Jeremiah – Chapter 42

jeremiah-chapter-42

Verse 1 – Then all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near (This included Jeremiah and Baruch, 43:6.) Jezaniah is called Azariah in Jeremiah 43:2.

Verse 2 – and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, for all this remnant since we are left but a few of many, as you can see,

Verse 3 – “that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do.”

Verse 4 – Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard. Indeed, I will pray to the Lord your God according to your words, and it shall be, that whatever the Lord answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you.”

Verse 5 – Then they said to Jeremiah, “Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the Lord your God sends us by you.

Verse 6 – “Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”

Verse 7 – And it happened after ten days that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.

Verse 8 – Then he called Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest,

Have you ever been at a cross-roads and needed an answer from God quickly? How long did you have to wait, or did you? I’ve found in my own life, if I didn’t have the patience to wait and rushed ahead with what I thought was right, it did not always turn out so good. Praying and then waiting is a test of our faith-do we trust God to answer us? I have learned this though: “Don’t let others pressure you into rushing ahead, just because they think you should.”

Verse 9 – and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition before Him:

Verse 10 – ‘If you will still abide in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning disaster that I have brought upon you.

Verse 11 – ‘Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,’ says the Lord, ‘for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand.

Verse 12  – ‘And I will show you mercy, that he (king of Babylon) have mercy on you, and cause you to return to your own land.’

Verse 13 – “But if you say, ‘We will not dwell in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God,

Verse 14 – “saying, ‘No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there dwell –

Verse 15 – “then hear now the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to sojourn there,

Verse 16 – ‘then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die.

Verse 17 – ‘So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to sojourn there. They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by  pestilence. and none of them shall remain or escape from disaster that I will bring upon the.’

Verse 18 – “For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘As My anger and My fury have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall My fury be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. and you shall be an oath, an astonishment, a curse, and reproach; and you shall see this place no more.’

Verse 19 – “The Lord has said concerning you, O remnant of Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Know certainly that I have admonished you this day.

This remnant has a choice to make. Either they can stay in their own land and cultivate it with the Babylonians in charge of them, or go to Egypt where the Lord says they will die by famine or the sword.

When  important decisions come, sometimes we will know deep in our hearts what the Lord has said, but fear is there because of the unknown. Some will chose the easy way out that may hold dire consequences down the road that we can’t see. But know this, if God says do not fear, then “He’s got this!”

Verse 20 – “For you were hypocrites in your hearts when you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the Lord our God, and according to all the Lord your God says, so declare to us and we will do it.’

Wow! God had revealed to Jeremiah the intention of the people before they even asked for God’s answer. The Bible says, “God sees the heart,” so He knows the motives and He sees if our hearts are already set on doing it our way no matter what He says. And this is what the people of Judah had done. They had already made up their minds to go to Egypt where there was no war at that time.

Verse 21 – “And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God, or anything which He has sent you by me.

I can imagine the people yelling at Jeremiah, “We’re not staying here, we’re going to Egypt!” They had went so long without heeding the words of Jeremiah that their hearts were hardened.

Verse 22 – “Now therefore, know certainly that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go sojourn.”

Today as a born-again Christian, we have the Word of God to be our guide to pray by the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s word says that if “You draw close to Me, then I’ll come close to you (James 4:8).” The closer we come to God, the easier it is to hear what His desires for our life is. The sad thing is though in this day and age, a lot of people won’t take the time that is involved in spending time in His presence. When  we read God’s word, it will open our eyes and our hearts to the things that matter most!

Advertisements

Jeremiah – Chapter 41

jeremiah-chapter-41

Verse 1 – Now it came to pass in the seventh month that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the sons of Elishama, of the royal family and of the officials of the king, came with ten men to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. And there they ate bread together in Mizpah.

Three months after the city was taken, Ishmael-the same Ishmael who offered Gedaliah protection, with the princes who had escaped the Babylonians, came to eat bread with Gedaliah. Gedaliah trusted them and fed them from his table.

Verse 2 – Then Ismael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who were with him, arose and struck Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, and killed him whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.

Verse 3 – Ishmael also struck down all the Jews who were with him, that is, with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war.

Verse 4 – And it happened, on the second day after he killed Gedaliah, when as yet no one knew it,

Verse 5 – that certain men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, eighty men with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the Lord.

Verse 6 – Now Ismael the son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them weeping as he went along; and it happened as he met them that he said to them, “Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam!”

Verse 7 – So it was, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ismael the son of Nethaniah killed them and cast them into the midst of a pit, he and the men who were with him.

