May 8, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Jeremiah 32-36
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Context: Babylon is about to take over Jerusalem and Jeremiah buys some land. Who would buy real estate when their city is about to belong to the enemy? Jeremiah did because he was instructed to by the Lord. God promised that Israel would be returned to Jerusalem. Jeremiah showed his faith in God's promise by purchasing the land. The Lord tells Jeremiah of the future, when one of David's line will once again sit on the throne. We know who it will be: Jesus Christ! He has come once, to save us of our sins, and He will come again to restore Jerusalem and rule over all. In chapter 34, there is an example of King Zedekiah failing to follow the Law and profaning the name of the Lord. Every seventh year, according to the Law, all slaves are to be set free and debts forgiven. Initially, Zedekiah did so, however, he failed to stop people from recollecting their freed slaves and forcing them back into slavery. Permitting such a thing profaned the name of God by not living his life in accordance with the will of God. Followers of the Lord are judged by other on their actions, not their words. In sharp contrast to the people of Judah are the Recabites, who have followed the instructions of their earthly father not to drink wine. For such faithfulness, the Lord blesses them. King Jehoiakim rejected the word of the Lord, as spoken by Jeremiah. Jeremiah, at the Lord's instruction wrote down what was to come as a warning for the people, so that they might repent. Jehoiakim burned the scroll. For his disrespect, the Lord would not have anyone of his line sit again on the throne of David.
World History: Jeremiah can be confusing to read because events do not progress chronologically. In today's reading, remember Jehoiakim was king before Zedekiah, with Jehoiachin ruling between the two. Zedekiah was the last king of Judah.