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Jeremiah 2:23-5:19

07.30.2010

Today’s passage picks up right where yesterday’s into to Jeremiah left off.  Particularly, the language of infidelity continues as God lays out to His people the record of their faithlessness.

2:36-37 | One the things I have really enjoyed about the Old Testament this time through is understanding the larger geopolitical context for Israel’s story.  God calls them out here for throwing their allegiance back and forth between Assyria and Egypt (normally a wise strategy for a minor power, incidentally).  However, God faults them for trusting in alliances with heathens rather than in God for their safety.  Their diplomatic wrangling reflected a lack of faith in God’s ability or willingness to preserve them as He had promised.

3:11-14 | The common  conception of God is that His nature somehow changed between the Old and New Testaments.  Where He was wrathful and just in the OT, he was loving and merciful in the NT.  This passage undermines that conception as God offers His people forgiveness and blessings if they will only recognize their sinfulness, repent, and worship Him again.

4:4 | Back in Genesis, God established circumcision with His people as a sign of the covenant relationship that He had established between them.  As Jesus so often emphasized, however, God’s concern is not so much with outer signs of obedience as He is with inner conviction and faithfulness.  Here, God reminds the Israelites that the circumcision He values is that of the heart.  The physical version is merely a symbol of what He requires of their hearts.

4:19-22 | God’s anguish and pain at the plight of His people is very real.  He is angry with them for their sins, but that anger comes from a place of sadness and compassion for the consequences they have brought on themselves.

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