Verse 8 – But 10 men were found among them who said to Ismael, “Do not kill us, for we have treasures of wheat, barley, oil, and honey in the field.” So he desisted and did not kill them among their brethren.

Ismael had no good reason for killing any of these men, he was just plain evil. Hopefully we will read about his own demise.

Verse 9 – Now the pit into which Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had slain, because of Gedaliah, was the same one Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel. Ismael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain.

Verse 10 – Then Ishmael carried away captive all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah, the kings daughters and all the people who remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. And Ismael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive and departed to go over to the Ammonites.

Can you even imagine? The people who had already lived through destruction and battles of their homes being burned, had been given land and vineyards by the new Babylonian governor, and then this evil scum-bag kills all the officials and takes them to another enemy to be sold as slaves.

Verse 11 – But when Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces that were with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,

Verse 12 – they took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah; and they found him by the great pool that is in Gibeon.

Gibeon was about 3 miles away from Mizpah. Remember Johanan? He was the one who first went to Gedaliah and asked if he could go kill Ishmael and Gedaliah had told him no. Mistake.

Verse 13 – So it was, when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, that they were glad.

Verse 14 – Then all the people whom Ishmael had carried away captive form Mizpah turned around and came back, and went to Johanan the son of Kareah.

Verse 15 – But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the Ammonites.

Verse 16 – Then Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, took from Mizpah all the rest of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah after he had murdered Gedaliah the son of Ahikam – the mighty men of war and the women and the children and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon.

Verse 17 – And they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, as they went on their way to Egypt,

Verse 18 – because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had murdered Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor in the land.

My question is where was Jeremiah during all of this? He had been living with Gedaliah in his house, so where did he go to hide? The other question I have is: Why would Johanan be afraid for going after the one who had killed the appointed governor? Maybe in the next chapters these questions will be answered.

Jeremiah – Chapter 40

jeremiah-chapter-40

Verse 1 – The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains among all who were carried away captive from Jerusalem and Judah, who were carried away captive to Babylon.

Ramah was about 5 miles from Jerusalem and was used for the staging area of deportation. Apparently the Babylonians had mistakenly put Jeremiah in chains with the rest of the captives.

Verse 2 – And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him: “The Lord your God has pronounced this doom on this place.

Verse 3 – “Now the Lord has brought it, and has done just as He said. Because you people have sinned against the Lord, and not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.

It was strange that this captain knew that it was their God’s judgment against them, but yet didn’t personally accept Him. Same today: There are a lot of people that know of God, but yet don’t know Him personally enough to have a relationship with Him.

Verse 4 – “And now look, I free you this day from the chains that were on your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you. But if it seems wrong for you to come with me to Babylon, remain here. See, all the land is before you; wherever it seems good and convenient for you to go, go there.”

Jeremiah was free to go either back to Judah or go with this captain to Babylon and be taken care of in comfort, although he would be hated by his fellow Judean exiles. In Judah, he would still face hardship, but the people in Judah which were left would know he wasn’t a traitor. He returned to Judah.

Verse 5 – Now while Jeremiah had not yet gone back, Nebuzaradan said, “Go back to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people. Or go wherever it seems convenient for you to go.” So the captain of the guard gave rations and a gift and let him go.

Verse 6 – Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people who were left in the land. (Mizpah served as a refuge after the destruction of Jerusalem.)

Verse 7 – Now when the captain of the armies who were in the fields, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed to him men, women, children, and the poorest of the land who had not been carried away captive to Babylon,

Verse 8 – then they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah – Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the son of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

Verse 9 – And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath before them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.

Verse 10 – “As for me, I will indeed dwell at Mizpah and serve the Chaldeans who come to us. But you, gather wine and summer fruit and oil, put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken.”

Verse 11 – Likewise, when all the Jews who were in Moab, among the Ammonites, in Edom, and who were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan,

Verse 12 – then all the Jews returned out of all places where they had been driven, and came to the land of Judah to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruit in abundance.

Verse 13 – Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields came to Gedaliah at Mizpah,

Verse 14 – and said to him, “Do you certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to murder you?” But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them.

Johanan warned Gedaliah that Baalis, king of the Ammonites, had sent Ishmael to kill the newly appointed governor, but he didn’t believe them.

Verse 15 – Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, “Let me go, please, and I will kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he murder you, so that all the Jews who gathered to you would be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?”

Verse 16 – But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “You shall not do this thing, for you speak falsely concerning Ishmael.”

We are about to see in the next chapter that everything Johanan had told him was true.

