Scripture reading – Jeremiah 6

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Jeremiah 6

Today’s Bible study reminds us that a nation and people who have enjoyed the blessings and protection of the LORD are not insulated from His wrath when they reject Him and His Law and Commandments. Jeremiah 6 continued the prophet’s warning that an “evil” from the north was approaching Jerusalem, and God’s judgment was imminent (Jeremiah 6:1).

The Prophecy of Babylon’s Invasion and the Siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 6:1-6)

In the opening verse of today’s study, Jeremiah appealed to Benjamin, the smaller tribe of Israel located amid Judah. He urged the people to “flee out of the midst of Jerusalem” (6:1). He called upon the watchmen (i.e., the prophets) to sound the trumpet, set a fire that could be seen at night, and warn that there was “evil…and great destruction” at hand (6:1).

The LORD portrayed Jerusalem as a “comely and delicate woman” who could not stand against the invasion of Babylon’s army (portrayed as shepherds pitching their tents around the city, Jeremiah 6:2-3). He summoned Babylon to prepare for war and lay siege to the city (Jeremiah 6:4-6).

Jerusalem and Judah’s Sins that Provoked God’s Judgment

Jerusalem and Judah’s Sins that Provoked God’s Judgment (Jeremiah 6:6b-15)

Jeremiah’s message to the citizens of Jerusalem was direct, and he boldly confronted the people’s sins. They had oppressed the poor and weak (6:6b), were wicked and violent, and guilty of evil, immoral ways (6:7). Yet, the LORD invited the people to be “instructed” or suffer His judgment (6:8). Yet, they had contempt for God’s Word (6:9-10).

Therefore [declared the LORD] I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days” (Jeremiah 6:11). 

Jerusalem and Judah were guilty of “covetousness” and deceit (Jeremiah 6:13). The prophets and priests had failed the people and lied, saying, “Peace, peace; when there [was] no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). They felt no shame or remorse for their wickedness, nor did they repent (Jeremiah 6:15). 

 

The LORD Appealed to Jerusalem to Repent (Jeremiah 6:8, 16-17)

Despite their sins, the LORD was longsuffering and continued to warn Jerusalem to “Be thou instructed, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, and land not inhabited” (Jeremiah 6:8). He called on the people to return to Him and “ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16a).

What was the “old path” that was the “good way”? It was the way of God’s Law and Commandments (Exodus 20). It was the path that promised peace and rest. Yet, the people refused and said, “We will not walk therein” (Jeremiah 6:16c).

The LORD then declared He would “set watchmen” (prophets) over the nation and commanded the people to “Hearken to the sound of the trumpet” (Jeremiah 6:17a). Nevertheless, they answered, “We will not hearken” (Jeremiah 6:17b; Amos 3:6).

The LORD Announced to the Nations His Judgment of His People

The LORD Announced to the Nations His Judgment of His People (Jeremiah 6:18-25)

Jerusalem and Judah rejected the LORD, and their opportunity to repent was passed. Therefore, the LORD called upon the heathen nations to witness His judgment of His chosen people. Though Judah continued to offer sacrifices, the LORD declared, “Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me” (Jeremiah 6:20). They had broken their covenant with Him, and therefore, “the fathers and the sons” would fall and “the neighbor and his friend” would perish (Jeremiah 6:21).

Babylon was coming from the north, and the army of that great nation was known for its cruelty and lack of mercy (Jeremiah 6:22-23). The days of God’s blessings and protection were passed, and “the sword of the enemy and fear” would soon be on every side (Jeremiah 6:24-25).

Closing thoughts –

Our study closes with Jerusalem being reminded that her future would be full of sorrow and “bitter lamentation” (Jeremiah 6:26). The LORD reminded Jeremiah that he was called to be “a [watch] tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way” (Jeremiah 6:27). Unlike the false prophets and priests that promised the people “Peace, peace” (Jeremiah 6:14), Jeremiah’s duty was to cry from the watchtower that the “spoiler” was coming (Jeremiah 26).

Tragically, when the fury of God’s judgment came upon Judah, it revealed their wicked character, for they were “grievous revolters,” slanderers, and “corrupters” (Jeremiah 6:28). Indeed, the fires of God’s judgment revealed they were “reprobate [fake; false] silver…because the LORD” had rejected them (Jeremiah 6:29-30).

Trials and troubles evidence the character of a people and nation. A righteous and law-abiding people are strong, but the wicked will falter and fail.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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