Jeremiah 40 Commentary

Jeremiah 40 Commentary

Not too long ago, Zedekiah’s government scorned, beat, and imprisoned the prophet, Jeremiah, severally. Today, the prophet is the recipient of gifts from Nebuzaradan, commander of the imperial guard. We know this goodwill for the prophet is coming down from the emperor himself, Nebuchadnezzar.

Not that it matters to Jeremiah and his kind, but who wouldn’t thank the LORD for His generosity!

See how little excited the prophet is about the offers from the emperor! Zedekiah and his officials were mistaken. They thought Jeremiah was an enemy within. They thought he would jump camp and join the Babylonians – a case for which the prophet once received beatings and imprisonment. A place of honor at the imperial palace, who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity? But Jeremiah isn’t one for such vanities. What a lesson for us today!

At what point does the LORD show up? Let’s see what we think and probably want. The LORD should show up before a crisis and therefore, a crisis doesn’t happen at all. This is what we want. But what does the LORD want? We can observe from scripture that the LORD shows up any time He chooses.

There are countless troubles we haven’t experienced because the LORD showed up before the trouble hit. We are not even aware because the trouble never came.

There are troubles we are aware of because they happened but we really never experienced them. The LORD showed up right on time.

There are times when the LORD shows up in the middle of the crisis – when you are halfway sunk and initiates His rescue plan. Jeremiah is in chains and suffers the fate of the wicked like he was one of them! It is at this point that the LORD shows up and Jeremiah is free and receives a gift and provisions.

But the prophet Jeremiah knows the LORD isn’t absent at all. Let the saint ponder this fact. The LORD does what the LORD does, when and how. And it is always for the good of those who love Him. He knows the plans He has for the saint – good plans.

The last section of chapter 40 deals with the assassination of Gedaliah. The LORD hasn’t halted His sword on the nation. When the LORD withdraws, hell reigns. We have good reasons to fear.

Gedaliah assures the remaining people with words we suspect come from the great prophet Jeremiah. But when it comes to what Gedaliah thinks is an administrative matter concerning his own safety, he ignores the prophet. He settles down under a false peace. But at what cost? There are many times when we have considered certain areas as prayer-free zones. We feel everything is so obvious that prayer is probably not required at all. How mistaken! Just how mistaken!

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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