(24 verses, 4:00 to read)
What I am about to READ:
Here’s the outline to get the plot of the chapter:
- 26:1-6, The Lord sends Jeremiah to preach the law with the hope that the people will repent. The people had refused to listen to the prophets, therefore the Lord will destroy the city.
- 26:7-9, When Jeremiah finished his sermon in the temple, the priests arrested him to put him to death.
- 26:10-11, The city officials get involved, and there is a hearing at the New Gate.
- 26:12-15, Jeremiah’s case, where he reminds them that the Lord sent him, that if they listen to him and repent, the Lord will be merciful, and where he commends his life to the judges with the promise that putting him to death would bring greater trouble upon the city.
- 26:16-19, Jeremiah is defended, first by the officials, and then by certain elders who remind the people of the preaching of Micah, and how King Hezekiah heard his preaching, repented, and the land was spared God’s wrath.
- 26:20-23, the account of the prophet Uriah, who preached like Jeremiah, fled to Egypt, was extradited and killed by King Jehoiakim.
- 26:24 tells us of Ahikam son of Shaphan, who protected Jeremiah.
- The beginning of the chapter helps us date this preaching. Jehoiakim began his rule around 609 BC. Here’s the timeline:
- “Like Shiloh” (26:6), Shiloh was the city where the tabernacle first rested with the ark when the people came into the land (before David relocated it to Jerusalem). The Bible does not tell us what disaster befell Shiloh, but it was profound enough that Jeremiah’s preaching that Jerusalem would be like Shiloh aroused the priests’ extreme wrath.
- 26:18 quotes Micah 3:12. The people remembered the preaching of Micah, and the kindness of the Lord when they listened to this preaching.
- Verses 20-23 seem a bit out of place in this chapter. Why break away from the account of Jeremiah and tell of the prophet Uriah? We see in his death how serious the threat was to Jeremiah’s life. It was dangerous for him to preach. But still he preaches, and with the confidence that the Lord would keep him in life and in death. It is really astonishing that the Christian, like Jeremiah, has a truth that is worth dying for. (Not many people can say that.) Christ is our life, which means that death is not the end, and that there is more to this life than simply “staying alive.” So we pray that the Lord Jesus would continue to send the Holy Spirit to us, that we would trust the promise of the Gospel, that all of our sins are forgiven, in life and in death, and that we would come, at last, to the joys of eternal life.
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