Jeremiah – Chapter 28

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Verse 1 – And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,

Hananiah was a native of Gibeon and a false prophet and publicly contradicted Jeremiah’s prophecy about the yoke (chapter 27).

Verse 2 – “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.

Verse 3 – ‘Within two full years I will bring back to place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.

Verse 4 – ‘And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,’ says the Lord, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’ ”

(Jeconiah is another name for King Jehoiachin of Judah.)

Verse 5 – Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the Lord,

Verse 6 – and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! The Lord do so; the Lord perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the Lord’s house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place.

Whether Jeremiah did this sarcastically or wanted it to be true, and agreed, is not known, but time would tell which one was telling the truth.

Verse 7 – “Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people:

Verse 8 – “The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms – of war and disaster and pestilence.

Verse 9 – “As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent.”

Jeremiah told Hananiah that even the prophets that came before him, spoke of war, disaster, and plague. He reminded him that the words that came from a prophet of God had to be fulfilled to prove they were true.

Verse 10 – Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it.

Verse 11 – And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.’ ” And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

(Don’t try to argue with a fool.)

Verse 12 – Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah saying,

Verse 13 – “Go and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron.”

In other words: Hananiah had made God’s word more certain and hardened.

Verse 14 – ‘For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also.” ‘ ”

Verse 15 – Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.

Verse 16 – “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the Lord.’ ”

Verse 17 – So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

They only had to wait two months to see the words of Jeremiah’s prediction of Hananiah’s death come true.

It’s a very dangerous thing to contradict what God says. You can’t twist it, or change the meaning behind what God has written in scripture. If you’re listening to anyone who contradicts scripture, get away from them. God means what He says , and says what He means, and His words do not return void! Our personal opinions are not included in the equation.

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Jeremiah – Chapter 27

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The year was 593 B.C. and Nebuchadnezzar had already invaded Judah once and had taken many captive. Jeremiah wore a yoke (a wooden frame used to fasten a team of animals to a plow) as a symbol of bondage. This told the captives to put themselves under Babylon’s control or be destroyed.

Verse 1 – In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim (Zedekiah) the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying,

Verse 2 – “Thus says the Lord to me: ‘Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them around your neck,

Verse 3 – ‘and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.

Jeremiah made each of these kings a yoke and sent it to them with the Lords message.

Verse 4 – ‘And command them to say to their masters, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel – thus you shall say to your masters:

Verse 5 – ‘I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me.

Verse 6 – ‘And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him.

The people of Judah were punished by a foreign ruler. He chose Nebuchadnezzar to be his servant-do His will. We might not think God is in control of everything but scripture proves over and over, He is. God may use unusual people at times to correct us.

Verse 7 – ‘So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.

Nebuchadnezzar and his sons, and son’s sons dominance lasted 3 generations. God appoints power and determines its duration as well. Their exile would not be over quickly as some false prophets had said.

Verse 8 – ‘And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,’ says the Lord, with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.

Verse 9 – ‘Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, “You shall not serve the king of Babylon.”

False prophets and diviners prophesied from the way arrows fell to the ground; dreamers, interpreted different signs, scorers (conjurers) were all banned from Israel and had said the people “would not serve the king of Babylon – falsehood, because God said they would.

In today’s society, we call this the occult. God forbids it and He hasn’t changed how He feels about it. When people think they are conjuring their dead loved ones, don’t you believe it! These are demons that live in darkness and they all lie!

Verse 10 – ‘For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish.

Verse 11 – ‘But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let them remain in their own land; says the Lord, ‘and they shall till it and dwell in it.’ ”

If you are a child of the Most High truly born-again, then your steps through life are being ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23). So don’t think it strange when hard times come your way, because they will. First look at anything you might be doing or neglecting in being obedient to God. If you can’t determine where or why you are going through that situation, then buckle up and go through it because God is right by your side. Sometimes its a work He has to do in us before we can get to where He wants us to be. But our trust is always in believing He’s a good God and knows exactly what He’s doing. Praise Him for the end result!

Verse 12 – I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live!

Verse 13 – “Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?

Verse 14 – “Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon, for they prophesy a lie to you;

Verse 15 – “for I have not sent them.” says the Lord, “yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you.”

