Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Jeremiah 30-45 "God's Man on the Spot" 3/4|
Chapter: Jer 37
Passage: Jer 37:11-21
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jeremiah go to do? v.12
2. Of what was he accused? v.13
3. What did the officials do with him? v.15,16
4. Why did the king send for him? v.17
5. What did Jeremiah take the opportunity to do? v.20
6. What was the king's response? v.21
As the Babylonians are temporarily leaving the country, Jeremiah decides to go to the land that he has bought from his cousin in the area of the tribe of Benjamin. Seeing him leaving, the guards arrest him. They probably know he has been a lone voice prophesying that Nebuchadnezzar will overcome the city. They probably feel he has been undermining the people, perhaps even that he is a traitor, a spy. They arrest him and he is beaten and imprisoned and placed in an uncomfortable cell.
It is then that Jeremiah's ministry as a prophet helps him. It is because he is a prophet that he's there, but it's also the reason the king sends for him. Again he simply speaks the truth and then takes the opportunity to plead his case before the king. The king responds and allows him better accommodation. Our function is always to speak the truth and say what God gives us to say and He will give us whatever other opportunity we need. “Seek first HIS kingdom”.
Chapter: Jer 38
Passage: Jer 38:1-13
A. Find Out:
1. What would happen to those who stayed in Jerusalem ? v.2
2. What did the officials say should happen to Jeremiah? v.4a
3. What effect was his word having? v.4b
4. So what did they do to him? v.6
5. What did Ebed-Melech fear? v.9
6. How did he rescue Jeremiah? v.12,13
We already have seen, previously Jeremiah beaten and imprisoned and then released. Now we see his further persecution. The message he is bringing could understandably be considered depressing from a human viewpoint. None the less it did bring some hope - there would be life for those who left Jerusalem , but that needed faith to be received and that was largely absent in Jerusalem at that time!
In what follows we see not only the unpleasantness of the officials but also the weakness of the king who, although he quite liked Jeremiah, hadn't the courage to stand up for him. The weak in faith seek to be strong in harsh deeds and the king can't stand up to them.
After Jeremiah is left in the cistern or well, it is interesting to note that there ARE those who are still concerned for him, concerned enough to risk approaching the king on his behalf.
When we speak the truth, although the majority may not like it, there WILL always be some who will respond to it and who will want to stand with us, even though it may not be publicly. We need to remember that.
Chapter: Jer 38
Passage: Jer 38:14-28
A. Find Out:
1. Where did the king meet with Jeremiah? v.14
2. Why did Jeremiah think it was a waste of time? v.15
3. How did the king reassure him? v.16
4. How did Jeremiah say the king could be spared? v.17
5. Why was the king afraid to do this? v.19
6. What did the king say to say if Jeremiah was questioned? v.25,26
Zedekiah knows in his heart that Jeremiah is God's man. Something in him yearns to know from God what he should do, and so he meets secretly with Jeremiah and questions him.
Jeremiah, fairly understandably, feels it is a waste of time. Either the king will kill him because of what he is saying, or he will simply ignore his counsel anyway. The king reassures him by an oath that he will not be harmed. Having been reassured, Jeremiah tells the king what he has told him before, that both king and city will be spared if they surrender.
Even with the hope of being spared, the king cannot let himself quite trust the Lord. This is his problem: half of him wants to trust and the other half can't. He is a man with a divided heart, half for the Lord and half for himself, and because he's not willing to be whole-hearted, he will suffer God's judgement. It is a problem that many face but God does not bestow His salvation unless there is whole-hearted commitment to Him and that applies to all men and women.
Chapter: Jer 39
Passage: Jer 39:1-10
A. Find Out:
1. In what year did Nebuchadnezzar come? v.1
2. In what year was the wall breached? v.2
3. How did the Babylonians frighten Jerusalem 's people? v.3,4
4. What did Zedekiah do? v.4
5. What happened to him? v.5-7
6. What happened to Jerusalem ? v.8
7. What happened to its people? v.9,10
After some two years of siege, the wall of Jerusalem is eventually breached. To show their superiority, some of the Babylonian officials took possession of an area usually used in the past by the rulers of the city. The effect is as they desire, terror in the city.
