Jeremiah – Chapter 17


Judah’s Sins Are Listed

Verse 1 – “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars,

Why would the people continue to sin even though they had the law, the prophets of God, and the history of the miracles? Same reason people do today. People continue in their sin even though they know the eternal consequences, because the heart is deceitful. The heart is the organ of reason, intelligence, and will. So deep is our desire to sin that only God can redeem us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Verse 2 – While their children remember their altars and their wooden images by the green trees on the high hills (Asherah poles).

Verse 3 – O My mountains in the field, I will give plunder your wealth, all your treasures, and your high places of sin within all your borders.

Verse 4 – And you, even yourself, shall let go of your heritage which I gave you; and I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you do not know; for you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever.”

The land was supposed to have a rest, Exodus 23:11, and release the creditors in Deuteronomy 15:2, in the sabbatical year. Judah had not kept these sabbatical years, so God was going to give the land rest – 70 years, the same as the Jews captivity.

Verse 5 – Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.

Verse 6 – For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.

Verse 7 – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.

Verse 8 – For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Two kinds of people are contrasted here; those who trust in other people and those who trust in the Lord. The people of Judah had trusted in false gods and their military alliances instead of God and thus they were unfruitful and barren. So, which are you, cursed, because you trust in everything other than God, or are you blessed because your hope and trust is in the Lord?

Verse 9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Verse 10 – I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Desperately wicked, is to be mortally sick. Where your thinking goes, your actions will follow. Our behavior does matter. God sees our attitudes and motives behind our doings. We don’t fool Him when we use manipulative actions in getting others to do what we want, God sees. Our actions will line up with what we believe. Please don’t try to convince others that you are a Christ follower, when you won’t even go to the house of God to be discipled, it doesn’t match!

Verse 11 – “As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, so is he who gets riches, but not by right; it will leave him in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.”

Jeremiah says there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. The person who acquires wealth by lying, cheating, and stealing, will end up poor and a fool. The power to gain wealth only comes from the Lord – the right way. When we leave God out of our every day life, things will fall apart quickly.

Verse 12 – A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

Verse 13 – O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.”

Verse 14 – Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.

Verse 15 – Indeed they say to me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now!”

Verse 16 – As for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd who follows You, nor have I desired the woeful day; You know what came out of my lips; it was right there before You.

Jeremiah took no pleasure in announcing God’s judgment, nor did he shrink away from it.

Verse 17 – Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom.

Verse 18 – Let them be ashamed who persecute me, but do not let me be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but do not let me be dismayed. Bring on them the day of doom, and destroy them with double destruction!

Jeremiah didn’t want God to leave him alone to his enemies. Verse 18, is more of a prediction than a prayer of what was about to happen to the enemies of God’s people.

Jeremiah’s Call for Sabbath Observance

Verse 19 – Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;

Verse 20 – “and say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates.

Verse 21 – ‘Thus says the Lord: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;

Apparently the people didn’t see any harm in buying and selling their produce or live stock when they entered the city gates on the Sabbath.

Verse 22 –  “nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

Exodus 23:12 – “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your maidservant and the stranger may be refreshed.

Then Jesus said in Mark 2:27 – And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Verse 23 – “But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.

Verse 24 – “And it shall be, if you diligently heed Me,” says the Lord, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it,

Verse 25 – “then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever.

Verse 26 – “And they shall come from cities of Judah and from  the place around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the south, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the Lord.

God promises if they will keep the Sabbath, He will; (1) give them national prosperity (2) lasting welfare of Jerusalem and (3) they would have numerous sacrifices.

Verse 27 – “But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. ” ‘ ”

This was very plainly stated. It was simple, “Observe the Sabbath and be blessed!”

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