Jeremiah had told Zedekiah to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, but all the other leaders wanted him to fight. It would be disgraceful for him to surrender.

Verse 16 – Also I spoke to the priest and to all this people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, “Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon”; for they prophesy a lie to you.

No articles or anything that was taken would return until the reign of Cyrus of Persia in 536 B.C.

Verse 17 – ‘Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste?

Verse 18 – ‘But if they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.’

A genuine prophet was to be interceding with the Lord, and they weren’t.

Verse 19 – “For thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city,

Verse 20 – “which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem –

The pillars, made of bronze and placed in front of the temple, were called Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 15-22), theses would be broken up. The Sea, was a massive cast basin sitting on the backs of 12 cast oxen. It was used as a wash basin by the priests (1 Kings 7:23-26). The water carts were stands on wheels that support the lavers (1 Kings 7:27-37).

Verse 21 – “yes, thus says the Lord of hosts, the god of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem:

Verse 22 – ‘They shall be carried to Babylon and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,’ says the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.’ ”

When Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah, first in 605 and then in 597 B.C., he took away many important people living in Jerusalem, including Daniel and Ezekiel. Even though they were captives, they had a profound impact on the exiles and leaders in Babylon. The third invasion in 586 B.C. is when the precious objects were taken, just as Jeremiah had predicted.

Jeremiah – Chapter 26

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These events described in this chapter took place in 609-608 B.C., before the events described in chapter 25. Jehoiakim was a materialistic and self-centered king who persecuted and murdered innocent people.

Verse 1 – In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord, saying,

Verse 2 – “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.

Jeremiah had to stand in God’s house and say exactly what He told him to say, even if it meant the people coming against him.

Have you ever left out the part of the gospel about the consequences for rejecting Christ when telling another about Jesus? Sometimes we don’t want to be that blunt to others about where they are going to end up if they die without Christ. However, God made it very clear to tell Jeremiah not to leave one word out.

Verse 3 – ‘Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.’

Verse 4 – “And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you,

Verse 5 – “to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded),

Verse 6 – “then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” ‘ ”

Shiloh was where the temple had been set up after the conquest of Canaan (Joshua 18:1). This is a summary of the complete message in chapter 7 of Jeremiah. This message infuriated the religious leaders.

Verse 7 – So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord.

Verse 8 – Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priest and the prophets and all the people seized him saying, “You will surely die!

These people thought Jeremiah had spoken blasphemy, because, how could God destroy the city and temple, which they considered invincible, promised to David?

Verse 9 – “Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

Verse 10 – When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and sat down in the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house.

This New Gate was probably used for trials.

Verse 11 – And the priest and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, “This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.”

Jeremiah was branded a traitor because he prophesied the destruction of the city and the temple.

Verse 12 – Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people saying: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city with all the words that you have heard.

Verse 13 – “Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He pronounced against you.

Verse 14 – “As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you.

Verse 15 – “But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”

Jeremiah had stayed on message 20 years and showed great courage in standing up to them. He let them know that his message had originated with God.

Verse 16 – So the princes and all the people said to the priest and the prophets, “This man does not deserve to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.

Isn’t it something that the princes and the congregation of people knew that Jeremiah was speaking for God and the priests and the prophets who were supposed to be closer to God, didn’t?

Verse 17 – Then certain of the Elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people saying:

Verse 18 – “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountains of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.” ‘

The elders remembered the words of Micah (Micah 3:12). (I had someone tell me one time, that the Bible was written in chronological order, uh, no it’s not. Micah is 8 books after Jeremiah, but yet these men in Jeremiah’s time remembered him speaking. Just one proof, not in order.) When Micah called the people to repent, they turned from their wickedness. This argument was effective and they released Jeremiah.

Verse 19 – “Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor? And the Lord relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves.”

Verse 20 – Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjah Jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah.

This story of Urijah is not mentioned any other place in scripture. He faithfully proclaimed God’s word, and then they killed him.

Verse 21 – And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt.

Verse 22 – Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achor, and other men who went with him to Egypt.

Verse 23 – And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.

Jehoiakim had charged Urijah with treason and when he caught him, he didn’t bury him with the other prophets, he threw him in with the common people, which was a great insult in God’s face.

Verse 24 – Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.

