Jeremiah      

The Weeping Prophet  Jerusalem 627 - 586 BC

Chronological Summary  To Navigate click on blue Chapter(s)

Chapter Year/King Events
Intro   Introduction
God Speaks to Jeremiah
1 627
Josiah
Jeremiah anointed prophet when still a reticent teenager,
God promised to rescue him and to remain with him,
     but he must speak all that he hears.  14-19  1520  3911,12
Persecuted.  1121  1818  201,2,7  268,11,21  3715  381-13
Rescued from Satan's clutches but not from hardship.
He died only when his work was completed (41 years).
Sensitive and earnest, he would faithfully speak
      and Barach would write) all that he heard.  17
Sees Almond tree, God says, "I am watching". 111
      (Hebrew 'Saqed'= almond, 'Saqad'='to watch')
Like Israel, Almond first to blossom and last to fruit.
An overview of God's plan for his chosen people.
Also sees immediate disaster from the north. 114  259
God is not blind or deaf to anything man does.
Wickedness will be judged.
2-6  626-609 Jeremiah reveals social and spiritual corruption as sin.
Never popular.  People rebelled, forsaking the Lord.  217
Consistently refused to hear or respond to correction; 229,30
      53  610,19  724-26  117,10  253  265  3233  3514,15  444,5
Judah failed to learn from Israel.  36-10  221  Is 51-7
Claimed innocence and refused to blush.  235  33  615
If I can find one honest person I will forgive.  51  Gen 1823-32
All are greedy for gain. (basis of idolatry)  613  810
False prophets say peace. But God is angry.  614,11  Is 3010
False hope.  222  410  531  72-11  2316,17
Presumed 'God will do nothing'.  512  Today 'God of Love'.
Sin always has a high price tag - Complete destruction.
      515,17,31  61,6,11,19  911,25,26
7-10 Post 621
Reforms
Josiah
Preaching in the Temple Gate.
Reform your ways. Do not trust deceptive words.  74,8,10
Repeatedly sent prophets.  713,25  No one repents.  86
Even prayer will not turn away God's national judgement.
      716  1111b  411,12  1915  2221  2320  253  372
They sacrificed their children to idols.  731  195
Senseless shepherds do not seek the Lord.  1021
Sin= Content without God.  (See "Rich man and Lazarus")
Since my people are crushed, I am crushed, I mourn.  821
Reforms removed public idols, but not private ones.  1113
Idol worship is so ridiculous!  105 c.f. 6
11-20 609-605
Jehoiakim
Terms of the Covenant (and Law) clearly restated.  111-5
Men of Anathoth plot to kill him.  1118-23
Complaint. Why do the wicked prosper?  121
      God's answer - I will uproot and destroy them.  1214
      No escape.  1111  (Not until later.  1215)
Signs of spoiled linen belt and of full wineskins.  131-14
Drought encourages yet more false prophecy.  141-16
      But God says they will all be exiled.  1418b  1319  1613
      Natural disasters are rarely seen as the hand of God.
Do not marry, mourn at funeral or enjoy any feast.
      Costly signs.  161,5,8  c.f. Ezekiel and Hosea
Blessing of trust in God or curse of deceit.  175-9
Clay pot is re-shaped = a nation that heeds warning.
      But Judah refuses to change.  181-12  So destruction.
'Fired' pot is smashed - not repairable.  191-13
Jeremiah put in stocks.  God's verdict unchanged.  201-6
221-23 608 Do what is just and right.  c.f. new palace.  2213,15
Exiled Jehoahaz will not return.  2210-12
      Jehoiakim's body will be thrown outside city.  2219
26 608 Because you've not listened, this city will be destroyed.
Jeremiah threatened with death.  God protects him.
35 606 Recabites rewarded for their righteousness and obedience.
  605 Battle of Carchemish. Nebuchadnezzar defeats Egypt.
      (His father had defeated Nineveh in 612 and Assyria at Haran in 609)
Start of new era of Babylonian supremacy until 539.
25 605 Leaders and people refused to listen for 23 years
      so destruction of Judah and exile for 70 years.
      586 to 516 (not 605-537).  2511  2910
Very soon it would be too late.
Jehoiakim surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar.
      Daniel + best taken to Babylon.
36,45 604 Jehoiakim burns scroll with contempt.
Baruch given assurance of God's protection.
231-8 604 Righteous Branch will come.  Judah will be saved.
239-40  604 The Lying Prophets
2224-30  597 Siege prevails. Jehoiakim killed, thrown over city wall.  2219
Jehoiachin (son) exiled, told he will never return.
      (Temple treasure, Ezekiel and others taken to Babylon)
The Blood-line Ends 2227
24 596 Vision of Figs - Good and Bad
27,28 593 Yoke of Wood and Iron
29   Letter to Exiles in Babylon
301 - 3130   Israel will be restored
3131 - 3326   The New Covenant with Israel
Jerusalem will be Rebuilt
Righteous Branch for David's Line
21, 34-38 588-586 God speaks to Zedekiah five times
39-43  586 Jerusalem to be Destroyed
Nebuchadnezzar and Jeremiah
Flight to Egypt
44   Jeremiah Prophesies to Jews in Egypt
46-51   Prophecies to other Nations
46   Egypt
47   Philistines
48   Moab (Descendants of Lot by incest)
49   Ammon (Descendants of Lot by incest)
49   Edom (Descendants of Esau)
49   Damascus
49   Kedar
49   Elam
50,51   Babylon
app1   Conclusions
app2   Jesus and Jeremiah
app3   Quotes from Jeremiah in the NT
app4   In Christ, Peace. In the world, Trouble  (a Sermon) 

 
Introduction       [Contents]

Jeremiah's father was a priest in Anathoth, 3 miles NE of Jerusalem.
      A Levite's task was to teach the scriptures.
            (too many for all to serve in the Temple).

    Contemporary prophets -
            Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah and Huldah (2 Kg 2214-20).
            Plus exiled in Babylon, Daniel (from 605 BC) and Ezekiel (from 597 BC).

      God called Jeremiah to 'swim against the tide' for over 40 years (627-586).
      Most men hated him for speaking the awful truth of deserved judgement.
            Few learned of the new covenant of God's forgiveness and grace.

      When called he was afraid; how could one so young know what to say?
            But God anointed him and throughout his life God protected him.
            God was with him as he endured much suffering and abuse.    
          He died only when the work was completed.

      Jeremiah faithfully and courageously proclaimed all that God revealed -
            the good and the bad.
      God bottled up all his tears - none were wasted.
            He was not a hopeless misery, but a griever with fervent faith in God.
            Throughout his long ministry he wept alone over the wickedness of Judah.
            He didn't just criticise, that is all too easy, but he cared deeply - like his Lord.
                  414,19 821 -91  Lu 1334  also Jer 1024

      Few read all of Jeremiah (but only Jer 18 - the potter, and 31- new covenant)
            Triumph is always more popular than judgement!
            And even fewer ever read Lamentations.

      Not the greatest prophet (John Baptist), not the most successful (Jonah),
            Not mystical (Ezekiel), not majestic (Isaiah) and certainly never popular;
            yet he remained faithful and obedient, and will receive his just reward.

      Quoted in Math 218 1129 2113  Heb 1016  Rev 84 1310 182,4 etc

      Mostly writen in Hebrew poetry - concise, careful, emotional and rational (heart + mind).

      Rejected by people, rulers and priests who prophesy lies.
            My people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? 531
      Jeremiah reveals Jesus; why he had to come and be our vital sacrifice.  Lu 2426
            The ‘Weeping prophet’ and the ‘Man of sorrows’.  Is 533  Lu 1941,42  Jer 91 1317
      There is no doubt that God spoke to this earnest, sensitive prophet.

Kings during prophecy of Jeremiah:
      Josiah  640-609
      Jehoahaz  609
      Jehoiakim  609-598
      Jehoiachin  598
      Zedekiah  597-586

      Detailed History in 2 Ch 34-36 and 2 Kg 22-25

Almighty God Speaks to Jeremiah
      There is no doubt that he often spoke to this earnest, sensitive prophet,
      and he wants all men in every age to hear clearly what he said.

"The word of the Lord came to me ..." or "The Lord said to me ..."
14 111 113 21 36 311 71 111 116 119 138 141 1411 1414 151 161 1719 181 185 211 251 261 271 2812 2930 301 321 326 328 3226 331 3319 3323 341 348 3412 351 3512 361 3627 376 3915 401 427 438 441 461 4613 471 4934 501
Total = 51

"This is what the Lord says ..." or "Thus says the Lord (of hosts ..."
25 43 427 514 66 69 73 720 721 84 812 97 913 915 917 923 102 113 1111 1121 1122 1214 139 1415 152 1519 165a 169 175 1721 1811 1813 191 193b 1911 1915 204 214 219 2112 221 223 226 2211 2218 2230 232a 2316 245 248 258 2515 2527 2528 2532 262 264 272 274 2716 2719 2721 2811 2814 2816 294 298 2916 2917 2921 2925 2931 2932a 302 305 3012 3018 312 317 3115 3116 3123 3135 3137 3214 3215 3236 3242 332 334 3310 3317 3320 3325 342 344b 3413 3417a 3513a 3517 3518 3519 3629 3630 377 379 382 383 3817 3916 429 4215b 4218 4310 442 447 4411 4425 4430 452 454 4625 472 481 4840 491 497 4912 4928 4935 5018 5033 511 5133 5136 5158
Total = 136

"Declares the (Sovereign) Lord ..." or "Says the Lord ..." or "The Lord has spoken"
115 119 23 29 212 219 222 229 31 310 312a 312b 313 314 316 320 41 417 59 511 515 518 529 612 615 616 621 622 713 719 730 732 81 83 813 817 93 96 99 922 924 925 1314 153 156 159 1520 165b 1614 1616 1724 186 196 1912 2110 2113 2114 2216 2224 231 232b 234 235 237 2323 2324 2329 2330 2331 2332 2333 257 2512 2529 2531 2711 2715 2722 299 2911 2914 2919a 2919b 2923 2932b 303 308 3010 3011 3017 3021 311 3114 3117 3120 3127 3128 3131 3133 3136 3138 3244 3313 3314 3417b 3513b 3917 3918 4211 4429 465 4618 4626 488 4812 4825 4835 4843 4844 4847 492a 492b 496 4916 4918 4930 4931 4932 4937 4939 504 5010 5020 5021 5030 5031 5035 5040 5124 5125 5126 5148 5152 5153 5157
Total = 145

"The Lord said to me ..." or "The Lord has said to you ..."
17 19 112 114 136 1511 244 4219 4914
Total = 9

"Consider the Word of the Lord" or "Hear the Word of the Lord"
24 231 72 920 101 1011 112 1720 193a 2111 222 2920 344a 3820 4215a 4424 4426 4920 5045
Total = 19

"It is I who speak in judgement upon them ..." or "Prophesy against them ..."
412 2530 2612
Total = 3

"The Lord of hosts has decreed ..." or "The Lord has made it known ..."
1117 1118
Total = 2

"The Lord showed me this vision ..."
241
Total = 1

Grand Total = 366   in 1,364 verses !
 

