Devotional Commentary on Jeremiah 10

Jeremiah opened this chapter asking the remnant to listen to what the Lord has to say about them (verse 1). The Lord does not want them to adopt the contemporary culture, fashion trends, music styles of the surrounding cultures and nations. Why? They should not learn them “unto the way of the nations you shall not learn” (verse 2a). The nations are intrigued by the signs of stars and astrology and their fortune or future predicted by them (verse 2b). Even the jurisprudence of a-biblical nations “are vanity”. It is just tools for this world like a “wood that one cut from the forest” or the work of hands or art of the carpenter with a small axe (verse 3). It is an excerpt from the forest of jurisprudence possibilities but that forest is the same since it is also wood. There is no difference really.


They beautify the statutes (verse 3) with silver and gold, with nails and sledge hammers. They strengthen them so it does not bend (verse 4). Just like carpenters making tables that cannot bend, the statutes of jurisprudence of the nations are made not to bend the law. Their statutes are like a palm tree that is beaten, but even if you hit it, it will not speak, and you have to carry it, since they do not step (verse 5). The jurisprudence of nations, you do not need to fear since they will do no harm and at the same time they do no good either (verse 5).


Jeremiah painted this picture of the anthropological constructed jurisprudence of humans and in verse 6 he compares it to the Lord.


God, says Jeremiah, is not comparable. He is great and His name is with might. All should fear the Lord rather for among all the wise lawyers of Jurisprudence of the world there is none like the Lord (verse 7). The jurisprudence of the surrounding nations of the remnant are “stupid and foolish” and the “vanities for which they will be punished are but wood” (verse 8).


It was the common habit in Phoenicia to make silver beaten plates at Tarshish and these plates had Egyptian motifs on them usually telling a story of victory or conquest. In the middle was the Pharaoh or king hitting the conquered nation or people that are caught by the troops.


Gold is from Uphaz. Their clothes were blue and purple and the work of wise men and very good fashion designers (verse 9). Despite beautiful fashion and designs that were very interesting and high-tech, in comparison to the subject of ability, God is true, He is living, He is the King of the World and one day at the End of Time, “from His anger the earth will quake [tirash].” The nations cannot contain His fury [at the Second Coming event] (verse 10).


The Lord gave Jeremiah then a message to the remnant with many Aramaic words in it: The gods (Aramaic) which (Aramaic) the heaven (Aramaic) and the earth (Aramaic) did they not make (Hebrew) shall perish from the earth (Aramaic) and from under (Hebrew) these heavens (Aramaic) (verse 11).


God then wants to know the identity of the Creator with a couple signifiers to Himself: Who made the earth with His strength, Who prepared the world in His wisdom; and with understanding He stretched out the heavens (all in Hebrew) (verse 12). The Aramaic gods did not make at Creation but the Hebrew God did.


At the sound of His giving there [is] a multitude of waters in the heavens. And He brought up clouds from the end of the earth. In the lightenings He made to rain. And He took the wind out of His treasuries (verse 13).


Every human is burned from knowledge; every smith is put to shame from the graven image for false is his melting and no spirit in them (verse 14). This is very insightful.


Just as molten image art is spiritless and false as useful for real life so knowledge empty of truth about God is also empty as vessel for understanding. Vanity they are, from the work of delusion. In the time of their visitation or judgment, they shall perish (verse 15).


The true remnant will however, not receive these portions “not as these is Jacob’s portion” [the people from the Time of Jacob’s Trouble]. “For He is One Who formed everything, and Israel the tribe of His inheritance, the Lord of Hosts is His name” (verse 16).


With this the true identity of the Creator is honored. Then the Lord explained what will happen to the evil. He asked the inhabitant of fortified cities to gather in their merchandise (verse 17).


The Lord then says that He will sling the inhabitants of the land and He will bring troubles to them “that they may find.” Troubles come so that the evil can turn around and repent and if not find their ultimate death.


God then responded saying “Woe is me”. It is not the prophet Jeremiah. The Lord said to Himself, it is but an illness and He will bear it (verse 19). The Jewish commentator Mezudath David explained that it is Jeremiah but that is not possible. God continues to speak of the pain He is suffering since His tabernacle or tent has been spoiled (verse 20). All His cords have been broken. His children, the faithful went out from Him and are not there. “No one pitches my tent anymore or sets up my curtains” (verse 20).


It is the worship of God that is lacking here and give pain to God. “For the shepherds was burned and the Lord they did not seek, therefore, they have not prospered and all their flocks have been scattered” (verse 21).


It is a chaotic situation for the ministry of God. Rejecting the pastors and ministers of God and not seeking the Lord trouble came over their lives and the faithful flocks of God became scattered.


The Lord continues to speak and said: “A sound of report: Look, it comes and a great tumult from the northland, to make the cities of Judah a desolation” (verse 22). The Lord predicts trouble of the Babylonian forces to come from the northern area to the south at Judah.


Then Jeremiah spoke and said: “I know, Lord, for not to a human is his way and not to man to walk to prepare his way” (verse 23). Jeremiah knows that man is not to rely on himself for his life and future. Dependency on God is the key to success.


Jeremiah then prays for disciplining from the Lord: “Discipline me, O Lord, Ah, but with a measure, not with Your wrath, lest You diminish me” (verse 25). He wants God to renovate him but with careful measure according to His grace and not His wrath. One the nations that do not know the Lord however, he wants the Lord to pour out His wrath. It is upon the nations that did not call the name of the Lord. They refuse to have anything to do with the God of the Bible and the God of Revelation. They have devoured the faithful remnant and consumed it and destroyed it and have wasted their dwellings (verse 25).

Dear God

In our own day churchboards are firing retired worthy servants of yours just because they do not want to follow the Lord and want to work on the Sabbath in their fields. Bring all to a better understanding of their poor situation. In Jesus name, Amen.