Jeremiah 47

The sword of the Word, as it is charged from the Lord of Hosts to punish the crimes of nations,
cannot be sheathed until it has accomplished that for which He has sent it.

1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote Gaza.

2 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.

3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands;

4 Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.

5 Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?

6 O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.

7 How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

Jeremiah 47:6-7—O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere thou be quiet?

​   O sword of the Lord; thou hast wounded us sore! Like a two-edged sword, the Word of God has pierced to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow. How deeply it has penetrated; how sharply it has cut! And even now it cannot rest. The work of discrimination and separation is still going on within us. We are constantly seeing new depths of our own utter worthlessness and evil. Possibilities of our own bad hearts, of which we had not dreamed, arise to confront us; and immediately the Divine sword sets itself to hack and hew and cut away the evil growth of selfishness, of which we have caught a glimpse.
   There are times in our lives when we cry, “O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere thou be quiet… rest, and be still” (Jeremiah 47:6). Will the process of purification and deliverance never be complete? Will not the destructive work of God soon end? The operation has lasted months and years; when will the Divine Surgeon lay down the knife? O knife of God, rest thee!
   But how can it be quiet, seeing that the work is not done? We are not yet rid of the last remains of sin. The wound is not yet probed to the bottom. The roots of the cancerous growth of selfishness have not yet been entirely removed; and if any one of them remains, all the work will have to be done again. How can it be quiet, seeing that God loves us too well to allow us to bear with us into eternity aught that will hinder our perfect fruition of bliss? How can it be quiet, seeing that this is the only world where pain can reach his saints? and He must do his work quickly, ere we reach the land where the sword is placed in its scabbard, and stilled for ever. —Our Daily Homily