SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- This chapter opens with God reminding the people of Israel that they can still turn from their sins and come back to God with “truth, justice, and righteousness” in their hearts. God wanted to use them to pour out His blessings on all nations. The people are encouraged to break the hardness of their hearts and surrender to God with humility before He brings destruction.
- Verses 7-18 are God’s declaration with strong words of the coming “devastation”, “ruin”, “horror” and “roars” that would happen to Israel. That devastation would come from the north and because Dan was located on the northern border of Israel, they would be the first to see the approaching armies.
- Jeremiah tells of his own anguish for the Israelites and then tells in detail of the vision he received from God of the disaster. God warned that the destruction was inevitable but that He would preserve those who are faithful to Him.
- The passage ends with Jeremiah asking why the people of Israel continue to make themselves appear rich and free from trouble by putting on gold jewelry and brightening their eyes with mascara when they will soon be in despair, crying out in pain.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God chose the people of Israel to be His channel to shower the world with His blessings but they continued to turn away from Him. He wants them to be close to Him and He offers them a multitude of chances for redemption before His justice is served.
- God’s anger is never unprovoked. He loves His people and longs to have them wholeheartedly devoted to Him. After generations of Israelites turning away from God time and time again after He bestowed them with grace and security, God rightfully prepares to discipline them with authority. However, before punishment is rendered, He shows His unending love and mercy and declares multiple times that He will pardon His people if only they will authentically ask for forgiveness.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Do you have old habits and hidden sins in your heart that need to be uprooted and rejected like weeds in a garden? When your heart is hardened, the goodness of God’s will and His desires for you cannot take root in your life. Today, ask God several times throughout the day to tend to your heart and ready it for growth.