That night Zedekiah and his soldiers flee from the city. Their escape is short lived and they are quickly captured and Zedekiah's end is particularly unpleasant. God had warned about this. He had warned that Jerusalem WOULD be taken. He had warned Zedekiah to surrender so that he would be spared. God knew what the enemy would do unless He protected Jerusalem . The way of escape had been spelt out to this foolish king but he had refused it.
Repentance and whole heartedly turning back to God would have resulted in a completely different story, but that never came. The wilful stubbornness of the king, in so many ways like so many before him, brought the end of Jerusalem .
Chapter: Jer 39
Passage: Jer 39:11-18
A. Find Out:
1. Who gave instructions about Jeremiah? v.11
2. What instructions did he give? v.12
3. Where was he to be taken? v.14
4. Who had Jeremiah a word for? v.16
5. What had the Lord confirmed about Jerusalem ? v.16
6. But what would happen to that person? v.17,18
As Jerusalem 's walls are breached and the Babylonians swarm in and captives are taken, fear and horror must have been the prevailing feelings within the occupants of the city. The exception to all this was Jeremiah. The Lord had told him what would happen. He could rest in the Lord's sovereign knowledge and care in it all.
Then Jeremiah is given the red carpet treatment. From the very top the command comes, from Nebuchadnezzar himself. Some how he must have heard of this prophet of God speaking out, proclaiming his victory. Had this king already been having dealings with God via Daniel? (see Dan Ch.1-3)
Whatever it was, Jeremiah receives his protection while others are being taken into captivity. It would appear that the Cushite who had previously helped Jeremiah is also getting God's protection. In the midst of the disaster, the Lord is still there looking after His special men. In every situation God is the Lord! Sometimes He delivers from death (as here) and sometimes he delivers through death (into heaven), such as with Stephen in Acts 7:60.
Chapter: Jer 40
Passage: Jer 40:1-6
A. Find Out:
1. Who was Nebuzaradan? v.1
2. Where had he found Jeremiah? v.1
3. To whom does he attribute what is happening? v.2,3
4. What two options did he give Jeremiah? v.4
5. What suggestion did he then make? v.5
6. How did he sent Jeremiah off? v.5c
In the last chapter we saw Jeremiah being rescued out of the courtyard of the guard. This chapter details it a bit more. Obviously the Babylonians had been rounding up everybody, putting them in chains ready to be transported back to Babylon . Jeremiah is in the midst of his people and is in a similar state, about to be deported, when the commander comes with his king's message of freedom for Jeremiah.
Jeremiah is given a complete passport to freedom. He can go to Babylon , stay in the land, or go where he will! But then it is as if the commander thinks twice about it and realises that Jeremiah might be better off if he remains in his own land. He suggests this and provides all that Jeremiah needs to go.
What is remarkable is that the Babylonians appear just as aware of what God had been saying about Israel as the Israelites themselves. All the world will hear about the sin of Israel and the judgement of God upon them. God had said previously through His prophets that Israel was to be a light to the nations, and this includes the way they are dealt with by the Lord!
RECAP - "Jeremiah in Trouble" - Jeremiah 37-40
In this third group of 6 studies we have seen :
Now we see the opposition that so often goes with proclaiming God's word. Jeremiah is beaten, imprisoned, released, thrown down a well and then just kept in captivity, all for speaking God's word.
But then we have seen something marvellous. When Jerusalem falls and all Judah is being taken into captivity, this man is separated out and released and given freedom to do whatever he wants! God is obviously honouring His man!
1. Sometimes we must be the lone voice speaking what is right.
2. Opposition often comes when we speak out.
3. Some will respond when we speak out, many won't.
4. We need to trust God in it all.
5. The Lord is ruling over the affairs of my life.
6. The Lord can deliver me out of or through the situation
Ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit, to be able to speak boldly for Him. Thank Him that He can protect you.
PART 4 : "Jeremiah with the Remnant"
In this last Part we will see a most amazing situation: the remaining remnant still being instructed by the Lord but, despite all that has gone on, ignoring His counsel through Jeremiah. We'll also see this amazing prophet sticking with this remnant, even going into Egypt with them, despite God's words against them. An amazing man!