How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
Babylon was "the hammer of the whole earth" in the days in which and of which Jeremiah wrote. Nineveh had striven to resist, as had Tyre, Syria, and Egypt, but one by one they had been crushed beneath Babylon's ponderous blow. And now Judah and Jerusalem were crushed likewise. But God's Word was that other hammer, against which even the force of the hammer of the whole earth should be put forth in vain. "Is not my Word... as a hammer, saith the Lord, which breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jeremiah 23:29). And it did thus break the power of Babylon, and made her "a desolation among the nations." Now, all this is a parable of what is and long has been in the spiritual world. Note -
I. THERE IS A HAMMER-LIKE FORCE WORKING AGAINST GOOD IN THE WORLD. See how it crushes joy, innocency, purposes of good, noble endeavours, life itself. It is the kingdom of Satan; such crushing of so much that is good is of those "works of the devil" to destroy which the Son of God was manifested.
II. BUT THERE IS A GOD-LIKE FORCE WHICH SHALL PROVE A MIGHTIER HAMMER STILL. The strong one shall be driven out by the stronger. For proof of this, see:
1. The progress of humanity. Surely he must be blind who will deny the improvement in the general condition, conduct, and character of men since Christ lived and died on this earth. Most admit it, but ascribe it to merely secular, natural, and subordinate causes.
2. The laws of civilized nations. How much more just, humane, and righteous they are than they once were!
3. The philanthropic instinct amongst men. What abundance of objects there now are on which this instinct flings itself and toils for their good! Now, these things are, at least, "aids to faith," in a fuller and more complete deliverance of man from all evil, which it is the glory of the gospel both to promise and to promote. But see this Divine power at work in the individual soul. The fear which hath torment is taken away. The sin which tyrannizes is broken and subdued. The good which was weak is made strong, the evil which was strong is made weak. The sorrow which killed all joy is hushed. Death which destroyed is itself destroyed by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. These are some of the present trophies of the grace of God, and they are but an earnest of more and far better things to come. But in virtue of them we believe in the Son of God, who shall subdue all things unto himself. God's Word, God's providence, God's Spirit, all unite to testify to the existence and by and by the exercise of that triumphant power by which all the might of evil shall be crushed, shattered, and broken forever. On which side, then, are we taking our place? - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!