Perspective 1- Diane Schmidt

The kings continued to do terrible things, leading the people away from God. They built altars to false gods, even sacrificed their own children. God sent Ezekiel and Jeremiah to speak to them, to turn them back to the Lord, but they didn’t listen. Things became desperate, they were exiled, scattered, killed, and famine was in the land yet they still refused to turn to God for help.

This reminds me so much of some of my days as a mom, when the kids just won’t do what I have asked of them. Or how about when I was as a teenager and when I wouldn’t listen to or follow my parents. No matter what is said there are times that the kids just aren’t going to do what the parents want. But God is amazing, and way more patient than I could ever be. I know many times I have been patient and forgiven them for not doing what they need to do or following directions but eventually I’ve just had it.

I can see from Chapter 17 of “The Story” that God has just had it, too. He lets them know that he is going to really let them have it now. He will scatter them, they will die, they will suffer and more. The amazing thing that we see from Jeremiah is that God still forgives his people, still loves them, still wants to be part of their lives, still has a plan for redemption. As a parent I want that, too. To have my children know that I love them, no matter what they do, no matter what consequences I have to give them, no matter how “far away” I have to send them (sometimes I need space from them). I guess this chapter reminded me that no matter what I do, how many times I reject him, make my own choices without consulting him, that God loves me and is there for me. I just need to reach out to him, call on his name, and he will reach right back to me.

Perspective 2- Dan Petrak

Perspective 3- Pastor Phil

Right at the beginning of the chapter I was stunned to read about a new batch of kings. Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. Josiah was only 8 years old when he began to reign. Other kings were 18, 22, 25, etc. Look what the kingdom has come to. Children are the ones taking the throne and given power and authority over everything. I’m not saying that children and young adults don’t have worth, they absolutely do, but do we want them to have ultimate power?

My son is 10. I can’t imagine giving him all the power of the state, country or world. We would be watching SpongeBob, Phineas and Ferb, Adventure Time, or any other animated show all the time, except when video games needed to be played. Video games would be the priority over all the land. My son can make some smart choices, but I still don’t think he would be ready for the keys to the land. I can’t imagine what life would be like.

The story says that Josiah ended up being a good king, but how good can you be at 8 years old. A kingdom that once stood with some dignity is now subject to letting little kids be king just because they are in the right family. I have to believe that these choices led to the kingdom being ripe for downfall. We ignore God and plot out our own path, which leads to destruction.

Perspective 4- Pastor Ron

Judah falls and Jeremiah the prophets weeps…..so does God.  This is a tragic chapter as the last of God’s people are carried off into captivity and Jerusalem is left in rubble.  The Temple is burned along with the King’s Palace.   The end has finally come and it was not a pretty sight.

Jeremiah is the prophet to the people at this time.  A rather reluctant prophet as first, but he turns out to be faithful and passionate.  He is the author of Lamentations and in that book he weeps over Jerusalem, thus he is known as the weeping prophet.  It reminds me of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem during his life on earth.  God had never intended it to end this way.  For hundreds of years he reached out to His people practically begging for them to come back to him.  It was to no avail though, they remained in their rebellion and unfaithfulness.  It must have caused God great grief to watch as Jerusalem burned.  The city where His Temple resided.  The Temple that David wanted to build, but was not allowed.  The Temple that Solomon painstakingly oversaw to make sure it was done just right.  The Temple that brought glory and honor to Him…….and now it is gone just like His people.  Yes, I believe that he must have wept in heaven on that day.

I wonder if He weeps yet today for all those who do not know Him and the salvation that His Son won for them.  I wonder if we weep for them?