God Calls Jeremiah  Jer 1       [Contents]

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests ...   11
Hilkiah = 'The Lord is my portion'. A good name for a priest.
      Priests at Anathoth taught the Word of God; couldn't all serve in the Temple.

The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of Josiah (626)
      ... to when the people of Jerusalem went into exile. (586)  12-4
How did the Word of God come to him?
      Jeremiah was a boy who sought answers, God's answers, to perplexing ?'s.
            Not silly ?'s like 'Who was Cain's wife?' But real ?'s - e.g.
            Our God is good and merciful, why do so few seek him?
            God is Almighty; how can he allow so many evil men in high places?
      Anathoth was only an hour's walk from Jerusalem.
            Jeremiah was not an ignorant country lad.
      Like Abraham, Elijah, Hosea before him, he sought God.
            He didn't just seek to obey God, though this is also important.
            I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  Prov 817
            You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jer 2913

God's first word to Jeremiah was staggering.
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."   14,5
Like John Baptist.  Lu 115,41   Like us who are also called. Eph 14,5, 1
      God's knowledge so greatly exceeds all man's in both extent and time.
      God's plan is executed with precision. There are no unforseen circumstances.
      Appointed prophet, not just to Israel, but to all nations, and all generations.
            This is no small responsibility.
            What if he didn't hear correctly?  1 Kg 2224,25  Jer 28
      Jeremiah did not choose his career as a prophet. God chose him.  Jn 1516

"Ah, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."  16
God is sovereign. Men rarely see this characteristic today.
            So keen to see God as Father and Friend, forget he is also Almighty.
            e.g. Creation, choice of Jews, judgement (Eden, Flood, Babel, Sodom, Israel ...)
      Jeremiah sees this, but thinks there must be some mistake!
            How can a teenager be a prophet. Cannot be even a Rabbi till 30.
            He is acutely aware there was so much still to learn. (this is always so.)
      But God knows his man; he does not make mistakes.

But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child'. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord.  17,8
God teaches Jeremiah to think the truth about himself.  Ps 42, 34, 103
            What was the truth?
            God is with him and will tell him what to say, where, when and to whom.
      All that follows is the result of this truth.
            God did tell him.
                  And with great courage Jeremiah obeyed, even when the cost was high.
            Note that he could only be 'rescued', if he is first imprisoned,
                  or if men executed some fiendish mischief against him.
            'Rescue' does not equal ease, prosperity and success.
                  His scroll was burnt, he was imprisoned, rejected, exiled.  2 Co 1123b-27
                        But at all times God was with him. God kept his word. He still does.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."   19,10

Jeremiah = 'to Build' or 'to throw down'. (like English word 'to raise')
      God's desire is always to build, and build well,
            but when men refuse, punishment is the only possible result.
      A double ministry. Like Hosea's son Jezreel = 'Punish' or 'Scatter' (or sow)
God appoints an insignificant teenage village priest to be 'over nations'!
            God's plans are awesome. They certainly seemed so to Jeremiah too!
      He proclaimed what God had planned for Babylon: and it was fulfilled.
What were the first two 'Words' God gave Jeremiah for the people of Jerusalem?
      They are the foundation of the next 40 years of warning and promise.

The word of the Lord came to me: "What do you see, Jeremiah?"
"I see the branch of an almond tree," I replied.
The Lord said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled."
  111,12

That wasn't too complicated! What did it mean?!
Almond tree is first to blossom but the last to ripen.
      God chose the Jews to be the first to blossom and bring the Messiah.
      There would be a final ripening when 'the times of Gentiles fulfilled.'
            Lu 2124 Ro 1125,26
In Hebrew Almond tree = 'Saqed' To 'Watch' = 'Saqad'
What was God watching?
      That his word would be fulfilled. Good and bad.
Yes, God would see the coming of his new covenant fulfilled.
But God also saw all their wickedness; for they rejected his many warnings.
      So complete destruction by Babylon plus exile was ordered.
That was the second 'Word' or 'foundation'. Destruction.
Prophets are not so much given foresight as insight.  Like
      the men of Issachar, who understood the times and what Israel should do.  1Ch 1232
      They see people as God sees them.  There is nothing hidden from his sight.

The word of the Lord came to me again: "What do you see?"
"I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north," I answered.
The Lord said to me, "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.
I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms," declares the Lord.
  113-15a

Like Daniel when he was shown the events for his day, events 600 years later,
      and also of the last days - some 2,500 years later!
Jeremiah was overwhelmed.
      So he wrote a short Hebrew poem:
      "Their kings will come and set up their thrones
      in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
      they will come against all her surrounding walls
      and against all the towns of Judah.
      I will pronounce my judgments on my people
      because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
      in burning incense to other gods
      and in worshipping what their hands have made.
 115b,16

Most of the rest of his prophesy would be expressed in poetry.
      Concise, emotional as well as rational, easier to remember.
You don't need to be a professor to understand this clear message.
      But would they realise the truth of what Jeremiah told them?
      Would they believe it all came from God, not Jeremiah.
It was the type of message that would never make him popular!
      So God reminds him of his sure promise to be with him, and not to be afraid.
      Many years later Jesus reminds his disciples of the same truth.  Math 1028

"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you.
Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.
Today I have made you a fortified city,
an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land -
against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.
They will fight against you but will not overcome you,
for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord.
 117-19

Sometimes it seems that all the world is conspiring against us.
The Media select information and manipulate our minds.   Pre EU Referendum,
      or Endless sleaze accusations of only Tory's before '97 election.
      or The vitriolic pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli broadcasting of the BBC.
      But God says we will stand like iron against all comers.
      The cost will be high, but the victory is secure. Don't give up.

Jeremiah would need this repeated promise
      and all the tenacity of the Holy Spirit (Joel 228,29) to withstand 42 years
      of ridicule, rejection, assassination attempts, imprisonment and exile.
      God was with him throughout - especially in the following:
      Anguish.  821 - 91
      Plot by his own people in Anathoth revealed.  1121
      Why do wicked prosper?  121
      Do not marry.  161 No feasting.  168
      Scroll burned, Jehoiakim orders his death, but hidden by the Lord.  3621-26
      Attack planned.  1818
      Beaten and put in stocks by Pashhur.  201,2
      Ridiculed all day.  207
      "But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior ... He rescues me."  2011,13
      Banned from Temple.  365
      Death threat, supported by Shaphan.  268,24
      Imprisoned.  3715,16
      Thrown into cistern, rescued by Ebed Melech.  384-13
      Taken to Egypt.  437,8

'Rescue' can be deliverance or martyrdom!!   Dan 317,18  Rev 69-11 176 204
God rescues Jeremiah from the clutches of Satan, but not from hardship.
      His soul remains safe and perfectly secure in the hands of the Lord Almighty.

God did not rescue Jesus from the Cross; it was the very purpose of his coming.
      Many times he escaped being killed before his time was fulfilled.
The Jewish leaders said, "Not during the feast."  Math 265
      But God’s time for deliverance was always planned to be at Passover.

 
The Early Years  Jer 2-6       [Contents]

What did God say to the religious, yet idolatrous, people of Jerusalem?
Jeremiah reveals, not his own thoughts, but what God clearly told him.
They are so relevant to today's world; yet they are almost universally ignored.
We are blind to this revealed truth, deaf to correction and poor in holy living.
We are too easily deceived, especially by the desire for popularity.  2Tim 43,4
      So Scripture is diluted instead of transforming us.  Ro 121,2
We don’t like to hear about Almighty God punishing wickedness;
      yet the greatest act of love - Christ crucified -
            was also the just judgement for our sin.  Jn 316-18
Am I willing to hear that the wages of sin is death,
      as well as but the gift of God is eternal life.  Ro 623
Jeremiah would have to preach about the judgement of Jerusalem
      before God's restoration and the new covenant.
      God had to 'destroy' before he could 'build and plant'.

The word of the Lord came to me ...  12,4,11  21 etc
Many times the word came, and each time he both spoke and recorded it.
Jer 2-20 are the first 21 years from 626 (mid Josiah) to 605 (first batch of exiles).
Few details are given as to the precise year or event referred to.

I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me.    22

Why do we fade in zeal like the Ephesians? Rev 21-7    Are we easily distracted?
Compare our generation with 200 years ago (Wesley and Whitfield).
      and 350 years ago (Reformation, then Civil War and Puritans).
How may we improve the heritage we are leaving to the next generation?
      Let us compare ourselves (occasionally) with what we used to do.
"I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I would like to be.
      I am not what I hope to be.  But I am not what I was, and by the grace of God,
      I am what I am."  John Newton
Jeremiah saw a ghastly national degradation and hears God asking:

What fault did your fathers find in me? ...
They did not ask, 'Where is the Lord?' ...  25,6

Personal faith had become just a way of life, a tradition.  2 Tim 35
Religion was made all too easy.
      Selected commandments were ignored - the hard ones they did not like.
      Small compromises began and soon became blatant sin.
      The proud have no sense of need, of daily dependance upon the Lord.
Israel was no longer mighty, as in David's day - But no one bothered to ask why?
      Why were they under Egypt or Assyria? 
      Why were they to be soon exiled to Babylon?
      The God of Israel had not changed!  But the whole nation had.  How?

My people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols.
      They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
      and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns ...   213
What false, unreliable 'cisterns' had they dug? 
      Sought provision and prosperity from Baal.
      Desired what many think will bring success and popular esteem.
      Rejected holiness as being restrictive; instead of God's best way for men.
      'Can't just rely upon God!' Work hard, believe in yourself - you can achieve.
      Drugs, alcohol, sex, riches, holidays, power ...
            Each can become evil; and misused, each will fail to satisfy in the end.
Springs of water are fresh, clear and pure;
      not like the stagnant water that grows algae and bilharzia of Egypt.
      Jesus is the rejected 'Spring'.  Jn 414  738  Is 123  5811
            Only in him can man be satisfied, now and for ever.
What about today?  We have not changed much.
      Happiness and profit have become the main criteria of what is best.
      Most claim not to need God or Baal anymore; we can do it all ourselves!
            Such humanist arrogance has a very high, though unrealised, price tag.

Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord?    217

He cannot blame God for failure - he has clearly and repeatedly warned us.
      God has told us the right way to live, but most men reject it.

I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?    221

God planted a choice vineyard, and carefully nurtured it.  See Is 5. 
      We have ignored God. So inevitably it has yielded only wild bitter grapes.

"Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap,
the stain of your guilt is still before me," declares the Sovereign Lord.  222

Some felt guilty and tried to make themselves acceptable to God.
What ways to men try?      
Go to Church, give gifts to charity,  try and keep at least part of the Law ...
      endless resolutions and the hope of reformation (instead of regeneration).
God says all these efforts by man will always fail.
      Forgiveness and Atonement is only by what Christ has done. No other way.
      Only the sins of the trusting repentant are forgotten.  Hos 72  c.f.  Ps 10312

They have turned their backs to me and not their faces;
yet when they are in trouble, they say, "Come and save us!"  227b

In war and suffering, God is often a 'last resort'.
God, who knows our hearts, will sometimes graciously hear such pleas.

In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction.  230a

Men rarely respond to trouble as God desires.  Amos 46-11  Rev 1611,21
      'We don't need God any more!'  'He is only for children and old women!'
How often do men see disasters and being God's warning or just punishment?
Why do my people say,
      "We are free to roam; we will come to you no more"?    231

God is not a 'kill-joy',  he alone gives true peace and lasting joy.  Math 2524
In the desert, God gave them food, water, clothing and protection.
Most wanted to do whatever they desired, without God's restrictions.  220
They claimed to be free, but in reality were enslaved to sin.  Jn 831-36
      Jesus promised truth will be revealed to the thirsty. That truth will set us free.

You say, 'I am innocent; he is not angry with me.'  235

Some were so deceived that they even thought they were innocent before God!
Many today think that the God of Love tolerates almost anything.
      He cannot punish or discriminate.  He will never sit as Judge.
      'What have I done to deserve ...?' 'I'm not perfect but I do my best; not like ...'
But sin is not graduated; some as little sins, some great. 
      Sin is not believing in Jesus.  Jn 318
What do we need to believe?  It is more than that there was a historical Jesus,
      or even that he was crucified. We need to believe why!  i.e.
            I am a sinner. 
            My sin deserves death.
            It is impossible for me to win God's approval.
            Jesus alone offers me forgiveness and salvation.
Many baulk at one or more of these 4 essential steps to be a Christian.
      They remain proud, brazen, and refuse to blush before God.  33b 615
To admit my guilt is not easy, but it is the only way to become righteous.
      Jesus said, "Because you claim to see, your guilt remains."  Jn 941

I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares the Lord.  38-10

In 722BC, about 100 years earlier Israel had been destroyed for her wickedness.
      She had been exiled, never to return.
Much of Judah had also been destroyed by Assyria, but they were not exiled. 
      Even with Isaiah the prophet and king Hezekiah they had failed to learn.
      They had seen God destroy 185,000 of Sennacherib's army in one night.
      Their trust in the Lord had been followed by the 55 year reign of Manasseh,
            a most evil king.  2 Kg 2116
Judah learned nothing from Israel's demise.
Are we any better at learning from history?
      Anti-Semitism has already cost Britain her empire.
      UK has rejected God's laws. Abortion, divorce, homosexuality etc.
      The church has been pathetic in its stand against such law changes.
      We are now being 'exiled' into Federal Europe!
            Easily deceived by only the few rich and powerful who will benefit.
      It is probably a step towards the final evil One World Government,
            which will only allow a multi-faith/New Age 'anything goes' religion.
      Wickedness will triumph and Christians will be persecuted.

Yet God pleads with his people.
"Return, faithless people," declares the Lord, "for I am your husband. I will choose you - one from a town and two from a clan - and bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land," declares the Lord, "men will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the Lord.'  It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.  At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. ... they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your forefathers as an inheritance.   314-18

God's continuing plea is for men to return to him.
Many Jews have now returned to Israel, and some to faith in Messiah.
God promises that a remnant will be saved, will grow under good shepherds,
      the Throne of God will replace the Ark,
      and finally all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the Lord.  When?
This is the first of his visions of the 'last days' and beyond.
Most of what Jeremiah sees here will occur in the Millennium.
      Today the Ark and the Temple are still missing.
      The nations have never yet gone to Jerusalem to officially honour the Lord.
            Though ~10,000 multi-national Christians go to celebrate Tabernacles.

How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, ... Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding ...  319,22
"If you will return, O Israel, return to me," declares the Lord. ...
"Then the nations will be blessed ... O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbour wicked thoughts?"   41,2,14
'If only ...' It remains the Divine regret, the Divine longing.  Lu 1941
Today's evil thoughts lead to tomorrow's evil actions.  2 Co 105  Ps 13923,24

A cry is heard on the barren heights,
the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel ...
  321

Their crying was not to God, but to the idols that had failed - inevitably.
The people wanted God and Baal;
      but God's commandment forbids all such additional demonic deceits.
Jesus said, "Unless you repent, you too will all perish."  Lu 133

This is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem:
"Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns ...
circumcise your hearts ... or my wrath will break out and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done - burn with no one to quench it. ...
Sound the trumpet throughout the land! ...
for I am bringing disaster from the north, even terrible destruction.
Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant ...
the fierce anger of the Lord has not turned away from us."
  43-8

God is uncompromising; though eager and quick to forgive.
      He will not tolerate wickedness. 
      God really means this solemn warning.
Is there any area of our lives that remains 'unploughed'?
      A 'left-over' of our old life that we cling to.
      A temptation that we enjoy too much to repent of!?
Do we ever 'sow among thorns'?
      Seeking satisfaction or fulfilment in worldly pleasures?
      They may not be against God's Law, but will spoil our relationship with God,
            and prevent us bearing fruit.
The answer to sin is always 'surgery', not compromise.

Jeremiah is distraught with the vision he is given - Jerusalem in ruins!

Oh my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh the agony of my heart! ...
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet ... the whole land lies I ruins ...
419,20

It seems that he is alone in seeing the impending disaster.
It is a lonely experience; and avoidable, if only the people would listen to God.

Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, ... search through her squares.
If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
I will forgive this city.
  51

No doubt Jeremiah would have searched diligently, but he found no one.
      c.f. Abraham pleading with God for Sodom. God did save Lot.  Gen 1822-33
In Judah, everyone was too busy making money and enjoying themselves ...
God was ignored as irrelevant in the contemporary,
      'if I can get away with it' society.  Jeremiah weeps and God is angry.

"Should you not fear me?" declares the Lord.
"Should you not tremble in my presence?"
  522a

Few today have any concept of Almighty God as being angry.  Heb 1031  1229
"The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. ... Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honour.  Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil."  Prov 1427 1516,33 166  also Lu 125
Sadly, the author, Solomon, did not learn from these wise words either.
They vaguely hoped God would keep his word to be gracious and kind,
      but consistently refused to hear all his warnings of judgement and disaster.
But God means what he says  -  he always keeps his word  -  all of it.
      So the faithful Jeremiah had to repeatedly preach about the consequences.

Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins ... I am bringing a distant nation against you ... They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds ... they will destroy the fortified cities ... Disaster looms out of the north, even terrible destruction.
I will destroy the Daughter of Zion, so beautiful and delicate ... This what the Lord Almighty says: "Cut down the trees and build siege ramps against Jerusalem. This city must be punished ..."
  420 515-17 61b,2,6

Jeremiah does not tell of God's judgement with cold-hearted condemnation.
      Like Jesus, he weeps with compassion and pain.  91 1317  Lam 116  348
But the people refused to acknowledge that they were dying.
      They clung to their sin and steadfastly refused to repent.
Not to believe God's clear and repeated warnings must the ultimate folly of man.

To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so that they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them. ... I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words. ...  610,19  also Is 69,10
In Jeremiah's day they refused to hear - and today men remain just as hard.
"They have not listened ... therefore ..." is recorded  x 49  in Jeremiah
      (also by Ezekiel in Babylon  x 67)
And Jeremiah tells of the consequences  "So ..." or "... because ..."  x 228
Pray that God will cause us to hear what we do not like to hear
This is especially important as we become older.

God's judgement is never arbitrary or out of spontaneous pique.

God says, "Flee for safety ... sound the trumpet ... take warning, O Jerusalem ... I am full of the wrath of the Lord, and I cannot hold it in."  61,8,11

I appointed watchmen over you and said, "Listen to the sound of the trumpet!" But you said, "We will not listen."  617

But in Jerusalem they preferred to listen to false prophets.

They have lied about the Lord; they said, "He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine."
  512

The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
  531

From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.
"Peace, peace," they say, when there is no peace.
  613,14

As 'blind leading the blind', prophets and leaders did not tell the truth,
      Seeking popularity and success;
            they told the people what they wanted to hear.
      Like newspaper editors  and false prophets today.
The message of false prophets is seen in  74  1021  2315-40  2712-17  2
      (and Shemaiah in Babylon  2924-32)
When will church leaders say coveting, fornicating and homosexuality are sin?
Who will dare say that ecumenism that ignores RC errors is blind folly?
Who has the courage to say Islam is an evil, violent, idol-worshipping religion?
Who will challenge replacement theology or false restoration prophecy?
Who sees the truly blasphemous and evil foundations of the European Union?
When will the church purge itself of unrepentant offenders?
God is about to judge the UK and the world,
      but the careless, compromising, ignorant church only says, "there, there!"
This destruction is also inevitable and irreversible.

But in God's great mercy, he would not destroy all the land nor all the people.

This is what the Lord says: "The whole land will be ruined,
      though I will not destroy it completely."
  427

"Yet even in those days," declares the Lord,
      "I will not destroy you completely."
  518

 
In the Temple  (Post 621)  Jer 7-10       [Contents]

The young king Josiah was a zealous and godly man. He ordered the Temple to be swept and cleaned. It had been neglected for over 50 years during the reign of his wicked father, Manasseh. They found the book of the Law - and read it. Josiah determined to obey it too! He instigated all manner of reforms and burnt all the public idols. Some might say there was a religious revival, and been delighted. But Josiah could not change the heart of the people. God, who sees right into the soul and knows our every thought was not fooled by any amount of external clean-up. These 4 chapters reveal God's direct, uncompromising word to the religious of the Temple.

Do not trust in deceptive words and say, "This is the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord!"  74,8

What leads to such presumption?
      Compromise - theological and practical.  e.g.
            Truth undermined by tradition and human intelligence.
                  Scripture seen to be only part of the equation, not the revelation of God.
                  Scripture can be misquoted, distorted and 'subject to development'.
            Holiness is no longer considered a vital goal, but as prim and restrictive.
      Pride prefers sin and excuses it or even refuses to admit any real wrongdoing.
      Ignorance rejects that 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'
      The 'religious' vainly cling to church ceremony;
            yet refused to change their lives.  620 721,22  Is 111  Amos 521,22
      'God is love', they say, 'he cannot be angry with us.' Thought they were safe.
            'Not perfect, but not bad enough to deserve judgement.'  710
      Deceptive promises of revival; Church will triumph and not be destroyed.
            Time will reveal if such prophecies are true or false.
                  I fear many will be deeply disappointed, or even disillusioned.
            Trust in popular 'signs and wonders', in Alpha, in emotional meetings.
            They cry, "The Meeting of the Lord, the Meeting of the Lord!!"
            (See booklet Danger Signs!)
God desires us to be confident in the price Jesus paid for us.  Heb 1019-22
      But beware of presumption
            that is careless, compromising, arrogant, ignorant and deceptive.

