Week 52 – Book of Jeremiah
Jeremiah Chapter 52
about the book of Jeremiah as a “notebook or scrapbook of things” written by
the prophet and about his ministry. Including “news clippings” that “piece
together the story of his life” along with addressing the “spiritual needs of
his generation” and expressing “the emotions of his suffering soul,”
these historical recordings tell the story of Jerusalem during one of its most
chaotic times. The book of Jeremiah is more than a historical account of those
current times, more importantly God’s messages give testimony to the future,
both of Israel and all peoples. This is the message of hope, holy and divine in
in the form of narratives, poetry, laments, and prayers, these ancient words
declare the power and plans of God. Expectations that come with a covenant can
fail, fall apart, fold under the pressures of the carnal world. Like shiny and
bright trinkets, the idols lure the people away from God, false prophets
reinforce the myths. Faithful to God, Jeremiah delivers God’s truth, despite
the rejection of the people. Still, hope remains. The Messianic message of the
new covenant emerges in the turmoil. God’s purpose will never be defeated.
writings of Jeremiah comprise 52 chapters, 1,364 verses, and nearly 50 years of
history. Many call Jeremiah the prophet of doom, but he writes about the
spiritual and cultural decline of a people who centuries before pledged to
follow God and promised to keep His commandments. These holy laws, the Mosaic
law, is written to protect the people and provide spiritual reconciliation with
God. Agreeing to this promise (covenant), their lives are preserved and through
faith and obedience comes blessings. The thread of God’s never-ending
faithfulness weaves a tapestry of provision and protection, as well as
exploring of Jeremiah includes a year of study, over 67,000 written words, and
nearly 400 references. While not an exhaustive study by any means, in these
chapters God’s character repeatedly reveals His continued faithfulness, love, compassion,
and healing. Today, we stand far on the other side looking backward, with the
New Testament written some 600 years after Jeremiah and in the 21st
century, some 2,500 years later. Trying to understand these ancient times and
seeking to find lessons for current times, the realization that humanity rarely
changes can be disappointing. Still falling short in our faith, still seeking
more in places of less, still exposing our frailties, the world remains very
much the same.
those false prophets, we live our untruths and then believe our own rhetoric.
Dressed in our finest greed and arrogance, we ignore the weak and the weary.
Wrapped with our best bows, we offer token gestures of benevolence, offerings that
do not require sacrifice. Tucked into our comfort and warmth, we pray that someone
will help change the world for better. Perhaps there is just too much brokenness,
too much injustice, too much pain in the world.
of my favorite words in Jeremiah come in his prayer, words that give us hope,
that lead us to the answers we cannot find on our own. “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold
You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your
outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.” (32:17) With God,
nothing is impossible! This message occurs throughout Scripture, from God
to Abraham, the angel to Mary, Jesus to the disciples, the epistles to all. Too
much brokenness, too much injustice, too much pain – this is true for you and
me, but not for God. God’s grace covers all the sin and comes as “an
indescribable gift” to all. And what about us who Believe? Our lives
demonstrate obedience when we share the Good News, love with His compassion,
walk among the weary with hope.
Jeremiah tells us there is a future
for all people seeking God with their whole heart. Being a faithful servant matters most
to God. Like Jeremiah, our faithfulness
cannot be limited to religious activities or righteous deeds but must secure
its foundation in the faithful promises of God. In Christ, we can love without
perfection, have certainty without understanding, experience peace within
grief. When God dwells in the hearts of His people, we have new awareness, new
insight, and new hope. The Holy Spirit empowers us to see those living on the
margins, to offer Bread of Life to a starving world, and to retell the stories
of God’s faithfulness.
52 gives an account of the fall of Judah, also described in 2 Kings 24:18-20
and 2 Chronicles 36:11-14. Zedekiah, the official final king of Judah, reigns as
a complicated leader. His father, Josiah, brings spiritual revival, but
Zedekiah wickedness rebels against Babylon despite having vowed to be be
faithful to Babylon. Various historians suggest the final siege of Jerusalem by
Nebuchadnezzar lasted around two and a half years. Although Zedekiah flees
Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar’s men find him and Nebuchadnezzar pokes our
Zedekiah’s eyes, but only after he is forced to watch his sons executed. (v11) Taken
to Babylon in bronze chains, Zedekiah remains in prison until his death.
is plundered, all the best is taken to Babylon, the best people, the best
wares, the temple treasures, and all the bronze, gold, and silver works.
Nebuchadnezzar burns the Temple of Yahweh, along with the royal palace, and any
houses of important people. In verses 24-26, many important leaders of
Jerusalem and the temple are rounded up. The number of Jews Nebuchadnezzar
sends into exile (v 28-30) say, “4,600 persons in all” from Judah. This number
likely only counts the men, not women and children. Recording of this event in
2 Kings 25 gives different numbers, and the true consensus is not officially
final verses describe the kindness to Jehoiachin. His prison release and invitation
to eat with the son and successor to king Nebuchadnezzar suggest, “God
continued to show kindness to the descendants of King David, even in exile.”
“Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t
we feel on fire as He conversed with us on the road, as He opened up the
Scriptures for us?” Luke 24:32 MSG
Scripture tells us about two friends,
followers of Jesus, who are leaving Jerusalem on the morning of the
Resurrection. Jesus begins to walk along side them, talking and teaching them.
They do not recognize Jesus until after He blesses the bread, breaks it, and
gives it to them. His presence kindles a fire within their hearts.
Life happens in the hurried and the
slow, the random and the sure, the desperate and the joyful moments that fill
our days. A pattern begins to form as we gather our experiences and passions,
our talents and knowledge in trying to see the big picture. Sometimes we want a
solution or need direction; sometimes we just need to rest.
Timothy Keller writes, “Build an
identity that gets its significance from God.” Too often we try to connect our
life-dots through accomplishments or talent or relationships. We attempt to
build our own identities through culture or philosophy. We even claim the
behaviors of religion, like confession, forgiveness, baptism, communion,
worship, giving, prayer, but do we recognize Jesus as God-within-us?
Does the presence of Jesus ignite a spiritual flame within my heart?
Blessed Assurance, even before
time began, Your beauty danced across the heavens. From the highest peaks to
the deepest canyons, from the widest deserts to the strongest rivers. Your
glory shines. From forever to forever, Your are Jehovah-Elohim, the Eternal
Even before I took my first breath, Your plans for me were known. From the sweetest celebrations to the gravest sorrows, from the abundant blessings to the fiercest challenges, Your love abides. From before to after, forever be my dwelling place. Amen.
for Thought ~
isn’t enough for a nation to put “In God We Trust” on its currency, to mention
God in its pledge to the flag, or to “tip the hat to God” by quoting the Bible
in political campaign speeches. It’s righteousness, not religion, that
exalts a nation. What pleases the Lord is that we “do justly… love mercy… and
walk humbly with [our] God.” (Micah 6:8) – Warren Wiersbe
Study Bible Intro to Jeremiah
Application Study Bible notes Jeremiah 52
Decisive, Wiersbe, Warren, p 186-187