Day 32

Jeremiah Stays in Judah

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 39:1-18, Jeremiah 40:1-16, Jeremiah 41:1-18, 2 Chronicles 36:15-16, Romans 6:23

BY Erin Davis

Suffering has a way of shoving cotton in my ears. When the going gets tough, I have a bad habit of convincing myself that God has stopped speaking altogether. At times, I find myself squashed by my perception that the Spirit has simply gone silent on me.

But then I read the words of Jeremiah, the prophet who spent his days weeping (with good cause) over God’s people and their disobedience, and I am reminded that God is hardly indifferent to us, our sin, or our suffering. Within today’s reading alone, just three little chapters of Jeremiah’s story, we find that his city of Jerusalem besieged as pagan officials laid in wait to accost his neighbors. The king fled and was captured… and then had his eyes gouged out. The sons and nobles of Jeremiah’s homeland were then slaughtered, and his countrymen were carried away into exile. And the cisterns that were meant to hold water were instead filled with the bodies of those who were slain (Jeremiah 39–40). Keep in mind: that’s just three chapters.

Jeremiah himself was left to live as a prisoner among the most destitute of his brethren. This single snapshot of Jeremiah’s story contains more heartache than you and I will likely ever know. Yet it was at that moment that “the word of the LORD had come to Jeremiah when he was confined in the guard’s courtyard” (Jeremiah 39:15). The sound of God’s voice speaking in Jeremiah’s darkest moment unstops my ears and reminds me that the things of this world, even the political upheaval of leaders, cannot squelch the word of the Lord; His plans will succeed. Suffering, imprisonment, and sorrows—none of these are a match for God’s power and goodness. There is no prison that can lock out God’s voice, nor is there a ruler who can censor Him.

With every form of comfort stripped from Jeremiah, what a balm God’s presence and voice must have been! The Book of Jeremiah is proof that there is nothing God’s children cannot endure as long as the Lord is still speaking. On every peak and in every valley, in times of plenty and in times of want, whether everything is coming up roses, or all we see is darkness—if we listen for the voice of our Shepherd, we will find that He is still speaking. He is not indifferent but engaged. God Himself is still wooing, always calling His children back to Him.

Post Comments (59)

59 thoughts on "Jeremiah Stays in Judah"

  1. Heidi says:

    “He has done JUST what He decreed…” – my reminder that God is faithful to His promises. Unfortunately a large part of the promises fulfilled in these chapters are rough to read through. But even in the hard parts, I can’t help but notice He still leaned on the side of concern and love for His people. He continued to remind “this isn’t forever”- it’s for-now. It’s to reshape hearts and bring you back. It’s to show My power and confirm I am the Living One True God. He desired so so greatly to provide and protect and build them up as a people, but they got there hearts into such a bound up mess there was no way out other than drastic. But even still- He still has His plan of redemption and knowing what I DO know if His character, I fully believe His mind was always focused on the redemptive part of His plan. That He was ACHING to get to the part where He got to hold them, love them, give them everything He desired. And He is still that God. He will do anything -allow His own Child to be tortured and sacrificed- ANYTHING, if it means the restoration of His children. I’m grateful to serve a God Who is big enough to continually pursue after me… that I mean THAT MUCH to Him.

    1. Natasha R says:

      Thank you Heidi, your words soothe my worried brain and tired heart.

  2. Wendy Picariello says:

    Heard this last night during our church’s devotional: Even though we are practicing social distancing, God is not. Therefore, we can boldly approach God’s throne. Even though we’ve been reading about the discipline of Israel, He never left them. There are multiple verses about God’s compassion. And he honors his promise to bring them them back.

    1. Sarah C.Keenan says:

      Thanks for sharing that. It was helpful to read right now.

  3. Sue says:

    ”the things of this world…cannot squelch the word of the Lord”
    No matter what is happening in my life or in the world today, may I remember the Lord is speaking. May I take time to stop and listen to His voice.

  4. Latoya Wanser says:

    How timely!

  5. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    Thank you all for your prayers yesterday. Our God is bigger than all of this that we have going on. And, we know the final outcome. Lord, let us be your hands and feet to draw more people to You during this time.
    Praise His Name!

    1. ChappyBeach Girl says:

      ❤️

  6. Churchmouse says:

    God tells Jeremiah that He will rescue him and deliver him “because you have trusted in Me.” Jeremiah’s life was spared. His beloved city lay in utter ruin. The majority of the people and officials were dead or taken into exile. Only a remnant of the poorest were left to scratch out a living amidst the rubble. The world around them still swirled with violence. It all seemed so hopeless.

