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 wondered 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.” Ancient near Easteners believed gods to be territorial so in their thinking, the God of Jerusalem must be displeased with his people because it was so obvious that the Israelites hadn’t kept the agreement they’d made with him. The people from other nations believed the destruction hadn’t happened to their cities because they weren’t in covenant with the God of Israel. Nevertheless, even though their belief in many gods was erroneous, they were right about the Israelites. The Israelites 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 God—the one true God—and attract others to join them in worshipping him. Instead, they became a bad example showing what utter destruction occurs as a result of unfaithfulness.

Our witness as Christians has a big impact on 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.