The Prophet Jeremiah addressed the people of Judah and Jerusalem over a forty–year period leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. The book of Jeremiah addressed the exiles, especially those in Babylon, in the years after the catastrophe.
First of all then, says Chris Wright, we must encounter Jeremiah the prophet who, from his youth to old age, delivered the word of God to the people of Israel at the most terrifying time in all their troubled history. Understanding his times is essential to understanding his life and message. Next, we must strive to grasp how this enormous book (the second longest in the Bible, after Psalms) has been put together. And finally, if Jeremiah spoke in his day, and if the book still speaks today, in both cases it is because of the God who called the man to speak and commanded the book to be written. So we must encounter the God of Jeremiah – an encounter that should be both profoundly disturbing and ultimately reassuring, as it was for him.
In the end, Jeremiah is a book of the victory of God’s love and grace. His redemptive, reconstructive work fills the book’s future horizon – a future that we see fulfilled in the New Testament through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah; and ultimately in God’s dwelling with his redeemed people forever in the new creation.
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