“The voice of the prophet Jeremiah commences a forty year ministry leading to the dissolution of the Kingdom of Judah. He gives a review of Israel’s sins, showing that Yahweh still loves His people, but expects that the filial love be reflected to Him. Through the prophet, Yahweh expostulates on their ungrateful return for past goodness, and shows that their wickedness has resulted in calamity. The voice concludes with an appeal to them to return.
“This chapter may be outlined:
- Israel’s early promise: vv 1-4.
- Yahweh kept His contract despite provocation: vv 5-8.
- The enormity of Israel’s conduct once more stressed: vv 9-13.
- Israel suffers because it turned from Yahweh: vv 14-19.
- The true character of the nation despite Josiah’s reformation: vv 20-30.
- Israel will suffer: vv 31-35.
- Israel in heart turned to Egypt: vv 36,37.
“It must have been a sad experience for the young prophet, brought to witness for the righteousness of his God, and seeing about him the failure of the ecclesia. The nation rejoiced in its high and holy privilege, and boasted in its attendance at the temple in Jerusalem, but did little to manifest divine qualities in daily life. They were barren, thankless soil, returning nothing for Yahweh’s glory. Instead they looked to their southern neighbour [Egypt] for support and help, putting confidence in the power of the flesh. Yet, in spite of the darkness of their spiritual condition, the voice of Jeremiah brought a measure of encouragement to the faithful remnant that were looking for a redeemer. So he continues to witness at the end of the age — as must those of the Brotherhood today as we wait the advent of the Great Judge”