    Do I hold on to the Rock of the Word of God when my world seems desolate, when all seems dark and all my ‘normal’ seems crumbling? Have I placed my faith in the Truth of God’s Word or has my faith been in man and what they can accomplish, the solutions they devise? Is my vision short – sighted, focused on my present circumstances or do I truly walk in faith, believing without seeing? Do I turn to task force briefings for my hope or do I fall to my knees before the God of hope? Am I wringing my hands in worry or are my hands lifted up in worship? Help me Lord to answer these questions honestly and help me to place my full trust in You.

    1. Denise N says:

      So good….

    2. Laura Beth Peters says:

      Wow! Your question towards the end on turning to the task force for hope really stuck out! Thank you!!!

    3. GramsieSue . says:

      Truth! Do I place my faith in man and what they can accomplish, the solutions they devise?
      Oh my! My first thought this morning was “have they passed that stinking bill?”
      I’m not even going to turn on the TV today!
      A better use of my time would be to spend the day in prayer, worship, and study of God’s Word.
      Stay safe sisters ❤️

    4. Paige Farmer says:

      Thank you for this today!

    5. K D says:

      Yes oh yes Lord.

  7. Tina says:

    I think our current season, happening right now in our world, has suffering, imprisonment and sorrows attached to it..
    For many, the weeks ahead will reveal one, if not two or all the above. We are in a time/ season of crisis and uncertainty.. changing each day..

    But God..

    But God..

    But God..

    His Word is alive and active, sharper than a double edged sword..TRUST HIM Hebrews 4:

    His Word is not in chains, (or imprisoned) THERE IS POWER IN HIS WORD 2 Timothy 2:9

    …but the Word of the Lord remains forever.” This word is the Good News that was proclaimed to you. THE SAME YESTERDAY. TODAY. FOR ALWAYS..1 Peter
    1:25

    Yes, grass withers and flowers fade, THINGS AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT MAY CHANGE, but the Word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

    His Word is TRUTH.

    His Word is FREEDOM.

    His Word is HOPE.

    It truly is amazing that we are studying Jeremiah right now, in this current climate, His word comes to us in our places of despair, in our isolation, in our sorrow.. in our trials..
    As I write, I had a picture of the Bible and Gods Word being stitched to our hearts..

    THE WORD OF GOD IS IN US.

    Amen..

    I’ll finish with these words..

    Jesus commented, “Even more blessed are those who hear God’s Word and guard it with their lives!” HOLD IT IN OUR HEARTS. TRUST AND OBEY. HOLD FAST AND BELIEVE.
    Luke 11:28 MSG

    Prayerful over each of you dear sisters..❤
    Stay safe. With love from across the pond…❤

    1. Julie Bayne says:

      Beautiful words! I was thinking those same things as I read today. Thank you for blessing us with your beautiful gift of words!

    2. Nancy Singleton says:

      Such an encouragement!!

    3. Jane K says:

      ❤️❤️❤️

    4. GramsieSue . says:

      Needed this today, and everyday. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. ❤️

    5. Nanette Duron says:

      Amen! Thank you for such a beautiful reminder.

    6. J Francois says:

      Amen Tina

    7. Natalie Johnson says:

      Beautiful!

    8. Catherine W says:

      But God is my company’s current theme. We are looking for “But God” moments in the lives of co-workers’ kids, in a messy and unjust push to move all foreign believers out of the country, in the lives of unbelieving friends, and I our own hearts. The same God who spoke to Jeremiah in darkness is the same God who steps into history and lives today.

      1. Sara Sowers says:

        I’ve been wanting to do a study of the words “but God” and when they are found! I think I’ll do that as soon as this Lent series is finished

    9. Candy B says:

      Thank you, Tina.

    10. Sara Sowers says:

      I was just thinking the same thing when I was reading this! Thanks be to God for always being there for us, through any situation!

  8. Kristen says:

    Yes! Terrible destruction and death were all around. However, I was cheering when I read these verses: Today I am setting you free from the chains that were on your hands.r If it pleases you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will take care of you. But if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, go no farther.A Look—the whole land is in front of you.s Wherever it seems good and right for you to go, go there.” 5 When Jeremiah had not yet turned to go, Nebuzaradan said to him,B “ReturnC to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people or go wherever it seems right for you to go.” So the captain of the guards gave him a rationt and a giftu and released him. 6 Jeremiah therefore went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah,v and he stayed with him among the people who remained in the land.

    Yes, it was terrible, but God had the captain of the guard release Jeremiah, give him a ration, and a gift. In my mind, I took that as God not forgetting him, giving him favor, and providing! That was reassuring and a reminder of the character and goodness of God.

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