what happened to him. They continued in their oppressive and idolatrous ways.
e. God destroyed them
f. Jeremiah 51:20-26
g. Babylon is desolate today. Saddam Hussein wanted to rebuild Babylon, but he was destroyed for his oppressive ways also.
C. God is still against the oppressor today.
1. Oppressive bosses are many times eliminated. Some of you have had bosses that were oppressive, but they changed their ways or were eliminated in one way or another.
2. God is still against oppressive nations. When they odds seem to be in their favor he unsheathes his sword and defeats them. Nations that oppress his people fall. The Soviet Union is no more. Hitler and his armies are no more.
II. It is His word (Why can his word not be quiet?)
A. God’s word is the sword of the spirit
1. Ephesians 6:17
2. Hebrews 4:12
3. If you oppose the word of God. You are going to be cut to pieces.
4. Revelation 1:13-16
5. Revelation 19:11-21, The nations that oppose the word of the Lord are cut to pieces and fed to the buzzards and vultures.
B. Satan cannot stand up to the sword of the Spirit.
1. Matthew 4:1-11
2. Satan couldn’t defend himself against the word of God.
3. The Word of God fights against the wickedness of Satan
4. Galatians 5:19-21
a. Immorality – relations with someone not your husband or wife
b. Impurity – sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality (sex with animals), incest, and things like these.
c. Sensuality – unbridled lust, dancing
d. Idolatry – worshipping idols, putting anything before God.
e. Sorcery – witchcraft, séances, talking with the dead, the use of drugs
f. Enmities – hatred
g. Strife – arguing and being contentious Proverbs 21:9
h. Jealousy –
i. Outbursts of anger – losing your temper
j. Disputes – a desire to put yourself forward whatever the cost to others
k. Dissensions – causing division. Sometimes parents cause division in children’s marriages.
l. Factions – party making. Democrats are a faction. Republicans are a faction. The PRI and the PAN are factions. We are not to have these in the church.
m. Envying – ill will like jealousy
n. Drunkenness – getting drunk
o. Carousels – drunken parties.
5. The Word of God condemns these practices. Satan is behind these practices.
6. Use the sword of the Spirit and cut these things out of your life and practice the fruit of the Spirit.
7. Galatians 5:22-24
The Sword of the Lord is never quiet. It will not return to its sheath until all of the God’s enemies and destroyed. All who oppose God will feel the slice of his sword. They may mock him and think they have the upper hand but, God just laughs at them.
Surrender and take refuge in Him or Perish in his wrath.
Closing Hymn - Battle Hymn of the Republic or 221