The Scriptorium

The End of Freedom

No truth, no freedom. Jeremiah 52.24-30

Jeremiah Envoi: Jeremiah 52 (5)

Pray Psalm 52.1, 2.
Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The goodness of God endures continually.
Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

Sing Psalm 52.1, 2.
(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Why do the mighty boast in sin? God’s love endures, it knows no end!
They with their tongues vain boasts repeat, and like a razor, work deceit.

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 52.24-30.

Prepare.
1. What happened to the remaining leaders in Jerusalem?

2. How many people did Nebuchadnezzar carry away captive to Babylon?

Meditate.
Nebuzaradan took the remaining leaders of Jerusalem and Judah to Riblah, to King Nebuchadnezzar. He executed them there (vv. 24-27). The people who remained in Jerusalem, now without king or other leadership, had no choice but to be “carried away captive” from their own land.

Those who sought to be free from the demands of God’s Word lost their lives and freedom, just as the Word of God through Jeremiah had warned. Jesus said the truth makes us free, and He is the truth. We may not be able to see how what He commands and promises could ever come to pass. We might doubt that His words mean the same for us as they did when He spoke them. We might even prefer our view of “freedom” to the freedom He promises from obeying His Word (Jn. 8.32). But we will only know true freedom – from sin, from judgment, from disappointment and death – by clinging to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Except for a few of the poorest of the people, Nebuchadnezzar emptied Judah and Jerusalem of its remaining population. And they were not many. Only 4,600 people lived to be taken captive in Babylon (v. 30). How could God ever reconstruct His temple, His city, and His people from such a motley, bedraggled, and diminished remnant?

We might think the numbers of God’s people are dwindling in our day, and that revival and renewal are not likely. But believing this would be disbelieving the Word and promises of God. Look to Jesus. Live by His Word and promises. See what the Lord can do, even with our diminished numbers, in bringing new life to the world.

Reflect.
1. Why do we sometimes find it hard to obey the Word of God?

2. In what sense does the truth of God make us free?

3. How can believers help one another to abide in the truth and freedom of God’s Word?

Certain persons were chosen for execution. Seraiah was the grandson of Hilkiah, the faithful priest under Josiah. Zephaniah is possibly the person of the same name in 29:25. Doorkeepers were key temple personnel. Leaders of Judah’s forces were executed. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), Commentary on Jeremiah 52.24-27 NKJV Study Bible Notes

Thank You for making me free, Lord Jesus, so that I…

Pray Psalm 52.3-9.

Pray that God will give you a heart for His Word and truth, and that you will grow stronger in Him day by day.

Sing Psalm 52.3-9.
Psalm 52.3-9 (Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Men more than good in evil delight, and lies prefer to what is right.
They utter words, both harsh and strong, with their devouring, deceitful tongue.

God will forever break them down, uproot, and cast them to the ground!
He from their safety tears them away, no more to know the light of day.

The righteous see and laugh and fear, and say, “Behold, what have we here?
Such are all who at God conspire, and wealth and evil ways desire.

“But as for me may I be seen in God an olive ever green!
Ever in God, most kind and just, shall I with joy and gladness trust!”

Thanks evermore to our Savior be raised! His faithfulness be ever praised!
Here with Your people, loving God, I wait upon Your Name, so good!

T. M. Moore

You can now listen to a weekly summary of our daily Scriptorium study on the book of Jeremiah. Click here for Jeremiah 51. You can also download for free all the weekly studies in this series on the book of Jeremiah by clicking 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