Jeremiah 1-20 Old Testament—2022 Lesson 42 October 10-16, 2022


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This is a commentary on Jeremiah 1-20—the text for Lesson 42, “Before I Formed Thee in the Belly, I Knew Thee”, in the Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families manual for 2022. This lesson is the first of two lessons on Jeremiah.

Jeremiah’s difficult and thankless mission was to raise a voice of warning to Judah in the years prior to its fall to Babylon. His denunciations of their wickedness are among the strongest in all scripture. His is the longest book in the Bible. He lived through the fall of his people and was an eyewitness to what the prophets had foretold for the previous centuries. He was a contemporary of Lehi and encountered the same hostile reaction to his warning voice that Lehi did. His calling was to stay and see it through, while Lehi’s was to leave and start anew in another land. Understanding Jeremiah is the early context for the Book of Mormon.

His message was about how God would take apart the Jewish nation. He would describe the loss of their temple and temple worship. He would detail the loss of their covenant with God and the cancellation of their ancestral land claims to the land of promise. Their national traditions and their royal dynasty would also be erased. He described all of this in a collage of pronouncements that centred on suffering and destruction. He also had a role in planting and preparing the remnant to survive and then later to return and try again. He described in personal agonizing detail how one might deal with great loss and distress. He also gave encouragement and hope by describing how one might repent and imagine new possibilities in a relationship with Jehovah. He traced out a covenant path that his people could follow, that would bring them out of the wreckage of their nation and of their personal lives. These are paths that many of us may have to walk as well. We all need repentance and have to walk away from some wrecks in our lives towards a brighter future. Jeremiah is surprisingly relevant for a 2,600 year old document. pp.49


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