Day 229: Jeremiah 32-34; Prophecies Fulfilled

Unlike the book of Isaiah, the book of Jeremiah continues through the actual event of the judgment against Jerusalem by the hand of king Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army.  This is somewhat unique to the books of the prophets as most of them contain predictions, but few actually witness it, and only one truly chronicles it.  What is to come for the next couple of chapters is the interweaving of prophesies being made and prophecy being fulfilled, all from Jeremiah’s perspective.  The warnings have gone out, the people have been given their chance, but as the beginning verses of chapter 34 show us, the time has come for the judgment to be carried out.

There is a lot of mix between prophecy and historical events that are taking place here, but I think there are two main narratives that jump out of these three chapters.  The first is the account of Jeremiah purchasing the field.  The setting of this small account is that Jerusalem has been under siege for a year already and the land that Jeremiah buys is more than likely destroyed or occupied by soldiers.  On top of this, Jeremiah is a prisoner in the palace, likely because of all the negative prophesies that he has spoken against the king.  By all accounts, this is a bad investment.  All accounts that is, except those in the economy of the Lord.  Jeremiah is living into his faith that God would indeed fulfill His promise to bring the people back from exile.  Even in Jeremiah’s great faith though he struggles with doubts, which we see come out in his prayer to God.  After the prayer, God does not strike Jeremiah down for doubting, nor does He get angry, God simply answers Jeremiah’s doubts with honest and true answers, putting Jeremiah’s mind at ease.  We too are invited into this kind of a relationship with God in which our questions, doubts, and struggles are welcomed and given honest answers from our God whom nothing is to hard for.

The other short narrative that jumps out at me in the reading for today is that of king Zedekiah‘s actions to release the slaves in an effort to appease the Lord.  This account comes a bit later in the siege of Jerusalem, when the city is about to fall.  It seems as though Zedekiah finally realizes what he has done and tries to do some sort of a quick fix in order to win favor with God and avert the crisis that is looming.  However, it seems as though they weren’t to keen on this idea because they changed their minds almost instantly.  I kind of wonder if they were hoping that it would all instantly go away and when it didn’t they just took it back.

How much is this like us though as well.  We find ourselves in some sort of trouble and we try to make a quick fix in our lives so that God will be happy with us again.  Yet we know in our hearts that it is not the one or two things that we have done wrong in our lives that is the problem, our issue lies much deeper… its a heart issue.  King Zedekiah needed to change his heart before God, to come to repentance, not appeasement. There is nothing he could do to stay the judgment that God had brought on him.  I think the response of God is interesting here as well.  We so often fight for our own freedom, wanting the right to do whatever we want, but we don’t like the freedom of the consequences that come from our actions.  Yet this is exactly what God allows for Zedekiah.    In some ways, this idea just turns my stomach as I look at culture today and the push towards more and more ‘freedom’ to do whatever… I wonder when the ‘freedom’ of the consequences of culture’s actions will come rushing in.

Fortunately, our hope is in something much higher than culture and even sin… our hope is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  Nothing is too hard for Him.

One Response to “Day 229: Jeremiah 32-34; Prophecies Fulfilled”

  1. […] Jeremiah 32:16-20 – “After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord: […]

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