Another Massive prophecy by a massive writing prophet. The scale of the book of Jeremiah is reflective of his massive ministry. Jeremiah touches me as more human perhaps than some of the other prophets, this for the very reason that he is called the weeping prophet.
Jeremiah’s preaching and writing ministry fits the culture of his day. By our own standards much of his writing is fescennine; yet it was age appropriate for it’s time as God portrays himself as a jealous husband and Israel as an adulterous wife who would rather run in lust after her lovers than offer the slightest glimpse of faithfulness to the Lord.
Adultery and it’s description is the primary theme throughout as God threatens and ultimately delivers judgment on the people who should have loved him but preferred to love sticks and stones. We are no better when we lavish our attentions upon cars, clothes and computers instead of loving passionately our Living God. Let us turn away from the temporary and worthless things of this world that we might be consumed with passion for Christ rather than titillated with lust for things which will perish.
Ultimately God does visit his judgment on the nation, half way through the book of Jeremiah. The brief but powerful book of Lamentations is a hard read written by a tender prophet with a broken heart. In five chapters Jeremiah mourns the horrendous suffering brought on by the deserved punishment from God. It is not the place of the righteous to relish the pending judgment of the wicked but rather with a prophet’s heart to warn and plead for repentance and if need be to weep when repentance is rejected and judgment finally falls.
Yet this is also a lesson that in the middle of Jeremiah’s despair he also sees hope for he knows the Living God who makes his mercies new every morning! (Lam 3:22-33).
Ezekiel – Hosea
From Jeremiah’s misery we step forward to the time of the Babylonian exile and witness some of the most bizarre -from a visual standpoint- prophecies in the Old Testament.
I’ve always longed for a really good painting which would display the first chapters of Ezekiel – but alas to this day I’ve not seen one. That is probably for the better for who could adequately capture what the prophet so visibly describes?
The opening description from the ESVLSB for Ezekiel adequately captures the visual aspect of Ezekiel with this phrase:
…the kaleidoscope of visions is reminiscent of special effects in modern movies and other video productions.
After Ezekiel it’s Daniel all the way through to Hosea. It’s an amazing spectrum. But I have to be honest it’s starting to be too much. I keep having to struggle against the urge to slow down and take deeper looks as I pass by. So I’ve taken to marking the pages so that after the thirty days are over I can begin to pour more slowly over some of these beautiful passages again.
Epic. There is no other word to describe attempting to read the longest Psalm (the shortest was yesterday at 117) together with the remainder of the book. I had to set apart a rather lengthy segment of my day to finalize the catchup race I was running but finally I made it.
On top of everything else, the proverbs too. The first chapter anyway.