The Scriptorium

Ray of Hope

Jeremiah's book ends on a hopeful note. Jeremiah 52

Jeremiah Envoi: Jeremiah 52 (7)

Pray Psalm 62.11, 12.
God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You render to each one according to his work.

Sing Psalm 62.11, 12.
(Germany: Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness)
Once God has spoken, twice I have heard: Power belongs alone to the Lord!
And lovingkindness, Lord, is Yours; You recompense us for our works.

Review Jeremiah chapter 52; meditate on verse 31.

Prepare.
1. What did the people of Judah and Jerusalem lose because of their disobedience?

2. How did God signal that He had not given up on His people?

Meditate.
The book of Jeremiah ends on a bittersweet note. The king’s heirs are murdered, and he is blinded and led away to prison. Jerusalem is burned and its walls are broken to the ground. The temple is plundered and razed. More than 4,000 people are taken captive, and only a handful of the poorest of the poor are left to make a go of it. And, as we saw earlier, even this remnant would be led away to Egypt, where most of them would die.

The nation of Judah is no more. Like Israel before it, Judah came under the judgment of God for the sin of rebellion against Him, precisely as He had promised all the way back in Deuteronomy 14. No amount of bold preaching by prophets like Jeremiah could persuade the people to turn from their pagan and idolatrous ways to worship and serve the one true God. Instead of listening to Jeremiah throughout his nearly 40-year ministry, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem mocked him, imprisoned him, destroyed his writings, and left him to die at the hands of the Chaldeans.

Only the grace of God, operating in Nebuchadnezzar, kept Jeremiah from the same fate of all those who opposed him.

Jeremiah is a study in faithfulness. He did not lead what we today would consider a happy life. He was tormented by the sinfulness of his nation. He traveled and preached throughout the cities of Judah, but no one listened, no one took him seriously. He was not allowed to marry, because God did not want him to lead a wife and family through the difficulties that lay ahead for Jerusalem. He could not carry on a normal life without being slandered, mocked, threatened, and ultimately confined to house arrest. His Lamentations show us a heart broken for the destruction of Jerusalem. He was truly a man of sorrows.

And thus Jeremiah is in many ways a fitting prototype of our Lord Jesus Christ. He received the Word from God and proclaimed it faithfully. He was opposed by the powers-that-be and ultimately abandoned by the population as a whole. But he trusted in God, he held out the promise of renewal and return, and he shepherded the people in captivity with words of encouragement, instruction, and hope.

The Babylonian king who freed Jehoiachin was named Evil-Merodach. In Aramaic this means “Man of [the Babylonian god] Marduk.” It was uncharacteristic of him to treat Jehoiachin with such kindness; indeed, we can say that he did so under the influence of God’s grace. That the “Man of Marduk” acted thusly demonstrated the sovereign power of God over nations and their gods, to encourage His people, remind them of His promises, and urge them on in preparing for the redemption which was to come.

God Who brought Jehoiachin out of captivity would bring His people out of captivity under Cyrus the Mede; and He would bring all His people out of their captivity to the devil and his lies through the true Man of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jeremiah points us inward, to examine our hearts, that we should live in faith and obedience before the Lord. He points us upward to God our Creator, Redeemer, and Lord. And He points us forward to the great work of redemption God accomplished through Jesus, and will bring to completion when Jesus returns to overthrow all His enemies and take us to Himself in glory.

Reflect.
1. Why is Jeremiah a fitting prototype of our Lord Jesus Christ?

2. Jeremiah knew little outward happiness in his life, despite his faithfulness. Is there a lesson here for us?

3. What’s the most important lesson you take away from our study in the book of Jeremiah?

Evil-Merodach’s kindness toward Jehoiachin brings the Book of 2 Kings [and Jeremiah] to an end—on a ray of hope. Exile is the end neither of Israel nor of the Davidic line. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), Commentary on 2 Kings 25.28 NKJV Study Bible Notes

Lord, each day You send rays of hope, reminding me of Your Love and pointing me to Jesus, so that I…

Pray Psalm 62.1-10.

Trust in the Lord. Call on Him to revive His Church and renew His people in obedience and hope. Look to Him for rest, strength, and guidance for all you do today.

Sing Psalm 62.1-10.
Psalm 62.1-10 (Germany: Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness)
My soul in silence waits, O Lord – safely I stand within Your Word!
You are my Rock, my Stronghold true, and my Salvation, Lord, are You!

How long will foes give me offense, striking me like a tottering fence?
They counsel to destroy with lies; they bless, but all the while despise.

My soul in silence waits, O Lord, hoping in You, and in Your Word.
You are my Rock, my Stronghold true, and my Salvation, Lord, are You!

On You my hope and glory rest, Rock of my strength, and Refuge best.
Trust always in our God, the Lord; take refuge only in His Word.

Trust not in men of low degree; lighter are they than breath shall be.
Do not rely on strength or gold; trust in the Lord, Who rules from old.

T. M. Moore

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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