July 19


Jeremiah 36-37

We are in the Prophetic Stream reading from The Message.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

36 – It is 605 B.C.  The first onslaught of the Babylonians has taken place. Judah has less than 20 years left until Jerusalem is burned to ashes and the country is cleaned out. The inevitable is “in the air”. The people of God; prophets and true lovers of God sense that “it’s just not right in the world right now.”  The king? His attitude is quite different.  We find this out after Jeremiah is told by God to write all this down. Jeremiah spends about a year writing down what God has said to him so far. To be exact, Jeremiah dictated and Baruch his assistant/scribe writes is all down. It is read by Baruch to the officials.  Some are in awe of the import of what they have just heard. Other officials took the scroll and eventually it gets read to Jehoiakim; the king of Judah.  He, with a cavalier attitude, cuts off a few paragraphs at a time and throws it piece by piece into the fire.  The King burns the “Book of Jeremiah”!!  He then attempts to fetch and arrest Baruch and Jeremiah but it’s unsuccessful as God intervenes.  God will see to it that Jehoiakim and his descendants are “a family obliterated” for the burning of Jeremiah’s work. Jeremiah and Baruch team up and write it all down again.  He’s not the first saint in history who has had to start over from the top and repeat it all again so to complete his ministry. Were they exasperated or did they simply shrug and say, “can you say that again, God?”

37 – Babylon was attacking from the north. Egypt was moving up from the south to make war as they were being hired to assist Judah.  When the Babylonians heard that Egypt was coming, they retreated for a time to avoid being over loaded in their objective to take Judah.  Jeremiah knew that Babylon was NOT retreating but taking a rest.  They had full plans to resume the ransacking of Judah.  He later tried to convince the king that he should not be complacent for Babylon’s army would return.  During a lull in the fighting Jeremiah returned to his former home in Anathoth of Benjamin perhaps to gather food since it was scarce. He is captured there on suspicion of defecting to go help Babylon as a traitor to Judah. He gets a beating and a jail term until the King Zedekiah comes to him looking for advice. Jeremiah’s word to this king is pertinent and empassioned.  Zedekiah then keeps Jeremiah with the palace guard and gives him a daily bread ration.  Things could be worse.  They do get worse … later.  [as in next chapter that we read next week]

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