-In the fifteen verses of this chapter God tells Jeremiah to go and buy an earthenware potter’s jar and bring some of the elders and senior priests to the valley of Ben-hinnom (Topheth, lamentation) to make His point to them (Jeremiah 19:1). God reveals He is about to bring a calamity upon the land that will make “the ears of everyone that hears of it tingle (Jeremiah 19:3).” The reason given for this calamity is six-fold: 1. Because they have forsaken their true God, 2. Because they have made the land an alien place (accepted other religious belief systems), 3. Because they have burned sacrifices to other gods who were unknown and worthless, 4. Because they filled the land with the blood of the innocent (including child sacrifices), 5. Because they stiffened their necks in rebellion against God, 6. Because they have not taken heed to His Words (Jeremiah 19:4-5, 15). *Application* This list as it pertains to us today includes erecting idols that take priority over serving our God, being tolerant of other world views to the point of capitulation, practicing paganism, violence, rebellion, and neglecting the Word of God (i.e.- the Bible). Sound like our current society at all? What do you think?
-Because of the atrocities, God declares that the days are coming when they will no longer call the deep and narrow valley located to the north of Mt. Zion and in the southwestern area of Jerusalem with the name of Ben-hinnom. It will be known rather as the valley of Slaughter (Jeremiah 19:6, see Joshua 15:8;18:16, 2 Kings 23:10, 2 Chronicles 23:8; 33:6 to understand the history and know why God was so disdained with this place). God will make their counsel void, set them to the sword, and give their carcasses to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. The city will become a desolation and an object of hissing that astonishes all who pass by it (Jeremiah 19:7-8). Further, there is the prediction of cannibalism during their time of disaster, which did come to pass (Jeremiah 19:9, Lamentations 4:10, Ezekiel 5:10).
-The clay jar is instructed by the LORD to be broken in the sight of the men who accompanied Jeremiah to relate the fact that God is breaking His people and the city of Jerusalem, “even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired (Jeremiah 19:10-11).” The LORD relates further that the valley will be their place of burial as an only place due to the vast carnage. Jeremiah goes back from Topheth (Ben-hinnom) where he had prophesied to the court of the LORD’s House and there proclaimed disaster upon them from the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel (Jeremiah 19:12-15). *Application* Before you are broken beyond repair it is wise to surrender wholeheartedly to God and His ways. Call upon Him while there is time. Who knows when that precious time that you’ve been given for making a righteous decision in faith for Christ Jesus will end. Behold, today is the day of salvation and life change. Don’t delay!
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 19:15