Shaphan was the scribe of King Josiah’s reform. We don’t know why God would save some prophets, and yet let some die. Neither do we know why some recover from devastating diseases and some don’t. I will say this though: If God has placed a calling on your life, you will not go anywhere until it has been accomplished. God finishes what He starts.

Jeremiah – Chapter 25

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The Seventy-Year Captivity

Verse 1 – The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, King of Judah (which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon),

Jeremiah gave this message 20 years before it began in reality. You would think after hearing the same message from a prophet of God, that they would listen and change, nope!

Verse 2 – which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,

Verse 3 – “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the Lord has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened.

Imagine preaching the same message 23 years and being rejected. Jeremiah was not the only prophet sent by God at this time. Uriah, Zephaniah, and Habakkuk, were also sent.

No matter how people respond when you tell them about what Christ has done for them, remain faithful to God, for He is your rewarder.

Verse 4 – “And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear.

Verse 5 – “They said, ‘Repent now every one of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.

Verse 6 – ‘Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’

Verse 7 – “Yet you have not listened to Me, “says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

Verse 8 – “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words,

Verse 9 – ‘behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against the inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolation.

Did you catch that? God called the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, His servant, meaning he will be used by God to do His will in punishing Judah.

We don’t always understand God’s ways, but they are to a divine wisdom beyond our comprehension and it covers a bigger plan than what has entered our thoughts or imagination. He uses whom He chooses to accomplish His will.

Verse 10 – ‘Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.

Verse 11 – ‘And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Verse 12 – ‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldea’s, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation.

The Babylonia’s would be punished for their own sins, not because they carried Judah’s people off. Zerubbabel led the first group back to Judah. The troops of Cyrus the Great entered Babylon in 539 B.C. and killed Belshazzar, the last Babylonian ruler.

Verse 13 – ‘So I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning all the nations.

Verse 14 – ‘For many nations and great kings shall be served by them also; and I will repay them according to their deeds and according to the work of their own hands. ‘ ”

Verse 15 – For thus says the Lord God of Israel to me: “Take this wine-cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.

Verse 16 – “And they will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”

Verse 17 – Then I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom the Lord had sent me;

This was a vision that God gave Jeremiah of His wrath going to all the nations that had come against Him.

Verse 18 – Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and its princes, to make them a desolation an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse, as it is this day;

Verse 19 – Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his princes, and all his people;

Verse 20 – All the mixed multitude, all the kings of the land of Uz, all the kings of the land of the Philistines (namely, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod);

Verse 21 – Edom, Moab, and the people of Ammon;

Verse 22 – All the king s of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coast lands which are across the sea;

Verse 23 – Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who are in the farthest corners;

Verse 24 – all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed multitude who dwell in the desert;

Verse 25 – all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes;

Verse 26 – all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world which are on the face of the earth. Also the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

Jeremiah stood in Jerusalem and pronounced God’s wrath on all these nations and kings. The news of this would then be spread to all these nations.

Verse 27 – “Therefore you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Drink, be drunk, and vomit! Fall and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.” ‘

Verse 28 – “And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “You shall certainly drink!

Verse 29 – “For behold, I begin to bring calamity on the city which is called by My name, and should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth,” says the Lord of hosts.’

The Lord was saying, if His wrath began in the nation that is called by His name for doing these sins, then how could the other nations go unpunished?

There always has been and will continue to be severer consequences for nations who reject God All Mighty.

Verse 30 – “Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: ‘The Lord will roar from on high, and utterly destroy His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

Verse 31 – A noise will come to the ends of the earth – for the Lord has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,’ says the Lord.”

Verse 32 – Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, disaster shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth.

Verse 33 – “And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.

The imagery changes from a cup of wine to a lion, to the Lord treading on grapes in a wine-press, to a great storm as nation after nation succumbs to Babylon’s advances.

God was going to use Babylon as the great destroyer and then destroy Babylon. Babylon is mentioned again in chapter 17 of the Book of Revelation where she is depicted as the great harlot that is full of blasphemies and once again will be destroyed.

Verse 34 – “Wail, shepherds, and cry! Roll about in the ashes, you leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and your dispersion’s are fulfilled; you shall fall like a precious vessel.

All the leaders of these nations will fall like a precious vessel made of glass or porcelain, that cannot be put together again after they are shattered.

Verse 35 – And the shepherds will have no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to escape.

Verse 36 – A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard. For the Lord has plundered their pasture,

Verse 37 – and the peaceful habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

Verse 38 – He has left His lair like the lion; for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the Oppressor, and because of His fierce anger.”

Because of God’s great mercy and patience, He didn’t destroy them when the first idol was set up. Nor did He destroy them when little by little they began to disregard His principles, but sent prophets down throughout history to guide and warn them to change,. Warning after warning the prophets pleaded with the inhabitants to turn back towards God so they could avoid the judgment that was surely to come. And now it has!

Jeremiah – Chapter 24

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Verse 1 – The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, and the princes of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.

This was a supernatural revelation to the prophet. It happened in a vision and not in reality, because bad figs could not be offered to the Lord.

Verse 2 – One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Verse 3 – Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad.”

The good figs represented the exiles to Babylon – not because they were good, but because their hearts would respond to God. He would preserve them and bring them back to the land. The bad figs represented those who would stay in Judah or run away to Egypt.

God would use the captivity of those who went to Babylon, to refine them. When trouble comes in your life, don’t think that it’s a curse or God is mad at you. He will use that time of trouble to refine us. It will make us stronger to handle the next challenge and to help someone else who doesn’t know what to do. We learn to trust the Lord more than ever; ever-increasing our faith in Him.

Verse 4 – Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Verse 5 – “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive form Judah, whom I sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans.

Verse 6 – ‘For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.

These exiles were cared for by the Lord although they were captive, they were not slaves. They could function in business and own homes. See Daniel 2:48, where Daniel held a high position in government.

Verse 7 – ‘Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.

The new heart is something only God can do. He does this throughout scripture and He did it for all those who have been born-again, by accepting His Son Jesus.

Verse 8 – ‘And as the bad figs which cannot be eaten, they are so bad’ – surely thus says the Lord – ‘So will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt.

Verse 9 – ‘I will deliver them to trouble into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their harm, to be a reproach and a by word, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I shall drive them.

Verse 10 – ‘And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them, till they are consumed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.’ ”

Those who had either stayed or fled to Egypt, had been disobedient to what God had said to do. They hardened their hearts and did what they wanted . God had warned them that some would die by the sword, famine, or pestilence, if they stayed or ran to Egypt.

Sometimes God is doing a work in us for a much bigger purpose that we cant’ see. When we go through difficult times, He’s bringing us to a place of restoration, but only if you’ll let your heart be led by His Spirit.

Jeremiah – Chapter 23

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Verse 1 – “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord.

The flocks of people belong to God, so the pastors and leaders will be held accountable when they scatter the flock. The leaders of Judah were held accountable for telling the people false prophecies and things God didn’t say.

Verse 2 – Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord.

Those who preach and those who teach are held to a higher standard. Their teaching and life-styles have to line up to what God says in His Word.

Verse 3 – “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Verse 4 – “I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

The good shepherds that God would raise up were not only Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, but leaders far into the future, who would bring Israel and Judah back from all the lands where He had banished them.

Verse 5 – “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a king shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

This verse points to when the Messiah comes, King Jesus. He will govern the people in righteousness.

Verse 6 – In His day Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Verse 7 – “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’

Verse 8 – but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I have driven them. ‘And they shall dwell in their own land.’

Yes, the remnant came out of exile from Babylon and returned to their land, but in 1948 they came from all over and became recognized as a nation. There will be one more gathering, bigger than any of these when the “New Jerusalem” comes down from heaven.

Verse 9 – My heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome, because the Lord, and because of His Holy words.

Verse 10 – For the land is full of adulterers; for because of a curse the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, and their might is not right.

What the people had done was yield a godless society. Every sin mentioned in these previous verses, the US is guilty of: We have corrupt leaders who get richer and richer after they go into office; they have created laws that allow the killing of the unborn; passed laws to give people who don’t even know what sex they are to go into the wrong bathrooms; and pastors of mega churches getting caught doing unspeakable things. Do we honestly think God wink’s at this. If He passed judgment on Judah, should we not think judgment is coming soon to our land?

Verse 11 – “For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the Lord.

Verse 12 – Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery ways; in the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them; for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment,” says the Lord.

