Tuesday 05 March 2024

Bible Book:

Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. (v. 3)

Jeremiah 2:1-13 Tuesday 5 March 2024

Psalm 102:1-11


These words are among the earliest of Jeremiah’s prophecies. The Lord recalls with pleasure the devotion of Israel. It was a honeymoon period; Israel’s love for her God was ‘love as a bride.’ Anyone who tried to damage that relationship would meet with disaster (There is an example of this happening in Exodus 17: 8-13 when Joshua defeated the Amelekites.)

In the past, the Israelites’ faith in God had served them well. God had brought them out of Egypt into a ‘plentiful land’. But now, in spite of all that God had done for them, they had deserted God. It was a thing unheard of. In a striking phrase, Jeremiah points to the danger of apostasy (renunciation of religious beliefs): "they went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves." (v. 5)

Even the nations who worshipped false gods remained loyal to them. God’s own people had no reason to suppose that God would cease to care for them, but still they deserted God. They had "changed their glory for something that does not profit". (v. 11)

Israel’s two-fold offence is that she has forsaken her God – a spring or fountain of 'living water' that cannot dry up – and dug out cisterns for herself, which are liable to crack and leak and will not provide the water she needs. (v. 13)

Jeremiah was not a popular prophet in his day. His hearers found some of the things he said offensive. As do may some of his readers today. I am very uncomfortable when I read as ‘the word of the Lord’ anyone described as ‘worthless’. (v. 5) Thankfully I recall what Jesus said on the subject: "Do not be afraid, you are of more value [to our Father] than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:31)

Jeremiah was a great prophet. We do not know how ‘the word of the Lord’ came to him. But as a deaf person myself, I know how easy and embarrassing it is to mishear what is said to me. Is it possible that very occasionally Jeremiah slightly misheard – perhaps only a single word – of  the message he was to give to the people?


To Ponder:

  • Jeremiah reminded the Israelites of some of the blessings they had received in the past. What are some of the greatest blessings you have been given from God?
  • How far do you feel justified in querying the words of the Bible, if at all?


Generous God, thank you for all the ways in which you have blessed me. Amen.

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