Today’s readings.. (1 kings 6), (Jeremiah 32), (Mark 6)

The book of Jeremiah confuses us a little because it is not in chronological order.  Today’s 32nd chapter starts by telling us the word of the LORD came to him “in the tenth year of Zedekiah” [v.1] “At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem” [v.2].  We do not know which month, but ch. 39 v.2 tells us that “in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month” a breach was made in the walls and the Babylonians captured the city.
Today’s chapter is about a very critical time, Jeremiah is at times a mental ‘iron man’ because of his faith in God, but at times he falters.. “The word of the LORD came …” [v.6] telling him his cousin was coming to him asking him to “Buy my field that is in Anathoth” and when his cousin comes, he remarks, “Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.” After the transaction is finalised he “prayed to the LORD, saying ‘It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”  [v.16,17]
Yet his faith is struggling as events get worse and “siege mounds have come up to the city to take it” [v.24] and there is “famine and pestilence” and he asks, “Yet you O Lord GOD, have said to me, ‘Buy the field … though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.” [v.25]
Specially note the response from God!  “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh.  Is anything too hard for me?” [v.27]  God is quoting back to Jeremiah his words that nothing was too hard for him.  Jeremiah’s struggle with faith may be paralleled in the experiences of the faithful, our experiences, as the world that we are so familiar with falls apart; for, as we will read next week in Mark, Jesus forecast a time of “such tribulation as has not been since the beginning of creation … and if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved.  But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days” [ch. 13 v,19,20]  This is described from the divine perspective of foreknowledge, as though it has already happened.(Romans 8 v.28-30)
Back in Jeremiah we see how our chapter concludes with the prophet receiving a heart stirring vision of the ultimate future for his people (v.37-41) a future which will also embrace God’s people whom he has called out from among the Gentiles (Romans 9 v,24-26).  May we maintain our faith in God; may Jeremiah’s words be part of our prayer to our heavenly Father, “Nothing is too hard for you” uttered with increasing faith.

 

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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