What did God see, and hate, among the people of Jerusalem?

I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.  713

From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They are stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers.  725,26
      also  117  253,4  265  2919  3233  3514,15  444

They have set up detestable idols ... to burn their sons and daughters.  730,31

Truth has perished ... they cling to deceit. Prophet and priest alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious ... Friend deceives friend and no one speaks the truth.  728  85, 10,11  95,8

They have not obeyed me ...  they have followed the Baals.  913,14

No one repents ... they have no shame at all.  86,12

From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain.  810

It is not by truth that they triumph.  93  (but by deceit and force and bribery)

The shepherds are senseless and do not enquire of the Lord. ...
Everyone is senseless.  1021, 14

What a list!  What utter folly. Why are men so arrogant?
God did not whisper one warning; they were loud and clear.
      And 'again and again' his warnings were repeated.
      But the people refused to take any notice of the Lord God Almighty.
      Thus their destruction was inevitable and irreversible and just.

Why do men worship idols?
      To gain what others have.  Prosperity, fertility, power.
      Today few men worship images, but we remain greedy and covetous.
            "Covetousness is as idolatry."  Col 35
      By fair means or foul men strive for more: even by war.  James 41-4
      Beware of the 'Name it and claim it' brigade.
      Beware of 'seed faith'.  God is not like a man who can be bribed.
      Beware of the 'prosperity gospel'; it is both deceptive and popular!
            It is never long before riches and joy are emphasised more than our need
            for salvation, for repentance and believing in Christ redeeming work.

God longed to find righteousness and truth and justice on earth.  924  Is 57
      But he saw only deceit and spin, arrogance and men fighting for more.
      He saw the rich becoming richer on the back of the poor.  He was not pleased!

Yet Almighty God, Creator of all things, provides us with all we need.
Let us bless the Lord, and be content with what he has given us.
Our home is not here on earth, but with him in heaven.
      Here we are but 'pilgrims and strangers'.  Missionaries for Jesus.
We would naturally love to see - blessing, revival, success.
      Jeremiah would have dearly loved this prospect too.
      But we must always first ask, is it what God has planned?
Then, as now, even the religious people refused to listen.
       They were not just careless or ignorant. They willfully refused to repent.
They chose to reject God's repeated warnings.  713, 24-26  89  96
They had no desire to seek the Lord.
      Sin = Content without God.  (see book  Rich Man and Lazarus  p.43)

So what was the just result?

I will bring an end to the sound of joy and gladness ...
      for the land will become desolate.
  734
All the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life.  83
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed.  89
I will take away their harvest ...
      What I have given them will be taken from them.
  813  Math 2529
I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins.  911  1022
I will scatter them among the nations ... I will pursue them with the sword.  916
The dead bodies of men will lie like refuse on an open field, like cut corn behind the reaper, with no-one to gather them.  922
I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh.  925
At this time I will hurl out those who live in this land.  1018

God is clear, forthright and honest. He does not mince his words.
So determined is he in the punishment of his city, Jerusalem,
      that he even says this to Jeremiah:

Do not pray for this people ... for I will not listen to you.  716  1114

This is surely a most amazing statement - it was from God, not man.
God decreed that he would not change his mind.
Pray for neighbour, but do not pray that God will not bring judgement.
      He will not reverse what he has planned for Jerusalem.
Neither will he reverse the planned Great Tribulation, that is soon to come!

What was the personal affect upon Jeremiah?
      In the following he reflects the longing, aching heart of God.
He weeps buckets!
He poured out his heart in a whole book - Lamentations.
Not many read Obediah; but even fewer read Lamentations.

Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?
O that my head were a spring of water ...
  821 - 91  1317

It would be 600 years before the Lord sends his Physician -
      the only One who can heal the terminally, fatally sick.
Jeremiah sees the problem and the consequence more clearly than God's answer.
      Soon God's solution would appear clearly out of the mists of sadness.

He also pleads for himself:
Correct me, Lord, but only with justice - not in anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.  1024

With devastating humour and accuracy, Jeremiah ridicules idol worship.  1014,15
c.f.
No one is like you, O Lord; you are great ...
The Lord is the living God, the eternal King.
  106,10
God made the earth by his power ...
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar.
  1012,13

 
Disaster Looms Closer  (609-605)  Jer 11-20       [Contents]

God then reminds Jeremiah of his Covenant with Israel.  111-17
He is told to remind the people of its duality -
      it is both a great blessing to the obedient and a curse of disobedient.  Deut 27
I answered, "Amen, Lord."  115
The house of Judah has broken the covenant I made with their forefathers. Therefore this is what the Lord says, "I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them."  1110,11
Jeremiah obeyed the Lord God and told the people his word.
Their reaction to his forthright preaching was just as predicted.  Rejection!
      Just as men had likewise rejected Abel and Jesus, and all prophets in between.
God had warned Jeremiah that the men of Anathoth would hate his message
      and seek his life; so he was not surprised.  1121
But it still hurt that his own people would hate him and God so much. 11  Jn 111
No one believed him, and worse,  no-one else even seemed to care.
Certainly no one admitted that they had broken their covenant with God.
They were totally blind to the fact of offending their righteous and mighty God.
Jeremiah asked God what many before and since have asked:
Why do the wicked prosper?  Why do the faithless live at ease?  121
The consistent answer is found in  Ps 733,17
The story is told of an arrogant farmer who wrote to his local newspaper boasting how he had ploughed his fields on Sunday, and worked and drilled, and sprayed and finally harvested them, all on Sunday - and gained a bumper crop. The wise editor added under the published letter, 'God does not always settle his accounts in October!'

He asks another common question, "How long ..."  124  (Is 611  Hab 12)
      Also asked by the martyrs in Rev 610    and Ps 943
      We must wait patiently God's perfect timing.  James 57,8  2 Pe 39
            No one knows the day or hour.  Math 2436
            He is coming soon.  Rev 2212,20 
            Nearer than when we first believed.  Ro 1311

Jeremiah was also honest enough to complain to God at his lot and his loneliness.
      123,4  1510  1819-23  207-18
What was God's answer? 
Would he let off Judah because Jeremiah was unhappy?
Would he pardon the people when they refused to repent?
Would he just ignore them when they ignored him?
      No!
God repeats his determined plan to uproot and destroy Jerusalem.

It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there no-one who cares ... for the sword of the Lord will devour from one end of the land to the other; no-one will be safe.  1211,12

This promise is also extended to ALL nations. A promise few are willing to heed.
"But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the Lord.  1217
Jeremiah was then told to wear a linen belt, but he was not allowed to wash it.
He had to hide it for many day till the maggots destroyed it. In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.  139
It was a graphic illustration!
Then he had to fill every wineskin with wine. I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land ... I will smash them one against the other ... I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.  1312-14

You hope for light, but he will turn it to thick darkness ...
all Judah will be carried into exile ...
I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind ...
Woe to you, O Jerusalem.
    1316, 19, 24, 27

Jeremiah did not weep out of self-pity;
      but for his own people and the beloved city that would soon be destroyed.

We are told how God sent a drought - there was famine and no relief.
      (also wind, floods, earthquakes, volcanos, disease, economic etc)
Judah Mourns ... they wail ... they find no water. They return with their jars unfilled; dismayed and despairing they cover their heads.  141-6
Unfilled and unfulfilled, without hope or experience of kindness.
Desired relief from the distress, but refused to repent and seek forgiveness.
Therefore God will not listen to their pleas.  1411,12  151
What do we say about disasters today?  See  Lu 132-5  Jn 92  Job
      Only rarely leads to repentance.  If possible blame someone else.
      Never seen as the hand of God.

Jeremiah prays earnestly:
O Hope of Israel, its Saviour in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land?  148
Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry ... instead I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague."  1411
But I said, "Ah, Sovereign Lord, the prophets keep telling them, 'You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Instead I will give you lasting peace in this place.'"  1413
Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them ... those same prophets will perish.  1414,15
Jeremiah still continues to plead to the Lord God, our hope is in you.  1422
So the Lord finally tells him the awful truth, Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people.  151

This must be one of the most difficult passages for modern man to accept.
Yet it was the truth.
And now when the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled  it may again be God's word. How do we cope with such truth, when men see God only as a God of love?
If it is any consolation, Jeremiah found it difficult too. He complained.
      He asks God why he seems to be the only one preaching disaster.
Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?  1518

But God did not flinch. He knew his man. He reminded him of his earlier promise:
I will make you a wall to this people ... they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you ... I will save you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel.  1520,21
And that was not all.
God had further instructions:
You must not marry.  161
Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal.  165
And do not enter a house where there is feasting.  168
Who said being a prophet was easy?
      There is often a high price to pay for the high privilege.
Men who crave popularity and are afraid to tell of God's anger and his tears.

This did not happen over a week or two, then it was all over, and he was given a new message. No, God is not like that. This went on for 16 years - all the later part of Josiah's reign. Then for another 24 years during the reigns of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah.

People asked Jeremiah:
Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us?
What wrong have we done?  1610
Amazing.  'There's none so blind as those who don't want to see!'
So Jeremiah spells it out - again -
      what was wrong, and the inevitable and just result.

Your fathers forsook me and followed other gods. ...
But you have behaved more wickedly than your fathers. ...
So I will throw you out of this land.  1611,12

In the amazing grace and forbearance of God, he also says:
But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country.  1215
However, the days are coming when ... I will restore them to the land.  1614,15

When would this be?
Not is their lifetime.  None would return from Babylon for 70 years.
Like the disobedient, who wouldn't enter promised land under Moses.  Ps 958-11
God's plan to bring redemption to the needy world would not be thwarted
      because the Jews were rebellious.
Neither will his plan to come again will be thwarted
      because Israel and the Church are sinful.
God remains faithful.  The days of restoration have come and will come!

The promise of restoration may lead some to falsely say,
      'There, it's not as bad as all that.'
But what did God say then?  And what does he say now?

But now ...
I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin,
because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images.
This time I will teach them my power and might.
Then they will know that my name is the Lord.
  1616-21

Cursed is the one who trusts in man ...  175
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.  177  Ps 1
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  179

Those that turn away from you will be written in the dust.  1713  Jn 86

Blown away without trace.  There is no escape.  It is as bad as that!
It was true they were being heavily taxed to pay Pharaoh Neco.
And, yes, there were rumblings to the north - Babylon had defeated Nineveh.
But otherwise life went on quite well for the Jerusalemites.
Jehoiakim had reversed all Josiah's reforms. Wickedness was seen to prosper.

Many asked Jeremiah why he continually prophesied such doom?
They keep saying to me, "Where is the word of the Lord?"  1715
People scorned Jeremiah and God because the judgement had not yet come.
They thought they could safely ignore God's warning. 
      Jeremiah just an eccentric extremist.
But God was not slow in carrying out his plan; only amazingly patient!

