Jeremiah – Chapter 21

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Message Against Zedekiah

Verse 1 – The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent him to Pashhur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest saying,

This is not the same Pashhur in chapter 20 and Zephaniah was the successor of Jehoiada the priest.

Verse 2 – “Please inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His wonderful works, that the king may go away from us.”

King Zedekiah of Judah sent Pashhur to Jeremiah to foretell what the outcome of his rebellion against Babylon would be.

Verse 3 – Then Jeremiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah,

Verse 4 – ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands which you fight against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who besiege you outside the walls; and I will assemble them in the midst of this city.

“I will turn back the weapons” – Every attempt you make to repel the Chaldean’s shall be unsuccessful.

Verse 5 – “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong-arm, even in anger and fury and great wrath.

Verse 6 – “I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence.

During a siege, people were confined in small areas with the animals and all sanitary regulations were neglected, resulting in disease.

Verse 7 – “And afterward,” says the Lord, “I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence and the sword and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, into the hand of those who seek their life; and he shall strike them with the edge of the sword. He shall not spare them, or have pity or mercy.” ‘

Verse 8 – “Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.

Verse 9 – “He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out and defects to the Chaldean’s who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be as a prize to him.

If they resisted and fought, they would die. If they surrendered and went into captivity, they would live, it was up to them.

Verse 10 – “For I have set My face against this city for adversity and not for good,” says the Lord. “It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.” ‘

Verse 11 – “And concerning the house of the king of Judah, say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord,

Verse 12 – ‘O house of David! Thus says the Lord: “Execute judgment in the morning; and deliver him who is plundered out of the hand of the oppressor, lest My fury go out like fire and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Verse 13 – “Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain,” says the Lord, “Who say, ‘Who shall come down against us?’ Or who shall enter our habitations?’

Verse 14 – But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings,” says the Lord; “I will kindle a fire in its forest, and it shall devour all things around it.” ‘ ”

Jeremiah had foretold of Jerusalem’s destruction. The cities leaders had ignored and mocked him. In desperation, King Zedekiah turned to God for help, but without acknowledging God’s warnings or admitting their sin. He just wanted deliverance without the relationship.

Is that you? Do you just want out of trouble to continue the way you’ve always lived? It won’t work! God had told the people of Judah several times that if they would repent, He would stop the destruction from coming.

We may think when we read this, “How could they not want to stop this?” It was because they loved darkness more than light. That’s why people will “turn you off” when you try to tell them about our Savior, who can forgive them and love them. They love darkness more than light.

Jeremiah – Chapter 20

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Verse 1 – Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.

Verse 2 – Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.

Verse 3 – And it happened on the next day that Pashhur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord has not called your name Pashhur, but Magor-Missabib.

Pashhur was the official for maintaining order in the temple. He was also a priest who had pretended to be a prophet. On God’s authority Jeremiah changed Pashhur’s name to Magor-Missabib, meaning “terror all around.”

Verse 4 “For thus says the Lord: ‘Behold I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends, and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword.

Verse 5 – ‘Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the king of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon.

Verse 6 – ‘And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.’ ”

This prophesy happened in 3 waves of invasions by the Babylonians. It was not going to end well with this pretend prophet.

Verse 7 – O Lord, you induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me.

Verse 8 – For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily.

Verse 9 – Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding back, and I could not.

Whenever Jeremiah decided to quit speaking God’s word, the divine message became a fire down in his spirit that compelled him to get it out.

Sometimes the truth stings. Those who hear it can either get mad and walk away or take it to heart and change. God’s word is always truth. Our own opinion shouldn’t enter into the message unless it lines up with God’s word, and it should. Yes, people will mock you and might even call you a “Jesus freak,” but it shouldn’t change you to lean towards their opinion.

Verse 10 – For I heard many mocking: “Fear on every side!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; then we will prevail against him, and we will take our revenge on him.”

Verse 11 – But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome one. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.

God had promised Jeremiah that He would be with him throughout this entire judgment and would even be protected after captivity.

We too know that “Greater is He in us than he who is in the world!”

Verse 12 – But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous, and see the mind and heart, let me see Your vengeance on them; for I have pleaded my cause before you.

When God gives you a burden for someone or a nation, as God did Jeremiah, there’s not a lot of pleasure in it. To pray for a loved one, is one of the biggest burdens you will ever carry. With every blessing, a burden will come, but you have to see it through. I can promise you, “The blessing will out weigh the burden” you carried. God knows how to take burdens, hardships, and life’s crises, and turn them all around into the biggest blessings you have ever seen!

Verse 13 – Sing to the Lord! For He has delivered the life of the poor from the hands of evildoers.

Verse 14 – Cursed be the day in which I was born! Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!

