Bible Reading for AUG21: Jeremiah 34-37

AUGUST 21

In chapter 34 God instructs Jeremiah to speak to King
Zedekiah. During the siege of Jerusalem, Zedekiah proclaimed freedom
to all slaves, evidently to gain God’s favor, but he failed to
enforce this decree.

Chapter 35 records the loyalty of the Rechabites. The
Rechabites were founded by Jonadab, son of Rechab, during Jehu’s
reign. They assisted in the eradication of Baalism from Israel. They
avoided city life, with its corrupting influences, and lived simply
in tents as shepherds. They refused to drink wine, and were obedient
to their ancestor, Rechab, while the Jews were utterly disobedient
to the Lord’s commands. This vivid illustration furnished a contrast
and an occasion for pronouncing doom upon the Jews and blessing upon
the Rechabites.

The theme of chapter 36 is “the Word of God”–where it came
from, what it does, and how men respond to it. Jeremiah had been
preaching for over 20 years when these events took place. Egypt had
just been defeated by Babylon. The prophet knew that Babylon would
one day take Judah captive, but he still longed to see his people
repent. Up to now Jeremiah’s ministry had been oral. He had preached
in the Temple court and tried to awaken the backslidden nation. Now
God wants Jeremiah’s message written down, so that it might be a
permanent part of His Word. In verses 17 and 18 we see that God
spoke to Jeremiah; Jeremiah spoke the words to his secretary,
Baruch, and Baruch wrote them down. It took about a year to complete
the writings, but after they were completed, the reading of them
made a profound impression on some of the princes. The king then
defiantly burned the writings, but Jeremiah wrote them all over
again.

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