Jeremiah Chapter 32
Lessons from the text
When the events of this chapter occurred, Jeremiah was sitting in prison for preaching God's words. The Chaldeans had encamped around Jerusalem for about a year. Jeremiah knew that before long, they city would fall to the invaders. Nonetheless, he praised God for His lovingkindness.
No matter how terrible our lives seem, God is still good. His love towards us showers us with peace when no peace can be found. When we stop and praise God for all that He has done in our lives and the lives of others, we suddenly are lifted from the burden of our circumstances. We can rejoice in even the most dire situations because God, and His lovingkindness, will never change.
Do not spurn God's love and kindness for you. If He is calling you, please answer. Then, and only then, will you also be able to praise God for all the good that He has done for you.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1-5 These opening verses give the context for the entire chapter. Jerusalem fell in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, so this message comes in Jerusalem’s last year. The city has been besieged since the tenth month of the previous year, placing the prophesy about half-way through the siege (II Ki. 25:1-2). Jeremiah has been prophesying that the Jews should go out and surrender to the invading army if they wish to live (Jer. 21:9-10) and that Zedekiah will be taken captive by Babylon (Jer. 34:21). Since these words can be construed as treason, Jeremiah has been put in prison.
6-12 The Lord tells Jeremiah that Hanameel is coming to sell his land. When Hanameel arrives, Jeremiah knows the purchase is from the Lord and so proceeds to buy the land. He follows all the requirements of the law to ensure that the purchase is completely legal.
13-15 Just as the incident with the girdle was used to illustrate a prophecy of sin, this incident is used to illustrate that the people will be able to buy and live on their own lands in the future (Jer. 13:1-11). This is vital considering that the Jews are living under the threat of defeat by the Babylonians.
16-25 Noteworthy is that Jeremiah is praising God while he is sitting in prison. This praise follows a pattern common in Scripture. First, Jeremiah acknowledges the supreme authority of God. Second, he acknowledges the personality of God. Third, he acknowledges God’s works of goodness towards mankind. Lastly, he praises God for the current circumstances.
26-32 God is more powerful than anyone on the earth. Since the Jews fancy themselves mighty and indestructible because God is on their side, God will prove their folly by fighting against them. He will break their defenses and allow Babylon and its Chaldean army to overtake the city. This destruction is brought about by the sins of the people, from the least to the greatest. People from all social status have turned their hearts to Baal and other idol worship. In response, God will allow the city to be burned. Noteworthy is that the sin that provokes God's wrath has been present since they built Jerusalem. While David conquered the city, his son Solomon finished building and fortifying the city and it was during his reign that idolatry entered Jerusalem through his many wives (I Ki. 9:10-23, I Ki. 11:1-8).
33-35 Despite their sins, God graciously sent prophets to speak to the Jews of the past to teach them the way of righteousness. Nonetheless, they did not harkened. The Jews of Jeremiah's day have likewise chosen to rebel against the word of the Lord. They have continued to worship Baal and Molech and have even gone so far as to allow idol worship within the holy temple.
36-38 God demonstrates excessive mercy and grace to the Jews. Even though they have committed lewd sins towards Him, He will withhold His full judgment against the nation, bringing them back again to their lands after a short season of chastisement. Noteworthy is that God once more repeats the promise of restoration to the original covenant, that He will be their God and that they will be His people (Jer. 31:1, Jer. 30:22, Lev. 26:12).
39-41 God goes beyond the original promise (covenant). He will not only be their God, but also they will forever have a heart turned towards Him to love, fear, and obey Him. This will bring great joy to God and great goodness to the Jews.
42-44 As magnificent and severe as God's wrath will be against Israel, so shall His goodness towards the restored nation be equally magnificent and bountiful. When the Jews sees the destruction of the invading army, they will be disheartened, believing that their fields are ruined beyond recovery. God counteracts this despair by promising that the Jews will once again be able to buy, sell, plant, and harvest land just as they have done in the past. God, through His foreknowledge, is able to address one's concerns and worries before they even arise. He wants to give the answer to the problem before it occurs so that when one is faced with the problem, one will remember God's words and be able to meet the problem with confidence and assurance in victory through obedience to His words.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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