Read 212.) Jeremiah 15:10 thru 17:18. I have read that there are more than 250 psychological theories concerning man, and based upon those theories, as many ideas as to how to counsel and “fix” him. The one key component of nearly all those theories is that man is inherently good, and that his solution lies within himself. This is an element of humanism; the idea that man is the highest order of being, and that above him, there is no other. Modern humanism is atheistic, and does not allow for anything higher than man. He is his own ‘god,’ and therefore, can look nowhere else to find his help. He must therefore be good, but having troubles, be somehow ‘fixable,’ and ‘perfectible.’ Is this so? What does the Bible have to say about all that? That is called Biblical Anthropology.
We resume in chapter 15, at verse 10. Since Jeremiah prophesied before the Lord from about 627 to after 586 BC, or some 40 years, he spoke and wrote numerous times to Jerusalem and Judah, during the reigns of her last 5 kings, of whom we will soon read. By so doing, it might seem tedious to us, as the matters of which he spoke and wrote repeat often. Israel greatly sinned, God was going to bring judgment, Judah was going to be destroyed and its people sent into exile. Verse 14, again warns Judah… you are going into exile! This will be the fulfillment of the 5th Prophecy concerning Israel’s Old Testament record of her history. Then Jeremiah complains, in verses 15 thru 18, but he is mildly censured and reassured by God to the end of the chapter.
Chapter 16 opens with a command from God that Jeremiah is not to marry and have children! This was to be a sign to Judah, of how that they would become widows and widowers, having also lost their children! With verse 9, God tells Jeremiah that these things will take place in his lifetime! O, how that must have deeply concerned him. We will learn how much, from his next book! As in chapter 15, so again here, the themes of Israel’s sin and judgment of exile come out, with verses 10 thru 13. But, we also have a fresh hope-filled mention of the 6th Promise and Prophecy; that of Israel’s future restoration back into her land! This is found in verses 14 and 15; as we previously saw in 12:15. But, before then, they are going to be destroyed, verses 16 thru 17:4, as their due punishment.
Chapter 17, beginning with verse 5, strikes at the heart of humanism and the ‘goodness’ of man. There is more than man, and higher than man. From verse 5, there is One God! Atheism is barren. It holds out no hope, but false hope, verse 6. Those who turn to God can know true hope, verses 7 and 8. What is at issue is clear, with verse 9, man is inherently bad! His human nature has been corrupted by sin. As a result, we do not even know how bad off we really are, and deceive ourselves into thinking we can diagnose and cure ourselves! We need God, verse 14!!! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell