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Week 33 Recap

What we learned from this chapter:

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)

We missed Pastor Powell on this last livestream, but we hope to have him back in our midst come next week.

The topics from Week #33 were:

  • Jeremiah is still in prison, imprisoned by King Zedekiah and God’s word came to him a second time (v. 2)
  • God is fighting against Israel and Judah through the Chaldeans (v. 5)
  • God outlines His plans for Judah and Jerusalem (vv. 6-17)
  • God backs up His promises with Himself and His ability as surety (vv. 19-26)
  • We also covered surety as guarantee or co-signer for another’s debt and the LORD vs Lord debate.

Make sure to download the Show Notes from Week #33

Download the FREE Bible Discussion Guide for Week 34.

Week 34: God’s Covenant Calls for Debt Relief

God Introduced the Concept as He Made His Covenant

1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is the manner of remission: Every creditor shall cancel what he has loaned to his neighbor. He is not to collect anything from his neighbor or brother, because the LORD’s time of release has been proclaimed. 3 You may collect something from a foreigner, but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you. – Deuteronomy 15:1-3

4 There will be no poor among you, however, because the LORD will surely bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, 5 if only you obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commandments I am giving you today. 6 When the LORD your God blesses you as He has promised, you will lend to many nations but borrow from none; you will rule over many nations but be ruled by none. – Deuteronomy 15:4-6

In most cases, this sector of the Scriptures is called the Law. Within the Law, Deuteronomy 15 offers us what is referred to as the “year of release.” This was not just a law about the limitations of bondage and enslavement. It is not just part of God’s covenant with Israel. It is an expectation that God’s people obey and observe it as part of their commitment to God.

. . . but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you. (v. 5)

Look at what the Bible says about the seventh year beyond Deuteronomy 15 (Exodus 23:10-13Leviticus 25:1-7). Use the resources from Bible Study Help to assist you with viewing the Bible online and using Bible study tools, even which sites stand out as our top 5 favorite Bible study sites online.

God Revisits the Concept in the Hopes of Renewing His Covenant

Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘I made a covenant with your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, saying, At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother who has been sold to you and has served you six years, you shall send him out free from you; but your forefathers did not obey Me or incline their ear to Me.

Jeremiah 34:13-14 (NASB)

God’s spoken word to Jeremiah is a reminder of what He had already established in His covenant with your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage (v. 13). He points out how it was not obeyed by the children of Israel in the past.

Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother and each man to his neighbor. Behold, I am proclaiming a release to you,’ declares the LORD, ‘to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts

Jeremiah 34:17-18 (NASB)

God says openly how He plans to deal with those who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts. He doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what will transpire. He makes it plain who He is talking about, too. He points out in verse 19: the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf (ESV). He speaks plainly about what He aims to do in verses 20-21.

And I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives. Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has withdrawn from you.

Jeremiah 34: 20-21 (ESV)

God’s dealings with the king and the officials are not simply in defense of the debtors. God’s dealing with their disobedience and dishonor of the covenant just like their forefathers. He shows that He will exercise His power with anger and fury in order to prove true to His own word, His covenant with His people.

God’s covenant called for debt relief and since it was not handled appropriately, God’s got an answer for that.

Friday Freebie: 30-Day Prayer Challenge Calendar Download

Are you prayerful?

You know it’s a compound word [“prayer” + “full”] which translates as “full of prayer.” It means expressive in prayer; given to prayer; devout.

Let me ask it another way.

Are you in continuous communion,connection, and communication with God?

I can imagine that’s got your mental wheels spinning as you question yourself about your prayer life, but here’s something to address that. Get involved in the 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge as we tackle the act of prayer throughout the month of September. If nothing else, you will definitely be able to say by the end of September this year that you learned more about your own prayer life and what God’s Word says about prayer. As E.M. Bounds famously said: “Prayer is humbling work.”

Take the 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge this September. Simply subscribe here and receive the FREE September 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge Calendar. Sign up for our new weekly e-newsletter as part of the 30-Day Prayer Challenge for September. Don’t forget: you’ve got to subscribe here to get the FREE 30-Day Prayer Challenge Calendar.

Join us Wednesday at 11 AM PST

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Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah – Jeremiah 31:31 (NASB)

Covenants Come in Different Varieties

Covenants are designed to serve as binding agreements between two parties. In modern times, we might think of a contract with a signature by each party involved as a legally-binding agreement for business such as a commercial property lease or a purchase order with a supplier. Covenants in the Bible meant something different and deeper. Christians today need to understand the covenant relationship in order to truly grasp the atonement of sin through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross.

Old Testament passages tell us that covenants are established on two different levels:

  • Man-Man: According to the Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: “A covenant was an agreement between two parties that laid down conditions and guaranteed benefits, depending upon a person’s keeping or breaking the covenant.”
  • God-Man: “Covenants between God and the people he created, however, differed from purely human covenants. They were not agreements between equals, because God was always the one who gave, and people were always the ones who received.” (Bridgeway Bible Dictionary)

The New Covenant Offers Something Different

Look further in our Bible study discussion guide for this week to see more details about covenants in the Old Testament. Look at Jeremiah 31:31-34 for a better understanding of what God’s new covenant offered in comparison to the covenant broken by His people in the past.

