Day 25: Isaiah 56 – Jeremiah 18

Top tip: read the Jeremiah passage first. It was written before the third part of Isaiah and sets the scene nicely…

Jeremiah, boy prophet, is called to convey to the people of Israel 17 chapters-worth of God’s unremitting anger. God is appalled by the sinfulness, faithlessness and stupidity of his people. The covenant (that “You shall you be my people, and I will be your God”) is broken. The punishment is destruction by sword, snakes, dragging dogs and disease. In chapter 18, God explains: it is like a potter scrapping a bungled jug and reworking the clay.

About a hundred years later (in the third part of Isaiah): the punished and humiliated people of Israel have returned from exile to the ruins of Jerusalem. God speaks through a melancholic visionary to encourage his people to worship once more. He speaks of new heavens and a new earth: God will cherish Jerusalem and the people will delight in it. There will be a new covenant between God and his people: his spirit will be with them and never leave (59:21). And those anointed by his spirit bring good news (61:1-2): words Jesus will claim for himself.

Alasdair Coles

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here:


One Response

  1. A really useful “top tip”. Many thanks Alasdair and a most helpful reflection.

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