Day 5

Jeremiah Appointed as Examiner

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan

Jeremiah 5:14-6:30, Psalm 95:1-11, Micah 6:6-8

BY Rebecca Faires

We used to own a truck with over 300,000 miles on it. I loved driving it. The leather was cracked and most of the dashboard lights were burned out. But easing it down a country road with all the windows down made me feel like the wind was at my back and things were going just my way.

There was one light, however, that wasn’t burned out: the check engine light. I took it to our favorite mechanic and he looked me square in the eye, “Stop driving this vehicle immediately—one wrong bump and the whole chassis is going to collapse off the axle. This truck will fail disastrously, and soon.” Driving home that afternoon, I considered his words: How soon? How ‘disastrous’ are we talking? How big of a bump? He was probably exaggerating—what even is an axle anyway?

Things can look just fine on the surface, but rumbling beneath, the true worth will eventually reveal itself. In the case of my truck, it was a catastrophic failure waiting to happen. I thought I could depend on that old truck, but it couldn’t stand up in a way that mattered desperately. In the case of Israel, God appointed Jeremiah as an “assayer” to determine what they were made of—and if they would be able to stand up (Jeremiah 6:27). An assayer is a “refiner,” one who tests the composition of minerals and determines their value. The Lord goes so far as to declare they are so stubborn that they “are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt” (v.28). But no amount of blasting with fire will reveal valuable metals because the people have rejected the word of the Lord (v.17).

The culture described in these chapters is a startling reminder of my own: “they have grown powerful and rich… fat and sleek… [and] excelled in evil matters… and they have not defended the rights of the needy” (Jeremiah 5:27–28). God is calling us to listen to His words and turn from the enticements of this world. He warns that we will be measured and the truth of our hearts will be revealed.

Who can stand in the face of such an examination? Even though my friendly truck seemed fine to me, it’s impending disaster could not be hidden from the experienced eye of a mechanic. If we persist in not using our eyes to see or our ears to hear—if we refuse to listen to the Lord, our devastation is sure. Indeed, it is our own sins that withhold the Lord’s bounty from us (Jeremiah 5:25).

If you are determined not to listen, you cannot stand up to a close examination. But set your feet in obedience to the Lord and He will change the quality of your heart, and deeper examination will reveal the value of His own shining goodness in you. Today if you hear His voice—in His word, in His creation, through His people—do not harden your heart, but listen and worship (Psalm 95:8).

Post Comments (73)

73 thoughts on "Jeremiah Appointed as Examiner"

  1. Jennie P says:

    17I set watchmen over you, saying,
    ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’
    But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’

    16Thus says the Lord:
    “Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
    where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
    But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
    Here is God’s judgment on our world. He has proclaimed to all of us the ways of repentance and peace but our hearts are hardened and we refuse him. Pray earnestly for our world in the midst of a disaster that will expose all the weaknesses of the Tower of Babel we have built. Lord, as Easter approaches, have mercy and flood our troubled world with a spirit of humble contrition and repentance. Have mercy on our world for Jesus’ precious sake.

  2. Tatu Taylor says:

    Reading about God’s wrath was a little scary at first but then someone reminded me that because of Christ’s sacrifice we don’t have to experience the judgement we deserve. This makes me appreciate the cross even more. Yes we will receive judgement but we have a chance to get right by remembering the cross.

  3. Tiffany Lashmet says:

    I love the instruction in Micah 6:8. I’m memorizing that verse this month!

  4. Ashley says:

    God is righteously angry at his unfaithful people. God is worthy of all honor and glory. He alone deserves worship and so after generations of unfaithfulness God is finally bringing judgement upon his unfaithful people.They have broken the covenant he made with them. They have forsaken him for lesser gods. In order to be a just God, he must punish sin. Yet even in his justice, he is merciful. He promises to restore and preserve a remnant, even though their actions do not warrant it. He promises the hope of a new covenant, which points to Christ, one of inward renewal. The message of warning Jeremiah gives is repetitive. God is merciful to warn his people over and over again that judgement is coming. Additionally, in the original Hebrew, Jeremiah was using poetic repetition as he recorded these warnings, something that’s lost a bit in the translation to English.

  5. Carolyn RayeParsons says:

    This is so good.

  6. arianneella says:

    I don’t know the History, but I can at least say “me too”. The first few chapters made me think about how our culture has some of these same attributes.

  7. Callie Sercey says:

    Y’all this study is hard for me. I feel like as I’m reading all I am getting is that God is mad and it’s gone on for 6 chapters now. I don’t know the history and it is confusing. It feels like he’s saying the same thing over and over with different analogies :,0( Any help?

    1. Kathleen King says:

      I have felt the same … I see His continued grace too though and desperation for His people to turn back to him. Most of Old Testament to me is seeing how much God chases after us.. He continuously says come back to me and I will bless you… when you leave me I’m hurt, saddened and angry …

    2. Kristi Griesbach says:

      Callie, Jeremiah is a difficult book for sure as it focuses on God calling His people back to Himself. The story of Israel is one of many ups and downs. God makes Israel His people and then they keep falling away from Him. They disobey the covenant they have with God and so God must remind them that He is holy and cannot be linked with such unholy living, so He tells them ahead of time to repent so that destruction and discipline don’t have to come, but Israel usually struggles to repent and has to go through a time of difficulty. Jeremiah focuses on just the “Israel has done wrong and will suffer if they don’t repent” part of the story arc… hang in there and then find a study next to help give context! There’s a beautiful one written by Angie Smith called Seamless. Praying for understanding!

    3. Laurajane Barry says:

      Callie, I try to look at the repetition of this as a sign of how important this is for us to all hear because it is so applicable to our own lives!
      It really is so encouraging to know, just like with Israel, how much God is trying to call us back to Him in our current lives as our flesh has the tendency to choose in our day to day to ignore Him and put other things before Him, even as Christians.
      It’s really showing me the importance of incorporating continual repentance into our lives and how much POWER that has to free us from the evil that is trying to consume our generation. I have to remind myself daily that He is the answer and anything I put before Him will just set me up for disaster.

    4. Sarah Bernard says:

      I think your discomfort is exactly the point. God needs us to understand the depth and gravity of our sin. Though some of our sins in 2020 might look a little different than what Israel and Judah were dealing with, this emphasis on punishment allows these ancient times to still carry that foreboding weight even all these years later. Yeah, it can feel really repetitive and is a super downer, but only through understanding how hopelessly lost we are can we cling fully to God’s promises to find us, to care for us, and to save us.

  8. Michelle Emery says:

    16Thus says the Lord:
    “Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
    where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
    But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

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