When I was first led by the Lord to read Jeremiah in 2020, these chapters stood out to me as the blatancy of man’s stubbornness, pride, and refusal to hear the Lord. I have gained more insight into my own heart during these readings than ever before. I would love to hear from you about how this has helped, any questions you may have, or any comments. You can simply respond to this email, and I will comment back on our last two blogs that are still to come.

After forty-one years of prophetic ministry that the Lord called Jeremiah to, Israel is defeated, and deported, and a small remnant, including Jeremiah, is left in Judah. Gedaliah is governor and there is already a return of the Jews to the land. But Ishmael is plotting to assassinate Gedaliah. There is an opportunity to stop this but an unwillingness on Gedaliah’s part to deal with it. After he is assassinated, all of Judah are afraid of what Nebuchadnezzar will do. Judea deals with the insurrection and prepares to flee to Egypt; but first, they ask Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord what they should do. After ten days, the Lord answers Jeremiah, that Israel is to stay in the land and that He will protect them. Redemption is made known.

“If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon of whom you are afraid;” says the Lord, “For I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hand, and I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.” Jeremiah 42:10-12

But the proud people refuse and take everyone to Egypt, including Jeremiah. Now Egypt, as a nation, will be destroyed because of the rebellious remnant of Judah that refuses to repent, disobeying God by going to Egypt. It makes you think about how our stubbornness impacts all those around us. Jeremiah is told to confront the idolatry that brought all this destruction upon Judah.

The Lord prophesies, through Jeremiah, in Chapter 44, that the idolatry that caused Israel’s destruction will bring more calamity to them in Egypt if they persist in burning incense to other gods. God pleads with them to not destroy the remnant left in Egypt through their idolatry. As always, God is seeking to bring redemption through our repentance to obedience. But, Judah says, “No”.

“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you! But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” Jeremiah 44:16-18

Baruch is promised, in Chapter 45, that his life would be his prize given to him for his obedience amid all that comes upon Judah.

Chapter 46 begins the judgment of the nations, beginning with Egypt.

When I harden my heart to the voice of the Lord, it becomes harder and harder to hear Him. His instructions I ignore, and His commands seem as foolishness. I consider my sin, the better days, and my attempt to follow Him my worse days. Repentance is my only way out. I have recognized that I am in a mess, and He alone can deliver me. I must move away from blaming others and humble myself in His sight. As I declare, “You are right Lord, and I am wrong. Please have mercy on my disobedience and lead me in the path of life.”


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