We are in the Prophetic Stream reading from the Modern English Version this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
15 – Jeremiah is praying for these people and has been with quite-the-pastoral-heart. However God is not going to relent on removing them from the country after an invasion by Babylon, a disturbing deathtoll, and the city falling nearly silent. Before anyone thinks that God has become mean and the He could learn something from the long-suffering Jeremiah – that is not what is going on here. God has been patient with these people for right around 800 years and they have been a sorry state spiritually for much of the time as their rebellion and sorry whining attitude began the first week after the Exodus. The Lord will not relent and things are past the point of no return. Judaeans will die by the sword, starve in famine, and be chained together and forced to walk to Babylon. And believe it or not, it gets far worse; even ghoulish. You read about it today and it doesn’t need to be repeated. The lament that will pour over Jerusalem will be historical (586 B.C. is coming)
-Jeremiah’s lament over caring for those in Jerusalem that despise him is unbearable save for the fact that God will be protecting and showing favor to Jeremiah in the time of chaos. Jeremiah seems to pause and muse over his assignment of ministering in such an adverse time to such an adverse people. I think this helped Jeremiah understand how God felt for over 800 years trying to show love to these obstreperous people. Amid this, God assures Jeremiah that God will deliver Jeremiah from the violence.
16 – Jeremiah received a word from the Lord that he was to be apart from the local culture. It was an extreme calling in that he was not to have a family; take no wife and have not children. He was also not to take part in the natural compassionate deed of attending ceremonies with those who are mourning (funerals), he was also not to go to banquets wherein there was feasting and drinking. He had a prophetic call top adhere to plus, how could Jeremiah bear it to be mindful of a family when such horror was imminent.
Yes, captivity was coming. It was 430 years in Egypt last time. It would be 70 years in Babylon this time – and they would return from the north when they were to return…in a couple of generations. There is a peculiarly powerful word that ends ch. 16. God is about to raise a hand and strike [via Nebuchadnezzar] but His heart is always to call back, to instruct, and restore.
17 – The downfall is inevitable for Judah. It is engraved and spoken by God. It’s done. Judah will fall. Her wealth will be snatched up by another. Still God calls to them. If they are to repent, their land and lives and families will last forever. The truth abides: turn and depart from God and be cursed and destroyed — turn to God and trust in Him to be restored and be like a healthy tree; planted strong and green. The Lord knows all things: that people are incurably wicked, that thieves turn into fools, that the glory of God is what shines
-Jeremiah has promised to be delivered but he still prays for it; for his deliverance – he must have had a wave of fear pass over him as he was pondering the future of his city. The people must have been working overtime relentlessly (as restless and guilty people have been known to do).and ch. 17 ends with a protracted explanation of how the people will be returning to an honoring of the Sabbath or their city is going to be reduced to ashes.