In Jeremiah 36 we find the terrible picture of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, burning the words of the Prophet Jeremiah. He was not open to what God’s Word had to say. But he was not the only one. The people of his time neither listened, nor inclined their ears to hear God’s word through the prophets.
When God’s people have little concern for God’s Word, disaster cannot be far behind. The people of Jeremiah’s day only wanted positive messages. While Jehoiakim’s Bible burning shocks us, what should shock us more is that the people who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they think God’s Word applied to them. What about you? We profess to be a ‘people of the book,’ but is the Bible authoritative and sufficient in your life? Join us as we examine Jeremiah 36 and consider faithful and unfaithful responses to God’s Word.
It is rare in scripture when men are commended by God for their faithfulness. Yet, Jesus commends a Centurion in Matthew 8:10, saying, “truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” And in Jeremiah 35, the Lord commends to Jeremiah the example of the Rechabites – not for the particulars of their vow, but for their faithfulness in keeping it, generation after generation. In faithless Judah, they are a remarkable example of steadfast commitment. The Rechabites illustrate the power of one generation discipling the next. Join us this Lord’s Day as we examine Jeremiah 35 and consider the power of multi-generational faithfulness.
Zedekiah was a waffler. He went back on virtually every promise he made in Scripture. At a moment of great danger, he committed to a course of repentance, going so far as to issue his own emancipation proclamation to the enslaved Jews in Jerusalem. But his repentance was only a farce. During a moment when it seemed that Jerusalem might not be utterly destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, Zedekiah waffled. His repentance had been false. It was a matter of pragmatism, not conviction. But God takes seriously covenant breaking and false repentance. Listen to “Waffling” as we examine Jeremiah 34 and consider the dangers of false repentance.
After decades of preaching judgment against Judah, when it finally came Jeremiah consoles his people. God will restore them. His covenant of grace has not been shattered. He will keep all his promises. But God’s covenant promises are no mere reversal of fortunes or restoration of good old days. No, God has more powerful consolation in mind. He is sending them his Son. Jeremiah 33 is a remarkable picture of the real consolation God has for us – the gift not just of judicial acquittal, circumstantial comfort, or emotional stability – the gift of a person, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Listen to “Consolation Prize” as we examine Jeremiah 33 and see what real consolation looks like.
Jeremiah’s prophecies of doom and judgment are unfolding. The Babylonian army has laid siege to Jerusalem. Jeremiah has been imprisoned for treason. But God gives a personal, yet puzzling, word to Jeremiah. His cousin will offer a piece of land for sale. Jeremiah has the right of redemption, but this is no time to buy property. Yet, Jeremiah is instructed to purchase the plot, seal up the deed, and store it away for safe keeping. Nothing about this deal makes any sense.
Jeremiah obeys, but struggles with the ‘why.’ Yet in this simple act, God offers a sign and seal that grace, not judgment, is the last word. Listen to “Signs and Seals” as we examine Jeremiah 32 and consider the importance of signs and seals as a means of grace for us.