John T. Willis

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Problem is Haughtiness--Jeremiah 13:15-27

Yahweh through Jeremiah announces that he will soon send the Babylonians to destroy many Judeans and carry many others into Babylonian exile--Jeremiah 13:15-27. This paragraph contains several metaphors and figures to describe Yahweh punishment, and gives THREE explanations WHY Yahweh is about to punish his people.

I. Yahweh reproves Judah for her haughtiness. Jeremiah 13:15-17.
Yahweh through Jeremiah pleads with Judah: "Do not be haughty." Rather, "Give glory to Yahweh." Yahweh is a gentle shepherd and is deeply concerned about his "flock." Jeremiah "weep bitterly" for Judah's "pride." Since Judah is haughty, Yahweh will bring "darkness" on his people and take them into captivity.

II. Yahweh declares he will take Jehoiachin and 10,000 leading citizens into Babylonian exile. Jeremiah 13:18-19.
a. "The king" and "the queen mother" in are Jehoiachin and his mother. For details, see 2 Kings 24:8-17; 2 Chronicles 36:9-10. Jehoiachin reigned in Jerusalem three months in 598 or 597 BCE, and was taken into exile with 10,000 of the leading citizens of Jerusalem. 13:18.
b. This is the second stage of the Babylonian exile. The first stage was in 605 BCE, when the Babylonians took some of the choice young men into exile, including Daniel--Daniel 1:1-2. The third stage was in 587 or 586 BCE, when Nebuchadrezzar II and the Babylonians destroyed the Jerusalem wall and the Jerusalem temple, leaving only farmers living around the devastated city. 13:19.

III. Yahweh explains that he will destroy Judah because of her hard-heartedness and forsaking Yahweh. Jeremiah 13:20-27.
a. Yahweh announces that a foe is coming "from the north." This is a recurring figure for Babylon--see Jeremiah 1:13-16; 4:5-6; 6:1, 22; 25:8-9. Yahweh's
"beautiful flock" is gone. 13:20.
b. Judah will suffer great pain "like those of a woman in labor." See 4:31. 13:21.
c. The people pretend to be surprised: "Why have these things come upon me?" Yahweh responds and declares that their "iniquity" is great. 13:22.
d. Judah's sin is long-lived and deep-rooted. Just as Ethiopians cannot change their dark skin or a leopard change his spots, SO Judah CANNOT do GOOD BECAUSE she is ACCUSTOMED to doing evil. HABIT is a way of life. Our choices shape who we are. Judah did not rebel against God over night. It was the result of the habit of sin over many years and decades and centuries. SIN was part of her DNA. 13:23.
e. Yahweh declares he will scatter Judah like chaff driven by the wind. 13:24.
f. The reason for their is that they have "forgotten" or forsaken Yahweh and TRUSTED in lies. "Lies" in this context probably means foreign gods. 13:25.
g. Because of Jerusalem's adulteries and shameless prostitutions, Yahweh will bring WOE on his sinful people. 13:26-27.

The picture of God's people is dismal, not because of Yahweh's failure or capriciousness, but because of Judah's habit of sin. We need to learn the importance of this message.

Share YOUR ideas and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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