Jeremiah 4:23-31 – Like a Nightmare

Read Jeremiah 4:23-31

man looking into ring of fire

The first thing that darted through my mind as I read this passage was recollection of a recurring nightmare I’ve had where everything looks different. It is my house and my block, but there is absolutely nothing else that is recognizable. Frightening. Did Jeremiah feel like his vision of the future was like a horrible nightmare?

This is one dream that was going to come true. All that he had known would one day be gone, desolate, empty, and in ruins. None of us want to imagine our lives being turned upside down like that. To speak to the magnitude of the destruction, don’t forget that all “towns lay in ruins, crushed by the Lord’s fierce anger.” God does this “on purpose.”

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Jeremiah 4:19-22 – Bitter Tears

Read Jeremiah 4:19-22

tears streaming down face of statute

Poor Jeremiah! His prophetic vision of what is coming has left him devastated. I can’t imagine what it would be like for my heart to “writhe in pain.” Looking back on my life, there have been plenty of bumps, but living through something like what Jeremiah envisions would be totally new for me. For most of us!

There are plenty of atrocities happening around the world rousting people out of their homes, exiling them to foreign lands as refugees. But the one Jeremiah describes is being orchestrated by God because of the people’s bad choices. The magnitude of seeing God’s predictions come true, being homeless and left behind. Terrifying!

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Jeremiah 4:3-18 – Change Your Heart

Read Jeremiah 4:3-18

white heart flowers

Jeremiah’s ministry was focused on Judah, but it was helpful to show God’s intentions in our last reading regarding Israel. In this current passage, we see God’s message to Judah that they still had an opportunity to make things right. The message was clear, however, that it wouldn’t be pretty if they ignored God’s warning.

Did you have any trouble following the narrative today? Both God and Jeremiah are speaking. Of course, Jeremiah is speaking God’s message, so the people are hearing Jeremiah’s voice preaching and ministering to them. Jeremiah’s plea was to God on Judah’s behalf. A couple of the verses seem like they recount a vision Jeremiah may have had announcing the destruction.

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Jeremiah 3:11-4:2 – Hope If We Rebel

Read Jeremiah 3:11-4:2

hands making heart shape with sun shining behind and through

What a beautiful scene between God and his favorite child. He loves us all, but God does have special affection for Israel. There is so much hope oozing from this passage. I have to wonder if such a plea fell on deaf ears because Israel couldn’t begin to fathom what suffering was soon to come. God’s heart cries out for his people to repent and get things right again.

There is even a section that speaks for the people of Israel as if it were their response. Was Jeremiah putting words in the Israel’s mouth? Is this truly how they felt? It would have been music to God’s ears to hear them admit that their allegiance to idols was indeed a “delusion.”

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Jeremiah 3:6-10 – Who Else Is Guilty?

Read Jeremiah 3:6-10

fancy wooden gavel and sound block

There might be some hidden gems in today’s reading, or at the very least a skillful use of human analogies. We see that Jeremiah is recalling a conversation with God and confirms it was during the reign of King Josiah. God was lamenting that both Israel and Judah had left him for other gods.

Did you find it interesting, too, that God used the word “adultery” to describe what Israel and Judah were doing? That’s just one of those “human analogies” used as a way of helping the people understand the significance of betrayal with a recognizable situation. There will be a price for this disloyalty.

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