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Help us to suffer life's trials and burdens

Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, May 14
Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, May 14
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is Jeremiah 33:2-3: Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Here, once again, we are faced with at least two patterns of thought which seem to be very different and without an easily made connection. First we are told that the Lord formed it. What did the Lord form? Is this passage speaking of the whole of creation or of one specific thing? And the name of the Lord…do we not already know that when we call Him Lord?

Then we move on to God telling us that if we call to Him, He will show us mighty things that we do not know of. What are these mighty things? How will they be revealed to us?

The main theme of Jeremiah is judgment upon Judah with future restoration in the Messianic kingdom. Whereas Isaiah devoted many chapters to a future glory for Israel, Jeremiah gave far less space to this subject. Since God’s judgment was imminent, he concentrated on current problems as he sought to turn the nation back from the point of no return.

A secondary theme is God’s willingness to spare and bless the nation only if the people repent. Though this is a frequent emphasis, it is most graphically portrayed at the potter’s shop in chapter 18, verses 1 through 11. A further focus is God’s plan for Jeremiah’s life, both in his proclamation of God’s message and in his commitment to fulfill all of His will.

Other themes include God’s longing for Israel to be tender toward Him, as in the days of first love, Jeremiah’s servant tears as the ‘weeping prophet,’ the close, intimate relationship God had with Israel and that He yearned to keep, suffering, as in Jeremiah’s trials, and God’s sufficiency in all trouble.

May we be ever mindful of the great power of God and may we, as Jeremiah, repent and try to fulfill our purposes according to God’s holy will. Help us, O Lord, to suffer the trials that are placed upon us and the burdens that we are forced to bear. Give us strength in times of trial and trouble and may we always know that God’s will is sufficient for even the most difficult task. Let us, like Jeremiah, weep when we need to and ever stand in awe of Your glorious might.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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