Today’s lessons expounds on the message from chapter 5, dealing with the coming judgment against Jerusalem.
Jeremiah Chapter 6
Lessons from the text
God Creates Stumblingblocks A woman, when asked if she believed in God, replied bitterly that there must be a God because He is against her. Regrettably, she is correct.
God promises in verse 2 that He will lay stumbling blocks in the way of the unrepentant sinner. Why? To force the sinner to acknowledge that God is real. The hope is that, realizing they are under God’s wrath, they will cease from evil and accept Him as Lord of their lives.
If you have not accepted Jesus and feel like someone or something is trying to make life hard on you, it might just be the Lord trying to get your attention!
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 Continuing the series of prophesies of destruction begun in chapter four, God repeats that the invading army will come from the north. Tekoa is a city of Judah, about twelve miles south of Jerusalem, which now lies in ruin. It was built by Rehoboam the son of Solomon as a defense against the recently split northern tribes (II Chro. 11:5-6). Bethhaccerem is a beacon station near Tekoa (Neh. 3:14). If an enemy was spotted, they would light a fire signal to warn the people. Both places act as an alert system for an invasion.
2-5 Although the Jews were like a delicate woman who inspired men to dwell around and protect her, now she is become a place worthy of destruction. Instead of protectors and suiters around her, warriors surround her. Destruction usually comes in the night when the victim can not see clearly and is caught by surprise. Noteworthy is that the plans against Israel and Judah are formed in broad daylight; neither their enemies nor God try to hide their intentions.
6-8 Through Isaiah and now Jeremiah, God is warning His people of the coming judgment. He is giving them one more chance to repent before bringing destruction on them. God says that they have sinned so much that sin is shooting out of them like a fountain spout. God does not want to have to remove Himself completely from His people, but He will do so if they do not repent.
9 Gleaning means to pick the fruit which is ripe. In this case, the Jews are ripe for judgment.
10 Even though God is loudly proclaiming His warning, no one will listen. The words of God are an insult to sinners, something to be despised and rejected. Just as it was in the days of Noah when no one listened to the warning of the coming flood, so it is for the day of judgment on Israel when Babylon takes them into captivity.
11-12 Giving plenty of warning and being rejected, God will pour out His fury on sinners. God is wearied of holding back on His judgment; His righteousness demands that sin be cut down, but His mercy holds Him back. In the end, mercy will run out and judgment will come.
God will not show mercy to the wicked. He has held back His judgment for as long as His righteousness can stand. The young, the old, men, women, and all their possessions will be struck by the hand of the Lord.
13-15 The judgment from the least to the greatest is because the least to the greatest have sinned. They are so far into sin that they are no longer ashamed of their wrongdoings. God responds to this lack of repentance with severe judgment. Noteworthy is that false teaching, preaching, and prophesying is hurtful to those who hear it.
16 God commanded Jeremiah and all of His prophets to go to the commonplaces, the market, streets, the Temple, and bring people into remembrance of the old path of righteousness. Nonetheless, the people rebel and refuse to walk therein. God has, since the creation, proclaimed the path of righteousness, which is why it is considered the "old way."
God tells Jeremiah to preach in the marketplaces, like this one in Thailand.
17 In addition to teaching about right and wrong, God has sent and is sending certain men to shout a warning of coming judgment if people continue to do wrong. This message from God is also rejected by men.
18-19 God's judgment never comes unwarranted. Not only have the people sinned, but also they have refused to be instructed and ignored multiple warnings from God about the consequences of their actions. After one rebels for so long, God will finally send judgment against one.
20 God will not acknowledge Israel's offerings and burnt incense. As was demonstrated with the story of Cain and Abel, God will not have respect to sacrifices which are given without the correct intention of the heart (Gen. 4:2-7). If one's heart is unclean, then whatever one offers to God is also unclean and unacceptable to Him, even if one goes to the extraordinary length of bringing Him special items from a faraway country. The only prayer that God will hear from the sinner is a prayer asking for forgiveness of one's sins.
22-23 God repeats that the invading army will come from the north (v. 1). He wants to make clear the details of the prophecy so that when it is fulfilled there will be no doubt that the events are from the Lord. See also Jeremiah 5:15-17.
24-25 Out of fear of the enemy, Jerusalem will be tightly shut up, with no one going in or out. This is fulfilled by the Chaldees assault in 587 BC where the Jewish soldiers prevented anyone from going out of the city (Jer. 37:12-14).
26 God decrees that a time of mourning is at hand for the Jews. As is the lost of one’s only son, so shall the Jews be bereft of their home and their joy.
27 God now speaks directly to Jeremiah, saying that he is to be a tower and a fortress to act as a an impenetrable judge of their sins. God supernaturally protects Jeremiah so that he is able to carry out his divine mission despite great opposition from the other prophets and the religious leaders. God wants to try His people to see if any can be found to be righteous (see Jer. 5:1). Here, the meaning of trying the people is to prove them by considering their ways and their actions to see if their position is valid.
28-31 Upon consideration, the people are given to sin. All the hard work God has done in deed and through His prophets has been in vain for the people reject Him. Like tainted silver, they will be caste aside as worthless. The fact that men shall call them reprobate silver implies that there will be some who endure God’s judgment, revealing that God is talking about the people in general and not literally every soul who is in Jerusalem. Later chapters will reveal several righteous souls in the city at the time of God’s judgment through Babylon.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word. Please comment below to share what you learned from today's lesson.