As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:
- What does God reveal about Himself?
- How is your own heart revealed?
- How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
- Turn these truths into prayer and praise.
23 October Jer 33:1-13
Jeremiah is still a prisoner (v.1). The Lord gives him another strengthening message, inviting him to “call to me” (v.3). Despite the sins of His people, God will restore them and give them His abundant blessing once more (vv.4-13). Great guilt is met by still greater grace.
24 October Jer 33:14-26
The restoration promised in these verses was tasted by the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon, but it reaches far beyond anything that was experienced at that time. It centres on the coming of the Messiah (the “righteous Branch … from David’s line” v.15). It is in Christ that what was foreshadowed by the Davidic kings and the Levitical priests finds fulfilment. He is our permanent King and Priest, in whom all who are Abraham’s descendants are forever blessed (Ro 4:16; Gal 3:29).
25 October Jer 34:1-22
In vv.1-7 Jeremiah gives a further warning to king Zedekiah of the judgement that awaits him. Verses 8-22 provide evidence of the king’s weak character. Slaves were freed during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, perhaps because food was scare: too many mouths to feed. Later, when the siege was temporarily lifted, the masters took their slaves back, in violation of the covenant (vv.8-11). Therefore God declared that He would “liberate” the covenant-breakers into the hands of their enemies (v.17).
26 October Jer 35:1-19
This chapter takes us back in time to the reign of Jehoiakim (v.1). It tells the story of Rekab’s descendants, who kept their ancestor’s command through many generations. The placement of this story here makes a sharp comment on the promise-breakers of ch.34, who broke their word to their freed slaves. It is also a wider criticism of the generations of Israelites who had not kept the Lord’s covenant (vv.12-16).
27 October Jer 36:1-19
The Lord instructed Jeremiah to set down in writing the oracles he had delivered to the people over many years (vv.1-3). Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, risked his life by what he wrote and later read out (vv.4-8). The first public reading (vv.9-11) led to a second reading to sympathetic officials (vv.12-15). They knew they must take these words to the king, but first they sent Jeremiah and Baruch into hiding (vv.16-19).
28 October Jer 36:20-32
The scroll was read to the king, who showed his contempt for Jeremiah’s words by burning them, to the horror of at least some of his officials (vv.20-25). Yet in ordering the arrest of Baruch and Jeremiah (v.26) he perhaps revealed his fear as well as his fury. His attempt to destroy God’s word was futile, as Jeremiah was simply commanded to make another scroll (vv.27-28). Jehoiakim received a special word of judgement for his impiety (vv.29-31). The new scroll contained even more words from the Lord (v.32).
29 October Jer 37:1-10
The action now proceeds quickly towards the final fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. The weak king Zedekiah ignores God’s word through Jeremiah warning him to lessen the blow by surrendering the city (v.2). Instead, he begs Jeremiah to intercede with God for a different outcome (v.3). This, however, Jeremiah has already been forbidden by the Lord to do (7:16). Zedekiah needs to abandon his false hopes (vv.6-10) and heed the Lord’s counsel even at this desperately late hour.