People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this great city?’ And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’ Jeremiah 22:8-9

People from other nations were surprised at the destruction of Jerusalem. It was a ‘great’ city and the terrain made it easier to defend than other places. The only way they could understand such events was to explain it in terms of a broken covenant.

Constable in his Commentary on Jeremiah writes, “Ancient near Easteners understood the consequences of covenant unfaithfulness, and they would associate them with Jerusalem’s fate.” These people believed gods to be territorial so in their thinking the God of Jerusalem must be displeased because it was so obvious to them that the people of Jerusalem hadn’t keep the agreement they had made with him.

This wasn’t binding on them since they worshipped the gods who were supposedly in charge of their geographical area. Nevertheless even though their beliefs in many gods was erroneous, they weren’t too far from the truth. Israel had indeed made a covenant and weren’t being faithful.

Israel was supposed to be a light to the other nations to show them how good it was to be in covenant with their God – the one true God – and attract others to join them in worshipping him. Instead they had become a bad example showing what utter destruction occurs as a result of unfaithfulness.

Our witness as Christians has a big impact of those around us who are wanting to know if being a Christian makes a difference. Let’s be light in our world so others will want to worship the one true God.