Summary: Chapter 40 picks up after King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the captain of his guard, Nebuzaradan, was charged with caring for Jeremiah. When they reached Ramah, Nebuzaradan released Jeremiah and told him to go to Gedaliah, son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and stay with him and the people who were left behind in the land. Gedaliah had been made governor over the land. The poorest not exiled, as well as Jews from Moab, Ammon, and Edom, all returned to Mizpah.
However, Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, hatched a plot to kill Gedaliah. After he murdered Gedaliah and the Jews with him, he went about committing horrible atrocities around the city, killing more Jews. He left 10 alive, taking them captive and left for the Ammonites. But Johanan, who had warned Gedaliah of Ishmael’s plan, set out with his officers and recovered these captives from Ishmael.
Johanan then calls upon Jeremiah to pray to the Lord for guidance. The Lord commands Jeremiah to instruct the remnants of Judah that if they stay, instead of turning to Egypt, he will protect them and provide for them. But Johanan and the others refused to believe Jeremiah and disobeyed the Lord. They left for Egypt and took Jeremiah with them. They continued to be prideful and forgetful of the desolation that the Lord brought upon them in King Nebuchadnezzar. They had no faith. Chapter 45 closes with Jeremiah speaking to his scribe, Baruch, with a message from the Lord about his negative attitude.
What is one key verse? I feel that Chapter 45 verses 3-5 are really important.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ “Baruch, this is what the Lord says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”
This verse shows that God is listening to us when we reach out in prayer; when we cry out in sorrow and grief. But it also teaches us to be humble and fear the Lord. To trust His great plan and not blame Him when things get tough.
How does what you read change your vision of God? Considering the pandemic situation we’ve been in for over 5 months now, I feel that my vision of God has changed in that I see Him even more as the Father that he is to all of us. I’ve had to make some difficult decisions for our children in the last 5 months and deal with a lot of disobedience, but nothing compared to the remnants of Judah. The patience that God has had with His people over the years is astounding!
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? Playing off of the previous question, these chapters have shown me that my problems right now are miniscule and I can certainly persevere. If God could be patient, but also a stern and loving Father through all of the disobedience and idolatry, then I can learn to be more patient and loving with our children.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? I will Go With God by making sure to be more prayerful, especially when I am feeling sorrowful or grieving, and remember to always be humble and thankful as I patiently wait for God’s plan to come to fruition.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? I saw Jesus in Jeremiah in these chapters. Jeremiah was so patient and sacrificial, even through being held captive and having to watch the people continue to make bad decisions. And he still made every effort to help them despite the circumstances.