Thought to Guide Your ReadingThe remaining Judeans believed their wood and stone gods blessed them and the cessation of sacrifices caused their problems.
Summary in 100 Words or LessIshmael, a royal descendent, killed Gedaliah. He and his men fled to Ammon.
Johanan and his army headed toward Egypt. Jeremiah warned that they would survive only by staying in Judah. Johanan answered that Egypt had peace and prosperity. Jeremiah told them God would punish Egypt, too. Johanan called Jeremiah a liar and continued on. Little did he know Nebuchadnezzar—God's servant—was preparing to smash Egypt.
God asked those left behind to leave behind their old gods. The women and men told Jeremiah the Queen of Heaven gave their blessings, not God.
God warned Baruch that worse would come.
How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right
Judah's murderous past continued with those left behind.Manasseh, Josiah's grandfather, left a culture of murder behind. This led to Judah's exile. Unfortunately, Ishmael and his men continue that legacy. Beware your legacy, it may lead to a terrible future for future generations.
God still wants those left behind to set things right.Nebuchadnezzar left behind only the poor and those unworthy of the great city of Babylon. They were unwanted. But God still wanted them. He called them to leave their stones and wood behind and return to Him. He wanted to set their relationship right so they could prepare the way for the exiles to return. God's call never ends. Set things right!
Judah learned the wrong lesson from their defeat.In an ironic twist, Johanan first asks Jeremiah for a word from his god then calls Jeremiah a liar when it comes back not in his favor. It may be understandable that they did not want to face the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar but they continued to have no faith in God. Even the lesson they learned from Judah going into exile was that their foreign gods, the pieces of wood and stone which could not move, protected and blessed them. The saddest part of the entire conversation is now they consider offerings to the Queen of Heaven as their tradition, not setting things right through the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Caution, traditions of your ancestors may or may not lead to setting things right.
Are you willing to set things right or do you blindly follow the traditions of your ancestors?
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