As we wrap up the June with Jeremiah series I wanted to share a summary of Jeremiah that Charles Swindoll (insight.org) wrote. This summary may answer any questions that you still have about Jeremiah, or put things in perspective as you continue to read through the book, or it may just be helpful to have as a reference for next time you read through Jeremiah. (*As a reminder, the search bar on the right side of the blog page lets you search the entire blog, including all series, by topic, keyword, or Bible verse. I don’t archive any of the blog posts so you can always search topics that we’ve covered.)
- A recap of the timeline of Jeremiah’s prophecies: Jeremiah’s ministry began in 627 BC and ended sometime around 582 BC with his prophecy to the Jews who fled to Egypt (Jeremiah 44:1). For the majority of this time, Jeremiah based his ministry out of Jerusalem. The southern kingdom of Judah fell during Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry (586 BC), having been threatened for many years by outside powers—first Assyria and Egypt and then by their eventual conquerors, Babylon.
- Who was Jeremiah prophesying to: Jeremiah found himself addressing a nation hurtling headlong toward judgment from God. The Israelites may have feared the future as the outside powers drew near, but rather than respond with humility and repentance, the people of Judah primarily lived as islands unto themselves, disregarding both the Lord’s commandments and the increasing danger that resulted from their disobedience.
- Why is the book so important: The prophecies of Jeremiah offer us a unique insight into the mind and heart of one of God’s faithful servants. The book includes numerous personal statements of emotional engagement, painting Jeremiah not merely as a prophet brought on the scene to deliver God’s message but also as a red-blooded human being who felt compassion for his people, desired judgment for evildoers, and was concerned about his own safety as well. Significantly, the book of Jeremiah also provides us the clearest glimpse of the new covenant God intended to make with His people once Christ came to earth. This new covenant would be the means of restoration for God’s people, as He would put His law within them, writing it on hearts of flesh rather than on tablets of stone. Rather than fostering our relationship with God through a fixed location like a temple, He promised through Jeremiah that His people would know Him directly, a knowledge that comes through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31–34; see also Hebrews 8:6).
- How do I apply this: Seeing God’s patience with His people in the Old Testament reminds us that God has always been and continues to be merciful. Though we fail Him, He is patient with us, working in us to bring about the best for our lives.
The book of Jeremiah also reminds us that an end will certainly come, a truth that should spur us to follow after God wholeheartedly. Will you follow Him?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
As a Christian we are saved by the Cross. We are part of the New Covenant that Jeremiah wrote about. We are saved by God’s Grace and the Cross has made us flawless.
Then Like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to grace grace
God’s grace. -The Cross has made you flawless, Mercy Me