October 9 Read Jeremiah 7
There are two thoughts that we can focus on in today’s reading. First, we see the prophet taking an unpopular stand in bringing to Israel the reasons for its distress. Second, we see the depths of sin into which Israel had fallen. Are you able to point out to your friends, family, or even church, those faults that are leading them astray? This is not an easy task, but the child of God is called to admonish his brothers and sisters so that they do not fall further into their sins. We cannot do this by thinking that we are better than they, but we must humbly go to them and show them the error of not glorifying God in their work. This takes grace, but God gives to us sufficient grace even for this task. Sing Psalter 182.
October 10 Read Jeremiah 8
After pointing out Israel’s sins, Jeremiah looks ahead to the terrible judgement that will come upon them because of those sins. In the previous chapter the basic sin to which Jeremiah points is that of wrong worship of Jehovah. Israel believed that a half-hearted manner of worship would satisfy God. For that sin the terrible things related in this chapter would occur. Israel could find no peace in the way they were living. Jeremiah asks the rhetorical question of the last verse. Yes, there was and is balm in Gilead. It is only found by grace. That balm is Christ. Sing Psalter 179.
October 11 Read Jeremiah 9
Well is Jeremiah called the weeping prophet. We see that immediately in verse 1. Why does Jeremiah weep and lament? First, he weeps for the sins of God’s people. He sees the sin in all that they do, and that sin causes him to mourn. Second, he weeps when he sees God’s judgements upon Israel and Judah. Do we weep when we see sin in God’s church? Do we mourn over the judgements that God has announced for such sins in his word? Sin is sin and will be punished. If it were not for the grace of God in sending to us a redeemer, we would be destroyed as Judah was. Sing Psalter 164.
October 12 Read Jeremiah 10
One of the sins that afflicted Israel and Judah was that of idol and image worship. In his first two words from Mt. Sinai, God had warned his people against that sin. They had fallen into it head over heels. Now as they were preparing to go into captivity, into a land rife with this evil, Judah was warned to not fall farther into this sin. For most of us, image worship is not a problem. But we live in a world full of idolatry. Where do we stand? How do we stand? Let us stand upon the true word of God as found in the Bible. Sing Psalter 138.
October 13 Read Jeremiah 11
God has made a covenant with his people of all ages. Judah had broken that covenant and now was faced with ruin as the armies of Babylon circled outside the borders of the country, awaiting the day that God would send it in judgement. God has made a covenant with us in Christ. How do we live within that covenant? Do we obey our gracious God in that covenant, or are we like the men of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown, who brazenly spoke evil of God’s prophet? Let us keep God’s covenant every day of our lives. Sing Psalter 289
October 14 Read Jeremiah 12
Jeremiah, like Asaph of the psalm, pours out his complaint to God against his wicked neighbors who seem to prosper in their wickedness. God rebukes the prophet in verses 5 and 6 and reminds him of his grace that is stronger than any evil that man can devise. In the final part of the chapter, the prophet implores God’s true people to turn to God and turn from their wicked ways. Only in this way will they find salvation that is by grace alone. Sing Psalter 202.
October 15 Read Jeremiah 13
By means of two concrete signs, Jeremiah was to show the people of Judah the way that they were going. Like the linen girdle that was made useless by being hid in the ground by the Euphrates River, and like the wine bottles that were broken to bits, Judah would see what would happen to them because of their stubbornness in not turning from their evil way. There are signs of another coming destruction. These are the signs of Matthew 24. Are we giving heed to such signs? Sing Psalter 353.
