The Scriptorium

Like He Said

God's Word will not fail, like it or not. Jeremiah 39-42

Judgment in Egypt: Jeremiah 43-45 (7)

Pray Psalm 33.4, 5.
For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 

Sing Psalm 33.4, 5.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Joyfully shout! His Word is true;
He does His work in faithfulness.
His love prevails the whole world through;
the Lord loves truth and righteousness.

Review Jeremiah chapters 39-42; meditate on Jeremiah 39.15-18

Prepare.
1. Why did God show grace to Ebed-Melech?

2. What happened to the people who refused to trust in the Lord?

Meditate.
These chapters are characterized by destruction, disarray, and despair. Jerusalem fell, just as God through Jeremiah had said it would; and the king and his family received the exact judgment God had pronounced on them. God’s Word does not fail.

Nebuchadnezzar established a puppet government in Judah, but that fell to rebellion and murder. In turn, the rebels were overwhelmed and driven off by a remnant of Judah’s military force. This looked hopeful, until we realized that Johanan and his team also refused to accept the Word of God through His prophet, and resolved to follow their own ideas and escape to Egypt. Like the fall of Jerusalem and all the destruction that went with it, those who fled Egypt rather than follow the Word of God to begin the work of restoring the land would realize judgment as well. God’s Word is unchanging.

Why do people have such a hard time obeying the clear and consistent Word of God? There are many reasons. Competing voices sound easier to follow. Our own sense of what’s convenient often gets in the way. Sometimes we don’t follow God’s Word simply because we don’t know what His Word says. And we don’t like the idea of submitting our interests, desires, hopes, and future to anyone other than ourselves. We want to be God, and so we choose words other than His to give direction to our lives.

But the Word of God is unchanging and unfailing. To the extent that we choose our ways over His, we can expect to know disappointment and defeat.

But all who trust in God, like the faithful Ebed-Melech and Jeremiah whom he helped, will know the blessing and safe-keeping of the Lord, just like He said.

Reflect.
1. What’s the primary lesson from this section of Jeremiah? How does that apply to us today?

2. Is obeying the Word of God always supposed to be easy or convenient? Explain.

3. Can we trust in God’s Word and submit to it if we don’t know His Word? What’s the remedy for that?

And as we are torpid and negligent in doing good, the reward given to the Ethiopian is set before us, so that we may know, that though nothing is to be hoped from men, when we are kind and liberal, yet we shall not lose our labor, for God is rich enough, who can render to us more than can be expected from the whole world. This then is the lesson conveyed here. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 39.15-18

Teach me to understand Your Word, Lord, that I may live it out faithfully each day as I…

Pray Psalm 33.8-22.

Seek the mercy and grace of the Lord for yourself and all His people, that we may abide in His Word and wait on and trust in Him forever.

Sing Psalm 33.8-22.
Psalm 33.8-22 (Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Let all below now fear the Lord;
let all in awe of Him abide!
The worlds exist by Jesus’ Word;
let all on earth in Him confide.

He nullifies the nations’ plans;
forever stands His sov’reign Word.
All they are blessed who with Him stand –
the chosen people of the Lord.

God from His throne looks down on men;
He knows our works and made our hearts.
Let not Your Church, let none depend
on strength or skill or human arts.

God watches those who fear His Name,
who hope upon His grace and love;
He keeps their souls from death and shame
who trust in Him Who reigns above.

God is our Helper and our Shield;
upon us let Your grace descend!
We hope in You; to You we yield;
we trust in Jesus to the end.

T. M. Moore

You can also now listen, each Lord’s Day to our weekly summary. Go to the website and click on today’s Scriptorium column to find the audio bar for today’s message. All the weekly studies in this series on the book of Jeremiah are available for free download by clicking here.

Check out the special offer on our book The Church Captive. Are churches today captive like the people of Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day? Order your copy of The Church Captive and decide for yourself (click here).

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore