Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 27-29
The LORD gave Jeremiah some very unique instructions in chapter 27. The prophet was to make an ox yoke and wear it around his neck (vs. 1-3). Then he was to go to three groups of people to preach a very special message. The first of these three groups consisted of five specific nations (vs. 4-11); the second included King Zedekiah and his officials (vs. 12-15); and the third was made up of the priests and people of Judah (vs. 16-22). God clearly instructed Jeremiah to make a yoke with crossbars and leather straps and wear it around his neck as he walked around the city. We must keep in mind that a yoke symbolizes subjection, surrender, servitude, and submission in captivity. Jeremiah was to wear the yoke while he delivered a special message to the five kings who had sent representatives to Jerusalem. These were the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon (vs. 3). The kings had sent these representatives to form an alliance with King Zedekiah against Babylon. They fully intended to break the Babylonian yoke—the power and dominion that Babylon had over them. As Jeremiah shows up on the scene, all eyes are upon him. Once he had focused the king’s attention on the Lord as the Creator of the world, Jeremiah declared that the LORD had made a firm decision (vs. 6-7). He would give dominion over the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This decision of the Lord Almighty was set and unchangeable. He would even make the animals subject to Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon would rule these nations as a world empire for three generations. After concluding his message to the nations, Jeremiah gave the same message to King Zedekiah. (vs. 12-15) The king and his officials had to submit to the yoke of Babylon. If Zedekiah convinced his people to serve Babylon, they would live in peace and be allowed to remain in their own land. However, the king absolutely had to heed the Lord’s warning. To rebel against Babylon would lead to the death of the people by the sword of war, famine, and disease (vs. 13). Disobeying this commandment of the Lord and resisting Babylon would bring total disaster upon the nation. Therefore the king had to stop listening to the false prophets and his advisors. They were only giving false hope by encouraging rebellion against their captors. The last group that Jeremiah addresses is the priest and people. Jeremiah preached that the priests and people must test the claims of prophets (vs. 18-20). How could they test them? By having them pray that God would protect the remaining temple articles, the articles that had not been taken in the earlier Babylonian invasion. The proof of their ministry would be if their prayers were answered and the remaining furnishings were not taken (vs. 19). We can be sure that God’s judgment is coming to this earth, but even in the midst of coming judgment God offers great hope to anyone who will surrender and submit to Him. There is no hope for those who rebel. However, for those who turn their lives over to the Lord, the blessings abound. God will richly bless those who embrace His word, and obey His commandments.
• Lord, please help me to always have a submissive spirit to what the Word of God says and to what the plan of God reveals. May I always allow you to do in my life that which you see is good. May my attitude always model a sweet spirit of submission.
• Lord, thank you for your constant grace and mercy. It is truly new every morning because of your great faithfulness. Please help me to make your decisions successful as you allow things into my life that you see that I need.
• Lord, please help me to be very sensitive to your still small voice. Please speak to me through your word, and through preachers who are faithful to your word.