October 16 Read Jeremiah 14
As Judah drew nearer and nearer to captivity, there were other signs that Jehovah was displeased with his covenant people. A severe drought had overtaken the land. In the first part of the chapter we have many graphic pictures of that drought. Judah did not heed that sign. Jeremiah pleaded with God for them, praying for them even when God told him that it was useless. False prophets had told Judah that there would be no captivity. To whom do we listen? Do we listen to the false prophets of the false churches around us, or do we listen to the prophets who truly say, “Thus saith the Lord”? Sing Psalter 293
October 17 Read Jeremiah 15
The people had fallen so far in their sins that not even the great mediators, Moses and Samuel, could save them. God tells Jeremiah that Judah will surely be carried away captive. Jeremiah then laments his own hard times as a prophet to whom no one will listen to and whom no one likes. God reassures him in his office and tells him that even in the coming calamity God will protect him. We should trust in God to protect us even when those around mock us for believing in him. Sing Psalter 300.
October 18 Read Jeremiah 16
In verse 17 we read that Jehovah’s eyes were upon his people. What does that say to us? Are we cognizant of the fact that God watches us? Do we live out of that knowledge so that we do not do things displeasing to him? Judah knew this fact, but they ignored it. Jeremiah had to be a living example of the calamities that were coming upon them. He could not marry; he could not join in times of sadness or joy. We also find in this chapter evidence of God’s grace, as the prophet intimates that a remnant would return. We also see God’s grace upon us, as there is an indication that the Gentiles would be added to the church of God. Let us live in a way that is pleasing to God. Sing Psalter 87.
October 19 Read Jeremiah 17
There are two items of note in this chapter. Judah is reproved for their idolatry and their disregard of the Sabbath day, and Jeremiah makes use of words from other places in Scripture to remind them about God and his commandments. Reading through the chapter we can see references to Psalm 1 and Job 19. These chapters have proved instructive for God’s church through the ages. We should turn to them often and see what God has to say to us through his word. If we disregard that word and walk in the sins of idolatry and Sabbath desecration, we should know that there will be no peace in that way. Sing Psalter 1.
October 20 Read Jeremiah 18
The truth of the sovereignty of God has been disregarded from the beginning of time. Satan did not like it and was cast out of heaven for not regarding it. Adam and Eve fell because they did not acknowledge that truth. We see in the figures in this chapter that Israel of old would not acknowledge it. The familiar figure of the potter and the clay is used throughout Scripture to show to us that our God is sovereign. In the world in which we live, even those who call themselves church do not bow to God’s sovereignty. God is sovereign or God is nothing. To which truth do you hold? Sing Psalter 236.
October 21 Read Jeremiah 19
Judah’s destruction was prefigured in the bottle that Jeremiah took to the garbage heap and smashed. Just as no potter had the skill to reconstruct that bottle from the shards, so no man could save Judah when God smashed them upon the rock of Babylon. Just as only the faithful in Judah bowed before the word of God as preached by Jeremiah, so only those found faithful in God’s church today will bow before God’s word concerning the final judgment that God will bring upon this world. Stand faithful and hear the word of the Lord, people of God. Sing Psalter 89.
October 22 Read Jeremiah 20
The Pashur was the ruler of the temple. He knew what the breaking of the bottle meant, but he did not react in a right way. He had Jeremiah arrested and despitefully used. After a night in the stocks, Jeremiah pronounces judgement upon this evil man. Then Jeremiah breaks into a lament for himself, as his life seems to be in danger. In that lament we have the beautiful words of verse 13. Even as Jeremiah despaired in the way God had led him, he knew that God would save his true people Israel. May God grant to us the faith to burst into singing in the most trying of times. Sing Psalter 193.
October 23 Read Jeremiah 21
A new king has come on Judah’s throne. He sends messengers to Jeremiah asking for prayers in Judah’s behalf against Babylon. Jeremiah’s answer, which comes from God, is that captivity will surely come. The people should not fight against Babylon, and the king and his court should repent of their sins. We too need to listen to the word of Jehovah as found in the Bible, for in that word is the guidance that we need all the days of our lives. Sing Psalter 334.
