Big Idea: (1) Those who reject a relationship with God and refuse to repent will experience the terrible wrath and judgment of God.

(2) The visions of judgment are so horrific that Jeremiah can hardly bear them. Once judgment comes, there is no escape.

(3) Refusing to obey God is indeed very foolish, for even the sea obeys God.

In the church we often focus on the positive side of the gospel, stressing eternal life and forgiveness of sins. However, Jeremiah (particularly 4:5-31) forces us to see that unrepentant sin, open defiance of God, and refusal to listen to him will result in experiencing the terrible wrath of God. Jeremiah also emphasizes that God continues to plead for repentance, even as the judgment unfolds.

  • Ch. 3: The calls for repentance, but there is none.
  • Ch. 4-6: The consequent and inevitable judgment. The Babylonian invasion is the means that God will use to pour out his wrath.

Book Outline:

Last Sunday (2/12/17): Called by the Word (Jeremiah 1). Read Jer 1:4-5, 12. There may be no greater fulfillment in life than to live out our calling on the basis of the Word of God.

Big Idea: (1) God is very serious about sin/idolatry/adultery. It leads to devastating consequences.

(2) Abandoning God and turning to idols is like abandoning a loving faithful spouse for other sexual partners. [Alternate titles: Forsaking the Spring of Living Water; God, the Jilted Lover; An Emotionally Wounded God; God Feels the Pain of Betrayal.]

Key Themes: a) Forsaking God is foolish and stupid, with devastating consequences.

b) When his people forsake God, God is hurt emotionally because of his undying love for us.

"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water" (Jer 2:13).

Big idea: (1) God does not choose us because we are good. But because God chooses us He makes us good.

(2) Those servants God appoints for difficult tasks do not cop out or bail out no matter the difficulty or opposition, for God empowers them with his presence.

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew (chose) you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations'” (Jer 1:4-5).

A Fire in My Bones. "But if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bonesI am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot" (Jer 20:9).

Key Themes:

  • The word of God plays a critical role in Jeremiah's call. The word of God would proclaim both destruction and restoration.
  • God choose Jeremiah to be his prophet even before he was born.
  • God reassures Jeremiah by promising the power of his presence, which will deliver him from those who will oppose him and his message.