Habakkuk, the prophet, was also pleading with God.
He longed for God to do something to stem the unending flow of wickedness.
      But nothing seemed to happen.  Hab 1
Then God told him he was raising up the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem!
No one gave Nebuchadnezzar orders  -  most despotic ruler the world has known.
      He didn't realise that he was fulfilling God's plan.

Jehoiakim had forbidden Jeremiah to preach in the Temple.
      So there had to be 3 new venues for preaching:

In the city gate:
      Not keeping the Sabbath holy (or any day!)
      They traded like on every other day.  Therefore unquenchable fire.  1719-27
            Fulfilling greed was more important than obeying God.  Amos 85

At the potter's house:
      Pot marred and remade.  But only if the nation responds and repents.
      But people said, "We will continue with our own plans." 
      Therefore unrelieved disaster.  181-17
      They hated and mocked Jeremiah and his preaching and prophecies.  1818

At Ben Himmon:
      Clay pot smashed.  So also will this nation be irreparably smashed.  191-13
      Here the clay had been fired. Once smashed it could never be remade.
           
Pashhur, a false prophet, had Jeremiah beaten and put in stocks.
But it didn't change God's word.  His judgement remained.  201-6
Pashhur and all his friends would be exiled and never return.

Jeremiah makes another complaint against the Lord - and sings his praise!
I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say I will not mention him ... his word is in my heart like a fire ... I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  207-9
He acknowledges that the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior. 2011
And adds, Sing to the Lord!  Give praise to the Lord!  2013
Yet he continues, Cursed be the day I was born ... why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?  2014,18
Now he will never speak like this again. He has heard his Master's "Well done."
      He sheds no more tears and no one hates him any more.

 
During Jehoiakim's Reign  (609 - 598)       [Contents]

His Palace  (608)  221-23

Jehoiakim reigned for 11 years (609-598) having been placed on the throne by Pharaoh Neco who did not like Jehoahaz.  2 Kg 2331-35
First thing he did was build himself a big luxury cedar palace.
      Never mind the cost; he didn't have to pay, he just taxed people even more.
      He had already agreed to pay Neco a stiff levy.
      His eyes and heart set on dishonest gain.
      (David used income from foreign victories.)
Jeremiah had the courage to say such 'stealing' from the poor was wrong.
      God decreed that the consequences of injustice, especially towards the weak and disadvantaged, was destruction.
Do what is just and right ... But if you do not obey these commands ... this place will become a ruin.  223-5  (It became a ruin 23 years later)
Jehoiakim took no notice, he did evil in the eyes of the Lord.  2 Kg 2337
Again Jeremiah prophesies - no one would mourn for Jehoiakim,
      He will have the burial of a donkey - dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem ... I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, 'I will not listen'.  2218-21
For several years life may have seemed good,  but God determines the end.
He surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar in 605.
      After 3 years he rebels and seeks help from Egypt. 
      But Neco declines
In 597 Nebuchadnezzar lays siege and defeats Jerusalem.
      Jehoiakim is chained and brought to Nebuchadnezzar. 2 Ch 366  Ezek 199
            Note Jehoiakim is not mentioned in 241
      Josephus tells us how Nebuchadnezzar then commanded that he be thrown over the city wall and be left unburied.  (Antiquities Book 10 chapter 6)
So much for 'cedar', it may impress some but ...
      Ahab also built cedar and ivory palace.  Amos 315  1 Kg 2239
      Neither it, nor he lasted long.  (Meggido is now a grassy hillside)
There is more about this evil king later.

 
Prophesy in Temple courtyard  (608)  261-24       [Contents]

God tells Jeremiah to speak to all the people all the words of God. 261-3
      If you will not listen to me and follow my law ...
            then I will make this house like Shiloh ...  264-6  (See also  712-15)
      At Shiloh the Philistines desecrated and 'exiled' the Ark.  1 Sam 4
Jeremiah was immediately seized by priests, prophets and people.
      This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city.  268,11
The brave Jeremiah repeats his message and then adds, "As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good  and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to speak all these words in your hearing."  2612-15
The same was later said of the One whom he served.  Jn 518  719  1033  Math 2616
Ahikam was brave too.  (see also 2 Kg 2214)
      Uriah was joined the martyrs for prophesying same message.  2620-23
So Jeremiah was spared - God had much more work for him to complete.
      Men also tried to kill Jesus before God's time - and failed.  Jn 820 etc

 
The Recabite Example  (606)  351-19       [Contents]

Jeremiah was instructed to offer the Recabites wine.
They refused saying:
Our forefather commanded us not to drink wine, build houses, sow seed or plant
      vineyards, but must always live in tents.  We have obeyed.  351-11
Jeremiah speaks to Judah about the Recabites and their example of obedience.
      Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says, "Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them but they did not listen.
... Jonadab, son of Recab shall never fail to have a man to serve me.  3517-19
The Recabites remain a grand example.
'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.'  Jn 1423

 
Battle of Carchemish  (605)       [Contents]

Nebuchadnezzar defeats Egypt.
      (His father had defeated Nineveh in 612 and Assyria at Haran in 609)
Start of new era of Babylonian supremacy until 539.

Very soon it would be too late.
For 23 years ... the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened ... Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways ... do not follow other gods to serve and worship them ... then I will not harm you ...  253-6

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words ... I will summon my servant Nebuchadnezzar and bring them against this land ... This whole country will become a wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years ... But when the 70 years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and will make Babylon desolate for ever."  258-12

Jerusalem did not listen. Nebuchadnezzar came and exiled the best of Judah.
      e.g. Daniel, his 3 friends, and others.
The Temple and city would not be destroyed for another 18 years -
      Such is the patience and grace of God.

 
Jeremiah's Scroll  (604)  Jer 36       [Contents]

It was now the 4th year of Jehoiakim's reign.
His cedar lined mansion had been completed.
Nebuchadnezzar had come and gone.
Judah's allegiance changed from Egypt and the tax now went to Babylon.
      For a vassal one king much like another, so long as he remained king!
Jeremiah was a bit of a nuisance;
      so he banned him from preaching in the Temple.
Otherwise all seemed well, very well in fact ... until ...
Baruch read Jeremiah's scroll in the Temple Gate on a day of fasting.
The Court officials then asked Barach to read it to them.
      They tell Barach and Jeremiah to go and hide; then the king is told.
Jehudi reads the scroll to Jehoiakim.
      He burns each piece as God's word is read with measured contempt.
      What an insult!
But once again the plan of God is not thwarted by a rebellious king.
      Jeremiah dictates a longer scroll to Baruch!  2219
      And Baruch is given assurance of God's protection.  45

 
Righteous Branch Prophesied  (604)       [Contents]

Daniel and friends had been exiled to Babylon the previous year.
Wickedness continued apace in Jerusalem. Could it get any worse?
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:
Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture. Therefore ... I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back ... I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King ... In his days Judah will be saved ... he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.  231-6  see also  Ezek 34  Jn 101-18

Note that the flock (Judah) belongs to the Lord.  And it still does.
The Lord himself will gather the remnant - none will be missing.
We eagerly await the great day when the Righteous Branch will save all Judah.
Then they will live in their own land.  238
How kind of God to reveal some sure though future hope.
Today the UN, USA, UK, EU, PA etc are all trying to take the land from the Jews.
      In the Lord's time they will wish they hadn't tried!  Zech 122-5  142,3,9,12-14
      (See Revelation Appendix notes - 'God Chose Israel')

 
The Lying Prophets  (604)  239-40       [Contents]

The task of a true prophet is to turn men from wickedness.
These men are godless and encourage sin, even in the Temple.
      In Samaria they worshipped Baal.  2313
      In Jerusalem they commit adultery and live a lie (hypocrites).  2314
      They are all like Sodom to me.
      Speak of false hope,  of peace (of prosperity and success).  2317
      They distort the words of the living God.  2336 
Therefore the anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart ... Is not my word like fire, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces.   2320,29
There are false prophets and people pleasers in every age.
      Beware of any popular personality.
            Weigh his words carefully; keep only what is good.
            Learn all the Scriptures; they remain the surest test for truth.
            (See notes on Acts 2030)

 
The Blood-line Ends  (597)  2224-30       [Contents]

Egypt and Babylon fight again in 601; both suffer very heavy losses.
Jehoiakim rebels and is killed after the resulting siege by Nebuchadnezzar.
His son Jehoiachin is imprisoned for 36 years in Babylon.
      Released, but, as prophesied, he never returned to Jerusalem.  2 Kg 2527-30
      You will never come back to the land you long to return to ...  2227

None of your offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David.  2230
This too was fulfilled. The blood-line was broken after Zedekiah.
Jesus could never have been born into a cursed line.
      Shealtiel was the son of Neri, not Jehoiachin.  Lu 327  (See notes on Luke 3)
      Signet ring was passed to a new 'king', Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.  Hag 223

 
Under Zedekiah  Jer 24-28       [Contents]

Vision of Figs - Good and Bad  (596)  24

The exiles in Babylon were good! 
      Daniel and best in 605
      Then second batch in 597, Ezekiel and others and Temple articles.
      Though sent away, they will be watched over, brought back, planted, built. 
      They will return to me with all their heart, and I will be their God.
Zedekiah and those who remain however are like bad figs that couldn't be eaten.
      Hated by all.  The Lord will send sword, famine, plague and destruction.
      But in patience he would wait a further 9 years (596-587).
The message from the Lord God was graphic and clear  -  but totally ignored!

Yoke of Wood and Iron  (593)  27,28
All nation will serve my servant Nebuchadnezzar.
Do not listen to lies of false prophets, God has not sent them.
They too will be taken to Babylon.
Why did they lie? 
      Loved popularity.  Deceived.  Thought God only judged others!
Hananiah says yoke of Babylon will be broken,
      and Temple articles and exiles will be back within 2 years.
      Then he broke the yoke he was wearing.
      Proof of 'peace prophecy' (or revival etc)  - see if it happens.
Jeremiah says wooden yoke will be replaced by an iron one.
      And this year Hananiah will die for preaching rebellion against God.
      Hananiah died two months later.  Beware!  2 Kg 116,17  Act 59  Rev 116

Letter to Exiles in Babylon  29

Build houses and settle. 
Don't listen to false hope; you will be there for 70 years!
God sent you into exile, but he has not given you up.  He has plans.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
You will be gathered from all the nations I sent you.
Don't listen to your false prophets in Babylon. 
      Take care how (and who) you hear.  Is 4220  Mk 424  Ps 95

Response from Shemaiah (and others) in Babylon?
      Reprimand Jeremiah who 'poses as a prophet'.
      But history proves that Jeremiah was the true prophet.

 
Israel will be restored  Jer 30,31       [Contents]

These encouraging chapters are well known.
After all the judgement, they were literally a sweet dream.  3126
To whom are they directed, and when will they be fulfilled?

I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity
      and restore them to the land I gave to their forefathers to possess.  303

This cannot refer to the Church.  Our forefathers were not given land.

