Category Archives: Jeremiah

Praying for our cities (Jeremiah 29)

In this passage, Jeremiah was writing to a people who had just been exiled to Babylon. Many of them were scared and discouraged. Perhaps some of them even wanted to rebel against their captors. But God told them this, Pursue … Continue reading

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Speaking God’s word faithfully (Jeremiah 23)

How faithfully do we speak God’s word to those around us? The prophets and priests in Jeremiah’s day didn’t. Nothing they said turned people away from their sin and to God. How about our words? Do they turn people away … Continue reading

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A prayer for the nation (Jeremiah 18, Isaiah 64)

I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as … Continue reading

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Verses to remember (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

In a time when many people are living in fear and worry, Jeremiah 17:5-8 is a great passage to remember. May I make a suggestion? Memorize this passage. If you belong to a small group, have all your group members … Continue reading

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Our hope for a lost world (Jeremiah 16)

Jeremiah had a pretty depressing job. He was preaching to a nation that was being judged for their sin, and God had outright told him to stop praying for the nation. That even if Moses or Samuel prayed for Israel, … Continue reading

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Listen! (Jeremiah 13)

Last Sunday, I preached a message by the same title as this article. I was preaching from Mark 4, where Jesus commanded the crowds, “Listen!” Here we see God saying the same thing to the Israelites. But here’s what I … Continue reading

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Our response in times of crisis (Jeremiah 10)

As I write this, many people around the world are panicking because of the Corona virus. How do we respond as Christians? I think we learn the answer through this chapter. Do not learn the way of the nations or … Continue reading

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To know the Lord (Jeremiah 9)

A little different style today. Instead of explaining this passage, I’d like you to read and think about it yourself . As you look at today’s passage, focus on verses 2-6, and 12-14. After that, take a look at verses … Continue reading

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Ears to hear (Jeremiah 5-6)

Next Sunday at my church, we’ll be looking at Mark 4:1-20. One of the themes of that passage is, “Do we have ears to hear God’s word?” That in fact is a major theme of Jeremiah 5-6. Unfortunately, the Israelites … Continue reading

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If we want revival (Jeremiah 3-4)

We live in a world that seems to be wandering further and further away from God. It’s easy to get depressed and mourn over that fact. But the truth is, if we want revival, it starts with us. Throughout chapter … Continue reading

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What sin is (Jeremiah 2)

In this passage, God is essentially taking his people to court, and bringing his charges against them. And in doing so, we get a clear picture of what sin is. I live in Japan, and to many people here, they … Continue reading

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A prayer (Jeremiah 1)

O Lord, you chose me before you formed me in the womb. You knew me, and set me apart before I was born. You called me as your child, and as your priest, declaring your praises to the nations. (John … Continue reading

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Faithful (Jeremiah 23:28)

I was reading through several chapters of Jeremiah today, but it was this verse that struck me. It’s in the middle of a passage in which God condemns his people’s leaders, particularly the priests and prophets, for not warning the … Continue reading

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II Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34 — Grace

And with one fell swoop, we finish two books, which happen to end with the same story.  We started II Kings way back in June of 2012, and many major and minor prophets later, we finally come to a close … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 43-44 — Sliding back

For those of you who have been following this blog through Jeremiah, you know that we’ve done quite a bit of jumping around the book just to stay roughly chronological.  That said, it may come as a bit of a … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 41-43 — Whether favorable or unfavorable

Let’s face it.  Sometimes God’s will is not convenient for us.  There are times we’d much rather do something other than what God has asked us to do.  And it’s so easy to focus on what we want or what … Continue reading

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II Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:7-41:15 — Failing to heed the warning signs

After the fall of Jerusalem, a man named Gedaliah was named governor of the area by Nebuchadnezzar.  Gedaliah appears to be a good man, and he attempted to calm the fears of the remaining Jews and was successful.  In fact, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 39:11-18; 40:1-6 — Because you trust in me

One of the nice things of trying to do things chronologically in this blog is that it gives me a better perspective of Biblical events and where everyone fits in history.  It also causes me to speculate a bit more … Continue reading

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II Kings 25:1-21; II Chronicles 36:11-21; Jeremiah 39: 1-10; Jeremiah 52 — Reasons for the fall

This is one of the few times in scripture that the same event is talked about in four different places.  Jeremiah 52 appears to be a historical appendix, however, and seems to have been added by someone other than Jeremiah.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 33 — Great and unsearchable things

I love verse 3 in this chapter. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Honestly, I need to do a lot more seeking of God in my life.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 32 — For our good

In this passage, Jerusalem is still under siege, and for that matter, Jeremiah is still in prison.  Still, God told him, “When your cousin comes here to tell you about an opportunity to buy land from him, buy it.” Under … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 37-38 — A futile hope

