Sunday, October 29, 2023

Sayings in Jeremiah (1)

By Ron Thomas
    Through the course of years, I have read the Book of Jeremiah many times, and as I’ve read, I have taken note of what I consider sayings from the pen (mouth) of the Lord’s prophet that are interesting. What strikes me as interesting may not strike you the same way, but I thought I would develop a thought or two from those sayings, those expressions. I begin in chapter 6.
    Jeremiah 6:10, notice the various versions of the English Bible:
    KJV: O whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
    NET: Who would listen if I spoke to them and warned them? Their ears are so closed that they cannot hear! Indeed, what the LORD says is offensive to them. They do not like it at all.
    ESV: To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
    If one is not familiar with the language of the Bible, then perhaps the idea behind an “uncircumcised ear” is perplexing. The NET gives the actual sense of what was said by the prophet. With that said, looking at the versions, the three English Bibles give no significant (or insignificant) difference in what is said. The Lord gives warning, but who listens? To ask is to answer, and this is what makes Jeremiah’s task so difficult because no one (hyperbole) was going to listen. Why won’t they listen? Because their ears are uncircumcised (closed); uncircumcised (closed) ears can’t hear, like an uncircumcised heart refusing to submit to the Lord. Those who couldn’t hear first began with a refusal to hear.
    The Hebrews writer says,
Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will (2:1-4, ESV).

    It should go without saying that it is of utmost importance that we who identify with the Lord should make it a point to hear the Lord. It should go without saying, but it can’t. In Jeremiah’s day, the same should have been thought, but as it is today, so it was then, many refuse. The consequences of such an action is the Lord’s displeasure and the subject’s damnation. The Lord’s prophet warns.

- Ron Thomas preaches for the Church of Christ at Rio Grande in Bidwell, OH. He may be contacted at

No comments:

Post a Comment