How do you respond to Jeremiah 25:8–12?

The Lord says to the nations: “Because you have not obeyed my words” (vs. 8), “this whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says he Lord…”

This is another splendid example of the sovereign Lord foreknowing what he is going to do and of how the Lord ingeniously weaves the freely chosen character of morally responsible agents into his providential plan. The Lord declares that he is going to punish the iniquity of various nations, including Israel, by allowing the malicious king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to conquer them. He will allow this for seventy years and will then punish Babylon for its evil. The Lord who gives agents their freedom also sets the parameters of this freedom and even influences how they use it (Prov. 21:1). But this truth does not warrant the conclusion that he either controls or foreknows everything that free agents shall ever do.

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