No Guilt in Life, No Fear in Death

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Jeremiah 50:17-20 In those days and in that time . . . iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none. (v. 20) At the conclusion of Jeremiah, God declared that once the exile was completed, God’s condemnation would be spent. Once God’s judgment was complete, his instrument, Babylon, would be undone. God told his guilty people that his judgment would be final but not total. After the exile, there would still be a people. After God’s …

All Oppression Shall Cease

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Jeremiah 50:1-10 . . . let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant. (v. 5) God spent much of Jeremiah pronouncing judgment. He announced the instrument of his judgment: Babylon. Babylon was, for a time, serving God’s purposes. But at the end of Jeremiah, his instrument of judgment became the target of his judgment. Babylon was about to become “an utter desolation” (50:13). Why the apparent turn around? In his sovereignty, God used earthly agents to …

Surrender

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Jeremiah 38:14-18 If you will surrender . . . then your life shall be spared. (v. 17) Although I’ve never needed this advice, I read recently that one of the best ways to avoid a kidnapping is to fight back and make a lot of noise, in order to make it as difficult as possible to be taken. In short: don’t surrender. However, God told the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do the opposite. The Babylonian army had besieged the …

Prosperity and Peace

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Jeremiah 33:1-9 I will heal my people and let them enjoy abundant peace and security. (v. 6 NIV) Throughout the Old Testament, God promised one thing above all others: peace. The Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, a term with sweeping, almost cosmic implications. Shalom, best understood, means “all things as they were meant to be.” During the exile, God’s people experienced the opposite of shalom. Jerusalem’s buildings were torn down and its streets filled with the casualties of …

Nothing Is Too Difficult

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Jeremiah 32:17-23 Ah, Lord God . . . Nothing is too hard for you. (v. 17) Periodically I counsel couples in crisis. When there is conflict or neglect between partners, it can be encouraging to recall times of mutual fulfillment and happiness. It helps to remember when life together was good. In Jeremiah, God repeatedly used marital language. God called himself Israel’s “husband” (Jeremiah 31:32). He called his people an unfaithful spouse (3:20). Jeremiah recalled God’s faithfulness and recounted …

A New Covenant

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Jeremiah 31:27-34 I will make a new covenant with . . . Israel . . . (v. 31) At Mount Sinai, God established a covenant with his people. He offered the law as a means of making life right and making Israel right with him. They accepted the terms: “It will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment” (Deut. 6:25). Israel’s life with God was a partnership. Their contribution was obedience. They failed, …