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.
9 October Jer 25:1-14
God’s great patience – and Jeremiah’s extraordinary stamina – in preaching to these people for 23 years (v.3) is met by a stubbornness that amounts to self-harming (v.7). The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man in the world, yet he was never more than God’s servant (v.9). God worked through Nebuchadnezzar’s evil behaviour to judge the people of Judah (vv.8-11) before punishing the Babylonians for their own crimes (vv.12-14). Truly God has the whole world in His hands.
10 October Jer 25:15-38
Behind the violent convulsions of the nations lies the hand of God, turning the nations’ wickedness on their own heads in judgement. Sin brings a collective madness on us in which destroys nations from within, so that v.27 is no exaggeration. God’s judgement includes the high and mighty who think themselves the shepherds of their people (vv.34-38). All this was true in Jeremiah’s day; alas, it seems we never learn.
11 October Jer 26:1-24
Jeremiah’s call for repentance almost costs him his life. The priests and the prophets demanded his death (v.11) but he was saved by officials and elders who reasoned from the Scriptures and took his criticisms less personally (vv.16-19). The fate of Uriah (vv.20-23) shows what kind of a tyrant Jehoiakim was, and the courage needed in a prophet. Uriah was killed while Jeremiah was preserved. God’s decisions are matters for His wisdom, not ours.
12 October Jer 27:1-22
Jeremiah delivers a message for his own people and the surrounding nations (v.3). If they will submit to Babylon, they will be spared a worse fate. If they will not submit, they will suffer destruction and exile. Babylon, too, will be judged in its turn (v.7). How ripe all these nations were for judgement will be made clear in chs.46-51, where we’ll also see the mercy that lay beyond judgement (as v.7 already hints).
13 October Jer 28:1-17
Jeremiah was constantly confronted by false prophets who made empty promises of good times ahead. God regards false prophecy as a deadly sin which misleads His people. He bluntly calls it “lies” (v.15) and “rebellion” (v.16). For the false prophet Hananiah, God’s sentence is swiftly executed (v.17), though not without prior warning.
14 October Jer 29:1-23
The Jews were exiled in Babylon in stages following various attempts to throw off Babylonian rule over Judah. Here Jeremiah writes from Jerusalem to those already in exile, urging them to accept their captivity for the present (vv.4-7), confident that God has a future for them beyond captivity (vv.10-14). But they must beware of false prophets who peddle empty hopes in Babylon as they do in Jerusalem (vv.7-8, 15-19). God judges severely those who utter lies in His name (vv.20-23).
15 October Jer 29:24-32
The false prophet Shemaiah in Babylon wrote to the temple authorities in Jerusalem to try to have Jeremiah silenced with the stocks and an iron collar (vv.24-28). However, Zephaniah the priest in Jerusalem wavered and merely showed Jeremiah the letter (v.29). The Lord declared punishment for Shemaiah for persuading the exiles to trust in lies (vv.30-32).