Jeremiah1s long Ministry, which was over forty years stretched from 625
B.C until a few years after Judah ceased to be a nation in 586 B.C. Israel’s over fifty years of religious apostasy under Manasseh was later followed by religious reform under King Josiah from 621 – 607 B.C. Jeremiah supported the reform with enthusiasm until he realized that it was not changing the people’s hearts. Two years after Josiah’s death, the battle of Alchemist in 605 B.C, established Babylonia control over western Asia. From that time, Jeremiah advocated submission to Babylon, but without success. Under the last four kings of Judah, twenty one years of religious apostasy and political weakness made the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C and exile inevitable. The distressing circumstances in which Jeremiah worked and the extraordinary extent to which idolatry had replaced revealed religion in Judah are clearly mirrored in Jeremiah’s prophecies. So also is Jeremiah spiritual anguish occasioned by this apostasy yet, he was no pessimist.
He was essentially God’s warrior, but a warrior who was also a watchman and witness. Chapter one describes Jeremiah’s call to prophet-hood; from chapters two to thirteen enables us to reconstruct the condition in which he prophesied, while chapter fourteen his awareness of and his fellowship with God.
In Jeremiah’s oracles, He sought to achieve moral purpose, alas, the northern Kingdom’s adulteries with the Baalim compelled Him to divorce, sending them to exile. So also Judah in the southern Kingdom, failed to learn from Israel’s experience. She outdid Israel in sexual impurities yet Judah repudiated the charges of religious infidelity. There God must Judge her. Repentance might have stayed divorces proceedings (exile) her adulteries notwithstanding so great is the Lord’s grace. But so established was Judah in lewdness that she was incapable of moral amendment, gradually social virtues disappeared.
Sacrifices and ritual failed as substitutes for repentance and righteousness, Judah’s appalling sinfulness meant that sin must be congenital. It sprang from a sinful nature. Judgment was inescapable, and exile. But exile was not the final word.
A remnant would return to lie under Messiah’s rule in religious and social security. Messiah’s righteous rule over a righteous people helps explain Jeremiah’s doctrine of the New Covenant people would be righteous because their hearts would be renewed. They would obey God’s laws from the hearts spontaneously. The new covenant insuring forgiveness and inward moral dynamic would transcend the legalism of the old covenant. Eventually through Christ’s death and the inward regenerative activity of the Holy Spirit, the new covenant became a reality.
THE OUTLINE OF THE BOOK JEREMIAH JEREMIAH,GOD’S WARRIOR-CHAPTERl:l-33:26.
The summons: Jeremiah’s call and commission-Chapter 1:1-19
Judah situation-Chapter 2:1-13:27 Sickness-Chapter2:1-6:30
Blindness-Chapter8:4-9:1 Treachery-Chapter9:2-22 Idolatry-CHAPTER 9:23-10:25
Jeremiah’s encounter-Chapter 14:1-25:38
Tenderness for Judah-Chapter 14:1-15:9
Bitterness because of Judah-Chapter 15:10-21
Loneliness in Judah-Chapter 16:1-21
Witness to Judah-Chapter17:1-27
Visit to the Potters House-Chapter 18:1-23
Shattering of the earthen vessel-Chapter 19:1-15.
Meetingwith Pashur-Chapter 20:1-18.
Counsel of surrender-Chapter 21:1-14
Demand for Justice-Chapter 22:1-23:8
Denunciation of the false Prophets-Chapter 23:9-40
Two basket of figs-Chapter 24:1-10
The cup of God’s Fury-Chapter 25:1-38
Conflict of Faith-Chapter 26:1-29:32
With enemies-Chapter 26:1-14
With False prophet-Chapter 27:1-22.
With Shemaiah-Chapter 29:1-32
The substance of Faith-Chapter30:1-31:40 The Action of faith-Chapter 32:1-44.
The vision of Faith-Chapter33:1-26 JEREMIAH GOD’S WATCHMAN HASTENING THE WORD-CHAPTERS 34:1-45:5
Released Slave-Chapter 34:1-22
The Rechabites-Chapter 35:1-19
The Word of GodTranscribed-Chapter 36:1-32
The Word of God Communicated-Chapter 37:1-38:28 The Word of God Fulfilled-Chapter39: 1-18 Gedaliah’sGovernorship-Chapter40:1 -41:18
Final Word inJudah-Chapter42:1-43:7
Final Word of Egypt-Chapter 43:8-30
Jeremiah Admonishes Baruch-Chapter45 :1-5
JEREMIAH GOD’S WITNESS TO THE NATION
The prophet concerning the Nations-Chapter46: 1 Egypt-Chapter46:2-28
Philistia -Chapter 47:1-7 Moab-Chapter48:1-47 Ammon-Chapter49:1-6 Edom-Chapter49:7-22 Damascus-Chapter49:23-27 Kedar-Chapter49:28-29 Hazor-Chapter 49 30:33 Elam-Chapter49:34-39 Babylon -Chapter 50:1-51:64