Some scholars seem to think these next verses, including verse 14, were taken out-of-order, because they don’t fit with what Jeremiah just said in verse 13. However, if they were rightly put where they should be, then Jeremiah was feeling so down that he was having a “pity party.”

Verse 15 – Let the man be cursed who brought the news to my father, saying, “A male child has been born to you!” Making him very glad.

Verse 16 – And let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew, and did not relent; let him hear the cry in the morning and the shouting at noon,

Verse 17 – Because he did not kill me from the womb, that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb always enlarged with me.

Verse 18 – Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?’

Yes, Jeremiah’s message was the judgment and destruction that was coming on Judah, but if the people had listened and repented, there would have been a huge celebration and God’s favor and blessing would have returned. The doom and gloom message of judgment would have been worth it and soon forgotten.

But instead of repentance, the people gave to mocking to prophet, and Jeremiah was hated among the people. Repentance eventually came after 70 years in captivity by the remnant that was left and they returned to their beloved city.

Don’t ever think that your prayers are wasted on people who will never repent because God changed you and He changed me, didn’t He?

Jeremiah – Chapter 19

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Verse 1 – Thus says the Lord: “Go and get a potter’s earthen flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests.

verse 2 – “and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the Potsherd Gate; and proclaim there the words that I will tell you,

Verse 3 – “and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold I will bring such a catastrophe on this place, that whoever hears of it, his ears will tingle.

Verse 4 – “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents.

Verse 5 – “(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),

Verse 6 – “therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of slaughter.

So, Jeremiah gets a potter’s clay jar, goes to their garbage dump (Valley of the Son of Hinnom) and begins to tell the people what the Lord has said. This is the same place that the people would sacrifice their sons to the pagan god Molech.

Verse 7 – “And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth.

Verse 8 – “I will make the city desolate and a hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues.

Verse 9 – “And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and in the desperation with which their enemies and those who seek their lives shall drive them to despair.” ‘

So severe would the siege of Jerusalem be, that those who survived would turn to cannibalism. This happened in the Babylonian siege in 587 B.C. and in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem fell to the Romans. The sad part is, they knew it was going to happen and did nothing. They continued to ignore Jeremiah’s warnings.

Verse 10 – “Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you,

Verse 11 – “and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Even so I will break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot be made whole again; and they shall bury them in Tophet till there is no place to bury.

Verse 12 – “Thus I will do to this place,” says the Lord, “and to its inhabitants, and make this city like Tophet.

Verse 13 – “And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah shall be defiled like the place of Tophet because of all the houses on whose roofs they have burned incense to all the hosts of heaven, and poured out drink offerings to other gods.” ‘ ”

This happened twice, in 580 B.C. during the Babylonians invasion under Nebuchadnezzar, and in A.D. 70 when Titus destroyed Jerusalem. They were so desperate for food that they resorted to eating their own children. It’s as though these people had no minds to even think the simplest of thoughts. Here was a God that had given them and provided everything and they had just spit in His face. They would soon see where that got them.

Verse 14 – Then Jeremiah came from Tophet, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people,

Verse 15 – “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will bring on this city and on all towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.’ ”

If you are reading this, please don’t think it is just another Bible story. This happened just as Jeremiah predicted and so will the Book of Revelation. What God says is coming and will happen and for those who reject His Son and stiffen their necks, there will only be heartache and destruction.

Jeremiah – Chapter 18

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Verse 1 – The word which came to Jeremiah from he Lord, saying:

Verse 2 – “Arise and go down to the potter’s house and there I will cause you to hear My words.”

If we listen closely, sometimes God will tell us to go to a certain place or to a person, but doesn’t tell us what to say or do until we get there.

Verse 3 – Then I went down to the potters house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.

Like the episode with the sash, this trip to the potters house will provide Jeremiah with a symbolic action message.

Verse 4 – And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Like the clay, we are marred, scared, cracked, and damaged, until we come to Christ. He places us on His potter’s wheel to reshape us into His image. He will remold our lives, if we let Him.

Verse 5 – Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

Verse 6 – “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

God had a master plan for Israel, just as He does for each one of us. He knows how to get the defects out and reshape us into a valuable vessel to be used by Him for His kingdom.

The difference between that lump of clay was that it has no free will as we do so the potter could make it into anything He chose to with no resistance from the clay. However, with us, our wills and desires should not get in the way of what the Potter wants for us.

Verse 7 – “The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,

Verse 8 – “if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

Verse 9 – “And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,

Verse 10 – “if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

God never changes His character, nature, or being, but in His actions towards us when we change our response to Him. When we cry out to Him with a sincere heart, He responds with love and grace.

Verse 11 – “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ‘ ”

Verse 12 – And they said, “That is hopeless! so we will walk according to our plans, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.”

