Saturday 09 March 2024

Bible Book:

But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. (v. 19)

Jeremiah 11:18-20 Saturday 9 March 2024


We have rather a sad ending to our first week of studies on Jeremiah, I am afraid.

A number of Jeremiah’s poems have been singled out as expressing his grief particularly deeply. They are known as ‘Jeremiah’s Confessions’, though they are not confessions as we understand the word. They are more in the form of individual laments, very different from the passages we have been studying so far this week.

This is not Jeremiah prophesying to the people, proclaiming ‘the word of the Lord’. In the ‘Confessions’ Jeremiah protests to God about the pain and distress he is suffering from the consequences of his prophesying. We read earlier of an incident when Jeremiah nearly lost his life (Jeremiah 26).

Today’s verses come from the first of these Confessions. Israel and Judah have both broken their covenant with God. Methodists are very familiar with the idea of covenant. They have a special service, usually at the beginning of the year, in which they are invited to renew their covenant relationship with God.

Israel and Judah’s breach of covenant was largely due to their disobeying God’s word and their practice of idolatry – worshipping false gods. Jeremiah had consistently preached the word of the Lord to them in an attempt to persuade them to return to their true God. It succeeded only in stirring up trouble for the prophet, especially from the people of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s own village, who threatened to kill him (v. 19).

The one thing that enables Jeremiah to continue with his work is his absolute faith that this is what he was called to do. He can do no other. But in this first ‘Confession’ he pleads with the Lord to punish the people of Anathoth. God promises to do so (vs 19-23).


To Ponder:

  • In verse 14 of this chapter God tells Jeremiah, "do not pray for this people". How far do you feel able to pray for your enemies?
  • Jeremiah is not happy with the response to his message. What advice would you give him to help make his preaching more effective?


Listening God, hear me as I pray for your people throughout the world, especially those in need, and those who have no one else to pray for them. Amen.

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