TODAY’S READING: JEREMIAH 9-12
OVERVIEW: Jeremiah’s life amid a deceitful people (9:1-9); Jeremiah’s grief over Judah (9:10-26); Judah’s idolatry and exile (10:1-25); Israel’s history of covenant breaking (11:1-17); Jeremiah’s enemies plot against him (11:18-23); Jeremiah’s complaint concerning the wicked (12:1-4); God’s challenge to Jeremiah (12:5-13); God’s promise to restore Israel (12:14-17).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Jeremiah was definitely the right man for the job! What was needed was a prophet that would not only clearly communicate God’s MESSAGE, but God’s HEART! Jeremiah gave the people both. We saw God’s heart in Jeremiah as chapter 8 came to a close in yesterday’s reading (8:18-22), as Jeremiah said that because of Judah’s refusal of her King and Healer, he was unable to find comfort for the sorrow and pain in his heart. As chapter 9 begins today, we hear Jeremiah cry out, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people” (9:1). What Jeremiah provided the people of Judah, giving God’s message and God’s heart, is exactly what Laodicea needs of its pastors. Sadly, it seems that it is most generally one extreme or the other. Either a pastor is all heart and no truth, or all truth and no heart. Pray earnestly that God will allow your pastor to have both! Pray that he will give the messa!
ge just as God gave it, and with God’s heart! Pray that although he must preach a message of rebuke in these Laodicean days, that he will have a heart that loves and breaks for the people.
The more Jeremiah began to understand just how devastating God’s judgment would be (9:9-26), the more earnestly he preached, and the more he longed for God’s people to repent. In the context, verses 23 and 24 let us know that God’s judgment could have been stayed if the people, rather than glory in everything but God, would simply have sought to “understand” and “know” Him! These are also two great verses to meditate upon to bring us into the glorious wonder of our God! Jeremiah said, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jer. 9:23-24). That is exactly why Paul said, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Chr!
ist” (Gal. 6:14). It is only through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ that we can “understand” anything about God (I Cor. 2:14), or “know” Him at all. It was through the cross that our Lord “excercised lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth” (9:24)!
As Jeremiah preaches his heart out in chapter 10, he declares the greatness of the one true God (10:10) saying, “There is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might” (10:6). His point is to confront Israel with the fact that God is not just their national deity, but the Creator (10:11-12), the only “living God,” the “everlasting King,” and the One who will unleash His judgment upon the whole world (10:10). He also shows how that when God’s people bow to the gods of other nations, the Lord turns them over to be consumed by those nations (10:25).
As we move into chapters 11-12, we find that even though God had warned Jeremiah of the opposition and adversity that would inevitably come his way (1:17-19; 9:1-3), it is apparent that Jeremiah somehow thought that it might happen otherwise. It is the same syndrome that continues today. Though God clearly told us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33), and “Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12), somehow it seems to take us off guard when it actually happens to us. Even though God said through Peter, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (I Pet. 4:12), again, it is amazing how amazed we are when it actually unfolds in our lives! The Lord reveals to Jeremiah in 11:18-23 a plot to take his life by the men of Jeremiah’s hometown, and in chapter 12, tells Jeremiah to prepare for even worse times (12:5-13).
One of the beautiful things that continues to surface through the Book of Jeremiah, is that God’s ultimate purpose behind exercising His judgment is to restore and renew. Chapter 12:14-17 points to the compassion of the Lord, and His willingness to not only deliver Israel, but all nations.
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
10:10 – “at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall
not be able to abide his indignation”
11:11 – “I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to
11:12 – “the time of their trouble”
12:12 – “the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the
land even to the other end of the land”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
In the ONE WHOSE JUDGMENT IS INESCAPABLE – Jer. 11:11 (II Thess. 1:7-9)
As the ONE WHO WILL DEVOUR WITH HIS SWORD – Jer. 12:12 (Rev. 19:19-21)