Zedekiah is kind of a difficult guy to figure out.  Here is the son of the last good king of Judah, Josiah.  So he had an example of what a good king was.  He also saw how two of his … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 34 — Temporary repentance

And so we continue jumping through Jeremiah to somewhat keep our chronological order.  It’s a bit unclear when these events happened, but it appears to be before Jeremiah was put in prison (where he was in chapters 32-33). Jeremiah first … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 31:27-40 — A new covenant

This is another one of my favorite passages.  As with Ezekiel, Jeremiah quotes a proverb that had become quite common among the Israelites, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.  (29) The idea … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 31:1-26 — The heart of a Father

This passage has one of my all-time favorite verses in it.  I like it because it really shows the heart of our Father. The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:  “I have loved you with an everlasting love; … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 30 — One who would dare approach the Father

In the midst of all the prophesies of Jerusalem’s fall, Jeremiah does not leave the people without hope.  God assures his people here that though he will discipline them, and not let them go entirely unpunished, yet he would not … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 21 — No genie

We now shift scenes from Babylon, where Ezekiel was, back to Jerusalem, where Nebuchadnezzar had started his siege against Jerusalem. When he came, Zedekiah panicked, and immediately sent messengers to Jeremiah, asking him to pray for them.  This, after years … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 50-51 — Run

In this passage God turns from pronouncing judgment on the conquered nations to pronouncing judgment on their conqueror Babylon.  Here, God tells them that their reign will come to a crashing end by nations from the North, that is, the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 48-49; Obadiah — Reasons for judgment

I know.  At first glance, it seems a bit strange to combine Jeremiah and Obadiah.  But there is some method to my madness.  If you look at Obadiah, it actually has a lot in common with Jeremiah 49:7-22.  A lot … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 29 — While we’re still here

I’ve been thinking a lot of about life and death recently.  One of the pillars of my church here in Japan, a woman named Kathleen Benton, passed away last week due to cancer.  She wasn’t a pastor, but what she … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 27-29 — Testing the prophets

With the final king of Judah, Zedekiah now on the throne, Judah was on its last legs.  And Jeremiah had a very unpopular message to give them and the surrounding nations:  Submit to Babylon.  If you will submit to Babylon, … Continue reading

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II Kings 24:8-17; II Chronicles 36:9-10; Jeremiah 24 — God’s choice, our choice

The sovereignty of God and the free will of man is one of those things that has been a long-standing debate in the Christian world.  We see this tension in this passage, so we’ll discuss it a bit here, but … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 46-47 — Judgment and discipline

It was at this time in history that Nebuchadnezzar was really rattling the cages of the nations around.  He had already rattled the cage of Judah, and now he was rattling the cage of Egypt. In these two passages, we … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 23 — Who to listen to

None of us like to feel uncomfortable, especially when we’re listening to messages at church.  But a good pastor will not only give messages of comfort and encouragement, but will also give messages that challenge us to grow.  And for … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 45 — Seeking what’s temporary. Seeking what’s eternal

Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, was throwing a pity party for himself.  He had delivered Jeremiah’s words to King Jehoiakim, but Jehoiakim merely took the scroll, cut it into pieces, and burned it. As a result, Baruch was totally discouraged, saying, Woe … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 35 — The blessing that comes from obedience

So many times we know what God says, but don’t obey him.  One reason is that we feel like we’ll “miss out on all the fun.”  Or that we’ll find more happiness if we do things our way instead of … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 25-26; 36 — Responding to hard words

Nobody likes discipline.  Nobody likes hearing hard words.  But how we respond to them can shape our lives for the good or the bad. Jeremiah had many hard words for the people of Judah, namely words of judgment for their … Continue reading

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II Kings 23-24; II Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 22 — To know God

The last four kings after Josiah can all be basically painted bad.  Jehoahaz (known as Shallum in Jeremiah 22), Jehoakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah all were miserable failures as kings.  We’ll take a closer look at the latter three later, but … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 19-20 — A word like a fire

“Why don’t you just shut up?  All this preaching and prophesying ever does is get you in trouble.” Jeremiah’s own family probably asked him this question.  Jeremiah himself asked this question.  God told him to take a pot and break … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 18:7-23 — Turn

When I was in Hawaii, I often had Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons come to my door.  Even in Japan, I had Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door, although since I’ve moved to my condo 6 years ago, I’ve had no … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 18:1-6 — Marred

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close.  Mine is not exactly coming to an ideal end.  I caught my third cold in the past month or so.  I suppose it doesn’t help to have a daughter … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:19-27 — Honor, trust, and obedience