How awful will that day be!  None will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.  307

When is 'that day'  and who will suffer?
It will be at the end, because none like it before or after.  Math 2421
The 'trouble' will not only be for Israel, but for the Church and the world.
      For the Church through persecution and Tribulation,  Math 2422
      and for the world by the Tribulation and finally Messiah's arrival.  Math 2430
But for Israel the trials will be doubled.  Deut 2117  Is 402
      The elder brother has double privilege and double punishment for failure.
'Saved out of it' = 'saved through it'. 
      Neither Church nor Jacob are raptured before the Tribulation.
      Many martyred and days shortened for the sake of the elect.  Math 2421

They will serve the Lord their God.  (instead of foreigners)  308,9

Who does Israel serve today? 
      In the last 50 years the US and EU have put enormous pressure on Israel.
      Two main reasons:  Oil and Globalist agenda. Both require satisfying Islam.
            Since Islam demands total world domination, this is a foolish track to take.
      One day Israel will serve the Lord. He will be their King. What a day!
Who does the Church serve?  Are we "In his grip!"
      Let us hold fast to the truth and not give in to popular compromise.

"So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel," declares the Lord.  "I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile.  Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.  I am with you and will save you," declares the Lord. "Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished."  3010,11
Babylon was the region's superpower and showed no sign of decline.
      But Babylon would only last for 66 years (605-539BC).
God would also destroy the Medes/Persians, Greek and Roman empires.
Over in Babylon, Daniel would be given further vision and revelation.
      The Lord will soon destroyed the remnants of these great world empires.
      He will set up a righteous and everlasting kingdom.  Dan 231-35, 44,45
Meanwhile God disciplines us with love.  So do wise parents; but it is hard.
      The promised result will be peace, security and salvation.

Jeremiah spells out the true nature of their situation.

This is what the Lord says: "Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you. All your allies have forgotten you; they care nothing for you. I have struck you as an enemy would and punished you as would the cruel, because your guilt is so great and your sins so many. Why do you cry out over your wound, your pain that has no cure? Because of your great guilt and many sins I have done these things to you."  3012-15

Why was the wound incurable?
      They refused to listen to the word of the Lord.
      They refused to repent or admit their guilt or their need of God.
      It was not just a little help they needed, but a new nature.
No man can save himself, or heal himself from sin.
      We all need a Saviour Redeemer.
      There is always a price to pay for my sin.  The question is, who pays it?
They cried over their wound (the unpleasant consequences of sin)
      but not over their sin (the offense to God).
It seemed that God had abandoned them.  (Even before 586)
      He had!  And yet he hadn't.
      God never left Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel and his friends.
      Nor was not deaf to those who cried to him in those difficult days.

Jeremiah tells the people what God was going to do about it.

"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds," declares the Lord, "because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares."   3017

The day would surely come when God would perform this great miracle.
      The 'incurable wound' would be healed.
Five centuries later the Son of God came. But they rejected him.
      They wanted a King, not a Saviour. 
      Who do we want and need?
Now, after a further 2000 years, the day is fast approaching
      when God will fulfill this compassionate and glorious word. 
      The wound will be healed.
      The outcast will be loved and honoured.
      All Israel will be saved.  Ro 1126
God cares about his people far more than we realise - or they do!
When all the world turns against Jerusalem, God will not do so.
      He will be like a lioness whose cub is threatened!

Furthermore,
      Justice will be done and God will fulfill his promise to Abraham.  Gen 123

But all who devour you will be devoured; all your enemies will go into exile. Those who plunder you will be plundered; all who make spoil of you I will despoil.  3016

Even in the depths of wickedness Jeremiah sees a new day dawning.

This is what the Lord says: "I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place."  3018

Jerusalem will be rebuilt.  The insulting mosque and golden dome destroyed.
No longer will men brazenly declare the lie that 'God has no Son',
      but Jesus, the mighty Son of God and Saviour, will reign in Jerusalem.

"From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honour, and they will not be disdained. ... " declares the Lord. "So you will be my people, and I will be your God." 

They will look on me, the one whom they have pierced, and they will mourn.  Zech 123010,11
      But knowing the forgiveness of God, their mourning will be turned to joy.
At last, all the world will honour the Jews, instead of hating them.
      The Jewish Lord of all the world will rule the earth.  (In the Millennium)
No more will the U.N. pass endless resolutions against God's chosen people.
They will know that the Lord is their God, their Saviour and Redeemer.

See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a driving wind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart.  In days to come you will understand this.  3023,24

Only in the last days will the judgement (for and against) be understood.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, 'Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God'."  313-6

There has never been a day when the Lord stopped loving his people.
What he promised yesterday is still valid today, and tomorrow.
Israel will be rebuilt on the new foundations of righteousness and justice.
How different from the days described by Haggai.  Hag 16  (Lev 2616-20)

This is what the Lord says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, 'O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.' See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.  317-10

The return will be with great joy,  and also with weeping.  Why?
Tears of repentance and with joy of forgiveness.
There will be earnest prayer. 
They will see that the God of Moses and Abraham is also their Father!
They will see that all down the years he cared with the compassion of a shepherd
            and with the power of the Almighty.
A great throng return, not just a few (as under Cyrus in 538 BC, or even now).
God will gather them, as he gathered the animals into the ark before the flood.  Gen 79

Let all the world know that it is God who will do this.

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations; proclaim it in distant coast lands: 'He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.' For the Lord will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.  3110,11

They are gathered at a price.  It is the Lord who pays this ransom price.
What a different life is promised. 

"They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord - the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow." ... declares the Lord.  3112,13

The Lord will need to minister to this deep mourning.
How will 'the time of Jacob's trouble' become a singing and dancing for joy?
      307  c.f. 317

This is what the Lord says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."  This is what the Lord says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares the Lord. "They will return from the land of the enemy." "Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him," declares the Lord.  3115,16,20

Like Jacob wept for his beloved Rachel at Bethlehem,
      as Hannah wept for a child at Ramah and at Shiloh,
      as the mothers wept for their children in the days of Herod,
      and as many parents have since wept for their wayward children.
So God has wept many years for his beloved people.  Lu 1942  Mk 1434
      Now they weep with him, but not in vain.  As in Lu 738,44,47-50

So there is hope for your future," declares the Lord. "Your children will return to their own land. ... Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," declares the Lord.  3117,28

Again the Lord declares that Israel will return; not you, but your children.

In those days people will no longer say, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.'  Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes - his own teeth will be set on edge.  3129,30

There is collective (national) punishment  (e.g. Israel, Egypt, Babylon, UK etc)
      and individually each of us are responsible for our own sin.
I cannot blame my mother for my inherited inclination to sin.  Ro 512-20
Neither can I blame the church's failure, the world or even Satan for my sin.
The people of Jerusalem were in deep trouble.  Who could they blame?
      The rebellious Zedekiah?  Their idolatrous priests?  The lying prophets?
God makes it clear here that we cannot just blame others when trouble comes.
      His repeated warnings had been ignored and laughed at by everyone.
      His Law was clear, but arrogant men thought they knew better.
      He willingly forgives our confessed sin, but never our excuses.

 
The New Covenant  Jer 31-33       [Contents]

"The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the Lord. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."  3131-34

How is the old covenant different from the new?
Law-keeping c.f. new heart, know God (not just about him) and his forgiveness.
New birth begins a life that learns to hate all sin.  Its attraction is dulled.
By faith men of God in Heb 11 were obedient; not righteous because obedient.
      Righteous because they longed for and believed for the day
            when God would send the Messiah, our vital Redeemer.
      Abel by faith looked forward to a much better sacrifice.
      Noah was given the atonement of God and by faith saw a better Ark.  Gen 614
      Abraham understood that God would provide for the required sacrifice.
            He believed God's word, as each of them did.  Gen 156  Jn 856
      They were each assured that God would fulfill what they hoped for.  Heb 111

How far can the word of God be trusted?
Does he always keep his promises?
Yes! A 1,000 times an emphatic - yes!

This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar - the Lord Almighty is his name:  "Only if these decrees vanish from my sight," declares the Lord, "will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me."  This is what the Lord says: "Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done," declares the Lord.  3135-37

Has anyone been able to stop the earth rotating around the sun?
Has anyone been able to change the position of the stars?
No one yet knows even how big the universe is
      and the deepest borehole is still only about 7 miles.
In these words the faithfulness of God to the descendants of Israel is made clear.
      (this includes those Gentiles that have been grafted into Israel.  Ro 1117)
If God has rejected Israel, does God reject me every time I sin?
      Why may we have confidence?
            Because God keeps his word.  Heb 1011-14, 19-23
            Because the payment Christ made for us is recognised in heaven.
                  (But always beware of presumption.  Heb 1026)

The sign and seal of the new Covenant is the existence of the nation of Israel.

"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when this city will be rebuilt for me. ...  The city will never again be uprooted or demolished."  3138-40

Jerusalem will be rebuilt for the coming Messiah.

As proof of this Jeremiah is instructed to buy family land at Anathoth in 587

The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the courtyard of the guard. ...
The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, 'Buy my field at Anathoth, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.' Then, just as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, 'Buy my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself.'  I knew that this was the word of the Lord; so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver.  I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales.  I took the deed of purchase - the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy -  and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.  In their presence I gave Baruch these instructions:  This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time.  For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.'
  322-16

Anathoth was just 3 miles NE of Jerusalem. 
Nebuchadnezzar's army was probably encamped on that very field.
      So it's current value to Jeremiah was nil.
But God had a plan for this apparently hopeless situation.
No, it was not immediate rescue;  but a return in 70 year's time.
      And it would be over 2,500 years before King Jesus would reign in Jerusalem.
17 shekels of silver = 7 oz = £ 20 today (Dec 2002).
Cousin Hanamel probably thought Jeremiah was a religious fool.
      But he wasn't and it was no mistake; it prophesied God's eternal purpose.
      The proclaimed the return of Judah to Jerusalem and to the Lord.
The documents are still hidden somewhere in the rubble under the Old City.
      (The Baruch's of this world always do a good thorough job)

This was a quite different to anything God had previously revealed,
      so, wisely, Jeremiah prays:

Ah, sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.  You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. ...  You performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt ...  You gave them this land you had sworn to give their forefathers,  ...  but they did not obey you or follow your law;  ... you brought all this disaster upon them. ... And though the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, you, O Sovereign Lord, say to me, 'Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed'.   3217-25

Yes, the Lord is always Sovereign.  Act 424
      The world will sometime have to see the truth of this.
      And they will curse God instead of repenting!  Rev 169,11,21
Please Lord, tell me what is going on.  When is this going to happen?
      You repeatedly told me about disaster; why this apparent change of plan?
God always keeps his word. Disaster did come - so will the everlasting kingdom.

What do we do about apparent contradictions in scripture?
      Like 'your wound is incurable'  c.f.  'I will heal your wound'  3012,17
      God will explain in due time; not always immediately.  Be patient.

