And so, finally, the promised end came. Jerusalem was destroyed.
The final chapter of Jeremiah repeats some of the information we have seen before in Jeremiah thirty-nine, but his main points are to reinforce the messages of Kings and Chronicles. The book of Kings emphasizes that an earthly king is not what Israel needs. He cannot set the moral standard for the people of God. Chronicles underscores the importance of living a holy life. Chronicles does not, however, point to not trusting in the king, but rather not trusting in ritual piety. God is willing to see His temple destroyed than to accept and bless a nation of people who only pay Him lip service.
Jeremiah repeats all this. The King, rather than lead the people to holiness, led them to sin. God brought punishment on them as He had repeatedly warned. Those responsible for the apostasy could not escape – though they tried – and the temple was destroyed.
There is, however, hope. Jehoiachin was released. According to Jeremiah, Israel will be released as well.
God never abandons His people. It is, however, to their shame, that they never seem to get the message that their hope and trust is to be in Him. The writer of Jeremiah is hopeful that they will – but we know they don’t.