Sunday, August 19, 2018

Jeremiah 16

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 16. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today’s passage opens with God forbidding Jeremiah to marry or have children. Jeremiah is then instructed not to take part in any funerals or festivals. In Jeremiah’s culture, it was unthinkable not to show grief publicly. With the destruction of Israel, so many people would die that it would be impossible to carry out customary mourning rituals for all of them.
  • God tells Jeremiah that the people of Israel will ask why God is angry with them and Jeremiah is to answer that they have abandoned the one true God and worship and serve other false gods (also called “idols”) while following their own desires.
  • The second half of the chapter is God’s declaration of hope for the future. Although he will exile the people of Israel, he will also bring them out of exile and return them to the land he gave their ancestors.
  • Jeremiah prays to God at the conclusion of this chapter with confidence in God’s power and the knowledge that God will one day be known and understood not just by the Israelites, but by “nations from around the world” (see verse 19).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God intended Jeremiah’s life to be an attention-getter and an illustration of God’s truth. Sometimes we think the only way to communicate is through speaking or teaching but God can use a wide variety of means to bring his message to people – the choices we make, the events we attend, can speak volumes to those around us.
  • The Israelites stubbornness persisted throughout generations and angered God, but God continued to show his great mercy by offering the people multiple chances to turn back to him.
  • Jeremiah’s concluding prayer uses powerful words to describe God: strength, fortress, and refuge. He paints a picture of God security and protection.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you trust that God has your back? Do you believe that God can be your strength when you feel weak, your fortress when enemies come against you, and your refuge when you need to retreat from life’s pressures? Today, pray and ask God to help you to really know that he loves you and wants to protect you.