3/19/2017

Preferring Anything to God and the Truth (Jeremiah 8-10)

7:1 - 8:3; 8:4 - 9:11, 12-26

"This is what the Lord says: 'Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord,who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,'declares the Lord" (Jer 9:23-24).

"Lord, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. 24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing" (Jer 10:23-24).
  • 8:4-7 People stubbornly clinging to deceit.
    • "I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord" (Jer 8:6-7).
  • 8:8-12 Prophets and priests deceive the people.
    • "From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.11 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord" (Jer 8:10b-12).
  • 8:13-17 People flee when they understand that the prophecies of peace were false. "...the Lord our God has doomed us to perish" (Jer 8:14).
  • 8:18-9:1 Jeremiah cries out in sorrow.
    • "You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me.22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?" (Jer 8:18, 21-22).
  • 9:2-6 People characterized by lies and deceitfulness.
  • 9:7-11 Because of the constant deceitfulness, God will completely devastate and make desolate Jerusalem and the towns of Judah.
  • 9:12-16 The one who is wise will understand that the judgment on the people of Jerusalem is just and well deserved.
  • 9:17-22 Using a wordplay that seems to suggest a sense of "poetic justice," God declares that since the people refuse to listen to his voice, they will now listen to waiting.
  • 9:23-24 Knowing God in the context of his love and his justice is more important than wisdom, strength or riches.
  • 9:25-26 Footnote: The coming judgment is broader than described so far, for it will also fall on Judah's unrighteous neighboring nations.
  • 10:1-5 God exhorts the people to avoid following the valueless ways of the other nations, especially in regard to worshiping their impotent gods that have been made by human hands.
  • 10:6-10 Jeremiah declares that it makes much more sense to fear (worship) the all-powerful, living God than to worship worthless, human-constructed idols.
  • 10:11-16 All the worthless false idols, which did not create the world, will perish. God, on the other hand, is the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth, the one who actually controls the thunderstorms and rain.
  • 10:17-22 God declares that he will hurl the people of Judah out of the land because of their continued idol worship.
  • 10:23-25 Finally, Jeremiah prays again to God, acknowledging God's sovereignty and calling on God to pour out his wrath on the unbelieving nations while showing mercy toward him.
Book Outline:

  • Ch. 1: The Call (God chose Jeremiah before birth) [Sun 2/12/17]
  • Ch. 2: The Charge (Spiritual adultery/idolatry) [Sun 2/19/17]
  • Ch. 3: The Plea (Repent, return, change, circumcise your heart … but there was none)
  • Ch. 4-6: The Judgment (The Babylonian invasion is the consequence of not repenting) [Sun 3/19/17]
    • Ch. 4: The Warning of Coming Judgment. It begins and ends with a trumpet warning.
    • Ch. 5: The Reasons for the Coming Judgment. Not one person does justice. The Bible teachers lie.
    • Ch. 6: The Inevitability of Judgment. Refusing/unable to listen to God's word.
  • Ch. 7-10: The Self-deception (False religion and its punishment) [Sun 3/26/17]
    • Ch. 7: Preferring rituals to a relationship.
    • Ch. 8-9: Preferring lies to the Word of God.
    • Ch. 10: Preferring idols to the Living God.
  • Ch. 11-29: The Conflict (Jeremiah's conflict with the leaders who say "peace, peace" when there is no peace)
  • Ch. 30-33: Consolation / Restoration (Future comfort for Israel and Judah)
  • Ch. 34-35: Covenant faithfulness
  • Ch. 36-45: Refusing prophetic warnings and judgment falls on Jerusalem (Present catastrophe of Judah)
  • Ch. 46-51: Judgment against the nations (Prophecies concerning the nations)
  • Ch. 52: Fall of Jerusalem (Historical appendix/supplement/recap)