Previous Covenants Broken by God’s People

not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord – Jeremiah 31:32 (NASB)

Keep in mind that God’s people have a history of breaking covenants with God. It’s beyond simply being disobedient when you totally disregard it. Look at 1 Samuel 8:7-8 when the people demanded a king instead of Samuel’s sons who served as judges over Israel. They had been disobeying God and meddling with other gods since leaving Egypt.

https://youtu.be/avurasl9Ag0

Something New and Different with God

For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. – Jeremiah 31:33 (NASB)

The new covenant was to be a new start for Judah and Israel with God.

Think about how that sounds and how that is supposed to work.

A group of people who just served 70 years in captivity in a foreign land full of godless folks will come back to their homeland and return to a restored relationship with their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Their past behavior alone disqualified them. Despite whatever bad habits they might have picked up from their captors, they would just jump at the chance to be the chosen people again and serve God Almighty? It sounds like a stretch, but here’s how God planned to accomplish it.

They will not teach again, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.

jeremiah 31:34 (NASB)

The relationship would become a more personalized relationship, according to God. It will go beyond the surface. It would be deeper than something superficial. God would be known by His people and they would know that He has forgiven them of their prior sins against them with the penalty having been paid with their captivity in Babylon.

If nothing else, it sounds a like a good start to reboot their relationship and see how long it takes these chosen people to drift away to other gods again.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

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David Their King

But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. – Jeremiah 30:9 (NASB)

While studying something totally different, I came across something interesting and related to our current study in Jeremiah. It sparked me to research the relationship between Jesus and David more intensely. It also provided me with a clearer understanding of David’s earthly kingdom versus his everlasting kingdom promised to him by God.

Jesus Questioned the Pharisees about the Son of David (Matthew 22:41-46)

After some testing from the Sadducees and Pharisees, Jesus turned the tables and posed 2 questions to the Pharisees:

  • Whose Son is the Christ? (v. 42)
  • How does David call Him “Lord” if He is the Son of David? (v.44)

To the first question, they all responded: “The Son of David.”

However, the second question posed by Jesus did not elicit such a collective response. Jesus asks the second question based on Psalm 110:1, a psalm of David. Sadly, the response to the second question went something like this: “And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore (v. 46, NKJV).”

No one was able to answer Him.

Imagine that no answer to the question could be found among those who claimed to be the “keepers of the law.” The answer was beyond the scope of their grasp and understanding. Even though they worked closely with the Holy Scriptures, the Torah, the Law of God, they had no answer to provide Jesus for His second question. They had no understanding of how David could call Him both Son and Lord.

David’s Kingdom and the Davidic Covenant

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. – 2 Samuel 5:4 (NIV)

By comparison, David’s earthly kingdom and his eternal kingdom are different levels.

  • David’s earthly kingdom is limited (40 years)
  • David is promised that his descendant will hold the everlasting throne forever (Matt. 1:1-6, 16; Luke 3:31-34)
  • “Son of David” stems from the royal origin of Jesus and His earthly lineage found in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke with the term “son” meaning descendant or offspring

Confirmation from Jeremiah’s Contemporaries

But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the LORD their God and to David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the LORD and of his goodness. – Hosea 3:5 (NLT)

24 My servant David will be king over them, and there will be one shepherd for all of them. They will follow My ordinances and keep and observe My statutes. 25 They will live in the land that I gave to My servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They will live there forever with their children and grandchildren, and My servant David will be their prince forever. – Ezekiel 37:24-25 (NIV)

Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is righteous and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)

Along with Isaiah, these prophets were contemporaries of Jeremiah, sharing God’s message with His people in different regions around the same time and confirming each other’s prophecies. Other contemporary biblical texts share about the covenant extending forever. Both jeremiah 32:40 and Ezekiel 37:26 speak of an “everlasting covenant” between God and His people initiated with David’s descendant as their king. Some biblical translations even call Him “their prince.”

Continue to Study on David and the Son of David

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You shall be My people, And I will be your God

Jeremiah 30:22 (NASB)

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Hear the depth of devotion is those words. See the deep connection shared between them. Hold tightly to the promises of God to do more than just deliver His people out of captivity.

God desires a relationship with His people based on a covenant.

There’s so much more that comes before that 22nd verse. We see it throughout chapter 30. God’s promise of a new covenant includes a picture of a renewed relationship between God and those sent into captivity in Babylon after 70 years. He promises them that they will be His people and they will have Him as their God.

Much like the children of Israel coming out of captivity in Egypt, the end game of God’s plan for them at this point is a new relationship with the people based on the promises of God. I find that Giselle of Seek the Truth gives a thorough explanation for us all to ponder in comparison.

