Day 182 – Thru the Bible
Today we complete Jeremiah. Nice job! We are also over half way through the Bible!
Jeremiah 51 – The time would come, with Babylon’s impending doom, that God’s exiled people would have to come away from her (Isaiah 48:20). There will be an end to the assurances of Jeremiah 29 that God’s purposes for good lie in Babylon. God’s plan is to save His people out of the evil world, and the return of the exiles to the Promised Land would foreshadow the ultimate release from exile. Paul alludes to these words of Jeremiah in calling on Believers to avoid the uncleanness of the present age (2 Corinthians 6:14–18; see also Revelation 18:4).
There will be a time of sudden destruction for Babylon. Words of this passage have a familiar ring for New Testament Believers who know that judgment comes like a thief in the night (Matthew 24:43–44). But the destruction of Babylon also set up providential events that resulted in the return of God’s people to the Promised Land (see Daniel 5:30; 6:28; 2 Chronicles 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1–3). Thus, we are also reminded of another pattern: the vindication (justification) of God’s people is the “flip side” of judgment (51:10). Not only is evil overthrown, but God’s people are freed from their tribulation at the hands of their enemies. So also when Jesus conquered our enemies, He “led a host of captives” but gave “gifts” of salvation, edification, and witness to His people (Ephesians 4:8).
For Jeremiah, the focal point of judgment on sin is the destruction of the temple, yet God appointed godless Babylon to do it. In the same way it was by “the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” that lawless people crucified Jesus (Acts 2:23), who would rise as the new temple (John 2:19–22). God’s vengeance for His temple is yet to come in its fullness (Revelation 11:15–19; 15:5–8).
God’s wisdom and power are seen in creation (see Job 38:1–11; Proverbs 8:22–36). By contrast, worldly wisdom, by which people create their idols, is stupidity. Wisdom in Israel flowered when Solomon’s kingdom was at its height (1 Kings 3–10). But it also was corrupted along with true religion (Jeremiah 18:18; Isaiah 29:13–14; 47:10). Worldly wisdom is actually the height of folly, while it deems God’s wisdom to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18–31). In 1 Corinthians 1:31, Paul cites Jeremiah 9:23–24 and applies it to Believers. We boast in the Lord, for we find true wisdom in Jesus who is our wisdom.
How do you remember to seek God’s wisdom in the decisions of every day life?
Jeremiah 52 – The last chapter of Jeremiah contains a summary of the history of Judah and Jerusalem as the axe falls. The only reference to God’s acting in this chapter is in verse 3. But the whole chapter is an account of the judgment of the Lord in action as the Babylonians bring total destruction even to the Lord’s house. We are reminded here, as in the rest of the book, that human rebellion may flourish for a time even in the context of God’s covenant mercies, but that flourishing will have an end. As in Moses’ day (1 Corinthians 10:1–5), and in Jeremiah’s day, so it was in the time of Jesus: evil had its day. But God always has the final say over the course of human events. There is no greater evidence of His sovereign superintendence than in Jesus. For in Him we see supremely that when God’s greatest gift was despised and rejected, as people sought to forge their own history, God was at the same time providing for His people’s eternal destiny.
Jeremiah reminds us that we need a history and a destiny built on the one whose name is “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5–6; 33:14–16). Jesus came to live a new personal history for each of His own—a history that is presentable before God as our righteousness. He came also to pay the penalty for our failed, rebellious histories, so that our destiny would be eternally with Him. The histories of the last kings of Judah limp to their ignominious endings. So will our personal histories crumble before the wrath to come without a Mediator. Only the righteousness of God applied to our lives through faith in Jesus, which we receive as a gift, will survive on that day (Romans 3:21–26).
How does seeing so much of Jesus throughout this book reaffirm that the entire Bible is about Him and what He has accomplished for us?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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