“Do you still hope for peace?” a journalist asked Bob Dylan in 1984.
“There is not going to be any peace,” Dylan replied. His response drew criticism, yet there’s no denying that peace remains ever elusive.
About 600 years before Christ, most prophets were predicting peace. God’s prophet wasn’t one of them. Jeremiah reminded the people that God had said, “Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people” (Jeremiah 7:23). Yet they repeatedly ignored the Lord and His commands. Their false prophets said, “Peace, peace” (8:11), but Jeremiah predicted disaster. Jerusalem fell in 586
Peace is rare. But amid Jeremiah’s book of dire prophecies we discover a God who loves relentlessly. “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” the Lord told His rebellious people. “I will build you up again” (31:3–4).
God is a God of love and peace. Conflict comes because of our rebellion against Him. Sin destroys the world’s peace and robs each of us of inner peace. Jesus came to this planet to reconcile us to God and give us that inner peace. “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote the apostle Paul (Romans 5:1). His words are among the most hope-filled ever written.
Whether we live in a combat zone or dwell in a serene neighborhood with nary a whisper of war, Christ invites us into His peace.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. C. S. Lewis
Jeremiah delivers a devastating message of coming punishment to the people of Judah. God’s judgment of sin includes loss of spouse and property (Jeremiah 8:10), failed crops (v. 13), and overwhelming terror (v. 15). Why such a devastating punishment? They have mishandled the law of the Lord (v. 8). Jeremiah continues by saying that they have no wisdom since they have rejected the word of the Lord (v. 9). Scripture is not something to be treated lightly. In the Bible God reveals Himself and His plan for humanity’s redemption. It’s a story to be treated with the utmost respect.