(22 verses, 2:50 to read)
What I am about to READ
This chapter is a complete acrostic poem, each line of each verse beginning with the same Hebrew letter. As there are 22 letters in Hebrew, so there are 22 verses to this poem.
MARK and LEARN
Jerusalem had fallen to the Babylonians in 587 BC after nearly a two year siege. This chapter describes what Jeremiah sees in the streets after the siege was over and the city had fallen.
The physical and spiritual condition of the people matched the physical condition of the city: broken. Formerly compassionate mothers boiled their own children for food (vs. 10) and even jackals offered to give nurse to the small children whose mothers had abandoned them (vs. 3). The stones of the temple were thrown down and scattered about from the bombardment and the city laid in ruins. Even the fate of Sodom is preferable to that which has befallen Jerusalem (vs. 6)
This harsh picture brings to light the harsh reality of the sins of the people. They had let themselves be deceived by false prophets and priests who discredited the message of repentance which Jeremiah had preached to them. They believed that alliances with other nations such as Egypt would be their security, rather than the one true God. They looked with faith and trust in those things which are not God: their king, other nations, their army, and especially their own self-righteousness.
After sending his prophets to them to no avail, God had visited his people with disaster to bring before their eyes the reality of their brokenness and sin. Even so now, we hear the law of God and how we fall short day by day, leaving us no answer to a righteous and just God to justify ourselves. We rest solely in the mercy of God in Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ the total wrath of God against mankind has been stilled and man is justified by faith in his death and resurrection. Thanks be to God!
- The reality of our sin, which is revealed by the law of God and the brokenness of our lives.
- The reality of the love of God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ who has taken all of our sins into himself and reconciled us to the Father.
Pr. Brandon Ross
Faith Ev. Lutheran Church