Jeremiah 15 Commentary
Moses and Samuel parallel the “Law and the Prophets” of Luke 16. They represent the two bodies of revelations we now know as the scripture. But that is for another day. The context here is the intercessory function of both Moses and Samuel.
The Law together with its expansion through the body of the Prophets stood as the means through which men and women could reach the Creator God. The Law was a huge institution that created the Sanctuary worship system including the priesthood.
The Prophets operated a non-priestly function but still delivered the word, the will, and the purposes of the LORD to the people. They pointed men and women back to the Law.
Jeremiah 15 says that the LORD won’t listen to both institutions. This chapter creates a huge crisis for humanity. Where would mankind be if the LORD distances Himself in this way?
Thus the LORD unleashes His wrath on humanity. Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.
“Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem? Who will mourn for you? Who will stop to ask how you are? Verse 5. Mediation has failed. Trouble reigns.
Without saying it, this chapter is a pointer to yet another mediator, the man Jesus Christ. “If Jesus were to stand before me, my heart would definitely go out to this people.” This would be the New Testament version of verse 1.
But let not the saint relax his efforts at the sanctification’s altar. We are here because the LORD is tired of holding back. “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” Hebrews 2 verse 3a.
Unconfessed sin doesn’t exactly vanish. It remains active, so confirms verse 4. The mention of Manasseh’s grave sins against the LORD means the file was still active. Time is a great healer but let no saint cheat herself this way concerning sin.
You may live long and in success, comparable to Manasseh’s long reign – 55 years, the longest period of service on David’s throne. You may drive out tomorrow in a supercar and have people clap your way out of your mansion, but remember, unconfessed sin remains on your file in heaven.
The last section of chapter 15 is interesting. Jeremiah enters the shoes of the LORD – probably the shoes of Christ pre-incarnate. “What is there to be done that I haven’t done?” He is the suffering Servant! The picture of trouble on behalf of the lost! We can have these suspicions because the words used are that of a man performing a superhuman function – the man Jesus Christ doing His thing in the Old Testament, what the New Testament saw in perfection.
If you repent, I will restore you. Verse 19. He didn’t. The LORD punished Him. He served a full sentence on your behalf. The salvation we know through the LORD Jesus Christ is a mediation effort that was completed at Calvary.
Looking at it from the lens of the New Testament, chapter 15 drives us to the thoughts of Calvary, and how we all need to treasure what we have received through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God – so ably represented by Jeremiah’s suffering.
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