God explains to Jeremiah - and to us ...
I am about to hand this city over to the Babylonians ... they will burn it down. ... The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. ... From the day it was built until now, this city has so aroused my anger and wrath that I must remove it from my sight. ... They would not listen or respond to discipline.  They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name ... They built high places for Baal ... (they) sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech.
But this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: "I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me ... Once more fields will be bought in this land for silver ... because I will restore their fortunes," declares the Lord.
  3227-44
So God confirms his everlasting covenant; but does not reveal the timing.
Few today are prepared to live in the sure hope of the Lord's word for tomorrow.
      Most want everything now.
      All questions and mysteries must be answered immediately.

A little later the Lord God would confirm what he said:

While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: ... I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness. Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.  I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honour before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it. ... once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, "Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever."  331-13

What a contrast to the misery of 587 (334,5.)
How will this change come about?   
      And when? For as yet there is no historical record of such thanks.

God will send the Messiah, his only Son, not just once, but a second time.
In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land.  In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: 'The Lord Our Righteousness.'  236  3315,16

Judah is not yet saved,  nor is Jerusalem safe - but one day it will be.  Ro 1126
Today there is much corruption, lying, and wickedness
      in both the Israeli Government and people. But it will not always be so.
Pray for great day when they will all say, "The Lord is our Righteousness."
What a day it will be!
There has always been only one way for sinful man to become righteous;
      by the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Let this ever be our testimony.

So sure and certain is this covenant that God says:

If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, ... if I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.  3319-26

In the new heaven and the new earth 'day and night' will cease.  Rev 2123  225
      But it will not and cannot be by the hand of man.
      Only the Lord Almighty, the Creator can do this.
Thus the Lord's compassion for the Jews is assured.
      and he will be praised for ever.  Ps 1031-14

 
God speaks to Zedekiah five times  (588-586)   34  21  371-10  3717  3814-28       [Contents]

In his patient mercy God continues to warn him;
      And five times Zedekiah chooses to ignore the Lord Almighty!

1.  This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Go to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, this is what the Lord says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape from his grasp but will surely be captured and handed over to him. You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon. Yet hear the promise of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: you will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully. (in Babylon)    342-5

What does Zedekiah do?    Nothing!
Like many others, this proud man refuses to acknowledge:
      that God is Almighty
      that God has the sole right to command what is right and wrong
      that he gives the orders; not a mere man, even if he is a king.

Within 2 years Jerusalem was destroyed, and Zedekiah blind and in Babylon.

There was even a belated, half-hearted attempt to do right. 
Did they try to bribe God?

The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves. Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Jew in bondage.  So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves. ... But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said,  'Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrew who has sold himself to you. After he has served you six years, you must let him go free.' Your fathers, however, did not listen to me or pay attention to me.  Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: ... you even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name.  But now you have turned around and profaned my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim 'freedom' for you, declares the Lord - 'freedom' to fall by the sword, plague and famine.  348-17

If it was a bribe it could never succeed, even if they had kept it.
      But they failed to keep even this covenant promise.
It was more than 'their word', but a sacred promise given in the Temple.
Like the Egyptians, they liked having slaves to do their work.  Exd 145
Why do men continuously refuse to listen to God?
      Why do we think we know best?

2.  The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur ... and the priest Zephaniah (no relation to the biblical prophets). They said  "Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us."
But Jeremiah answered them, "Tell Zedekiah, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ... I will gather (the Babylonians) inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in anger and fury and great wrath.  I will strike down those who live in this city - both men and animals - and they will die of a terrible plague. After that, declares the Lord, I will hand over Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon  ...
Furthermore, tell the people, this is what the Lord says: 'See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; he will escape with his life. I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire ... I am against you, ... I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord'."
  211-14

This message was given after Zedekiah had rebelled against Babylon.
      In spite of Jeremiah's warnings, he had sought help from Egypt.
      Nebuchadnezzar had just begun his siege.
      The walls of Jerusalem may not have seemed so thick now.
      Zedekiah probably began to feel insecure.
But there is not even a hint of repentance.
Jeremiah determines to tell him the whole awful truth - again.
      God is not fooled by such false humility. God's word remains unchanged.
How many preachers today dare to proclaim that God will punish us
      'as our deeds deserve'?  2114
      Few, if any.  Certainly no popular preachers or leaders do so.
God sets before us, 'The way of life and the way of death'.  218
      Note that it is the way, not a way.  'Multi-faith' is not new.
      The Jews thought they could worship God as well as idols.

What surprised them most was that God himself was against Jerusalem.  215,13
      They even thought that he might do some miracles for them!  212
Today men teach that God is not against anyone.
      He is said to be 'God of Love',  but never 'God of Judgement'.
Zedekiah was correctly told that he and his officials would go to Babylon
      and Nebuchadnezzar would show them no mercy.  217  He didn't.  396-10
God faithfully fulfilled all that Jeremiah had prophesied and warned.
God's word is always fulfilled.  From Adam to the Revelation.
      If the judgement is delayed;
            don't presume that God has forgotten or can safely be ignored.
            God longs to show mercy, to patiently extend the day of opportunity.
      But in the end, justice must be satisfied.

3.  Nebuchadnezzar temporarily withdrew his siege of Jerusalem,
      when Egypt threatened to attack him.  375
Zedekiah asks Jeremiah, 'Please pray to the Lord for us.'  373
      Did this indicate a change of heart?  Regrettably, No.
      Fear had replaced uncertainty - but there was still no repentance.
      So God's message to him remained the same.
Pharoah's army, which has marched out to support you, will go back to its own land, to Egypt. Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture it and burn it down.  378
And if that was not clear he adds:
This is what the Lord says: do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'the Babylonians will surely leave us.' They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down.  379,10

How often we all need to hear the words 'Do not deceive yourselves'?
We tend to believe what we want to hear, even if it is a lie.
      In the News Media facts are either 'filtered' or exaggerated.
            A false prognosis is confidently predicted. 
            The objective is either money or some 'agenda';  not truth.
While Nebuchadnezzar was withdrawn,
      Jeremiah tries to return home to Anathoth.  3711-21
Arrested.  Falsely accused of deserting to Babylon.
Judged for unproved motive, not for an illegal act.
      The Officials hated him, especially when he was right!
He was beaten and imprisoned for a long time.  3715,16

4.  Zedekiah is becoming desperate now. Again he seeks Jeremiah.  Jer 3717
Privately because he now feared his officials as well as Nebuchadnezzar.
'Is there any word from the Lord?'
      Perhaps the Lord has changed his mind?!
      Zedekiah had taken not a single step towards repentance.
"Yes," Jeremiah replied, "You will be handed over to the king of Babylon."
Each time he had ignored God's word because he did not like it.
      c.f. Rich young ruler in Mk 1017-23
Zedekiah is not alone in paying a very high price for his stubbornness.
Jeremiah pleads for his life.  Prison under Jonathon was harsh.  3718-21
Released to barracks and given bread.
God protects him as promised.  His work was not yet complete.
Jeremiah continues to proclaim the unwelcome truth from Barracks.  381-13
      Officials demand Jeremiah's life.
      Zedekiah weakens - like Pilate.  Lu 2323-25  Jeremiah is 'in your hands.'
      Thrown into cistern, but Ebed-Melech pleads justice for Jeremiah.
      Granted.  Gave kindness of protection of 'old clothes'.
Jeremiah returns to barracks.  Ebed-Melech is rewarded.  3915-18

5. For the last time Zedekiah seeks Jeremiah.  3814-28
Soon it would be too late.
Again Jeremiah dares to challenge the king:
      'If I tell you the truth, you will kill me,  and you will certainly ignore it!
      For what it was worth, Zedekiah promises to spare his life.
Then Jeremiah tells him the same unpleasant truth - which was ignored!
This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from their hands.'"  3817,18

Note that Jeremiah did not just churn the same old handle.
      Each time he seeks God's word and speaks specifically.
This time he adds:
Even now, if you capitulate to Babylon, Jerusalem will be spared destruction.
Why didn't Zedekiah surrender?
      He didn't believe the word of God
      He was more concerned about himself than the city or the Temple.
      He also feared the Jews who had already surrendered. 
            (No obedient officials in the slave camp to protect him)
Zedekiah kept his promise to Jeremiah,
      but again he refuses God's opportunity.
Zedekiah flees to save his own skin - he fails.  391-10  Is 1515,16
      How could he hope to succeed when God had told him otherwise?
      He is captured; his sons are killed before his eyes, then he is blinded.
            He is then taken in shackles to Babylon.  2 Kg 254-7

But before his final attack Nebuchadnezzar gave specific orders to spare Jeremiah.
By good intelligence, he knew what Jeremiah had been saying.
Jeremiah is set free to where he wished.  3911-14
      His work was now completed - almost. He had been a faithful servant.
See the hand of God upon Jeremiah,  and upon Nebuchadnezzar!
      Daniel had been his Prime Minister for nearly 20 years.

What is the timeless message of God that Jeremiah proclaimed so clearly?
God is faithful:  man is not.
God is righteous:  man is not.
God is merciful:  man is stubborn.
God is totally just:  man is easily deceived.
God is gracious: man is greedy.
God is Almighty:  man thinks he is!

It is easy to see who is wise and who is foolish.
Why do most men reject the wisdom and the need of Christ crucified?
Why do they pour such scorn on the timely warnings of Almighty God?
Why do they ignore such pertinent history?

 
Jerusalem to be Destroyed  (586)   398  5212-30  2Kg 258-10       [Contents]

After over 40 years of repeated warnings, Jerusalem is destroyed -
      Temple, king's palace, peoples houses, walls ...  everything.
      And the 70 year time clock starts. 
            No sacrifices until 516 when Temple rebuilding completed.
How did they react to seeing Zion, the city of God destroyed?
      Devastated. 
      But not so much as to repent and admit they deserved it!
God not only allowed it, but ordered 'his servant' Nebuchadnezzar to do it.

What about Jeremiah?  Did the people admit, 'Yes, you were right' ?
      No evidence of it.
Only Nebuchadnezzar honoured Jeremiah!

Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: "Take him and look after him; don't harm him but do for him whatever he asks."  3910,11

Nebuzaradan, the Babylonian Captain of the guard, said to Jeremiah:
"The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don't come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please. ... Go back to Gedaliah ... and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please." Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go.
  402-5

Nebuchanezzar appointed Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam as governor.
      He had supported Jeremiah 20 years earlier.  2624
Jeremiah at Ramah elects to go to Gedaliah at Mizpah (2m to NW)
Many Jewish exiles in Moab, Ammon, Edom returned to live under Gedaliah
Like Jeremiah, he told them to settle and live without fear of Babylon.  409
Enjoyed a good harvest.  4012
      Would this be the beginning of a new, righteous era?
      No!  It was not to be - not yet.

King of Ammon sends 10 men to kill Gedaliah - also other + Babylonian guard
      Gedaliah was warned, but he did not believe it.  4013 - 4110
Johanan leads counter-attack, but the murderer Ishmael escapes.  4111-15
      And Johanan flees from Babylonians to Egypt.

