Jeremiah 2 : 1 – 3 : 5
Jeremiah, speaking on behalf of God, accuses Israel of forsaking God. How had they done this? By not trusting Him! He asks whether he ever let them down. A difficult question since they were in slavery in Egypt and then wandered the desert for 40 years. We do expect times to be tough occasionally but how can we tell if it is just a bump in the road or our world unravelling. Not always easy but faith is for when we can’t rely on our own resources.
The rather horrifying conclusion here is that Israel has reached the point where they can’t turn back. They can’t repent and throw themselves on God’s mercy. Enough is enough and it is now going to end badly. A dire warning.
Remember that Revelation is a record of John’s vision. It is not a description of any reality. Therefore everything in it is symbolic and needs interpretation. Not only the objects described, like the books, the lake of fire, the dragon, the chain, the Abyss and so on are symbolic but the time declared as a thousand years is also symbolic. And then there are the actions. The books were opened. People and things were thrown into the lake of fire. Even these actions need interpretation. We can definitely see that there is going to be a judgment in the afterlife and we will want our name (symbolically) to be written in the book of life. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that the key to this is our faith in Jesus.
Finally, a difficult scene to interpret. Even Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. Perhaps referring to life in heaven itself where there is no more death or punishment. This is surely a very appealing interpretation for many people as they/we struggle in this current life. Does it make you want to be sure that your name is going to be written in the book?