Lessons from Jeremiah

While the Bible is a collection of sixty-six books, it is also ONE amazing account of the most epic story ever told. Each individual book served an initial purpose to its original audience, yet each book holds promises and wisdom that are relevant and timeless. When we study the Bible, we must keep the text in context as we apply the message today.

In Biblical study, there is a fancy word for looking at the author, setting, audience, and original purpose of the writing. That word is “exegesis.” Ideally, this includes looking at the original language of the oldest manuscript available (aren’t we glad we have the internet for help?). 

The book of Jeremiah contains many nuggets that are often quoted at graduations, times of trouble, or transitions in general. God keeps all of His promises. Both the promises of blessings and the ones of consequences for disobedience. Before we can apply God’s words to our lives today, we must examine and understand the context.

Jeremiah was chosen to be a prophet before his birth (1:5), though he would be just shy of twenty years old when he took up the mantle. Paul tells the church in Ephesus that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10). We each have a purpose in God’s plan. 

God told Jeremiah everything that would take place. God also told Jeremiah that the majority of people would not listen to him. No wonder he is the “weeping prophet.” Jeremiah’s mission includes preaching to people who refuse to repent, choose idols and violence, and trust only in their own strength and knowledge. 

As I read the description of Israel’s behavior, I notice that the troubles of the past and those of today are more alike than different. Shouldn’t we be willing to learn from their mistakes? 

God’s promises weave throughout Scripture. Many of the promises contain a key “if/then” clause. We, like Israel, are quick to latch on to the promises of hope and future, but hesitant to seek God and follow Him with our whole being. In Jeremiah’s day, and our own, the remnant of the faithful followers is small. Even among those who claim to believe in God, there is false teaching and a watered-down “feel good” gospel. All through the Bible, God tells His people to write His word on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3; Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10) and to be DOERS of the word (James 1:22, Luke 11:28,  John 14:15; 1 John 5:2–3, Psalm 119). 

Even today, God is patient. He is loving and has provided a path to redemption. Judgment IS coming. Are you picking and choosing which Scriptures you follow, like a buffet, or are you writing the whole word on your heart, meditating on it day and night, seeking the Lord and His will?

Design by my friend Katie

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