In a relationship with God, independence and defiance, becomes stubbornness against God’s authority. This attitude becomes a way of life if it goes un-checked.

Verse 13 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “Ask now among the Gentiles, who has heard such a thing? The virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing.

Verse 14 – Will a man leave the snow-water of Lebanon, which comes from the rock of the field? Will the cold flowing waters be forsaken for strange waters?

Meaning: Nature was a lot more consistent and dependable than Judah had been.

Verse 15 – “Because My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to worthless idols. And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in pathways and not on a highway,

Verse 16 – to make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and shake his head.

A custom in the Near Eastern nations, people would make a hissing sound and shake their heads in disbelief.

Verse 17 – I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back and not the face in the day of their calamity.”

The east wind was the hot wind from the desert, the same direction Babylon would come. Showing the back and not the face, showed God’s rejection on Judah.

Verse 18 – Then they said, “Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us attack him with the tongue, and let us not heed to any of his words.”

Jeremiah’s words and actions challenged the people’s social and moral behavior. They didn’t care that what he spoke was coming from God, they didn’t want to hear it.

The first thing people want to yell when living in sin is, “Don’t judge me!” But the people did get judged. Yes, God is a loving God, but if you’re not under the blood of Christ, you will be held accountable.

Verse 19 – Give heed to me, O Lord, and listen to the voice of those who contend with me!

Verse 20 – Shall evil be repaid for good? For they have dug a pit for my life. Remember that I stood before You to speak good for them, and to turn away Your wrath for them.

Verse 21 – Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; let their wives become widows and bereaved of their children. Let their men be put to death, their young men be slain by the sword in battle.

Verse 22 – Let a cry be heard from their houses when You bring a troop suddenly upon them; for they have dug a pit to take me, and hidden snares for my feet.

Verse 23 – Yet, Lord, You know all their counsel which is against me, to slay me. Provide no atonement for their iniquity, nor blot out their sin from Your sight; but let them be overthrown before You. Deal thus with them in time of Your anger.

This is not a prayer for Christians today to pray against others. When you have treated someone kindly, prayed with them, helped in every way, and they stab you in the back-heart, just let them go. It won’t take very long for them to see what they’ve done, because they didn’t come against you, they came against whom you represent. Go sow your seeds to another.

Jeremiah – Chapter 17

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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!”

Jeremiah – Chapter 16

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This section portrays the coming day of disaster. It shows Jeremiah’s loneliness. He is a social outcast because of his harsh message. He can’t marry, have children, or take part in any funerals or festivals.

Verse 1 – The word of the Lord also came to me saying,

Verse 2 – “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.”

Verse 3 – For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in the land:

Verse 4 – “They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and famine, and their corps shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.”

We might think that was harsh of God to not let Jeremiah marry, but God didn’t want Jeremiah to go through the heartache of seeing his children die by the sword or starve to death. Jeremiah’s concentration and devotion had to stay on God’s message to Judah to turn the nation back to Him. Sometimes our destiny that God has is much bigger than what we want.

Verse 5 – For thus says the Lord: “Do not enter the house of the mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away My peace from this people,” says the Lord, “lovingkindness and mercies.

Jeremiah was God’s spoke-person, so God didn’t want Jeremiah showing any kind of mercy towards their dead. God would not show them any comfort.

Verse 6 – “Both the great and small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them.

Cutting themselves and shaving their heads were pagan customs and Israel was forbidden to do these things.

Verse 7 – “Nor shall men break bread in mourning for them, to comfort them from the dead; nor shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or their mother.

Verse 8 – “Also you shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink.”

As we do today, when someone dies, we take food to their homes, but God said don’t do it.

Verse 9 – For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

God was taking away anything that would cause a joyous celebration, and yet the people still ignored Him.

Verse 10 – “And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, “Why has the Lord pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord God?’

Verse 11 – “then you shall say to them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me,’ says the Lord; ‘they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law.

Verse 12 – ‘And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one walks according to the imagination of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me.

Verse 13 – ‘Therefore I will cast you out of this land into a land that you do not know neither you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.’

The people of Judah had chosen pagan gods over the True God, so God was going to let them have what they wanted, only it would be in a strange land, captive to a people they didn’t know.

When you kick hard enough against God, He will give you what you want. Then you will suffer the consequences of not obeying what God truly wanted for you.

Verse 14 – “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from he land of Egypt,’

Verse 15 – “but, “The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from he land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them. ‘For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.

Verse 16 – “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

The enemies whom God used to come against the Jews, will be hunted out of every hiding place.

Verse 17 – “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.

No sin is hidden from God. We do things and hope no one knows, but there is a God in heaven who sees it all!

Verse 18 – “And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.”

