Wearing the Yoke

READ : Jeremiah 26-28 The priests and the prophets decide to kill Jeremiah, but the princes come to his aid. Not so fortunate was Uriah, another prophet with a message similar to that of Jeremiah. They killed him. One is reminded of the time just before the Reformation. Hus was burned at the stake, but Luther, proclaiming the same message, survived because the German princes protected him. Now Jeremiah is commanded once again to use visual aids. He wears a …

Good and Bad Shepherds

READ : Jeremiah 23-25 The Lord calls the religious and secular leaders of Judah “shepherds.” He condemns these shepherds for failing to care for the flock properly. He then promises to act as a shepherd himself and appoint new shepherds who will care for the sheep. Such language reminds us of Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd,” and the words of Jesus, “I am the good shepherd.” God promises he himself will be a shepherd, and this is fulfilled …

Justice and Righteousness

READ : Jeremiah 20-22 Pashhur the priest, a religious ruler in the Lord’s temple, should have done justice. Instead he beats Jeremiah and throws him in the stocks. Therefore he will be among those carried captive into Babylon. As a result of this painful experience, Jeremiah pours out his heart to God in anguish that he must suffer for preaching God’s Word. He decides to stop, but he cannot do so. He reflects the words of Job wishing he had …

Exile and Return

READ : Jeremiah 17-19 The time of punishment has come for Judah. Now the nature of that punishment is foretold; they will be taken away into exile (17:4). They often trusted in other nations to rescue them rather than in God; such behavior results in God’s curse (v. 5). On the other hand, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD” (v. 7). Such a person is “like a tree planted by water” (v. 8), which is an obvious …

Limits to Grace

READ : Jeremiah 14-16 God is gracious and longsuffering. For centuries he had been merciful to Israel in spite of constant backslidings and stubbornness. But now the time of judgment had come. Many people would like to believe that there are no limits to God’s grace, but both the Old and New Testaments tell us there are. In spite of how terribly they had treated him, Jeremiah prays fervently for the people in the midst of a devastating drought. But …

When Things Go Wrong

READ : Jeremiah 11-13 The concept of covenant is a very important one in the Bible. In fact, the Bible is the story of two covenants, the old one with Israel and the new one with the church. Covenant describes a relationship between God and humanity. God will be faithful to his side of the relationship and he calls upon us to be faithful to our side. But Israel constantly broke the covenant; she was unfaithful to God. Occasionally she …