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“For this the earth shall mourn,
    and the heavens above be dark;
for I have spoken; I have purposed;
    I have not relented, nor will I turn back.”

-Jeremiah 4:28 (ESV)

Last week, we looked at chapter 4 in Jeremiah and saw God’s frustration with Israel’s idolatry.  At the end of the day, we learn how God’s wrath is on its way.  It is presented as inevitable as well as eventual with an invasion from the North.

How can I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and trooped to the houses of whores.

-Jeremiah 5:7 (ESV)

God refuses to hold back as He stated in Jeremiah 4:28.  Yet, the rebellious children of Israel refused to repent.  God calls out for them to repent.  God calls them on their mess, expecting them to turn their hearts again towards God, but they continued to rebel and not repent.

As you read through chapter 5 this week, answer the following questions:

  1. What is God’s desire for Israel as He presented in the first 4 chapters of Jeremiah?
  2. How does God describe Israel’s rebellion?
  3. Write down some key terms from chapter 5 that let you know what has become of the relationship between God and Israel.
  4. Summarize your thoughts and ideas regarding chapter 5 in one phrase or sentence.

Feel free to answer these questions via comments directly to the blog post, i.e. Question #1: God wanted loyalty and fidelity from Israel, especially the House of Israel.  Keep your eyes out for a special activity this weekend as we move on to chapter 6.

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The Jeremiah Journey continues as we look back and look forward.

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Looking Back (Jeremiah Chapter 3)

God’s Anger Led to God’s Wrath (Israel’s Idolatry)

Last week we read Jeremiah chapter 3.  It showed us how God had some stinging accusations against both Israel and Judah.

The Lord said to me, Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.

– Jeremiah 3:11 (NIV) 

One of the keys to keep in mind is that God’s accusations are accurate.  He sees all.  He knows all.  He can see beyond the surface and deep into the recesses of our hearts.  He knows our intentions.

What does God see in your heart today? It’s totally between you and Him.  Be mindful that He is neither mocked nor fooled by any deception that we may seek to put forth.  He sees us for what we really are.

But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:20 (NIV)

Despite all that He spoke out against Israel and Judah.  God sought their repentance.  He called for the faithless to return to Him.  He sought to cure them.  He desired to offer them hope and cleansing.

“Return, faithless people;
    I will cure you of backsliding.”

-Jeremiah 3:22 (NIV)

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Looking Ahead at Jeremiah Chapter 4

Anguish and Agony Ahead (God’s Warning of Things to Come)

C.H. Spurgeon simply said that we can either be humble or be humbled.  That was the plight of this faithless nation.  God’s call for its return to Him fell on deaf ears.  He answered with a rebuttal of the disaster to come.

As you read chapter 4 of Jeremiah, be sure to pay close attention to the prophecy of things to come.  See the words that God uses to describe the anguish and agony the nation will suffer due to its refusal to repent.

 

 

 

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Why do you contend with me?
    You have all transgressed against me,
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:29 (ESV)

Part of our work last week was to look at chapter 2 and reflect.  Our reflective responses are still being collected this week.  Be sure to log and submit your answers for us.  We want to share our collective responses in the near future.

Looking Ahead

If a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
declares the Lord.

-Jeremiah 3:1 (NLT)

The opening lines of chapter 3 are enough to make some Christians unsettled.

God’s judgment is direct and open.  There is no holding back.  He lets loose and it is all fire.  He doesn’t give the people any break or leeway.  He just speaks on what they have done and what it really looks like to Him.

. . .You have played the whore with many lovers. . .

The comparison to whorees is a direct correlation to the idolatry of Israel.  It is akin to Isaiah’s opening chapter.  It is reflective in a metaphoric sense to God’s appeal to Hosea, utilizing Hosea’s match with Gomer as a symbolic object lesson about His own relationship with a whore-like nation of “chosen people.”

If a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?

Spend some time this week reflecting on one single question: Has my relationship with the Lord been pure or polluted lately? Which one and what makes you say so? Think about it as you read chapter 3 in Jeremiah.  Compare it to Isaiah chapter 1.  Look at it in light of Hosea’s major  hurdle.  Then look at your response again after having read chapter 3.  Feel free to comment directly to this post with your responses.

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Jeremiah Journey Wk 2

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Looking Back

Jeremiah’s opening chapter is an eye-opener.  Jeremiah’s name means “whom Jehovah has appointed.” Put that in perspective.  This man was destined for some form of calling on his life with a name like that.  Once he has a true encounter with God and his assignment, Jeremiah reveals his own insecurities.  He said to God that he was “only a youth.” That opens the floodgates for God to press Jeremiah further.

  • God’s calling on your life will confirm you.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (v. 5, ESV)

  • God’s calling on your life will supply whatever you need

. . . for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord. (v. 7- 8, ESV)

  • God’s calling on your life will strengthen you and empower you

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (v. 9-10, ESV)

When God calls on you, do not look at your own insecurities.  Look at who is calling you and His ability to supply you and strengthen you.

Looking Ahead

And I brought you into a plentiful land
    to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
But when you came in, you defiled my land
    and made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
    Those who handle the law did not know me;
the shepherds transgressed against me;
    the prophets prophesied by Baal
    and went after things that do not profit.

Jeremiah 2:7-8 (ESV)

Reading chapter 2 this week, be sure to make note of what God shares about His relationship with Israel.  Look at the words that God uses to describe the relationship.  See how God feels about the status of their relationship.

Why do you contend with me?
    You have all transgressed against me,
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:29 (ESV)

#TheJourneyCountinues

 

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And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”  – Mark 6:4 (ESV)

. . . A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.  – Matthew 13:57 (NLT)

A Prophet is Without Honor

Jesus said it.

He stated it in simple and straightforward.

The position of the prophet is peculiar.

The prophet is from among the people but has the “burden” of carrying God’s message to the people.  The prophet stands out from everyone else while speaking out against the social and spiritual wrongs of the people against God.

That is a peculiar position, even a complicated calling, for anyone.

Why the Jeremiah Journey

Jeremiah was a prophet who is known among the “major prophets.” He is known for both the Book of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  His prophecy was unpopular among both the priest and other prophets, even the people.

Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet.”

Imagine being God’s vessel and voice with a message that put you odds with your peers and fellow tribesmen.  That would definitely bring about some emotional conflicts.  You would surely question what God was truly trying to do through you and with you.

That was Jeremiah’s journey.

How the Jeremiah Journey Works

  • Read a chapter of the Book of Jeremiah week by week during 2018
  • Check the midweek Bible study questions to further explore each week’s chapter
  • Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for inspiration on reading
  • Visit this blog week by week to get insights and reflections on the weekly reading, even comments on the journey

What we can expect through such a Bible reading and study program:

  • A thorough reading and study of one of the most dynamic characters of the Bible
  • A chapter by chapter reading of one of the prophetic books of the Bible
  • A deeper relationship with God’s Word through consistent reading and study of the Bible, especially if you do not have any other Bible study or devotional reading that you are currently reading

Join the Jeremiah Journey. #JointheJourney

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The Jeremiah Journey Promo Slide

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