Jeremiah – Chapter 39

jeremiah-chapter-39

Zedekiah son of Josiah and the last king of Judah, ruled 11 years, from 597 B.C. to 586 B.C. Zedekiah’s two older brother’s, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, and his nephew Jehoiachin ruled before him. When Jehoiachin was exiled to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar made 21-year old Mattaniah the king, changing his name to Zedekiah.

Jerusalem Falls

Verse 1 – In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem, and besieged it.

Verse 2 – In the eleventh year of Zedekiah in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the city was penetrated.

This siege had lasted 18 months. A breach in the wall was made and the Chaldeans entered.

Verse 3 – Then all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the middle of the Gate: Nergal-Sharezer, Samgar-Nebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal-Sarezer, Rabmag, with the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.

These princes came in and sat up their government at the Gate. This middle Gate was probably where Zion was separated from the lower town.

Verse 4 – So it was, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, that they fled and went out of the city by night, by way of the king’s garden, by the gate between the two walls. And he went out by way of the plain.

Verse 5 – But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they captured him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgement on him.

Verse 6 – Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah; the king of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah.

Verse 7 – Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon.

Verse 8 – And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.

This event was so tragic, that it is mentioned in scripture 4 times. I imagine as Zedekiah stood there and watched his son’s  being killed, that Jeremiah’s prediction came flooding back to him. Jeremiah had told him that God said for them to surrender to the king of Babylon and all of this could have been avoided. and furthermore, they all could have avoided, Jerusalem being overtaken, at all, if they had only repented.

Verse 9 – Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive to Babylon the remnant of the people who remained in the city and those who defected to him, with the rest of the people who remained.

Verse 10 – But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah the poor people, who had nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.

Only the poor who owned nothing were left to govern themselves, but the land and the vineyards were given to them. They would be so grateful that they wouldn’t revolt against the Babylonians.

Jeremiah Is Released

Verse 11 – Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,

Verse 12 – “Take him and look after him, and do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you.”

The Babylonians were very superstitious, so they treated Jeremiah as a seer. Because he had been imprisoned by his own people, they assumed he was a traitor to them and was on their side. They knew Jeremiah had predicted a victory for the Babylonians, so they protected him.

Verse 13 – So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent Nebushasban, Rabsaris, Nergal-Sharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon’s chief officers;

Verse 14 – then they sent someone to take Jeremiah from the court of the prison, and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should take him home. So he dwelt among the people.

Jeremiah was treated better by his captors than his own people. Gedaliah had just been appointed governor of Judah, which lived in a palace near by and Jeremiah went home with him. How’s that for being faithful?

Verse 15 – Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

Verse 16 – “Go and speak to Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring My words upon this city for adversity and not for good, and they shall be performed in that day before you.

Verse 17 – “But I will deliver you in that day,” says the Lord, “and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.

Verse 18 – “For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me.” says the Lord.’ ”

Remember Ebed-Melech, he was the one who rescued Jeremiah from the muddy cistern? He was one of the few who had believed Jeremiah’s message. Just as Ebed-Melech had risked his life to go before the king and tell him about Jeremiah’s dilemma, God would shelter him from the Babylonians when they invaded Jerusalem. God knows how to reward his faithful people.

Jeremiah – Chapter 38

jeremiah-cahpter-38-today

Verse 1 – Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashur, Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashuhur the son of Malchiah heard the words of Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying,

Verse 2 – “Thus says the Lord: ‘He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.’ (Chaldeans and Babylonian’s names are used interchangeably – the same.)

Verse 3 – “Thus says the Lord: ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.’ ”

Verse 4 – Therefore the princes said to the king, “Please, let this man be put to death, for thus he weakens the hands of the man of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm.”

Verse 5 – Then Zedekiah the king said, “Look, he is in your hand. For the king can do nothing against you.”

This is a good example of listening to public opinion instead of what God says. The king was too big of a coward to agree with Jeremiah, so he simply said he couldn’t stop the people from doing what they wanted.

Verse 6 – So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.

The officials put Jeremiah down in an old cistern so he would die. It had been dug to collect rainwater, but only had deep mud in it. It was dark and damp and they knew any time spent there would surely cause his death.

Verse 7 – Now Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon. When the king was sitting at the Gate of Benjamin,

Verse 8 – Ebed-Melech went out of the king’s house and spoke to the king, saying;

Verse 9 – “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city.”

Verse 10 – Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take from here thirty men with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies.”

Verse 11 – So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took from their old clothes and old rags, and let them down by ropes into the dungeon to Jeremiah.

