7 March 2018

Jeremiah 3:11-18

“I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (v. 15)

Psalm: Psalm 31:9-24


Jeremiah addresses the nation of Israel in the north, which at this point has already been dismantled and its people taken into exile. Israel was an unfaithful people (verse 11) who suffered because of their actions and yet the prophet sees them as less guilty than false Judah (in the south).

Jeremiah’s message to the people of the northern kingdom is one of hope. If they recognise where they have gone wrong, admit their guilt and return to God he will send good shepherds to care for them and the nation of Israel will be restored.

This message of hope has to also be read as a warning for Judah. The northern kingdom is in need of this call to repentance and hope because of its past actions. It has made mistakes and suffered because of it. Judah, though, is no better. It may have had a longer reprieve but on their current course they will suffer the same fate as the north.

Jeremiah calls the north to repentance but the south needs to take note as well. This is a call for the united nation of Israel both north and south to repent and return to God. If they do they will see the blessing of good leaders who will guide them in the ways of God and Jerusalem will be called his throne again.

To Ponder

  • How easy do you find it to repent of those things you know you have done wrong?

Bible notes author

The Revd David Wynd

David Wynd is a Methodist presbyter in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit. He leads Cullercoats Methodist Church and is involved in a circuit project called Network.