Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 11

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By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile


Jeremiah 2:1–13

Remembered? (1–3)

This is one of Jeremiah’s early sermons. In the introduction to the sermon, he describes young love in a poetic way. The love was not between two people but between God and Judah. This concept is woven throughout Scripture.

God is portrayed as the husband and His people collectively as the bride.

They are no longer newlyweds, but God remembers when they were. When they were newlyweds, the bride was faithful. God remembers when they were in the wilderness. It was not a perfect relationship, but on the whole the people remained loyal until Joshua led them out of the wilderness and into the promised land.

Whenever Israel would harvest grain, the first fruit was set apart for God. It was dedicated to the Lord. It was holy. It was so special that if anyone came along and ate some of what was to be dedicated to the Lord, he was guilty.

God was saying to Israel that all the world is His, but Israel is special. They belonged to the Lord just as the first fruits belonged to Him. Israel was dedicated to the Lord, and as with the first fruits, there would be more fruit to follow with a future greater harvest that would come from among the nations.

God also declared that if anyone touched His people, He would destroy them. God did wipe out the nations before His people. He drove out anyone who came against them.

Forgotten? (4–8)

God remembers the way things used to be, but the people of Judah had forgotten. The leaders forgot and stopped asking about the God who brought them out of Egypt.

They forgot about the God who led an entire nation through the wilderness and into the fertile promised land.

Their rulers no longer knew the Lord. The shepherds who were to lead them to God were leading them to false gods.

How did this happen? The nation’s leaders did not lead in truth.

After Jericho and Ai were defeated, Joshua read the law to the Israelites (Josh. 8:34–35). But the law of Moses was forgotten.

Nearly 700 years after Joshua, Josiah rediscovered the law and read it to the people.

Remember, Jeremiah was ministering during the reign of Josiah. He was trying to remind the people of the way things were and encourage them not to forget God.

The leaders who were to lead the people to remain loyal to the Lord no longer sought the Lord themselves. As the leaders go, so goes the nation.

If the Scripture is not prominent in people’s minds, they will forget that God relates to His people through the Scriptures. Blessed is the person who obeys God’s Word.

But the person who forsakes God’s instruction is like the chaff the wind blows away (see Ps. 1:4). The leaders and the people of the land had forgotten what God had done for them.

Exchanged? (9–13)

In these verses God assumes the role of prosecutor instead of defendant. He charges that other nations did not change their gods, even though they were not really gods, but Israel did.

She exchanged her glorious God for worthless idols. The people abandoned the fountain of living water for cracked cisterns that are not able to hold water (v. 13). They looked to idols that were powerless to provide for their needs.