How did the nation become so corrupt? A major factor was false prophecy. They had made the people think all was well. Signs of false prophets: (1) They may appear to speak God’s message, but they do not live according to His principles. (2) They water down God’s true message in order to make themselves more popular and don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. (3) By doing this, they encourage people to think God didn’t really mean what is written in His word. (4) They tend to be arrogant and self-serving, appealing to the desires of their audience instead of being true to God’s word. (5) What they say does not come to pass.

Verse 13 – “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: They prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to err.

Verse 14 – Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them, are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah were sinful cities in Genesis, that God completely destroyed. If ever you have any doubt how God feels about sexual immoral behavior, go read what happened to these two cities. God doesn’t change.

Verse 15 – Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem profaneness has gone out into all the land,’ ”

Wormwood is a shrub that tastes bitter and so the prophets would eat bitterness and poisoned water for all  their false prophesying.

Verse 16 – Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.

Verse 17 – They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” ‘ ; and to everyone who walks according to the imagination of his own heart, no evil shall come upon you. ‘ ”

Verse 18 – For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?

“The counsel of the Lord,” referred to God’s desire to share His teaching with His prophets.

Verse 19 – Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury – a violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.

Verse 20 – The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

In the latter days – when Jerusalem falls into the hands of their enemies, the people will finally understand.

Verse 21 – “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

Verse 22 – But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.

We can see whose responsibility it was to turn the people towards God. Look at the leaders of a nation and whom is in charge. If they are evil, the people soon follow.

Look at the destruction going on in the streets of our own nation, all because we’ve had a leader that had no respect for our military and officers of the law. These people are not protesters, as the media likes to call them, they are rioters! They have no regard for others property or difference of opinion; no respect of the law or anything else. Evil breeds evil.

Verse 23 – “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?

Verse 24 – Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

Verse 25 – “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’

Verse 26 – “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,

Verse 27 – “who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.

God does use dreams to authenticate prophets. He used dreams with Joseph. But these dreams by these prophets were fabricated and preyed on the gullible.

Verse 28 – “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.

There is as much difference between My will and their dreams, as there is between he chaff and wheat – chaff blows away.

Verse 29 – “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

Verse 30 – “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor.

Verse 31 – “Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says,’

Verse 32 – “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness, yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.

The true words of God will produce results! If you believe, as a Christian, that your words are truly from Him, make sure they are. God will and does hold us accountable for speaking for Him.

Verse 33 – “So when these people or the prophet or the priest ask you, saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ you shall then say to them, ‘What oracle?’ I will even forsake you,” says the Lord.

Verse 34 – “And as for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ I will even punish that man and his house.

Verse 35 – “Thus every one of you shall say to his neighbor, and everyone to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’

Verse 36 – “And the oracle of the Lord you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.

Verse 37 – “Thus you shall say to the prophet ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’

Verse 38 – “But since you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Because you say this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” and I have sent to you, saying, “do not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ ”

Verse 39 – ‘Therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence.

Verse 40 – ‘And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’ ”

Very plainly God tells Jeremiah how He feels about false prophets. These people mocked Jeremiah by saying, “What is the oracle of the Lord?” Oracle means “utterance” or “burden.” Because the people didn’t want to repent and turn to God, they mocked Jeremiah as if his words were made up. Have you ever rejected or made fun of a message, simply because you didn’t want to change? We should weigh carefully what is being spoken before we reject it. Your Spirit will tell you whether its truth or not. What someone says, when giving a message from God, has to line up with the Word of God.

Jeremiah – Chapter 22

jeremiah-chapter-22

Verse 1 – Thus says the Lord: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word,

Verse 2 – “and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, you who sit on the throne of David, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates!

Chapters 22-25, may not be in chronological order. In 21:8-10, God implied that it was too late for repentance. In 22:4, however, God said that there was still time to change. The events to which this chapter refer occurred before those of chapter 21.

Verse 3 – ‘Thus says the Lord: “Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do not wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

God gave King Jehoiakim the bases for rebuilding the nation-turn from evil and do right. Good deeds do not save us, but they show our faith.

Verse 4 – “For if you indeed do this thing, then shall enter the gates of this house, riding on horses and chariots, accompanied by servants and people, kings who sit on the throne of David.

Once again, God extends mercy if the king will do what’s right and David’s dynasty would continue and the people would live securely in the land.

