In Jeremiah 38, we talked about how doing the right thing sometimes leads to punishment. But what about the people doing the punishing? When Babylon destroys our city or we get thrown into a cistern of mud, what happens to the guys doing the destroying or throwing? Will the bad guys get what’s coming to them? And, is it okay to want that to happen?
Sometimes we despair over our sinfulness and turn the Lord for mercy (Psalm 130). But other times, we do the right thing and are punished for it. That’s the situation we find in Jeremiah 38:1-13. Jeremiah has spoken the message that the Lord asked him to speak and others are seeking to kill him for it.
You don’t pick up a cookbook looking for the same things you would find in history textbook or vice versa. You expect a different kind of experience from a “beach read” and a suspense-thriller or from a travel guide and a self-help book. What do you expect from the Bible? What kind of book do you think it is? What do you hope to gain from reading it? Jeremiah 36:1-32 records a story about Scripture and reveals part of the process of how it was written down. In looking at why God instructs Jeremiah to write down His words, we’re going to answer, “What’s so special about the Bible?”
With the Babylonian army threatening their border, Jerusalem was a place with little to no hope. How could that hope be for real? To teach His people that hope is real, the Lord told Jeremiah to do something crazy. In fact it was perhaps the most ridiculous move anyone could take – unless hope is true.
Jeremiah warns the people of Judah that God is about to let the Babylonians conquer Jerusalem and deport them because they have disobeyed God. That raises the question, “If God really is going to let our city be destroyed and send us into exile, what good is believing in Him? What good is faith?” In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God tells Jeremiah to reveal more about His plan and show His people where faith will eventually lead them.