What about Jeremiah in all this skirmish?
Johanan and those not murdered seek Jeremiah to know what to do next.
      They pledge obedience to whatever the Lord says.
Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah ...  427
Stay in this land ... I will build up ... do not fear Babylon ... I am with you ... But if you go to Egypt the sword and famine you fear will overtake you ... Do not go to Egypt.  428-22
They accused Jeremiah of lying and being influenced by Baruch.
So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord ...  437

In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: "While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes. Then say to them, 'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them.  He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, ... He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt. ...  438-12

According to Josephus (IX,9,7  p. 222)
      in 592 Nebuchadnezzar made a successful attack on Egypt.
There was continuous war and rebellion.

 
Jeremiah Prophesies to Jews in Egypt  Jer 44       [Contents]

Jeremiah consistent and true to the end. 
What did he say to the Jews in Egypt?  441-9
      Cities of Judah lie in ruins because you worshipped other gods.
      You refused to listen to any warnings.

To this day they have not humbled themselves ... Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah ... None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah.  4410-14

Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods ... said, "We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord ... We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven.  4415-19

It is not surprising that audacious arrogance met with the judgement of God.

Go ahead then ... but hear the word of the Lord ... I am watching over them for harm, not for good ... The Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed ... this will be the sign to you ... I am going to hand Pharaoh Hophra over to his enemies who seek his life, just as handed Zedekiah over to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon who was seeking his life.  4424-30

Pharaoh Hophra (Apries) was killed by General Amasis in 570 BC
And Amasis was then overshadowed by the growing Persian strength.

There follows various messages concerning other countries:
The date of the these prophecies is only given in 462  471  and 4934
What is the purpose of them?
      It is the Lord Almighty who brings punishment and justice
            on individuals
            on whole nations
            on the gods of those nations.

Unlike Daniel, nearly all Jeremiah is in Hebrew poetry.
Not easy to tie to particular events.

 
Prophecies to other Nations       [Contents]

Egypt
Description of the Egyptian army after Carchemish.  463-6
      'The swift cannot flee nor the strong escape'
      Egypt refuses to admit defeat.  'She says, I will rise...'  468
      Many have made such a boast - and failed.  Is 477  Zeph 215  Rev 187
'But that day belongs to the Lord Almighty, a day of vengeance'.  4610
'But you multiply remedies in vain; there is no healing for you'.  4611
God judged her gods - again.  4625  Exd 1212
Egypt has never since been a major world power.
      Remained under Babylon, Persia, Greek Ptolemy's and then Rome.
'Jacob will again have peace and security'.  4627  Not yet, but they will do.

Also in Ezekiel  'Egypt will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never exalt itself above the other nations. ... Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel.'  Ezek 2915,16
'I will destroy the idols ...'  Ezek 3013 
      Egyptian temples and pyramids only sought by tourists and archaeologists.
One day (in the Millenium) Egypt and Assyria will be one with Israel.  Is 1924
God will do what today seems impossible.  They will repent
      and worship the Lord Almighty the God of Israel.
      (Like Nineveh, in the days of Jonah's preaching)

Philistines
'For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines ...
      the Lord is about to destroy the Philistines.'  474
Is this the same Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament?    Yes!
After Nebuchadnezzar they disappear from the pages of history.  Zeph 25 
      ... until Arafat distorts history to try to justify his false claim to Judea.
Why destroyed?  Pride and hatred of Judah.  Zech 96  Ezek 2515

Moab   (Descendants of Lot by incest)
Likewise 'the fall of Moab is at hand; her calamity will come quickly.'  4816
She too was proud, ridiculed Israel and defied the Lord.  4829  4827  4826,42
Sacrificed their children to Chemosh, the principal Moabite god.  487,13,46
Moab will be restored.  4847  Watch and see what God will yet do.

Ammon   (Descendants of Lot by incest)
Exiled because rich and boastful.  494,5
Yet they will also one day be restored.  496

Edom   (Descendants of Esau)
Pride  4910
Why did God hate Esau?
      Contempt for the blessing and promise of God. 
            He sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.
See also:
      Priests who had contempt for the Lord.  Mal 1 
      Sons of Eli.  1 Sam 212-17 
      Sacrifices of Cain  c.f.  Abel.  Gen 42-6
      Jacob wrestled all night, cried, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me'.
            How different from the strong, self-sufficient, God ignoring Esau.
Edom enjoyed terrorising others;  pride will be shattered in an instant.  4916,19
      (Wealth of Petra vanished when the Kings Highway trade route changed).
Rejoiced at defeat of Judah.  Obad 111-15  Ezek 2512-14
The 'Saul', the 'Herod' in man is still powerful.  Don't underestimate it.
      Herod the Great, who murdered the babes of Bethlehem was an Edomite.
The flesh and the Spirit have always been at war.  Ro 85-9  Gal 517
Thankfully, no restoration of Edom is prophesied.

Damascus
Assyria was already feeble.  4924
Soon it would be set on fire.
Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's father in 609 BC

Kedar
Location unknown.  Probably a nomadic mountain settlement (camels).
It will become a haunt for jackals.  4933

Elam
SE of Babylon. They will be scattered to the four winds.  4936
But one day they will be restored.

Babylon 50, 51
The great and mighty Babylon will become a wasteland.  503,13  5137,64
      See Daniel Notes for description of Babylon.
A country to the North will attack (Medes & Persians).
God is against Babylon because they were arrogant and opposed him.  5024,31
      Babylon's gods cannot protect her.  502    (Nor can riches or power)
Babylon, you who destroyed so much; now your turn has come.  5125
Like Jacob and Esau, Judah and Babylon are poles apart, and always at war.
In the midst of Babylon's destruction by God, he will raise up Judah
At that time Judah will seek the Lord
      and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant.  504,5
      Israel will return and be forgiven.  5019,20
Now Israel's captors hold them fast ... yet their Redeemer is strong.  5033,34
Satan never lets go willingly.  But is no match to the power of God over sin.
Babylon under Belshazzar is defeated, but Judah is not forsaken.  515
'In those days ... a search will be made for Israel's guilt,
      but there will be none ... for I will forgive the remnant I spare.'  5020 
So effective is the blood of Christ that even the All-seeing God can find no sin
      remaining in any who repent and trust in Jesus. What a miracle!  Col 122
      Eph 17  213  1 Jn 17-9  Zech 131  Heb 914  1019-22  1 Pe 118,19  Rev 15  714
At the end Babylon will fall suddenly, the rich merchants will weep,
      but the redeemed saints will rejoice!  518,36    and Rev 188,10
      The contrast is stark.  Let us be ready, work out our salvation,
            and stop others from suffering this eternal weeping.

'Come out of her, my people ...'  5145,6  Rev 184    = 'sanctify'
'Be separate ...'  Exd 2633  Lev 1531  Math 1349  2 Co 617    Ro 835-39
'Be holy ...'    Lev 1144  1 Co 12  Eph 14  1 Pe 115,16  Heb 1214
How are we to be 'separate' from the world?
      Be in it, but not of it?  Jn 1714
It is all to easy to conform with the majority and be popular,
      But God is never pleased with such behaviour.

 
Conclusions       [Contents]

Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet.  God chose and anointed him.  He was charged with telling the people all that God spoke the welcomed and the unpalatable.  God kept his promise to rescue him: from Satan's clutches, but not from hardship.  He died only when the assigned work was complete.  Jeremiah remained to the end an earnest, obedient and sensitive servant.

The cost of being a prophet is high. Jeremiah was unpopular, rejected, persecuted and forbidden to marry.  He saw clearly and felt deeply, as God did, how much the people would suffer because they stubbornly refused to hear the repeated warnings of Almighty God.  He did not envy the wicked in their prosperity: God showed him their end, and like his Saviour, he wept.

God first revealed, "I am watching." He sees not only all the actions of men but also all our thoughts.  Never excuse sin or pretend it hasn't happened.  Confess it quickly and openly.  Know the assured forgiveness of our Father.  Never preach a false peace. Neither sin nor God can ever be ignored.

Jeremiah sees the startling truth that God himself would destroy Jerusalem, the city of God, and the Temple. He consistently proclaimed that God is faithful. He always keeps his word - good or bad.

God will destroy; but he will also gather his people.  At the end it will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but at that time they will respond with tears of repentance. The Righteous Branch will save Israel, who will become a holy nation.  Do not give up praying in seemingly hopeless cases.  God may yet do what today seems impossible.  Nothing is too hard for the Lord God.

Both the love and Judgement of God are certain.  It is vital to declare that God must punish sin. The Christian believes that the justly deserved punishment was borne by Jesus on the cross.  Those who do not believe this are condemned already.  Now is the time of God's opportunity to repent and believe.  Soon it will be too late.

The Word of God is true and endures for ever.  Thank you Lord.

And thank you Jeremiah, God's faithful, enduring and now rewarded servant.

 
Jesus and Jeremiah       [Contents]

Jeremiah warned the Jews of the destruction of the 1st Temple.
Jesus warned Jews of the destruction of the 2nd Temple. 
Both were ignored.

After Calvary, God waited 40 years (till 70 AD) - the period of testing.
Jeremiah preached and warned the people for 40 years.

Both suffered many assassination attempts and were rejected by men.

Both wept - not for themselves, but for the people.  821-91  Lu 1941
      Jer 1118,21 268  3626 384      Lu 429,30  Jn 71 859  1031,39 1150  c.f. Jn 184,5

In Israel it takes a man to cry.  In most countries of the West it is thought sissy.
      Stoicism is Greek, not Hebrew.
Jeremiah's cave (where he prayed) is next to Golgotha (Gordon's Calvary).
One day God will wipe away all the believer's tears .  Is 258  Rev 717
His personal lament.  207-18  Lam 3
Honest prayers.  1023-25  121-4  207-18  and Lamentations.
      God answers, but not as we might expect.  Is 556-11

The world talks much about their 'rights';
      Christians admit we deserve nothing.
We live in a meritocracy; you get what you work for.
      But the Kingdom of God is based on mercy (not getting what we deserve)
            and grace (getting what we do not deserve)
      The only merit is of Jesus - his faithfulness, his sacrifice.
            Even man's best is but the fruit of his Spirit.

 
Quotes from Jeremiah in the N.T.       [Contents]

Jeremiah N.T. Reference
616 Math 1129
... and you will find rest for your souls.
711 Math 2113
My house ... a den of robbers.
915 Rev 811
... bitter food and poisoned water.
924a 1 Co 131
Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.
152 Rev 1310
If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed.
1516 Rev 109,10
It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
3115 Math 218
A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.
3131-34 Heb 1016
"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."
Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
5113 Rev 171 1810
You who live by many waters ... your end has come.
5145 Rev 184
Come out of her, my people, run for your lives.
5149 Rev 182
Babylon must fall ... just as the slain in all the earth
have fallen because of Babylon.
  Math 1614
Some say ... Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

 
A Sermon on Jeremiah (text) "In Christ, Peace.  In the world, Trouble."

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