Verse 12 – Then Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Please put these old clothes and rags under your armpits, under the ropes.” And Jeremiah did so.

Verse 13 – So they pulled Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

Ebed-Melech feared God more than the king. His obedience to God could have cost him his life. Ebed-Melech was spared when Jerusalem fell – chapter 39. Sometimes, you may be the only one in a crowd that has to take a stand and say, “That’s not right!” You may be mocked and talked about, but with God on your side, who could possibly be against you and win?

Verse 14 – Then Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance of the house of the Lord. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something. Hide nothing from me.”

Verse 15 – Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.”

Verse 16 – So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the Lord lives, who made our very souls, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”

Verse 17 – Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you surely surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live.

Verse 18 – ‘But if you do not surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.’ ”

Verse 19 – “I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hands, and they abuse me.”

Verse 20 – But Jeremiah said, “They shall not deliver you. Please, obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you. So it shall be well with you and your soul shall live.

Verse 21 – “But if you refuse to surrender, this is the word that the Lord has shown me;

Verse 22 – ‘Now behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be surrendered to the king of Babylon’s princes and those women shall say: “Your close friends have set upon you and prevailed against you; your feet have sunk in the mire, and they turned away again.”

Verse 23 – ‘So they shall surrender all your wives and children to the Chaldeans. You shall not escape from their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. And you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.’ ”

Verse 24 – Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die.

Verse 25 – “But if the princes hear that I have talked to you, and they come to you and say to you, ‘Declare to us now what you have said to the king, and also what the king said to you; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death,’

Verse 26 – “Then you shall say to them, ‘I presented my request before the king, that he would not make me return to Jonathan’s house to die there.’ ” (In other words-lie to them.)

Verse 27 – Then all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him. And he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him for the conversation had not been heard.

Verse 28 – Now Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken. And he was there when Jerusalem was taken.

Jeremiah told the princes only what was necessary, that way it didn’t back-fire on him or the king. He didn’t tell the whole truth. Have you ever had to “skirt” around the truth in order to spare someone in a dangerous situation?

Jeremiah – Chapter 37

jeremiah-chapter-37

King Jehoiakim died on his way to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:6), and his son Jehoiachin was appointed king, but Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon three months later. Nebuchadnezzar then appointed Zedekiah as his ruler in Judah. Eighteen years passed between the events of chapter 36 and those of chapter 37.

Verse 1 – Then King Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah.

Verse 2 – But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the Lord which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.

Verse 3 – And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Pray now to the Lord our God for us.”

King Zedekiah and his officials didn’t want to listen to what Jeremiah had to say, but only wanted the blessing they thought they could receive if Jeremiah prayed for them.

We would not accept a relationship with someone who only came to us to see what they could get, so why would we ever expect God to be pleased if the only time we went to Him was when we wanted something from Him?

Verse 4 – Now Jeremiah was coming and going among the people, for they had not yet put him in prison.

Verse 5 – Then Pharaoh’s army came up from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they departed from Jerusalem.

When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem in 589 B.C., Pharaoh Hophra marched against him at Zedekiah’s invitation. But the Egyptians were no help, for as soon as the Babylonians turned on them, they retreated.

Verse 6 – And the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

Verse 7 – “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Thus you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come up to help you will return to Egypt, to their own land.

Verse 8 – “And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city, and take it and burn it with fire.” ‘

Verse 9 – “Thus says the Lord: ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely depart from us,” for they will not depart.

Verse 10 – ‘For though you have defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained only wounded men among them, they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn the city with fire.’ ”

Jeremiah’s answer for Zedekiah’s prayer request was that the Egyptians would return to Egypt and the Babylonians would burn Jerusalem.

Verse 11 – And it happened, when the army of the Chaldeans left the siege of Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army,

Verse 12 – that Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin to claim his property there among the people.

Verse 13 – And when he was at the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard was there whose name was Irijah the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans!”

Jeremiah had tried to convince the people to surrender to the Babylonians and save their lives, so when this captain saw Jeremiah leaving, he assumed he was defecting.

Verse 14 – Then Jeremiah said, “It is false! I am not defecting to the Chaldeans.” But he did not listen to him. So Irijah seized Jeremiah and brought him to the princes.

Verse 15 – Therefore the princes were angry with Jeremiah, and they struck him and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe. For they had made that the prison.

Verse 16 – When Jeremiah entered the dungeon and the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days,

Verse 17 – then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” and Jeremiah said, “There is,” Then he said, “You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon!”

Verse 18 – Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What offense have I committed against you, against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison?