Before the Israelites return from exile, they will be punished severely. They defiled the land God gave them with idols to worship.

Verse 19 – O Lord, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.”

This may be a prediction of the calling of the Gentiles by the gospel of Christ.

Verse 20 – Will a man make gods for himself, which are not gods?

Verse 21 – “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the Lord.

Since the Israelites refused to know God by His mercy, they would know Him by His wrath, that He is all mighty and all-powerful.

Jeremiah – Chapter 15

jeremiah-chapter-15

Verse 1 – Then the Lord said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.

Even if Moses or Samuel went to God to persuade God into turning back His wrath, it would do no good. God knew His people would not repent.

Verse 2 – “And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to captivity.” ‘

Verse 3 – “And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction,” says the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.

God had different degrees of punishment. Some was for the living and the birds and bests were to consume the dead. None was good, and they knew it was coming, but yet would not repent.

Verse 4 – “I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth, because Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

Here is how evil Manasseh King of Judah was: He rebuilt the high places which King Hezekiah had destroyed; He raised up altars for Baal; he made wooden images and worshiped all the hosts of heaven and served them; he built altars in the two courts of the house of the Lord; he also mad his son pass through the fire (he sacrificed him); he practiced soothsaying ; used witchcraft, and he consulted spirits and mediums. The people of Judah practiced these evils right along with him.

Verse 5 – “For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask how you are doing?

Verse 6 – You have forsaken Me,” says the Lord, “You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting!

Verse 7 – And I will winnow them with a winnowing fan in the gates of the land; I will bereaved them of children; I will destroy My people, since they do not return from their ways.

God will use a winnowing fork to toss the nation of Judah like grain is tossed in the wind so the chaff will be blown away.

Verse 8 – Their widows will be increased to Me more than the sands of the sea; I will bring against them, against the mother of the young men, a plunder at noonday; I will cause anguish and terror to fall on them suddenly.

Verse 9 – “She languishes who has borne seven; she has breathed her last; her sun has gone down while it was yet day; she has been ashamed and confounded. And the remnant of them I will deliver to the sword before their enemies,” says the Lord.

A part of Judah was confounded, confused, as to why judgment came. Judah had once been very numerous in people, now grew feeble. Judgment came before their captivity.

Verse 10 – Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me, a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent for interest, nor have men lent to me for interest. Everyone of them curses me.

Jeremiah had done no wrong, yet the people spoke evil of him. It was because they didn’t want to hear that their sin and refusal to repent was bringing judgment on them from God.

Verse 11 – The Lord said: “Surely it will be well with your remnant; surely I will cause the enemy to intercede with you in the time of adversity and in the time of affliction.

God was going to cause the enemy to treat Jeremiah well during the time of evil. This was fulfilled in Jeremiah 39:11, 12. Nebuchadnezzar had given strict orders to Nebuzaradan, his commander, to look well to Jeremiah, to do him no harm, and to grant him all the privileges he was pleased to ask. God can and does protect His own in the midst of conflict.

Verse 12 – Can anyone break iron, the northern iron and the bronze?

Verse 13 – Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, because of all your sins, throughout your territories.

Verse 14 – And I will make you cross over with your enemies into a land which you do not know; for a fire is kindled in My anger, which shall burn upon you.”

Verse 15 – O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not take me away in Your longsuffering. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke.

Verse 16 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel expressed delight in God’s word. This also may refer to the Books of the law that were found in the temple during King Josiah’s reign.

Verse 17 – I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation.

From the beginning of Jeremiah’s prophetic life, God had filled his mouth with dreadful messages. His life had been one of mourning and solitude, a time of being alone, weeping and mourning for God’s people.

Verse 18 – Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, as waters that fail?

Jeremiah was starting to feel sorry for himself. He knew he’s done all that God asked, so why was he still so miserable. The prophet’s life is not all glamour, it’s a heavy burden that can weigh even the most devoted and devout men down. There will be times in all our lives where we feel that we are just “spinning our wheels.” However, God has the master plan and knows how to bring it all together. Don’t lose sight of your purpose.

Verse 19 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, then I will bring you back; you shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from vile, you shall be My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them.

God wanted Jeremiah to stop talking this way. Return – Jeremiah needed to repent of doubt. God had made him His mouthpiece and could only speak what God said. He was to influence the people and not let the people influence him. Then he could stand before God again, in His presence, without doubt.

Verse 20 – And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the Lord.

Fortified – protected. God promised to protect him against his own people because Jeremiah stayed faithful to God.

Verse 21 – “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”

The wicked Jews had become the enemies along with the Chaldeans. When we are doing our calling in God’s plan, He will protect us. It may look like everyone and everything is coming against you, but in the end, God is always victorious in what He wants to accomplish. Keep your eyes on Him!