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Archive for April 10th, 2009

Jeremiah 1-23

 

The topic of God’s judgment came up during a Bible study a few days ago.  As I listened to the various comments, I tried to recall portions of what I had read recently in Jeremiah.  It seemed so relevant.  I thought a review would be helpful.  I think the parallels are striking.

 

Nutshell

If I had to pick one verse that sums up the condition of the people in Jeremiah’s day it would be 2:13.  ‘My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water’.

 

Stop & think

2:19, 20 ‘Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me.’  “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you’.”

 

Naïve confidence

5:12 “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.  The prophets (referring to God’s prophets) are but wind and the word is not in them’.”  To which God says, ‘The prophets (referring to false prophets) prophecy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way.  But what will you do in the end’?

 

Ungodly habitation of a godly house

7:9,10 ‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, ‘We are safe’ – safe to do all these detestable things?”

 

Satan’s craftsman surge while God’s tread water

Hollywood hammers out a lifestyle and adorns it with silver and gold.  As in the days of Jeremiah, as seen in 10:3,4 ‘For the customs of the people are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and the craftsman shapes it with his chisel.  They adorn is with silver and gold’.  And then worse yet, 10:21, ‘The shepherds are senseless and do not enquire of the Lord’.

 

Neglected warnings

11:7,8 “I warned them again and again, saying, ‘Obey me’.  But they did not listen or pay attention; instead they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts.”  And the sad result in 10:11, “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’.”

 

Promise for the faithful

Like an oasis is this promise in the midst of all the proclaimed disaster, 17:7,8 ‘But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’

 

It is on us

18:7-10 ‘If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.  And if at another time I announce that a  nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.’

 

Worthless words vs. Worthy words

In 23:16,17 we find the majority of the prophets of the day were promising ‘peace’ and saying, ‘no harm will come to you’.  To which the Lord says in 23:18 ‘But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or hear His word?  Who has listened and heard his word?’  23:21,22 says, ‘I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.  But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.’

 

The only hope

Finally in 23:28 it says, ’Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully’.  And what is His word, as stated in chapter 7, ‘Reform your ways’; ‘If you really change your ways’; ‘then I will let you live in this place’.  They were talking the talk without walking the walk.  Walking the walk is the only hope.

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