(66 verses, 5:05 to read)
What I am about to READ:
Jeremiah’s and the believers of Judah suffer God’s chastisement, yet comfort is found in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
MARK & LEARN
1-18: Jeremiah uses picture after picture to describe his agony:
- 1: Jeremiah has experienced affliction and the rod of God’s wrath.
- 2: He feels as if God has driven him away and left him in the dark.
- 3: God afflicted him again and again, all day long.
- 4–6: God afflicted Jeremiah’s body and sent bitterness and hardship into his life.
- 7: Jeremiah feels as if he has been walled in and put in God’s chains (he spent much of his life in prison).
- 8–9: God shut out Jeremiah’s prayer and barred access to him.
- 10–11: God attacked Jeremiah like a lion.
- 12–13: God shot arrows at Jeremiah.
- 14–15: Jeremiah became the laughingstock of Israel (Jeremiah once had to spend the night in the stocks at the city gate).
- 16: God broke Jeremiah’s teeth and trampled him in the dust (Jeremiah was thrown into a dungeon and once into a dry cistern).
- 17–18: God deprived Jeremiah of any joy in life.
19–20: Jeremiah was overcome with distressing and depressing feelings.
21–25: This is the heart of Jeremiah’s lament. In the midst of remembering his gloom and suffering, Jeremiah remembered the Lord’s love and compassion. He recalled that the Lord’s compassions are new every morning and that His faithfulness is great. His compassion never fails. The Lord wants us to hope in Him. He wants us to seek Him in repentance and faith.
25-27: The appropriate response to the afflictions God places on a believer’s life is to patiently bear them and wait for God’s deliverance.
28–30: We should bear our burdens knowing that the Lord Himself has placed them on us. He has His reasons. We should simply allow what will come to come, take what the Lord wants to give us, and place our hope in Him.
31–36: God does not enjoy chastening His people. Yet, He does it for a reason – to lead us to repentance and faith. And even though He uses evil people to carry out His chastening, He sees the evil they are doing and will punish them for it.
39: No one should complain when the Lord chastens them for their sins. We are all sinners.
40–42: Jeremiah called on the people of Judah to examine their sinful lives and confess to the Lord that they had sinfully rebelled against Him.
43–51: Here Jeremiah adds a long description of the sufferings of his people. By relating the people’s sufferings, the prophet was appealing to God to show mercy on them.
52–59: The Lord used the persecutions Jeremiah faced to strengthen his faith. Jeremiah experienced the Lord’s deliverance. He was at the point of death in the pit, yet the Lord rescued him. (Jeremiah 38:6–10.) Jeremiah was assured that God knew him and knew the difficulties he was in. What is more, God upheld his cause, that is, he made it clear that Jeremiah, and not the false prophets, was truly speaking for the Lord.
60-66: Nevertheless, Jeremiah added a request, namely, that God not allow his persecutors to succeed. Jeremiah wanted them to come to faith. But he also realized that these men were the cause of the unbelief and rebellion of the Jews, and it was because of them that God was sending his punishment on Judah. Through his curse, Jeremiah is asking the Lord to put a stop to the wicked things they are doing.
In the first two chapters, the believers in Jerusalem spoke. They moaned over the destruction of Jerusalem, yet they also confessed their sins and acknowledged God’s justice in punishing the city. It was not the believers’ fault that Jerusalem was destroyed, but they had to suffer along with their fellow countrymen. In this chapter Jeremiah speaks. He too had to suffer. There are times when you may have to suffer (perhaps even unjustly). In such times, you would do well to meditate upon verses 21-25:
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
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Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.