Cover-to-Cover – Jeremiah (1)

Dr. Dog – Where’d All the Time Go

Taking a break today from the uber-informative top five outdoor gear essentials series to return to something that’s been neglected for quite a while.  Yes, that’s right.  The Cover-to-Cover experience is still going on.  While the summer provided all sorts of challenges to overcome, and I’ve got a good bit of make-up reading to do sometime this year, I’m still plowing ahead.

So in the four month blogging hiatus, you’ve missed out on my sage comments for nearly a third of the Bible.  Sad, I know.  Of all the books that I missed out on talking about, Isaiah is the one that I most regret skipping out on.  In many ways, Isaiah is the book on which the New Testament most heavily leans.  Anyway, all that is for another post… maybe.  Our church preached through select passages of Isaiah.  Maybe you could ask them for copies of the sermons.

At any rate, for those of you still on board with the read the Bible in a year challenge, we find ourselves in the middle of Jeremiah.  All I can say is that it is pretty depressing stuff.  If you have any experience reading through the prophets, you’ll know that judgment seems to be a pretty common theme.  So much so, that you might be led to believe that God really likes judgment.  I don’t necessarily hold to that view.  I tend to think that the judgment only magnifies his mercy and grace all the more.

However you look at it though, there was plenty enough reason for judgment.  God’s people had not only “prostituted” themselves to other Gods, they had sunk pretty low on the scale of human depravity…  again.  From the sounds of it, things had gotten pretty bad.  Widespread sexual impurity (5:7 ), human sacrifice (7:31), and injustice against the poor (5:27-28).  Honestly, stuff that was pretty deserving of judgment.  I’ll leave you to connect any of the dots to the present day.

That said, there are glimpses of hope in the first half of the book.  Including the passage in chapter 23 dealing with the  “righteous branch” that is to come.  I don’t think it is any accident that “shepherd” language is used to describe the one to come.  I seem to remember someone referring to himself as the “good shepherd.”

Also, take note of the two fig baskets of chapter 24.  There aren’t just a ton of references in the Bible to figs.  And in the gospels, there is something of a famous incident involving Jesus cursing a fig tree.  Needless to say, I think Jeremiah’s ministry plays a part in forming Jesus’ understanding of his own identity and calling.

Ok…  as noted earlier, the first half is pretty dismal.  Things start to brighten up a bit in the latter half.

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