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. Angie says:

    This morning as I looked out my window, two beautiful robins strolled around the yard. They kept their heads up, except for when they pecked at a worm or bug for a little snack. A sparrow sat on the fence and watched them. A gorgeous cardinal flew from one tree to another. Yesterday, it was cool enough for a coat but, the sun was shining. Today it is supposed to rain. Clouds fill the air with an occasional peek-though of the sun. I was able to make a cup of coffee this morning, my green tea was delivered, and,…I found a delectable donut in my freezer that will be downright delicious when it thaws.

    Yesterday I checked on my neighbor. She knows of the Lord but, I do not think she would call Jesus, her Lord (from conversations we have had). She appears “hard.” She chooses to portray toughness over brokenness; most of the time. She has a lot of heartache type pain. Yet, she calls me friend. I realized, after talking to her, once again, how very lost and hopeless people are without Jesus. My head knows it all the time, but very often people are good at covering it up. It is easier to gloss over, or cover up, when everything is right in the world. Right now though, people are raw, and maybe ready?

    This pandemic is something we need to pay attention to. God gave us a brain, and we need to use it. BUT, running parallel to that thought is the Truth that God is God. The One God. The Only God. All-powerful. Almighty. Creator of the universe. Healing God. Holy God. He is the God who stays. He is constant and abiding. We. Can. Trust. Him.

    The lost world needs to see that trust in us. Whether we are a candle in the darkness or an oil lamp turned up brightly, we need to shine, especially now in this lost world. We need to be different. In our moments, in our days, may we see the robin and the sparrow and praise God for both. May we praise Him as the sun shines upon our backs or the rains streams down our faces; sometimes from our own eyes.

    A month or more ago we bought a picture, but just got it hung last night. It reads,… “Today is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever. In its place is something that you have left behind. LET IT BE SOMETHING GOOD. (and I would add, LET IT BE SOMETHING GOOD FOR GOD).

  2. Rebekah C says:

    Do you find yourself lacking faith?

    How do you get more faith?

    Hebrews tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.

    But how do you get that substance, the evidence?

    Paul tells us in Romans that faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.

    Are you listening?

    Do you gloss over the word of God or do you wait to hear from the Holy Spirit as you read?

    Have you read a certain book of the Bible only once? Paul emphasizes repetition, hearing and hearing, If you haven’t connected, read it again. Listen to someone read it. Read it out loud to yourself. Record yourself reading it and listen to it.

    And ultimately, choose to believe the word of God. Faith is a choice. Abraham made the choice to not only hear God, but listen and then do what the word of God says.

    Are you listening?

    James further tells us that just listening and reading it is not enough. I have read countless books that I enjoyed, and have re read, but honestly I cannot say that the little house on the prairie books changed my life, perhaps influenced me to try a few new recipes and dream about pioneer living, but I am living far from that life.

    The Bible on the other hand, has challenged me and has changed my life. When a family member (the ‘black sheep’ of the family) lay dying of cancer, my husband and I set aside our comfort and lives to take care of him. When others have gone without, we have given up comforts and financial gain for their benefit.

    My faith is not contained within the four walls of a church and within a book, it extends beyond the binding and leaves of the Bible, beyond the walls of Sunday morning service. My faith is messy, full of fumbles, and face plants, but it is glorious how God uses my feeble attempts at seriously taking the words and lifestyle Jesus Christ has lasted out and the Holy Spirit empowers me to be able to live, and does amazing things. It’s like He allows me to help His plan and really anything good I do is not me but Him working through me and it is glorious how He takes sincere and small efforts and turns them into something I could have never done on my own or orchestrated on my own. Most of what I do is listen and obey. Ok, I listen, argue, pout, and eventually obey. But I’m working on not doing those middle things not so much. When He speaks I try to listen, even if it’s hard.

    Are you listening?

    1. GramsieSue . says:

      I love this ! Thank you ❤️

  3. Jenna says:

    In every time and in every generation, the Lord always preserves a remnant of His people. I love how in this passage the remnant in the land is from among the poorest and weakest of the people of Israel. God, in His wisdom, chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the strong and the wise. (1 Corinthian 1:27). Lord, help me to see the unlikely ways that you show up in my life and in the world today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  4. Laura says:

    When I went through a very intense season of “suffering,” someone who was praying for me, who knows that God turns ashes into beauty, encouraged me that someday I will be glad for this season of suffering. That I will look back on it and thank Him for it, because of what He was able to do through it. Well, it has been 4 years since I started walking through that fire, and I can say that I do thank Him for the suffering. Not because of the suffering itself, of course. I wish that I never had to go through that. But through that time period I clearly heard God’s voice (I now am more prone to listen); I felt closer to God than I ever had ( My heart remembers that closeness and longs for it daily); I opened up to others about my needs and my sorrow and allowed them to minister to me (I am now so much more transparent and real instead of acting like everything is always perfect in my life); I never stopped believing that God COULD bring me through this fire (I remain steadfast in that belief, knowing that He is God, and I am not, that He is greater than any sorrow, any sin, any hardship that I may go through). My faith grew by leaps and bounds by walking through this fire. My “ashes” was my husband’s affair. I expected the beauty to be a restored marriage. It eventually was. It took 4 years. But the true beauty is all of the things I just listed. The way God remained – spoke – abided. THAT, my friends is the true beauty and the true promise that I will forever be grateful for. I am so very grateful that God restored my marriage and made it better than it was before. But I am more grateful that I came away with a rock-solid assurance that my God is stronger and greater than any evil that this world has to offer and He will never leave me or forsake me. Praise the Lord!

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      Thank you for sharing this story, Laura. ❤️

    2. Kat Cowell says:

      Thank you for your sharing this, Laura. I have seen the truth of your words in my life in two seasons of suffering too – depression and infertility – and while I am not out of those seasons yet, they have brought a greater intimacy with the Lord than I’ve ever known, and I’m deeply grateful for that. The beauty isn’t always what we’re expecting it to be, but God always comes through.

  5. Maura says:

    So good to read His word and of His faithfulness. And your responses to His word Sisters. Our God is on the throne and with us in spirit and in truth. Thankful today for what He is doing in this time. Lord make us more aware of how you are working and how we can join you in bringing You, Your Word, Your Truth Jesus to all the people and places you bring us in this time. May we bring you glory, dwell in and shine your light. Hugs to you All. He has us. Know.

  6. LeAnn Schmitt says:

    Thankful for you all and the sharing of faith here. Continuing to read through Jeremiah I am struck over and over both with God’s holiness and his faithfulness. He provides even in the darkest times. He spoke to Jeremiah even when he was a prisoner.

  7. tanya b says:

    Good morning ladies all I can think about is the faithfulness of Jeremiah to hear God and obey no matter the cost and yet trust God through (what I see as unimaginable ) circumstances. This entire time Jeremiah had to hold on to the promises of God while going through the process. I think of 2 scriptures having done all to stand and stand until you see the salvation of the Lord

  8. Stacey Wilson says:

    PRAISE GOD!

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