Rise and fall or is it fall and rise, the one that ends on a happier note with hope! Today’s reading covers the gamut in terms of what’s happening to the people of Israel. As I’m writing this, it’s Thanksgiving in the United States once again. I could have spent time reflecting only on the prediction of the fall, but on a day of giving thanks, it seemed appropriate to focus on both. Thankfully the Spirit prompted me accordingly!
How unbelievable and frightening it must have seemed to the people to hear Jeremiah’s words. That is assuming they were actually listening to the words of the LORD being spoken by Jeremiah. Their beloved Jerusalem was going to fall.
The king of Judah didn’t follow God’s advice, did he? If he did, Jerusalem would look a lot different today based on God’s promise here. “If you obey me, there will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem.” The “here in Jerusalem” is what sets this apart from God’s promise to King David all those years ago.
For 300+ years, the people believed the royal house of David was their “special protection.” In 2 Samuel 7:16, God promises David, “Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.” Jesus sits on this throne now as the one who fulfills this promise. Remember the angel’s words to Mary about her son, Jesus, in Luke 2:31-33. “He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
I marvel again at Jeremiah’s obedience to God. Each time God uses him for a new teachable moment Jeremiah continues to listen and follow. Those are two great ways we can stay connected with God. We need to listen and follow!
The visual God used this time was a shattered pot. Part of the message was seeing Jeremiah smash the pot to make a point. God’s intention was to give the people a surprise hoping that would catch their attention. It would have been a bit of a spectacle to have a man ranting and raving and then breaking a jar. Whether people saw him as crazy or not didn’t seem to matter. Jeremiah obeyed God.