Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jeremiah

Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah in the last days of the kingdom leading up to its fall to Babylon. While many were carried into captivity, Jeremiah continued as a prophet to those who remained. He lived from the reigns of Josiah through Zedekiah.

Like other prophets, Jeremiah called the people to return to God during a time of apostasy and moral decay. He predicted the rise of Nebuchadnezzer and his expansion of the Babylonian empire into Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem. The Babylonian occupation was presented as a judgment against Israel for their wickedness and unfaithfulness. Jeremiah predicted that Babylon would conquer many nations, and he lived to see it.

This did not make Jeremiah popular. False prophets preached that Judah would thrive and that Jerusalem would survive the Babylonian siege. Jeremiah repeatedly refuted them and preached the words of warning God had given to him. He was repeatedly imprisoned and threatened for his trouble.

Even in the midst of judgment, Jeremiah had a message of hope. God’s plan was for the captivity to be limited to 70 years, after which He would restore Jerusalem. He predicted the fall of Babylon, which would succumb to judgment for its own wicked ways.

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Jeremiah. The Holy Bible. New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.