October 24 Read Jeremiah 22
We now reach a series of sermons preached by Jeremiah to the various kings of Judah. Their primary message is the same: repent and turn unto the Lord. Judah had committed many abominable sins, among the worst being idolatry. They had turned from the Lord and walked after many gods. God would execute judgement upon the house of David. These words come to us as well. We must not follow other gods, but we must walk in the ways of the sovereign God of heaven and earth. Sing Psalter 91.
October 25 Read Jeremiah 23
Jeremiah continues to chastise those who have led God’s flock in a wrong way. But there are several gems of truth found in this chapter. First, there is the promise of the Messiah found in verses 5 and 6. This branch will be the righteous fulfillment of all the types and shadows that have gone before him. These unrighteous leaders have failed in their calling to prefigure Christ. Second, we find in this chapter the beautiful words about God’s word. This is found in verse 29. May we bow before that word which leads us in the right way. Sing Psalter 198.
October 26 Read Jeremiah 24
After the first group of captives was taken into Babylon, God gave Jeremiah a vision. The purpose of this vision was twofold. First, the bad figs pictured those who still rebelled against God and would be taken into captivity, and some would be tortured and killed. The second purpose was shown in the good figs. Those who obeyed God and willingly went into captivity would someday be released and would return to the land of promise. Just as God’s grace was given to them, so his grace has been given to us in the form of his son Christ Jesus. May we bow to the sovereign God and obey him in all things. Sing Psalter 92.
October 27 Read Jeremiah 25
In this chapter we see that Nebuchadnezzar was the servant of God. God used him not only to chastise his people, but also to punish other nations that lived around Judah. Nebuchadnezzar was fighting with Egypt when this prophecy was first delivered. Some of Judah’s rulers had tried to ally themselves with Egypt. God, using these prophecies, would show his people that there would be no help found from any corner. Our help is not found in the strength of any man, but our help is found in Jehovah who made the heavens and the earth. Sing Psalter 352.
October 28 Read Jeremiah 26
Jeremiah goes to the temple and preaches a sermon that continues the foretelling of the destruction of Jerusalem. This he did in a very forceful manner. He is taken by the priests, and they advise the leaders to put Jeremiah to death. This does not dissuade Jeremiah from continuing to preach, even in the face of such opposition. Do we stand firm on the word of God even when faced with persecution? Are we ready to face death for speaking in the name of Jehovah? May God grant to us grace to stand for him as the end of this present world draws nigh. Sing Psalter 63.
October 29 Read Jeremiah 27
In picture language Jeremiah counsels not only Zedekiah, king of Judah, but also five other nations to bow before Babylon as it is being used by God for his purpose. The bands and yokes that Jeremiah put around his neck and sent to these kings signify what would happen to them. Just as if an ox does not fight the yoke, he will be spared pain, so the people, if they do not fight Babylon, will endure the captivity in an easier manner. Judah, like us, must bare God’s chastisement. Sing Psalter 386.
October 30 Read Jeremiah 28
God’s prophets throughout all ages have had to bear with false prophets. We find this quite often in the Old Testament. Christ faced those who said that he was not the Son of God, and the apostles faced those who told lies about them and their doctrine that was from God. Even today there are those who bring a false doctrine. We must not believe them no matter how convincing their prophecy may be. While we may not see the effects of the true prophecy as immediately as the people in Jeremiah’s day did, we may know that God’s truths as spoken by a true prophet of Jehovah will come to pass. Sing Psalter 21.
October 31 Read Jeremiah 29
People of God, do you pray for the government, however oppressive it may be, that God has placed over you? The captives who had already been placed in Babylon were instructed to do just that. In their normal daily lives, they were to stop and pray for the peace of that wicked government. That should be instructive for us. Our government is making laws that eventually may be used to put us into captivity. Our instructions: pray for the peace of that government, for in that peace we will find peace. Sing Psalter 223.
