Last week we talked about when Jesus was having a bad day. Today we begin with the Israelites in the Book of Jeremiah, who are having a bad century.
Jeremiah is speaking to a people who have been utterly decimated by Babylon. They have been invaded, lost the war, and been carted off to exile in a foreign land.
They have lost friends and family members in the siege of Jerusalem. Their last memory of their homeland is of their beautiful temple lying in smoking ruins, fading slowly into the distance behind them as they are dragged away.
They are beaten, humiliated, devoid of hope.
Now Jeremiah writes to them, and he’s writing to everyone, from whomever is still alive among the leadership down to the common people: “These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.”
This is a people hurting and embittered. They are desperate to hear that even now God is stirring up God’s wrath, ready to rain down fire and destruction on Babylon and rescue God’s beloved people to bring them home.
What they hear is totally shocking and jarring. Continue reading