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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah Journey’

“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”

Jeremiah 39:1 (ESV)

Jerusalem Under Siege

Jeremiah had warned them. God had tried to give them an out. There was plenty of time for them to make a move in the right direction.

They just would not listen to God’s prophet.

It led to Jerusalem being taken over by the invaders from Babylon.

It led to Babylonian officials taking over and passing judgment on the king and his nobles.

It led to Zedekiah’s sons and the nobles being slaughtered.

It led to Zedekiah having his eyes put out and him being taken in chains to Babylon.

It led to a mass exile of people to Babylon in captivity.

But it left all of the poor people and Jeremiah in the land.

Join us live Wednesday at 11 AM PST as we discuss The Fall of Jerusalem

Jeremiah Spared from Exile

“Take him, look after him well, and do him no harm, but deal with him as he tells you.”

Jeremiah 39:12 (ESV)

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave clear instructions on the care for Jeremiah and they were carried out by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard. Jeremiah was removed from the court of the prison and placed in another’s charge where he lived “among his own people.”

Jeremiah finds favor among the invaders despite being imprisoned and shunned by the kings and leadership of his own land. In spite of being spared the cruelty of the exile, we still experience Jeremiah’s words of agony and anguish in Lamentations that speak of this time period and give testimony to personal hopes and pleas for God’s people to turn around and repent by coming back to God.

Read what others have written on this time period and chapter as well:

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Will a man make gods for himself,

Which are not gods?

Jeremiah 16:20 (NKJV)

We could pretty much say that they had it coming. It shouldn’t have been a surprise and they should have known that all of that idolatry and rebellion was going to catch up with them some day and in some kind of way. It just seems natural that they had it coming.

Sadly, Israel’s pride had blinded them before and God pointed out how it would blind them again when disaster was to come upon them. God simply pointed to the actions of their fathers before them, and then shared: ” And you have done worse than your fathers” (Jeremiah 16:12, NKJV).

That’s why Israel was going to suffer either death and destruction in their own land or in captivity in the north.

Read how others have engaged this chapter’s contents as well.

False Gods Led to a Failure of Faithfulness

By engaging in idolatry, Israel was literally playing with fire. Because of it, they would be consumed and taken down more than just a notch. Because they had followed other gods and forsaken God, they were doomed to undergo disaster and destruction. In fact, God says it like this: “. . .and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.”

No favor shown by God? His mercies disappeared? His lovingkindness vanished?

Imagine how much suffering could have been avoided if they had simply stuck with God. Picture how much easier life could have been if they had just admitted to God that they had lost their way and went astray, seeking to repent and return to Him once again. Just think about it. All of that disgrace could have been vanquished and not even an issue for them.

But they refused to repent.

But they refused to listen to God or His prophet.

And so their suffering was a disgraceful death before the eyes of the world.

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O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us,
Do it for Your name’s sake;
For our backslidings are many,
We have sinned against You.

Jeremiah 14:7 (NKJV)

The Reason for the Desolation

God’s people had gone astray and refused to turn back to God in repentance. It sounds simple, but it gotten real sticky for a while. God explains it when he points how these people “have loved to wander” and “not restrained their feet” (v. 10, NKJV). In other words, God’s got good reasoning for not supporting or supplying this people. The desolation leads to a newfound devastation that creates desperation.

The Desperate Request for Help

The request in verse 7 is as close as the wayward nation gets to saying that they have stirred up the anger of God. It is the closest thing that we see to an outright admission of their own iniquities and how they trespassed and transgressed against God. Yet, they only seek a rescue. They offer no repentance for their sins, just acknowledgement.

The Response to Desperate Cries for Help

“. . . Do not pray for the welfare for this people.” [Jeremiah 14:11(ESV)]. God just comes out and says it without any hesitation. This seems to echo what God shared in chapter 11 about not praying for these same people.

In fact, this is only the follow-up to God sharing that it is time to remember their sins and punish them accordingly for these sins.

When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. (Jeremiah 14:12, NKJV).

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The lips of the wise spread knowledge. . .

Proverbs 15:7

As we enter what many have become familiar with as Passion Week, we continue our week by week Bible study of Jeremiah. Although he is commonly known as the Weeping Prophet, Jeremiah remains grounded as a man of compassion and integrity.

In the midst of corruption, the Jeremiah who comes to life in the pages of the Old Testament would be aligned with a whistleblower in today’s terms. Using his prophetic calling to call out Israel and Judah on their wrongdoings, Jeremiah reminds us of a mere forecast of Jesus and John the Baptist in the New Testament as they called out the religious leaders of their own time period.

John the Baptist with the Brood of Vipers Reflects Jeremiah

In Matthew 3:7, John the Baptist becomes aware of the presence of Sadducees and Pharisees as he baptized in the Jordan River. He scolds them, even calling them a “brood of vipers,” and he commands them to produce fruit “worthy of repentance.” It is obvious why many of people suspected that Jeremiah or Elijah had been reborn and manifested in this New Testament prophet. It is reflective of the Book of Jeremiah’s constant call for making amends for wrongdoing by returning to God, i.e. repentance.

Jesus Calls Out Corruption Like Jeremiah

Look at Jesus when He turned out the money changers and turned over their tables within the temple. We often hear this incident referenced as the Lord “cleansing the temple.” In fact, in the Gospel of John, Jesus goes so far as to make a whip and urge folks to be on their way and to take their wares out of the temple because He openly states that His Father’s house is not a place of business.

How is this like Jeremiah?

Much like his contemporaries Zephaniah, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk, Jeremiah was dealing with God’s people on the basis of their broken covenant with God, even the priests and other religious leaders. Keep in mind that the prophet was to call out the transgressions and rebellion against the Lord. It is quite a comparison to see the Weeping Prophet and the Lord Jesus both compelled to reach out to God’s people to change their ways or expect nothing more than coming wrath of God in due time.

Jeremiah Journey Week 13: The Ruined Sash and So Much More

Jeremiah chapter 13 opens up with an object lesson featuring the prophet’s sash (vv. 1-10). God is quick to point out to the prophet that the sash is “profitable for nothing” (v. 7). God also points out how this symbolic lesson with the sash is the same he will hand the “evil people” of Judah and Jerusalem.

The remainder of the chapter unveils more of how God will deal with Israel and Judah. It takes us through a plethora of prophetic warnings, but much of what is said hinges on a singular centralized theme of pride. In verse 15, the people are warned: “Do not be proud.” Verse 18 simply starts out: “Humble yourselves.” In the midst of everything that the Lord is spelling out and sharing in this chapter, he takes direct aim at their pride, their arrogance, and their coming shame as the Lord puts it in verse 26.

The LORD detests the proud; they will surely be punished.

proverbs 16:5 (NLT)
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