November 1 Read Jeremiah 30
In the middle of sermons dealing with the coming destruction and captivity, we find this beautiful gem of a sermon of peace. If we ask ourselves why God sends Jeremiah with this word, we find that the answer is easy. God had a remnant among the wicked in Judah. That remnant would also be taken into captivity, but by God’s grace they would be freed, would return home, and would continue to wait for the Messiah. Because Jeremiah wrote it, this sermon is for us. In the midst of this wicked world, we have the hope of the coming again of the Messiah. Our God is gracious; blessed be the name of the Lord. Sing Psalter 318.
November 2 Read Jeremiah 31
How do we know that this prophecy was true? We can see that in verse 15. We have the prophecy of the deaths of the children around Bethlehem when Christ was born. Because we know the word is true, we can expect the return of Christ and the creation of the new heavens and the new earth. Our home is not here; when the days of our sojourn are over, we will be taken to our eternal home, and after the final judgement we will live with all the saints in the glorious new heavens and earth. Sing Psalter 55.
November 3 Read Jeremiah 32.
While imprisoned for prophesying Jerusalem’s destruction at the hand of Babylon, which was even now besieging the city, Jeremiah does two things by faith. First, he obeys God’s instructions to buy a piece of land as a token of Judah’s return from captivity. He had to make known this transaction to the people so they would have evidence of what would happen in seventy years. Second, he prays the beautiful prayer found in verses 16–25. Make that prayer yours as you live on this earth. Sing Psalter 19.
November 4 Read Jeremiah 33
Once again while Jeremiah was in prison, God came to him with another beautiful prophecy. Very much like the proceeding chapter, the prophecy is that of the return of Judah to Jerusalem and the land round about it. Judah would build up their society as before, having been chastened by their stay in Babylon. Also like the preceding chapter, the announcement of “the Branch” is once more made. That Branch is Christ, who will claim the throne of his father David. God is gracious to his people of all ages. Let us celebrate that grace with the singing of the psalms that he has given to us. Sing Psalter 378.
November 5 Read Jeremiah 34
In this chapter Jeremiah once again proclaims the sureness of the destruction of Jerusalem and the capture of the king and his court by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. Further, the reason for this captivity is told. The leaders of Judah had broken the solemn covenant that they made with Jehovah. Only one sin is enumerated in this chapter, that of taking back into slavery those who had been freed, but that sin is symbolic of all the ways that Judah had broken God’s commandments. We too must not be covenant breakers, but we must live in obedience to all the ordinances of God’s most holy law. Sing Psalter 379.
November 6 Read Jeremiah 35
There was a family brought into the sphere of the covenant by Jehovah, who kept the law of God very faithfully. These Rechabites were the in-laws of Moses. In this chapter they are praised for keeping the word of one of their earthly ancestors. God holds them up in contrast to wicked Judah, who would not keep the word of their spiritual father. Judah is condemned for their sins while the Rechabites are given a beautiful promise. That promise is a picture of the glorious promise that awaits God’s people who walk in obedience to Jehovah’s commandments. Sing Psalter 20.
November 7 Read Jeremiah 36
In this chapter we find the well-known account of the writing of Jehovah’s words upon a scroll, the reading of those words before the king, and the disdain the king showed to those words by burning them piece by piece in the fire. Most of those who witnessed this event were also disdainful of the word of God. How do we treat the word of God? Do we love it? Do we keep it? Or do we burn it in the fires of our disdain of that beautiful word? Sing Psalter 42.
November 8 Read Jeremiah 37
This chapter is a summary of most of the reign of the last king of Judah, Zedekiah. Jeremiah has one word for Zedekiah during that entire reign. That word is: repent. In the way of that repentance the people are to give themselves up to Babylon, as this is the way of the Lord for them. Jeremiah is put in prison for a supposed deserting of Jerusalem. God cares for his servant in this affliction by having him removed from the innermost prison and fed. We must hear the word of the Lord, and if that word causes affliction, we must trust that our God will care for us. Sing Psalter 18.