Sin, Punishment, and Promised Restoration
1. God's Word Rejected
a. sinning is irrational
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 8:4-7):
“Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Will they fall and not rise?
Will one turn away and not return?
Why has this people slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
I listened and heard,
But they do not speak aright.
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his own course,
As the horse rushes into the battle.
“Even the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.
b. God's word rejected
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 8:8-9):
“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So what wisdom do they have?
Response to the word
In what were, historically, the nominally Christian nations of the word, Biblical illiteracy is an increasing reality. This means that people generally, and even those who attend church with some frequency, have a decreasing knowledge of what is in the Bible. Many professing Christians do not, with any regularity, read and study the Bible. If a person does not know what is in the Bible, how can that person guide his or her life by Holy Scripture? In addition to that problem, in a world with increasingly secular societies that reject the Bible and Judeo-Christian values, most people have no thought of living by the Bible. Let us pray for, and encourage, a renewal of reading and studying the Bible and of believing and obeying the Bible, among professing Christians. The while world still needs the wisdom of God's word.
2. Consequences of Rejecting God's Word
a. warning of severe judgement
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 8:10-13):
Therefore I will give their wives to others,
And their fields to those who will inherit them;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is given to covetousness;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people [a]slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
“I will surely [b]consume them,” says the Lord.
“No grapes shall be on the vine,
Nor figs on the fig tree,
And the leaf shall fade;
And the things I have given them shall pass away from them.” ’ ”
b. no escape from judgement
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 8:14-17):
“Why do we sit still?
And let us enter the fortified cities,
And let us be silent there.
For the Lord our God has put us to silence
And given us water[a] of gall to drink,
Because we have sinned against the Lord.
“We looked for peace, but no good came;
And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan.
The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones;
For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it,
The city and those who dwell in it.”
“For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be charmed,
And they shall bite you,” says the Lord.
response to the word
In the Jewish calendar, the ninth day of the month of Av (July-August) is a day of mourning for the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. Some of these include the destruction of the first and second Temples, and in recent history, the Holocaust. On the ninth of Av, Jeremiah 8 is one of the Scripture passages read in remembrance of a time when God said he would send judgement because of the sins of the people We all need times to remember how far God has brought us by His grace. He forgives and saves all who come to Him repenting. Take time to thank God for forgiving and saving you.
3. New Covenant Promised
a. the old covenant
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 31:31-32): “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, [a]though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.
b. the new covenant
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 31:33-34): But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their [a]hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
response to the word
Jeremiah's words, "new covenant," are used as the name for the New Testament. The Latin word testamentum comes from the Hebrew word for covenant. Thus, the early Christians came to regard the Bible as composed of the "Old Testament [Covenant]" and the "New Testament [Covenant]." The new covenant, made possible through Jesus Christ, when we accept it, through Jesus Christ, when we accept it, brings us into right relationship with God and makes us new creatures by means of Christ's redemptive work (2 Corinthians 5:17). Praise and thank God continually for the new covenant of grace.
On Your Own...
Jeremiah's Suffering for Righteousness
Jeremiah suffered much for being a faithful prophet of the Lord, calling his sinful nation to repent and avoid the judgement of God. Jeremiah was born a priest, but he was constantly opposed and persecuted by the spiritually and morally corrupt priests who presided over the Temple. Jeremiah was called of God to be a prophet, but his warnings of coming diving judgement on Judah and Jerusalem were contradicted by false prophets, who spoke only soothing words to the rulers and people of Jerusalem and Judah.
The celibate lifestyle has never been favored by devout Jews, but God forbade Jeremiah to marry and have children (Jeremiah 16:1-4), because, as God said, families formed in Judah and Jerusalem in the final two decades of the kingdom would "Die of grievous deaths," and "their carcasses would be food" for birds and wild animals (v. 4). Doubtlessly, the fact that he could not have a family, and that so many Jewish families would perish in the coming judgement, was a source of continual sorrow for Jeremiah (see 9:1).
On one occasion, Jeremiah was bound in stocks by the president of the Temple, at one of the gates of the Temple, exposed to public humiliation (Jeremiah 20:1-2). Although Jeremiah was released after one day, he was so discouraged by his public humiliation, he decided he would stop prophesying to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. However, Jeremiah could not hold to this decision, because the divine compulsion in him to prophesy was overwhelming (v. 9).
Later, Jeremiah was put on trial in the Temple by the priests, false prophets, and people. They were determined to sentence him to death, but his life was saved by a powerful prince of the Jews named Ahikam (Jeremiah 26:8, 10-11, 24). After several more years, Jeremiah was left to die in a dungeon, but was rescued (Jeremiah 37-38). Then, after the fall of Jerusalem, he was forced by rebel Jews to go with them to Egypt against his will (Jeremiah 42-43). There, it is believed he was stoned to death by Jews who hated him because of his prophecies.
Daily Bible Readings
Monday: Expelled From the Garden
Tuesday: Excluded From the Promised Land
Wednesday: Rejected as King
Thursday: Escape from Death
Friday: Loved by God
Saturday: Persevere in the Faith