I suppose it would be easy to just skip over this section in which God tells the Israelites to keep the Sabbath.  Easy because Paul wrote to the Christians at Colosse not to let people judge them concerning the Sabbath.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:9-15 — The need for a cure

The human condition can probably be summed up in verse 9 of this chapter. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? If you think about all the problems in this world, it comes … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 17:1-8 — Remaining fruitful in difficult times

Let’s be honest.  Life can be difficult.  Sometimes, it’s through no fault of our own.  Other times it’s directly related to bad decisions we make. For the Israelites of Jeremiah’s time, they brought the trouble on their own heads by … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 16:19-21 — The One to whom all nations will come

As Christmas approaches, our eyes turn to Jesus.  But which Jesus do our eyes turn to?  Is it to that cute baby in the manger? That’s a Jesus that people like.  Why?  Because it’s a picture that’s not threatening.  It’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 16 — Deliverer and Redeemer

As I write this, Christmas is drawing near.  And as such, my thoughts turn even more than usual to the one who came 2000 years ago.  Why did he come?  He came not to judge, but to deliver and redeem … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 15:18-21 — The trap of self-pity

Sometimes when following God gets hard, it becomes easy to complain.  “Why is this happening to me?  I don’t understand.  I thought that if I followed you, all would go well.  Why are you allowing this to happen?” And that’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 15:1-17 — Feeding on the words of God

Things were so bad in Judah, that God told Jeremiah he would not have heeded any intercession even from Moses or Samuel. Basically, after Hezekiah died, Judah went on a downward slide.  His son Manasseh had led the nation back … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13-14 — Where our hope lies

Here we see more warnings of judgment to come.  Jeremiah first warns the people that they will be taken captive and put to shame because of their sins.  That while they would hope for light, God would cover them in … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13:1-11 — Making ourselves useless

What are we doing here on earth?  What is God’s purpose for us?  Ultimately it comes down to two things.  First, to know him more.  And second, to touch the world around us for him.  God could take us straight … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 11-12 — Running out of steam

Nobody ever said following the Lord would be easy.  (At least I never have).  And the life of a prophet is much tougher. Jeremiah found that out when he learned that the people of his own hometown of Anathoth were … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 11 — When God won’t listen

“I’m already saved.  So I’ll just sin and God will forgive me.” That’s the unfortunate attitude of many people that say they are Christians, but continue to live their own way.  But God makes clear here that he doesn’t tolerate … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 10:1-16 — The God who is awesome

In America, we don’t see many actual idols that people worship.  Of course you have the “idols” of this world.  Fame.  Money.  Power.  Sex. But in Japan, we see idols all over the place, mostly of one Buddha or another.  … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 9:10-26 — Something to boast about

This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:  that … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 9:3-9 — Deceptive hearts, lying tongues

If there’s one thing I try to be, it’s to be honest.  I don’t even care to tell white lies very often.  If I don’t want to do something, I’ll just say so.  Nicely, but honestly.  If I don’t like … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 8-9 — Weeping for the lost

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and you see part of the reason why here.  So often, we look at the prophets and all the fire and brimstone they bring to the table, and think that they almost delighted … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 7 — When the church is not a sanctuary

We often  call the church a sanctuary.  And that’s what it is.  It’s a place where we can find God and find safety in his presence. But it is not a sanctuary for everyone.  And that’s what God tells the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 6 — A crossroad

I belong to a church in Japan called Crossroad Bible Fellowship.  It’s an appropriate name in more ways than one.  We’re located near a station that’s literally a junction point between several different cities.  But as part of the church … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 5 — Deceiving ourselves

Jeremiah continues to rip the people here in this passage.  It starts with an allusion to Sodom and Gomorrah.  As you may recall, Abraham asked if God would spare them if he found just ten righteous people in the city, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 4:5-31 — Bringing evil upon ourselves

Why is this happening to me?  People often ask that question when bad things happen in their lives.  Sometimes, bad things happen because we are caught in a world corrupted by sin.  But sometimes, we bring evil upon ourselves.  That’s … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 3-4 — False repentance

Every once in a while, my daughter will do something wrong, and we’ll tell her to apologize.  But when she does, she sometimes makes light of it, almost singing, “I’m sorrryyy.” And that’s how Judah was.  God said of them, … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 2 — Where our worth comes from

Self-esteem.  Self-worth.  These words are often thrown around in society as people try to “find themselves.” But there is only one place you’ll ever find yourself.  And you won’t find it by looking at yourself. That’s what God told the … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 1 — Something more

And so we hit our second major prophet.  This one’s a challenge, and I’m not sure how I want to tackle this yet.  For some reason, Jeremiah keeps switching the chronology of events.  He’ll talk about Josiah, then Zedekiah (the … Continue reading

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