Jeremiah 52:12-23 – The Temple Crumbles

Read Jeremiah 52:12-23

As I read of the destruction, I tried to picture how long it must have taken to demolish the temple and all the other structures described. I felt sad. The history alone of this great building was extensive. I couldn’t help but remember King David’s vision for this magnificent tribute to God, and then his son, Solomon’s call to build. You can read more about David’s thought process in 2 Samuel 7.

Gone. All the grandeur was lost forever. I had forgotten the extent of the bronze and the magnitude of the size. Do you think the people remaining in Judah mourned the loss of this great place? It doesn’t sound like they put up much of a fight. The army just came in like a big wrecking ball as if to demolish the past. And God allowed it to happen! What would the exiles already in Babylon think when they heard the news?

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Jeremiah 51:20-40 – How God Works

Read Jeremiah 51:20-40

Unlike the promise of restoration given for Jerusalem, Babylon’s destruction is final. According to my study notes, the first four verses of this passage are likely referring to Cyrus, God’s partner for paying back Babylon for all the wrongs done to the Israelites. God is going to work through someone else to complete his purposes.

It’s texts like this that prompt people to say God is frighteningly cruel. When people avoid God saying he’s mean or vengeful, the example of his plans for Babylon is on point. I view what God is doing here as being loving toward his people. Like a protective parent rushing to defend a child being bullied, God means business.

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Jeremiah 47:1-7 – What is God’s Purpose?

Read Jeremiah 47:1-7

man in overalls with his back facing us and the word WHY? written in a thought bubble above his head, blue sky in the background

The Philistines had always been a rival to the Israelites. Now, they, too, were caught in between the powers of Babylon and Egypt. The exact date of Egypt’s attack spoken of here is not known, but it’s clear God was going to destroy the Philistines, too. I was curious to note that the prophecy’s destruction seemed to be from the north whereas Egypt is on the southern border of the region.

Scholars have looked at how God’s prophecies speak of a major transformation in world power. We can’t help but ask what was God’s purpose in all of this? Wasn’t he simply angry at his own people for falling away and refusing to listen to him? No reason was given as to why the Philistines would suffer in this manner.

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Jeremiah 40:1-12 – Next Chapter

Read Jeremiah 40:1-12

little girl sitting on big pile of colorful books as she reads one herself

We now have a behind the scenes kind of peek at how Jeremiah’s jail break took place. How surreal that must have been to be Jeremiah and to know that God’s wrath had finally come. After all those years of trying to get the people to listen. Now it’s happening, and Jeremiah is in chains! Would he be forgotten? Would he die?

The wait to be found alive was excruciating. Have you ever felt so tormented? Like being unable to get out of a situation gracefully, being chained to something of little value, or feeling like you’re invisible. Those are the times that lead into a new chapter. Something is going to change. For Jeremiah, it was freedom.

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Jeremiah 36:21-32 – What Happened to the Scroll?

Read Jeremiah 36:21-32


Can you believe what the king did to the scroll? At least he had it read to him before he destroyed it. But the fact he was not moved to repent is serious business. I was surprised by this line: “Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard.” How could they hear all of that and have no fear of the LORD? What a calloused heart King Jehoiakim must have had to simply burn up God’s word with no remorse. I picture him taking delight in the power he wielded. Sad. Very sad.

God desires our devotion and was hopeful his prophetic words on the scroll would pierce the king’s cold heart. God gave the king a chance to get it right, but the king failed. The king’s actions were brutal as he slashed the scroll and burned it up. How disappointed God must have been to see such a response! Can you think of a time when someone responded to you in a totally unexpected way that hurt you?

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