In today's lesson, God continues to mourn over His people.
Jeremiah Chapter 9
Lessons from the text
God Is Mourning
God is not sternly proclaiming judgment upon His creation; He is weeping as He declares the consequences of sin. While God is the mighty Father and valiant warrior, these verses reveal that He also has all the tender emotions of a heartbroken woman. God, who is able to love so immensely, is also able to be equally sorrowful. Have you ever been so upset that no matter how much you cried it did not seem enough? You just wish that you could pour out all of your tears and sorrows in one giant gush. That is how God feels about our sins.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 Continuing from chapter eight, God mourns for His people. Even though their state is brought about by their sin, God still has compassion on them.
2 God is hurt so deeply by the betrayal of His people that He wishes He could go to a secluded place where He could be completely separated from them and the pain of their memory.
3 The sinner is full of lies and deceit. Not caring about the truth, the sinner rushes from evil to evil. See Jeremiah 8:6. Even though the Jews are married to God, they are strangers to Him.
4-5 God is not sad just for Himself; He is sad that neighbors and brothers will betray each other to the point that one cannot trust anybody. Someone who is chasing after sin cannot be trusted to be faithful or honest.
6 Choosing to engage in manipulation and lies, the sinner turns away from the knowledge of God to learn more about deceit until he stands completely surrounded by deceit. A lie can get bigger and bigger until it completely encompasses one, trapping one in a web of lies not only to everyone else but also to oneself.
7-9 God views it as a great sin to speak peaceably to a person only to wish evil upon the person in one's heart. Jesus says that in the eyes of God if one holds ill will against one’s brother, then one is in as much danger of the judgment as one who has committed murder (Mt. 5:21-22). God will avenge Himself of such wickedness.
10 In addition to man, the land bears the consequences of sin (Gen. 3:17). When war comes, in this case Babylon against Jerusalem, the people, land, and wildlife all suffer. God is pained to see these consequences of sin unfold, even though His justice demands that creation pays the penalty for sin.
11 God takes responsibility for the destruction of His people. While He is not physically destroying the Jews, He has removed His protective hand and not prevented Babylon from coming to destroy the land. A den of dragons represents a place that no one desires to enter for fear of death.
12-14 God searches for people who will understand and proclaim wisdom so that when the foolish or unlearned are astonished at God’s judgment they will answer with the witness of God’s righteousness against man’s sins.
15 Both gall and wormwood are extremely bitter. The point is that God will fill them with bitterness
16 In addition to the bitterness, God will remove Israel from the promise land. God is taking a whole nation and breaking it up into many isolated pieces. All on their own, these pieces are uncomfortable (not having any knowledge of the people around them), weakened (having no strength in numbers), and consumed by the sword. The sword represents destruction, division, and, in cases of the sword of the Lord, God’s words. Here, God is saying that He will consume all the sinners of the Jews, not the entire Jewish nation. God is purging Israel of sin through this massive destruction.
17-18 Since the people are failing to have a correct response to their sin, God is telling them to call upon mourners and cunning women to guide them in the correct emotional response.
19 Following the events of verse sixteen, the Jews view themselves as spoiled because they have lost their homes and have been carried away to a place that their fathers have not known.
20-23 Fulling turning His attention to the women of Judah, God desires for them to be instructed from His words. As He has been prophesying about the coming destruction, God wants them to take heed and prepare for the future where death will be so prominent that men's bodies will just be cast aside unburied.
24 Now speaking to the men, God addresses pride. He says that if one is to take pride in anything let it be pride in the character of God. One's physical strength, worldly knowledge, or wit are not things to be proud of or love because these things will fade away. A knowledge of God, however, will never fade away, and such is why it is something in which one can have confidence and satisfaction.
25-26 God is not partial in His judgment. They sinner will pay for his sin regardless of whether he is in a covenant relationship with God or a Gentile who's never heard of God. The rituals and religious status that comes with the covenant of God do not override the requirement of the circumcision of the heart from sin and wickedness.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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