Reading through the Bible together
The intensity in this chapter builds! God is sending His
Word to the entire nation of Judah. Jeremiah says that he has been delivering
the Word of God to the people for years. And though he has risen early to speak
to them, they have refused to listen!
The rising early part interests me. Apparently Jeremiah is
at the city gates as each day begins pleading with the people on God’s behalf.
Could it be that early in the morning, the minds of the people were not yet
filled with the business and activities of the day and would be most open to
God’s message is simple and clear. Notice His “Three Point
Plan” for spiritual survival! Repent of your evil ways and evil doings. Don’t
chase after other gods to serve and worship them. And don’t force Me to take
action by the works of your hands. The Scripture records the sad truth. They
refused to listen. Not just once, the context indicates a continual refusal to
A few years ago, I attended a convention in New York City.
Wanting to see the sights, several of us ended up in Times Square in the early
evening. Thousands of people were going like waves into Broadway shows,
nightclubs, restaurants, and shops. There was a street preacher in the back of
pickup truck with a loudspeaker preaching his heart out. As he quoted John 3:16
and pleaded with the people to repent and turn to God, he was totally ignored.
Even though the sound was loud enough, it was as if he were not even there!
Reading this chapter, it reminds me of Jeremiah trying to
get people’s attention at the gate of the city. The people did not listen to
God’s Words. These Words would have saved them, if only they had taken them
seriously. Jeremiah details the devastating results, not only for Judah but
also for the surrounding nations. The Babylonians became His instrument of
judgment and those they did not take captive, they utterly destroyed. The
sounds of life are silenced and the lights go out. Even though separated by
time and space, I can’t help but feel a gnawing in the pit of my stomach just
But the tide begins to turn. We find in Jeremiah’s prophecy
that the captives would be in Babylon for 70 years. Do you realize that this is
the same prophecy that Daniel was studying near the end of the captivity as
recorded in Daniel 9. Don’t miss this! You have one prophet studying the Words
of another prophet trying to understand what God is saying! How important are
the Words of God!
The rest of the chapter is almost as if Jeremiah is carried
away in vision that goes past the 70 years of captivity, past the punishment of
Babylon for her sins, and into the larger conflict between good and evil at the
end time. These issues that have brought His judgments on His own people are
now expanding to the entire world. God says, “Take this wine cup of wrath from
My hands and cause all nations, to whom I send you to drink it.” Bible students
will recognize a strong similarity to words in Revelation describing the final
conflict of the ages.
God has a controversy not only with His people but with the
nations. The devastation of sin and evil will not continue. And at the end of
this chapter, reference is made to the leaders and shepherds in the Day of Judgment.
It is not a pretty picture. It looks more like a time of terror and horror. I
would not want to bear the responsibility of having led one of God’s children
The good news is that there is an end to the foolishness of
rejecting God’s Words. My prayer is that each member of the “Revived By His
Word Family” will listen carefully to His Words and hide them in their heart. Each
one of us has the privilege of being fully restored to God’s ultimate plan for
us. When that happens, it will be because of how we related to His Words. God
be with you as our journey together continues!
Hart Research Center