Friday 23 July 2010

Bible Book:

"At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer follow their own evil will." (v.17)

Jeremiah 3:14-17 Friday 23 July 2010


We know more about Jeremiah than we do any other Old Testamentprophet. The book that bears his name includes descriptions of hiscall (1:4-10), his mission (1:11-19), his sympathies (eg 4:9), his sense of God's power (4:23-26), his sorrows (15:10-21), and how he was compelled to proclaimGod's message despite hostility and doubt (20:7-18).

Jeremiah's message to the people of Judah had two parts: judgementand hope. First, he told them they had to repent and return to God.This they needed to do because they had forgotten God's love andwere worshipping idols. When Jeremiah's warnings were ignored,disaster came in the form of the Babylonian empire. In 587 BC thismighty power destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple and the people weretaken as captives into exile. Jeremiah chose to stay with thosethat remained rather than accepting a position at the Babyloniancourt. Later, he was taken against his will to Egypt. He continuedto speak God's message to his people, only now his words were morehopeful. He told the people that God wouldn't abandon them. Afterthe exile they would return to their homeland.

In this passage Jeremiah invites the people to turn to God so thatthey may return to their homeland and be led by worthy kings('shepherds'). The ark of the covenant, as a symbol of God'spresence, will no longer be needed as the teachings given to Mosesand written on tablets of stone will be internalised by everyperson. Their worship of God will be genuine and heartfelt and notmerely ritual. Each and every one of them is to have a realrelationship with God (see Jeremiah31:31-34).

To Ponder

Jeremiah's message was unpopular with his peopleand they chose to ignore it and persecute him. How have youresponded to someone who spoke challenging words to you? What haveyou learned from that experience?

Why do you think some people prefer religiousobservance to a living relationship with God?

Previous Page Thursday 22 July 2010
Next Page Saturday 24 July 2010