Friday, August 23. Jeremiah 16 – 18

Jeremiah is forbidden to marry and have children. It would be pointless since their destiny is only to die in the land. Jeremiah may not go to funerals. There will be no mourning for those whose lives are so rebellious to God. He cannot go to weddings or feasts or parties of any kind. There is no excuse for joy when sin looms so large.

God’s command to Jeremiah in chapter sixteen will further alienate the prophet from the people of Israel, but once again, you should see God in Jeremiah. When Jeremiah weeps for the people, it is God weeping. When Jeremiah cries out about how the people are treating him, it is God crying out. Sometimes, it is difficult in the conversation to tell who is speaking, Jeremiah or God. But it’s meant to be that way, for in this book, Jeremiah is not just a spokesman for God, he stands for God. He is the closest thing to God in a bodily form Israel will see for centuries to come. With Jeremiah separating himself from his own people in times of joy and sadness, they should see that God is alienating Himself from them as well.

No one should imagine that no matter how we live God is always there for us. The Old Testament God is not a different God from that of the New Testament. He cannot and will not abide rebellion and persistent sinfulness. Those who take such a course, choosing to forsake the law of God will find themselves alone, with no reason to rejoice and no excuse to mourn.