Jer 16:1-4 There are times and places where even God tells people not to get married and have children. This is a perspective change in my understanding of God.
Jer 16:5 God removed his peace, love, and compassion. This is disastrous for the rebels. In v15 His compassion will return, but many generations later.
Jer 17:4 “My anger will burn forever”. This idea conflicts with other verses showing future compassion. Other translations read similar, but for some reason the LXX (Septuagint) does not have verses 1-4 of chapter 17.
Jer 17:7-8 The man who trusts in the Lord is contrasted with the one who does not. Verse 8 gives an excellent word picture of a tree and lesson in how to trust in God. Trusting in God is being void of fear regardless of the day’s trials or “heat”, and no worry is found despite the long term tribulations or “drought” that may come. It does not stop you from producing His fruit! This example was more profound to me than the “just trust God” cliché.
Jer 17:10 Yahweh tests the mind and heart, to give us according to what our actions deserve. Do we truly believe this? If so our actions should reflect this.
Jer 18:8-10 A pronounced judgement from God can be adverted whether good or bad!
Jer 18:18+ Jeremiah did not ask for mercy for his enemies, but retribution. Despite this, his words aligned with God’s judgements given.
Jer 20 Jeremiah, like Job, cursed his own birth, showing severe stress and strain that he endured in life. I have it so easy… There is no recorded response from God here.
Jer 21:8-9 Even though complete destruction of Israel was eminent, God provided a way of escape through surrender to the invaders, an act of mercy even still.
Jer 22:2 More ways of escape from pending doom were given. Simply administer justice and righteousness to avoid calamity of the nation.
Jer 22:16 Many will say that our purpose in life is to know God, but few teach how to actually accomplish this. This verse gives a starting point to those struggling to know Him, as well as a check point to those who think they do. To know God is to administer justice and righteousness. As we strive to walk daily in justice and righteousness (weightier matters of the law) we will need to depend on Him. Study His word and ask Him to show us how to administer this in each situation we face, which in turn will develop our relationship and deepen our knowing of Him.
Jer 23 In this chapter God chastises the false prophets who speak their own words and lead His people astray. With that definition, teachers of today might be as guilty, speaking their own words, and leading people astray from the Creator with the story of evolution for example. How many others do similar things today? Saying God said something when He did not is perhaps worse yet.
Jer 25:9 God calls Nebuchadnezzar His servant, while pronouncing future judgement on Babylon. Would “My tool” be a more apt title?
Jer 26 The people wanted to kill Jeremiah because they didn’t like God’s message he was speaking. Despite all of this, Jeremiah offered God’s way of escape. The debate that ensued resulted in Jeremiah’s release as well as his words being heard by many. How do we respond to hard words of correction?
Jer 27 Jeremiah also prophesied to surrounding kings and nations. Hananiah died for prophesying something not from God. This should make anyone not sure of what they heard think twice before claiming it is “the word of the Lord”.
Jer 29 God continues to show mercy to the exiles (because they had obeyed, Jer 21:8-9) with a 70 year promised restoration.
Jer 30:24 The Lord’s burning anger will not turn back until He has completely fulfilled the purpose of His heart. This gives the conclusion to my note from 17:4 above and reemphasizes a principle in Bible interpretation. One must take the whole of scripture to get the complete picture, understanding, and instruction. Sometimes parts are left out in places, but this does not negate the words given in other places. For example, we cannot teach that whatever we ask for in His name we will receive, without the inclusion that it be according to His will.
Jer 30 Prophesies of restoration are given, but not for the immediate audience. Could the people grasp this or did they think it would happen in their day?
Jer 31 God speaks of the nation of Israel as a single person or unit despite the passage of much time over many generations, it is still as one body to Him. It is easy for us to separate ourselves from those around us and be disconnected or think that what we do doesn’t affect anyone else. Perhaps we should learn from this example, that we are part of a whole and our goal should be unity in the body as well as perfection of ourselves.
Jer 31:33 A new covenant is declared: God’s laws to be written on hearts. Jer 32:40 God puts the fear of Himself in people’s hearts so they will not turn away. This could be talking about the same thing. We should be able to ask Him to write His laws on our hearts and fill us with the fear of Him as this is needed.
Jer 33 Repeatedly in this section God speaks of destruction followed by restoration. The restoration was needed for the coming of Messiah, both His first and second coming.
Jer 35 The Rekabites were honored by God and made as an example for not drinking wine as their ancestor had instructed, (among other significant lifestyle changing things) while Israel was chastised for not obeying God. Why is it often easier for us to obey man (our boss, etc.) rather than God? Is it because cause and effect seem more real / imminent with men then God? Or because obeying God can bring persecution from man which we want to avoid?
Jeremiah was a bold / brave man in my opinion. He delivered God’s hard messages to men and kings. He did not appear to doubt / second guess what he heard from God, even calling out other “prophets” as false who opposed him to his face. Well done! May we all be more like Jeremiah!