Updated: Jan 14
God’s word can find us anywhere — at home, at work, while traveling, even in prison, as Jeremiah discovered:
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard (Jeremiah 33:1).
Prison is bad enough, but as we hear, it gets even worse for Jeremiah, who is forced to serve his prison sentence in the middle of a foreign invasion. Jeremiah began his ministry in 626 BC … a very long time ago!
In addition to these horrifying external realties, Jeremiah also carries the burden of the message, that Judah’s situation is going to get worse before it gets better. And remember, his message is to the people who worship, who are in the temple … people like us … what is the message?
Reform your ways … and your actions …
So, the back story underlines the faithlessness of Judah’s leadership and its disregard for its societal responsibilities, because they:
- Worshipped God in deed only
- Claimed to know the living God, but they were not faithful
- Worshipped God with their lips, but their hearts were far from God
As a result, their actions and their inactions, invited death and destruction into the city’s once mighty walls.
Judah’s faithlessness courts a terrifying encounter with the Hidden God, whose anger undoes creation, human and non-human alike.
- City devolves into a state of chaos, desolation, and lifelessness.
- Once bustling, Jerusalem has been returned to a kind of pre-creational tohu wavohu (Genesis 1:2).
- Without form – unseen and unformed – chaos and darkness
In the words of Psalm 104, “When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust” (Psalm 104:29).