Are you following along in our 2020 Southwest Bible Project? As always, it is not too late to jump in with us, and enjoy reading - and learning HOW to read - the Bible through the lenses of love, story, and wisdom in the ultimate goal of finding the most abundant life available (in this life and after it, in fact), which is life in and like Jesus Christ.
If you have been following along, then there is a good chance that you are sick and tired of the book of Jeremiah. It is not simply because the book is long (though it is long, as we have spent more weeks on this book than we have any other), but because the subject matter is redundant and tragic.
We have spent weeks hearing about the preaching of Jeremiah, watching the people of God fail or not care about following or pleasing God, even after all that God has done for them.
We have spent weeks hearing about the hopelessness concerning the ability of the God's people to change.
We have spent weeks watching Jeremiah weep, try, fail, lament, try again, and suffer the wrath of people who are angry at him for speaking the truth in love.
It's exhausting. The worst part? We can so relate. We can relate with the people who do not want to hear God. We can relate to the prophet who despite his best efforts and steadfast faithfulness, seems to be bearing no Kingdom fruit. And we can even relate with God, who after all of His history with these people - from delivering them from slavery in Egypt, to sustaining them in the wilderness, to establishing them as a people and Kingdom - is done. He is done with them.
We can relate to God. We do not blame Him for having no choice but to allow the full force of the consequences of their sin to fall upon them. We do not blame Him for being angry, and for disciplining His stubborn, stupid people with punishment.
As we wrap up the long, grueling, and pitiful condition of God's people in the Jeremiah story, I want to highlight for you something that you probably missed.
The passages are so few and far between, so drowned out by the culture of the day, that you probably missed it.
But we cannot. We must not. We NEED the true meaning of this depressing season in the overall story. We NEED the promise that shines forth from Jeremiah from the dung-heap of depressing tragedy.
I think you are going to like it. Will you receive it? I don't know.