Here are some further observations on this chapter:
- Verse 5 contains a warning for the church today. Think about the letters to the seven churches in the book of ‘Revelation’. ‘Lights’ can go out. ‘Candles’ can be extinguished. God can withdraw His blessing. Someone made the point that the local church is never more than a generation away from extinction. We can’t just live how we please and think that all will be well. God, in His patience, may well give us time to repent, but the time will not be infinite. A day will come when it is too late to change.
- See once again that a note of hope is embedded within a message of severe judgment (14, 15). Jeremiah was enabled to see that there was going to be a second and greater ‘exodus’. In future days people would see the deliverance from Babylonian as the supreme example of God’s power in Israel’s history – even more than ‘the great escape’ from Egypt. (There is a repeated theme in this book that God will not destroy his people ‘’completely’’ : 4:27; 5:10, 18; 30:11; 46:28; see Psalm 94:14; Romans 11:1-5). When Jeremiah wrote, God’s revelation was not complete. Jesus, God’s final Word to mankind had not yet come. We now know that the supreme demonstration of God’s delivering power in human history was displayed at the cross where Jesus died for our sins.
- Nothing is hidden from God (16-18; see 17:10). We are well and truly ‘bugged’. Jesus has ‘X-Ray vision (Revelation 1:14b).
- Essentially, what God does in judgment is to give people what they have chosen (13). They would be where there hearts were – with their gods in the land of their gods. “When you tell this to the people and they ask, ‘Why is God talking this way, threatening us with all these calamities? We’re not criminals, after all. What have we done to our God to be treated like this?’ tell them this: ‘It’s because your ancestors left me, walked off and never looked back. They took up with the no-gods, worshiped and doted on them, and ignored me and wouldn’t do a thing I told them. And you’re even worse! Take a good look in the mirror—each of you doing whatever you want, whenever you want, refusing to pay attention to me. And for this I’m getting rid of you, throwing you out in the cold, into a far and strange country. You can worship your precious no-gods there to your heart’s content. Rest assured, I won’t bother you anymore.’ ’’ The Message.
Beware of what you set your heart on, for it will surely be yours!