Jeremiah 22, 26, 25, 36, 45-46
A miscellany of Jeremiah thoughts:
22:26 | Quite a threat: ‘I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die.’ Yikes.
26 | It’s not unheard of for receivers of bad news to take it out on the messenger, but the people’s threat to kill Jeremiah for prophesying against the city is telling. They consider his words to be blasphemy and treason, whereas Jeremiah knows that they are the ones guilty of blasphemy and treason by having rejected both the covenant with the Lord and God’s Word from Jeremiah. Jesus was not shy about the painful nature of the gospel message. In order to accept forgiveness, we have to realize that we need it, and that means admitting failures. The people of Judah at this point are so calloused and distant from God that they cannot admit that they have strayed from His commands, violating the covenant. As is human nature when presented with uncomfortable information, they react with fear and anger.
36 | This is Baruch’s big moment! He gets to name-check himself as Jeremiah’s scribe. He even does his dad a solid by making sure his name is included in the eternal holy Word of God, referring to himself one time as ‘Baruch the son of Neriah.’ I’ll bet he got the ‘You’re Special!’ plate at dinner in the Neriah household that night! I think Baruch is now one of my favorite Bible characters.
Jehoiakim, on the other hand, does no favors for his Q rating by spitefully destroying the Word of God. This is the kind of vignette that causes many to think of the Bible as allegorical. It’s too perfect. Of course the sinful king of Judah would demonstrate his rejection of God’s Word by actually cutting up God’s Word and burning the scraps. I believe, however, in a God that writes history like fine literature. The actions of men have foreshadowing and symbolism and other literary devices pointing to the ultimate plot/theme of the story: God’s glory and redemptive work in creation. How this can be, if God has given us free will. How do billions of people over thousands of years tell a coherent story with their actions and still retain free will? This is not a question I have the answer to. I recognize that they do, but I don’t know how.