Jeremiah 38 – PROPHET’S PERILS

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March 9
What Ebed-melech did in this chapter was inspiring.

I also admire Jeremiah for speaking the truth even when he was put into a cistern for it. However, he gave in when he was asked by King Zedekiah to lie to the officials.

I could only imagine how hard it must have been for King Zedekiah to follow God’s command, which Jeremiah proclaimed. God wanted him to surrender and fall into captivity.

In our days, sometimes God asks us to do the same. However, unlike King Zedekiah, we let our pride take over us. We lean on our own understanding. We forget that God is God. The ending–regret and shame.

March 10

Jeremiah 38:20 ESV
Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.”

This still stands today. When we listen to and obey the voice of the Lord, we can rest assured of God’s protection.

Jeremiah 38:28 ESV
And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

Here, the Prophet Jeremiah was so privileged to see the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord unfold before his very eyes.

March 12
How many times has God asked us to surrender everything to Him?

More often than not, we have a hard time giving in to what He asks of us. This is because we depend our decisions on what is at sight. When we disobey God, in effect we tell Him: “I don’t trust you that much.”

Indeed it was ironic when God commanded King Zedekiah to surrender so he could save his life (Jeremiah 38:17).

Here I was reminded to trust God no matter what it takes.

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Jeremiah 15 – Balky Prophet

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On February 24, Jeremiah 15:19-21 caught my attention:

This is how God answered me: “Take back those words, and I’ll take you back. Then you’ll stand tall before me. Use words truly and well. Don’t stoop to cheap whining. Then, but only then, you’ll speak for me. Let your words change them. Don’t change your words to suit them. (MSG)

How I understood this was that Jeremiah feared people more than he feared God. He let his words serve them as if God could be cheated, as if He did not know everything or as if anything could be kept from Him.

I can only imagine how hard his task must have been—speaking the truth to the people’s faces, but he managed to do so because impossible tasks become possible when we trust God.

Reading this chapter called these verses: Jeremiah 32:17 and 1 Corinthians 15:58 to mind.

On February 25, as I read this chapter again, I noticed Jeremiah complaining. At some point, he has lost faith in God. He could not accept the seemingly unpleasant results of obeying God. From the Old Testament times up to date, the children of God have been suffering from injustice. Being a follower of God is never an easy place to be. However, there will come a time, if we suffer for the cause of Christ till the end, that we will be able to say that it is all worth it.

It’s February 26. In this chapter, both God’s love and anger were shown. I can feel His anger at Jerusalem, especially at Manasseh for repeating the sins committed by the kings before Hezekiah, his father. God hates idolatry so much that He was willing to give the people away to their respective fate (death, sword, famine and captivity) without His intervention (verse 2).

How secure are we gonna be if we have God as our shield?

Jeremiah 15:21 AMP
And I will deliver you out of the hands of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the palms of the terrible and ruthless tyrants.

On February 28, this was how my reflection went. God is love. Love is kind. Here in this chapter, the kindness of God’s love was shown to Jeremiah in that He refused to tolerate Jeremiah’s complaining and self-centeredness. He promised to protect Jeremiah if he obeys to proclaim His Word to the people of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 15:19 GNT
To this the Lord replied, “If you return, I will take you back, and you will be my servant again.”

Jeremiah 15:20 GNT
“They will fight against you, but they will not defeat you. I will be with you to protect you and keep you safe.”

Jeremiah 2 – National Adultery

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let us not drink from broken cisterns

I caught a glimpse of God’s anger in this chapter. Here, God stated how the people of Jerusalem have abandoned Him time and again by worshiping other gods made by human hands. I wish I could say that I’m better than them, but the truth is I can identify with their being idolatrous. There are countless times when I have failed to give God what He alone deserves from me. Despite it all, there’s beauty in this saddening reality. It made me see how gracious and loving our God has been, is and will always be.

On February 18, the latter part of Jeremiah 2:31-32 MSG struck a chord in me:

“But my people forget me. Day after day after day they never give me a thought.”

It dawned on me how hurtful it is for God to be treated like this. Most of the time, we focus on what we feel, the damage others have caused us, and the many times we’ve been unfairly treated. However, this life is not about us. We ought to live this life for the One who gave us all even when all we think of is ourselves.

On February 19, as I read this chapter, I thought of the things that I am guilty of doing even up to date: forsaking the Lord; being indifferent to Him; and not having fear of Him, which can also be found in Jeremiah 2:19 AMP.

This statement in Jeremiah 2:20 AMP struck me: “I will not serve and obey You!” It made me ask: How many times have I indirectly thrown that arrogant line to God? I say one thing and do another. How awful, proud and ungrateful I have been…

“Why do My people say, We have broken loose [we are free and will roam at large]; we will come no more to You?”

The verse (Jeremiah 2:31 AMP) above made me realize how prideful and stupid I become at times to think that I can go on without God. I wonder how He looks at me whenever I do such a thing.

On February 20, as I read Jeremiah 2, I was reminded that no matter how much effort I put into something, I will never succeed if God is not on my side.

On February 21, these are the verses that caught my attention:

Jeremiah 2:19 NASB
“Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God.”

Jeremiah 2:35 NASB
“I will enter into judgment with you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.'”

I also noticed that there are a lot of questions listed in this chapter; questions from God for the people of Jerusalem as delivered by the Prophet Jeremiah. I believe God was not asking questions because He did not know the answers; instead, He wanted to encourage reflection. He wanted the people to think about the wrong things that they have done despite His goodness to them.