Much like many of us coming back and recovering from the effects of addiction or other trauma and drama in our lives, these folks stood in need of something to hold onto as they endured their punishment under the judgment of God. They needed a light at the end of the tunnel and that light was the promise of God as to what would be their new relationship when the captivity was all done and over.

God’s promise of this new relationship under a new covenant comes at a peculiar place within the contents of this chapter. The chapter is filled with God’s assurances to these captives in Babylon, but it also contains some insight into the judgment and punishment to be endured these captives as well as the future outlook for those who have held them captive.

God’s Assured Promises to the Captives in Babylon

*Rescued from captivity (v.3, 8)
*Returned to the land of forefathers (v.10)
*Restored among the nations of the world (v. 17)
*Renewed in a new covenant with God (v. 22)

The Messianic Message Within the Chapter

But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king. . .

– Jeremiah 30:9 (NKJV)

“David their king” is not the reincarnation of King David the son of Jesse. This refers to the Lord Jesus as a “Son of David.” This is related to the promise of the Messiah being of the lineage of David with an everlasting kingdom.

Interestingly, the notion of this passage referencing King David literally falls short based on the chronological timeline sequence of the Scriptures. Also, the personal profile of King David leaves a lot to be desired especially when we look at chapter 30’s contents on judgment and punishment. In fact, one blogger gives an insightful comparison of King David and R. Kelly for you to read at your leisure. None of us are without blemish but that doesn’t excuse David’s wrongdoings. It merely gives us more biblical evidence that the reference isn’t literally translated as him.

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Don’t feeling like missing the livestream of our Bible study sessions is a major letdown. We add our livestreams to our YouTube channel and its Bible Study & Beyond Playlist weekly. Just go to the YouTube channel and search for #JeremiahJourney videos. Or, you can simply go directly to the Bible Study & Beyond Playlist.

Join us this Wednesday at 11 AM PST for Live @ Lunch Bible Study

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As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people or cry out for them or ask anything for them. I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.

jeremiah 11:14 (NCV)
Last week’s Bible study livestream

Dealing with the Doom

Last week had us trying to figure out how the shepherds were asleep at the wheel when they were assigned to teach and uphold the Law of God in the land and among the people. Yet, this week as we enter chapter 11, we see God laying out His case against Israel. As he states His case, He is careful to point out that Israel’s doom is of its own doing.

What is my beloved doing in my temple
as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
Can consecrated meat avert your punishment?
When you engage in your wickedness,
then you rejoice.

-Jeremiah 11:15 (NIV)

God has charges against their forefathers who were brought out of Egypt and given the land as promised by the Lord. He has charges against their wicked ways and their refusal to uphold to the agreements within their covenant. His charge against this generation of Israel is simply put: “They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words” (v. 10, NIV). In a plain and simple look at things, God has not been pleased with many of His chosen people for quite a long time. And, as the hour draws nigh, He surely is not holding back on how He plans to deal with them for the breaking of the covenant with Him.

Do Not Pray for Them

“As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people or cry out for them or ask anything for them. I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble” (v. 14, NCV). How else could it be put at this point? I don’t see much of an alternative. God simply says for Jeremiah to not waste his tears or his prayerful pleas, even not to “ask anything for them.” It is of no use according to God.

In fact, God goes on to point out to Jeremiah that the people even have a plot against him (verses 18-19). They want to kill him, so that the people will not remember him or his words of prophetic warning. In that case, when it all comes crashing down, no one will recall the words of the weeping prophet. They believe that eliminating him could allow them to erase his words and warnings of God’s wrath from the memories of the people. Their idea is that if they can cause him to disappear, the sting of God’s wrath might not burn as bad.

Revisit Jeremiah Chapter 1

Such foolish thinking seems to be the pathway of irrational justification when facing one’s own guilt and shame. Since these same people refused to to return to God and accept His terms, a conspiracy arose among some with a plot regarding Jeremiah as God’s messenger and “cut him off from the land of the living.” In other words, “Let’s kill him so people will forget him.” And, if they forget him, they most probably will forget his message.

But this takes a different turn as God makes Jeremiah aware of this plot against him. When Jeremiah is calling for God to reap judgment against them, we must recall what God has already said in chapter 1 as a warning to Jeremiah as he took on the assignment. In verse 8, He told Jeremiah to not fear them and to not be afraid of their faces. Jeremiah 1:19 is where God assured Jeremiah that the people would fight against him but not overcome him because the Lord would deliver him. It is assurance such as these verses that fuel Jeremiah’s reliance on the Lord as he hears God deal with the people of Anathoth “who plan to kill Jeremiah.” It is God’s deliverance balanced with His testing of hearts and minds that allows jeremiah to understand that God’s words ring true as He vows that not even a remnant of them shall remain.

Be Sure to Tune in This Week

Check out this week’s FREE Bible study outline. Be sure to review last week’s video from the livestream. And tune in Wednesday at 11 AM PST with your comments and questions for this week’s Live @ Lunch Bible Study.

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