This would be an interesting day for someone to begin jumping onto the #Biblein365 train...but assuredly enough the story doesn't end here!
Today we see disaster for Jerusalem and not prosperity. We see the dark dense fog of destruction blocking future hope, peace and the promise from the eyes of God's people. The walls have been broken. The temple, royal palace and houses have been set ablaze. The treasures in the temple have all been robbed in the same way the king's eyes were before Babylon bound him and left him for dead in a prison cell. Hundreds are taken captive, forced to leave while some are left behind amidst the ash and rubble they once called home. Jeremiah is among them when the Lord calls out to him in Jer. 39:16-18.
16 "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words against this city—words concerning disaster, not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. 17 But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. 18 I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the Lord."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen we've come to the part of the show where the words of Jeremiah begin to take shape. It's the moment everyone wakes up and wishes they would've listened and embraced their Lord. Although some might take this as an opportunity to gloat, we don't see any celebration or heckling done by Jeremiah. His attitude isn't arrogant, it's sorrowful and compassionate. Nebuchadnezzar's "get out of Jail, free" card doesn't even phase him. We would expect to see him up and leave, pass "Go" and collect his $200 (monopoly references for days), but we end up seein' his heart is with and for God's people, that they would know Him and walk in His ways even now. His spiritual posture isn't self-righteously gripping a stone, it's on his knees in the dirt with the people of God, with His love in his heart.
3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to [Jesus] a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go an sin no more.” John 8:3-11
God's people failed miserably. Defiant, stubborn and rebellious their hearts refused restoration and healing. In today's reading we watch how Jerusalem is being dragged in it's shame, against it's will in complete disgrace and yet Jeremiah casts no stone. Truth says "They deserve it". Their hands chose the chains that bind them. The hearts asked for a greater wall between them and their Creator to be built. But they had no clue what they were asking for. They had no idea how much it would cost them. But God saw it, that's why His mission since the fall (Genesis 3) has been to restore what has been broken, to tear the veil between the Creator and the created. To bridge the gap of spiritual separation, to detour man's damnation to hell through man's only one solution, Jesus.
It's interesting to me that we see Jeremiah staying behind as a beautiful picture of God's grace and hope, that our sin does not scare God, our failure doesn't hinder His future glory in our lives. There is a Redeemer and He is with us. The only difference with us and this fallen Jerusalem is that we have Jesus who can pick us up and dust us off and say "neither do I condemn you. Go and [collect $200] leave this life of sin and inherit everlasting life!