6.76 Jeremiah -- Universal Judgment and Restoration
More than other prophets, Jeremiah announced a universal season of judgment. First, Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon will bring destruction to many nations (Jer 25:9-11, Jer 9:25-26, Jer 27:6). But after 70 years the situation will change, and Babylon "will be enslaved by many nations"; the nations that served Nebuchadnezzar will subjugate him (Jer 25:11-1, Jer 27:7). There is one cup of the Lord’s wrath, carried by His prophet from nation to nation, and Babylon is the last to drink of it (Jer 25:15-26, Jer 51:7).
"The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind" (Jer 25:31).
There are also promises of restoration for many nations.
"Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited as in times past" (Jer 46:26).
Moab’s fortunes will be restored, as will those of Ammon and Elam (Jer 48:47, Jer 49:6, Jer 49:39). Edom and Babylon conspicuously lack such hopeful prophecies. More generally, the Lord says that, after uprooting Israel’s wicked neighbors, He will in compassion restore each one.
"And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives' -- even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal -- then they will be established among my people. But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it" (Jer 12:14-17).
In this vision there is a special role for Israel, to instruct and to lead. The Lord still calls her "the foremost of the nations" (Jer 31:7). He has never forsaken her (Jer 51:5); she is still "the tribe of His inheritance" (Jer 51:19), "my people for my renown and praise and honor" (Jer 13:11). Her descendants will never cease to be a nation in His sight (Jer 31:36). He desires to give her "the most beautiful inheritance of any nation" (Jer 3:19).
When the judgment is accomplished, nations and "distant coastlands" will hear how the Lord gathers and shepherds His flock (Jer 31:10). A cleansed Jerusalem
"will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it" (Jer 33:9).
Through a repentant Israel, the nations will be blessed by the Lord and will glory in Him (Jer 4:1-2). They will come to Him "from the ends of the earth," renouncing their false gods and asking to be taught, to know the Lord (Jer 16:19-21).
At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts (Jer 3:17).
In these few passages, there is positive mention of the foreign nations, but only as they come to God through the remnant of Israel.