As we come to the final chapter of Jeremiah, we find a simple (albeit extended) narrative description of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, as well as the exile of a remnant to Babylon. The chapter is nearly identical to sections of 2 Kings 24-25, and this material may have been added by Baruch to the end of the book as a way of confirming the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s prophetic words.
But the chapter ends with a note that Jehoiachin, the last Davidic king, was given a seat at the king’s table and a daily allowance. By ending the book this way, Jeremiah leaves us on a note of hope that the Davidic line remains alive; God’s promises will be fulfilled. We see this come to fruition in Jesus Christ, who according to Matthew 1:11 was a descendant of Jehoiachin (also known as Jechoniah).
Because I was in San Diego for the ETS conference this past week, I asked my former student and good friend John Sloat (you can follow him on Twitter @John_Sloat). So the voice you hear is his, but there is no handout. Enjoy!
Whereas Jeremiah 34:1-45:5 focuses on God’s judgment on Judah, chapters 46-51 describe his condemnation of the nations. Among the nations that receive special attention are Egypt (ch. 46), Moab (ch. 48), and Babylon (chs. 50-51). Yet in the midst of these oracles of judgment there are glimpses of hope. YHWH will not bring Judah to a complete end (47:27-28) but rather restore them (50:4-10, 17-20), and his salvation will extend to the nations in the latter days (46:27; 48:47).
As believers we have been saved through judgment. By faith we have died with Christ, been buried with him, and raised with him to new life. In him we have experienced a mini-“day of YHWH” in which our sins have been judged and we have emerged vindicated with Jesus through his resurrection.
Want to hear more? You can listen below and follow along with the handout:
This week we worked through the the second part of a section (34:1-45:5) that details God’s judgment on Judah. Jeremiah 40 picks up the story in the days after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. Although Jeremiah is given his freedom, he is quickly caught in the middle of the drama that unfolded. Gedaliah, the Judean governor appointed by the Babylonians, is murdered by Ishmael, a Judean rebel. Eventually Ishmael is forced to flee to Ammon, but the remaining Judeans fear retribution from Babylon for the death of Gedaliah. Despite YHWH’s warning through Jeremiah not to do so, the remnant heads for Egypt. Despite the judgment they survived in Judah, the people persist in their rebellion.
Along the way we see God’s remarkable promise to be with his people to save them (Jer 42:11), which anticipates God being with us in the person of Jesus to save us from our sins (cp. Matt 1:21-23). We also see that we must allow God’s Word to interpret our circumstances rather than allow our circumstances to trump God’s Word
Want to heear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout below:
After the oasis of comfort and restoration in chs. 31-33, warnings of judgment retake center stage in Jeremiah 34-39. True, there was a brief season of repentance, though it did not last very long (34:1-22). Against this backdrop the faithfulness of the Rechabites stands as living example of how Judah should have obeyed YHWH (35:1-19). King Jehoiakim, by contrast, displays utter disdain for the word of YHWH through Jeremiah (36:1-32). This disdain for YHWH’s word eventually led to Jeremiah being imprisoned during the final days of Judah (37:1-39:18)
Along the way we find lessons on true repentance, the nature of covenants, God’s blessing of faithfulness, the dangers of dismissing YHWH’s word. But we also see in Jeremiah’s sufferings an anticipation of Jesus’ own suffering for the truth.
Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout below:
Whereas a central focus of Jeremiah 11:1-20:18 is Jeremiah’s roller coaster ride of frustration and desperation, in this week’s installment we see a series of confrontations Jeremiah has with Judah’s kings (21:1-23:8), false prophets (23:9-40), the people (24:1-25:38), and false belief (26:1-29:32).
In the midst of condemning the wicked shepherds (i.e., the kings) of Judah, Yahweh makes a stunning promise: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.'” (Jer 23:5-6). God had promised David that he would raise up one of his descendants to rule over an eternal kingdom (2 Sam 7:12-16). YHWH reaffirms that promise here in Jer 23:5-6. That promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who as a descendant of David (Rom 1:3) “became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).
Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout:
In Jeremiah 7:1–10:25, the prophet gives further evidence of God’s charges against Judah. They hypocritically take comfort in having the temple while living in open disobedience to God (7:1–8:3), reject YHWH’s torah (8:4-17), grieve Jeremiah by living deceitful lives (8:18–9:26), and continue to practice idolatry (10:1-16). As a result, exile awaits them (10:17-25). In this section of Jeremiah we see that YHWH wants his people to know him for who he truly is and as a result live a life of covenant faithfulness.
Along the way we see glimpses of the gospel. God delights in his people knowing him, and he wants to ensure that we know him as he truly is (Jer 9:24). He wants us to know him as “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exod 34:6-7). Despite our rebellion against him, God took on flesh and dwelled among us in the person of Jesus Christ, who was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Because of what he has done for us, we can experience “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” and “the power of his resurrection” (Phil 3:8, 10).
Want to learn more? You can listen below and follow along with the handout.
As we reach week 3 in our study of Jeremiah, we now move into Jeremiah’s prophecies. Our section was Jeremiah 2:1-6:30, which contains a series of five messages that describe Israel’s breaking of their covenant with the Lord. Israel is an adulterous wife who has pursued other gods (2:1–3:5), so God is calling her to repent (3:6–4:4) because disaster is coming (4:5–31). Judah’s stubborn refusal to repent will bring serious consequences (5:1–31) and result in God rejecting his people (6:1–30). Throughout this section God reminds Israel of his particular love for them—he is Israel’s husband who redeemed her out of slavery in Egypt and entered into an exclusive covenant with them. Such extraordinary grace makes Israel’s unfaithfulness all the more shocking. Jeremiah 2:1–6:30 vividly describes Judah’s persistent idolatry as spiritual adultery that violates Yahweh’s covenant with them.
Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio below and follow along with the handout as well:
The opening chapter of Jeremiah introduces us to the prophet and foreshadows the kind of ministry he will have. After setting the historical stage (1:1-3), God calls Jeremiah to be his prophet to the nations (1:4-16). By putting his words in Jeremiah’s mouth God appoints him “over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (1:10). Fulfilling this ministry will cause Jeremiah great suffering, but God promises to protect him (1:17-19). Jeremiah 1:1-19 shows us Jeremiah’s commission to speak God’s words of judgment and restoration for both Judah and the nations.
Just as God promised to deliver Jeremiah by being with him, so too God has delivered us by taking on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. As great as it was for Jeremiah to have the Word of the Lord come to him, we have the far greater blessing of having the Word who became flesh dwelling in us.
Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio below and follow along with the handout.