Verse 19 – “Where now are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land?’

Verse 20 – “Therefore please hear now, O my lord the king. Please, let my petition be accepted before you, and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.”

Verse 21 – Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah to the court prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread from the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

Jeremiah had pleaded with the king not to return him to the dungeon and the king obliged. The prison court was open and the prisoners could have visitors. God had told Jeremiah he would not die by their hands and that He would protect him, and He did.

Sometimes it doesn’t look like God is keeping His promise to us, but our perspective when storms come is not always clear. If God has told you something, He will bring it to pass no matter what it looks like, “Today!”

Jeremiah – Chapter 36

jeremiah-chapter-36

Message of the Scroll

Verse 1 – Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying,

This happened in the summer of 605 B.C., shortly after Nebuchadnezzar’s victory over the Egyptian army at Carchemish, before the events recorded in chapters 34 and 35.

Verse 2 – “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day.

Verse 3 – “It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

God wanted Jeremiah to record all the revelations from twenty-two years past. Most  of the people in ancient times could neither read nor write, so these writings were read allowed to show the people everything God said had come to  pass.

Verse 4 – Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him.

After the exile, scribes became teachers of the law. In the New Testament times, the scribes formed a powerful political party and took advantage of the people.

Verse 5 – And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am confined, I cannot go into the house of the Lord.

Verse 6 – “You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written at my instruction, the words of the Lord, in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities.

Verse 7 – “It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people.”

When God’s anointed Word goes out among the people, it has the power to break stony hearts and faith comes by hearing.

Verse 8 – And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him reading from the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.

Verse 9 – Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem.

A time of fasting when the people abstained from eating food to show their humility and repentance, was often called during a time of national emergency. Babylon was destroying city after city and closing in on Jerusalem. As the people came to the temple, Baruch told them how to avert the coming judgment, but they refused to listen.

They fasted, but without repentance, which does absolutely no good. Actions without a changed heart is useless.

Verse 10 – Then Baruch read from the book the word of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house, in the hearing of the people.

Verse 11 – When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the book,

Verse 12 –  he then went down to the king’s house, into the scribes chamber; and there all the princes were sitting – Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the  son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes.

Verse 13 – Then Michaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard when Baruch read the book in the hearing of the people.

Verse 14 – Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch saying, “Take in your hand the scroll from which you have read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them.

Verse 15 – And they said to him, “Sit down now, and read it in our hearing.” So Baruch read it in their hearing.

Verse 16 – Now it happened, when they had heard all the words, that they looked in fear from one to another, and said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king all the words.”

Verse 17 – And they asked Baruch, saying, “Tell us now, how did you write these words – at his instruction?”

Verse 18 – So Baruch answered them, “He proclaimed with his mouth all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the book.”

Verse 19 – Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah; and  let no one know where you are.”

These princes seemed to believer what Jeremiah had written, but they were obligated to tell the king. It was the opposite of what the king had been saying, so they knew he wouldn’t be pleased and would probably order the death of Jeremiah and Baruch. They didn’t want the same thing that happened to Uriah the prophet to happen to them.

Verse 20 – And they went to the king, into the court; but they stored the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the hearing of the king.

Verse 21 – So the king sent Jehudi to bring the scroll, and he took it from Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king and in the hearing of all the princes who stood beside the king.

Verse 22 – Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him.

Verse 23 – And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.

Verse 24 – Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words.

Verse 25 – Nevertheless Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah implored the king not to burn the scroll; but he would not listen to them.

Have you ever watched or heard someone openly defy God as you stood in fear for them. I’ve seen this several times to more than one person . One, completely and totally rejected the gospel and I watched as they took a turn towards drugs and ended up living in their car. The other didn’t want to hear anything, about God, and soon after that lost their business and was diagnosed with cancer and soon died. It never turns out good when you openly mock God.

Verse 26 – And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.

Verse 27 – Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch had written at the instruction of Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying:

Verse 28 – “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned.

Verse 29 – “And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have burned the scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’ ”

Here is what is not explained in these verses: If Jeremiah and Baruch were hidden, and they were, who took the new scrolls to the king to be read? Maybe Jehoiakim never knew what was about to happen.

Verse 30 – Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of night.

Jehoiakim only reigned 3 months also. Jehoiakim wasn’t even given a proper burial, he was thrown out in the street like garbage.

Verse 31 – “I will punish him, his family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.” ‘ ”

Verse 32 – Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.

And the lesson we can take from all this: “Don’t reject or mess around with God’s written word!” It won’t do any good, they will still come to pass.