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Threat of Captivity March 26, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Jeremiah 13:15-27.

Summary: In this passage, God speaks through Jeremiah, declaring that He will send the people of Jerusalem and Judah – including the king and the queen mother – into exile for their sins. This stems from the fact that they are spiritual adulterers – they have worshiped idols and consorted with other nations. They have aggrieved God, who is their husband; thus, He must bring shame on them.

Thoughts: In verse 18, God instructs Jeremiah to rebuke the king of Judah and the queen mother. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point:

The prophet is now told to address his discourse directly to King Jehoiakim and his mother. By showing that he would not spare even the king and queen mother, God hoped to arouse the community in general.

Now the sidebar note in my NIV Study Bible for this verse states:

Who were the king and the queen mother? Jehoiachin and his mother, Nehushta…Jehoiachin, who began and ended his reign as an 18-year-old, likely looked to his mother for advice.

I was confused by these conflicting explanations, and so I was spurred to peruse the notes for this verse in Bible Hub. Those notes reveal some disagreement among commentators as to whether this verse references Jehoiakim or Jehoiachin. When I meet Jeremiah in the next life, I hope to query him on this point and settle the matter.

In verses 26 and 27, we see that God plans to bring shame on His people for their acts of spiritual adultery. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point:

God assumed the character of a husband to his people. As he had been so shamefully despised, he now says he was ready to punish them by throwing the skirts of his people over their faces, that their reproach or baseness might appear by exposing their private parts.

While I cannot bring any personal experience to bear regarding this passage, I assume that if a lover’s significant other were unfaithful to them, they would feel a deep sense of shame. Moreover, I assume that the aggrieved lover could be filled with a desire for retribution. In these instances, though, could their sinful nature distort that desire for justice? In contrast, we see that God displays a holy jealousy and a righteous desire that sin be punished appropriately. Indeed, I believe that He is the only “lover” who can properly respond to an adulterous “significant other” and properly punish them.

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