Prof. Steve Fowl has recently completed a series of guided reading and study on the book of Jeremiah over at Seattle Pacific University’s Center for Biblical and Theological Education blog. Here’s a snippet:
“One way to look at Jeremiah is as a story about losing everything. By everything, I mean not only home, land, livelihood, place of worship, family, and friends. Jeremiah also relates the destruction of all of the mental, social, and spiritual foundations upon which the great majority of Israelites built their view of the world. Indeed, one of the things that becomes clear in Jeremiah is that the people of Judah are crippled by a set of presumptions about God. Their notions about the LORD’s nature, identity, and desires are so distorted that they can neither understand God nor themselves properly. This is what I mean by losing everything.
As I began writing these studies on Jeremiah, the news was filled with pictures of people fleeing their homeland, seeking a better life in Europe. Often pictures of these people poignantly reflect what Jeremiah describes: destruction, uprooting, disorienting loss, unrelenting grief. For Jeremiah and the people of Judah, behind the catastrophes they will face stands God. Although Jeremiah and others serve as God’s agents, it is God who ultimately plucks up, pulls down, destroys, and overthrows (Jeremiah 1:10). Most importantly, it is also God who will build and plant. In their state of loss, God is committed to building anew in Israel, to replacing rotted foundations with everlasting ones, to guaranteeing the hope and the assurance that, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well” (Julian of Norwich).”
I encourage you to check out the whole lectio study here.