Desperate situations can lead to desperate measures. They can also lead to counterfeit repentance. That essentially appears to be the idea behind the latter portion of Jeremiah thirty-four. Now, at first glance, the counterfeit had some of the external markings of the true. After all, when you begin reading verses 8 through 10 you hear what appears to be a bit of good news: “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD” (vs.8a) came “after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty to them” (vs.8b).
Tag: repentance (Page 2 of 2)
Perhaps one of the most quoted verses in modern day evangelicalism is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” It’s often quoted by those in the pulpits and the pews alike to say – God has a plan for your life; walk in it; it’s a good plan. It may be found in a picture frame in someone’s home or on a professional athlete’s shoes. It might be sent from one person to another via text or shared on Facebook time after time for encouragement. But while the verse is often shared, the context is often left behind, making it probably one of the misinterpreted passages of Scripture.
Today we have a first – this will be the first devotional that covers an entire chapter in the book of Jeremiah. But this isn’t the first time the LORD has shown one of His prophets a basket of fruit (cf. Amos 8:1-3). As an aside, if you keep your eyes peeled for all the figs references found in Scripture (cf. Nah. 3:12; Mt. 21:18-20; 24:32; Jas. 3:12; etc.), it may change the way you look at a trip to grocery store. Maybe not. But let’s first see what Jeremiah saw; namely, “two baskets of figs set before the temple of the LORD” (vs.1b).
Today’s chapter flashes forward quite a bit, approximately 20 years, to the latter portion of the last king of Judah’s reign prior to the Babylonian sacking of Jerusalem. That kind of time-shift sometimes happens in the book of Jeremiah given the fact that it isn’t arranged according to a strict chronology. The chapter opens by informing us that God gave Jeremiah an answer to the question of King Zedekiah (vs.1-2) – a fact that was in itself gracious. Zedekiah sent two messengers to Jeremiah with the request that he would inquire of the LORD on their behalf (vs.2a). The occasion? To use the words of the messengers, “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us” (vs.2b). The hope? “Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His wonderful works, that the king may go away from us” (vs.2c).