We are introduced to a prophet named Jeremiah. One interesting thing right off the bat with Jeremiah is his claim that God told him that “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” This goes back to the whole free will/predestination debate. If we have free will to steer our lives however we wish, how would God have “known” Jeremiah before he was even born?
Jeremiah 2 continues what Isaiah was basically all about and what chapters upon endless chapters here in the Old Testament have been about: idol worship. It is a never-ending rant with hundreds of chapters devoted of God chastising the Israelites and threating or describing punishments. I would say it’s a good thing that God is always talking about this in a way to get his people to come back to him, but at the same time, reading an almost identical chapter hundreds of times is getting very cumbersome.
Again, God talks about idol worship. God says that he even sent a “certificate of divorce” to Israel because of how many times she cheated on him with idols. And Judah was doing the same thing. But God expresses his hope that they both will return to him.
God tells Israel and Judah that if they return to him and throw away their idols that he will bless them, but if they do not, his “wrath will break out and burn like fire.”
It’s just an endless loop: God discusses how he will punish the people for idol worship if they don’t stop doing it.
God talks about how he has stirred up a nation from the north to come and attack his people due to their idol worship and other sins.
God promises his people that if they will return to him and act justly that he will protect them.
Idol worship, punishments, idol worship, punishments…
God feels bad for punishing, but its something he feels he has to do, “Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.”
Idol worship and the punishments for it. Repeat.
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