JEREMIAH lived in the last years of the Jewish kingdom, when the nation was growing increasingly godless and wicked.
Judah was under threat from the empire of Babylon. Many Jews at the time wanted to seek the aid of the king of Egypt, but Jeremiah told them to submit to the king of Babylon instead, because this was in God’s purpose. He foretold the overthrow of Judah and surrounding nations.
For preaching such a message, Jeremiah was cast into a muddy dungeon and left to die (38:6), but he was saved by a friend.
The 70 Years Captivity
Jeremiah prophesied a period of captivity for Judah:
And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. ‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation’ (Jeremiah 25:11–12).
This happened just as Jeremiah said. His prophecies also speak of another greater period of scattering and persecution followed by a regathering (for example chapters 31–33) which brings us to our modern era: in the First Century ad Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were scattered by the Romans, then in 1948 the nation of Israel was re-established.
The Divine Potter
God told Jeremiah to go and watch a potter at work. The vessel the potter was making went wrong, so he remade it. God explained that He is like the potter, and His people are like the clay. He is able to mould them into shape, if they will let Him. On the other hand, He will destroy those who become so hardened that they cannot be changed (19:11, 15).
By kind permission of ‘The Christadelphian’
Some interesting links with other parts of the Bible
Jeremiah 14:8; 17:13—see Zechariah 9:12; Acts 28:20.
Jeremiah 17:8—see Psalm 1:3; Ezekiel 47:12; Revelation 22:2.
Jeremiah 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16—see Zechariah 6:12; Revelation 3:12.