God was faithful to His Word and He will continue to be so forevermore. Thus, no matter how bleak things may look for a time, these realities stand true and indisputable: Christ came, Christ died, Christ rose, and Christ conquered. And He now reigns as the uncontested Lord of heaven and earth.
And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed. The nations shall no longer flow to him; the wall of Babylon has fallen. (Jeremiah 51:44)
When the prophets looked out on the world, the sight that met their eyes was a bleak and depressing one. Oppression sat in the place of justice, evil in the place of righteousness, lies in the place of truth, and idolatry in the place of true worship. A heavy and indeed demonic darkness blanketed the earth as whole nations were swept up in crushing servitude to false and cruel gods. As Jeremiah here tells us, the nations were “swallowed” up in service to pagan deities, “flowing” like a torrent to give tribute and worship to vain and worthless idols. The apostle Paul described the situation in similar terms, adding that the Gentiles were then “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). A bleak picture indeed.
Into this world, however, the prophetic Word was uttered — a shoot from the stump of Jesse (Isa. 11:1), a righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5), Light for those dwelling in darkness (Isa. 9:2), restoration of the fallen Davidic house (Amos 9:11). Little by little, hints and shadows were given that looked forward to a day when Yahweh would again show mercy to His wayward bride and establish a new and everlasting covenant with her (Jer. 31:34).