Verse 5 – “But if you will not hear these words, I swear by Myself,” says the Lord, “that this house shall become a desolation.” ‘ ”

Verse 6 – For thus says the Lord to the house of the king of Judah: “You are Gilead to Me, the head of Lebanon; yet I surely will make you a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.

Verse 7 – I will prepare destroyers against you, everyone with his weapons; they shall cut down your choice cedars and cast them into the fire.

Verse 8 – “And many nations will pass by this city; and everyone will say to his neighbor, ‘Why has the Lord done so to this great city?’

Verse 9 – “Then they will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.’ ”

The choice cedars – The chief members of the royal lineage and the leading officers of state.

Message Against Shallum

Verse 10 – Weep not for the dead, nor bemoan him; but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.

Instead of weeping for the dead, King Josiah, which was killed at the Battle of Megiddo, Jeremiah told them to weep for Josiah’s son, King Shallum, also known as Jehoahaz. After a short reign of three months, Jehoahaz would be exiled to Egypt where he would die (2 Kings 23:34). Jehoahaz would be the first king of Judah to die in exile.

Verse 11 – For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, who went from this place: “He shall not return here anymore,

Verse 12 – “but he shall die in the place where they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.

Message Against Jehoiakim

Verse 13 – “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work,

Verse 14 – who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house with spacious chambers, and cut out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion (the pigment which gives the deep color still bright and untarnished on many ancient buildings).

Verse 15 – “Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.

Jehoiakim thought that his beautiful buildings made him a great king, but Jeremiah sarcastically asked, “Are you a great king because you excel in Cedar?

Verse 16 – He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?” says the Lord.

Verse 17 – “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence.”

God passed judgment on King Jehoiakim. His father, Josiah, had been one of Judah’s  greatest kings, but Jehoiakim was evil. Josiah had been faithful in showing the people God’s ways.

We might inherit our parent’s wealth, but we don’t inherit their faith. We have to build our own relationship with God.

Verse 18 – Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: “They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Alas, my brother!’ or ‘Alas my sister!’ They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Alas master!’ or ‘Alas, his glory!’

Verse 19 – He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

A humiliating death awaited King Jehoiakim. His own sister and brother would not mourn his death. He would be buried like a donkey, dragged off and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.

Verse 20 – “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry from Abrarim, for all your lovers are destroyed.

Both Lebanon and Bashan were hills that looked toward Assyria, from where the Jews looked for help. Abrarim is the name of a mountain. In other words: Go and cry for help in all places, but it will be in vain, for the Egyptians and Assyrians to whom thou want help are under the power of the Chaldeans.

Verse 21 – I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not hear.’ This has been your manner from your youth. That you did not obey My voice.

Jehoiakim had been hardheaded and hard-hearted since youth. His prosperity had always been a higher priority than a relationship with God. Sometimes people are so comfortable and confident in what they own, they forget how they got it. They put more value on what they own then a sincere relationship with Jesus Christ.

Verse 22 – The wind shall eat up all your rulers, and your lovers shall go into captivity; surely then you will be ashamed and humiliated for all your wickedness.

Verse 23 – O inhabitant of Lebanon, making your nest in the cedars, how gracious will you be when pangs come upon you, like the pain of a woman in labor?

In these nest verse, Jehoiakin (son of Jehoiakim) is condemned. He reigned for only 3 months. Jehoiakin was also called Coniah.

Verse 24 – “As I live,” says the Lord, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, wear the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off;

Verse 25 – “and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear – the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans.

Verse 26 –  “So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were born; and there you shall die.

The signet ring of a king was used to officiate documents. God says in figurative language that, were Jehoiakin a signet ring on His right hand, He would rip that privilege away from him. Jehoiakin was exiled to Babylon in 597 B.C. (2 Kings 24:8-17; 25:27-30).

Verse 27 – “But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return.

Verse 28 – “Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol? Is he a vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they out, he and his descendants, and cast into a land which they do not know?

Verse 29 – O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord!

Verse 30 – Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his descendants shall prosper sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah.’ ”

Jehoiakin was the last king of David’s line to sit on the throne in Judah, even though he had 7 sons. His grandson, Zerubbabel ruled as governor after they came out of exile, but was not a king.