2227.) Jeremiah 26

November 14, 2017

Jer26 Proverbs-1_33

Jeremiah 26   (NLT)

Jeremiah’s Escape from Death

Jeremiah — life on the edge!

This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah. “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard in front of the Temple of the Lord, and make an announcement to the people who have come there to worship from all over Judah. Give them my entire message; include every word. Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways. Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins.

“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you will not listen to me and obey my word I have given you, and if you will not listen to my servants, the prophets—for I sent them again and again to warn you, but you would not listen to them— then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem an object of cursing in every nation on earth.’”

The priests, the prophets, and all the people listened to Jeremiah as he spoke in front of the Lord’s Temple. But when Jeremiah had finished his message, saying everything the Lord had told him to say, the priests and prophets and all the people at the Temple mobbed him. “Kill him!” they shouted. “What right do you have to prophesy in the Lord’s name that this Temple will be destroyed like Shiloh? What do you mean, saying that Jerusalem will be destroyed and left with no inhabitants?” And all the people threatened him as he stood in front of the Temple.

Jer26 dont-mess

Jeremiah has raised their hackles!

It is no surprise that the priests and false prophets were infuriated by Jeremiah’s message that the temple would be destroyed. The temple was important to them because the people’s reverence for it brought them power. By saying that the temple would be destroyed, Jeremiah undermines their authority. Jesus also infuriated the religious leaders of his time by foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple (Matthew 24:2).  (The Life Application Bible)

10 When the officials of Judah heard what was happening, they rushed over from the palace and sat down at the New Gate of the Temple to hold court. 11 The priests and prophets presented their accusations to the officials and the people. “This man should die!” they said. “You have heard with your own ears what a traitor he is, for he has prophesied against this city.”

12 Then Jeremiah spoke to the officials and the people in his own defense. “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city,” he said. “The Lord gave me every word that I have spoken. 13 But if you stop your sinning and begin to obey the Lord your God, he will change his mind about this disaster that he has announced against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands—do with me as you think best. 15 But if you kill me, rest assured that you will be killing an innocent man! The responsibility for such a deed will lie on you, on this city, and on every person living in it. For it is absolutely true that the Lord sent me to speak every word you have heard.”

16 Then the officials and the people said to the priests and prophets, “This man does not deserve the death sentence, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.”

17 Then some of the wise old men stood and spoke to all the people assembled there. 18 They said, “Remember when Micah of Moresheth prophesied during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah. He told the people of Judah,

‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field;
    Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins!
A thicket will grow on the heights
    where the Temple now stands.’

19 But did King Hezekiah and the people kill him for saying this? No, they turned from their sins and worshiped the Lord. They begged him for mercy. Then the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had pronounced against them. So we are about to do ourselves great harm.”

Jer26 micah

So, on the advice of some wise old men, they consider sparing Jeremiah’s life, as King Hezekiah spared Micah’s life. But it doesn’t seem to occur to them to turn from their sins and worship the Lord, which is what both Micah and Jeremiah preached.

20 At this time Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim was also prophesying for the Lord. And he predicted the same terrible disaster against the city and nation as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim and the army officers and officials heard what he was saying, the king sent someone to kill him. But Uriah heard about the plan and escaped in fear to Egypt. 22 Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Acbor to Egypt along with several other men to capture Uriah. 23 They took him prisoner and brought him back to King Jehoiakim. The king then killed Uriah with a sword and had him buried in an unmarked grave.

How many faithful people through the centuries are known now only to the Lord! Uriah is an otherwise unknown prophet who counted obedience to God worth more than his life. In many parts of the world today, following Jesus is a dangerous, even life-threatening, decision. Such facts make me resolve to be more intentional and less casual in my witness to Christ!

24 Nevertheless, Ahikam son of Shaphan stood up for Jeremiah and persuaded the court not to turn him over to the mob to be killed.

So overall, not a bad day for Jeremiah!

Psalm 118:24-25   (ESV)

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!

_________________________

Music:

I love the utter confidence Jeremiah has in the Lord, such that death does not frighten him at all. As Proverbs 1:33 says in the top picture, he was able to “be at ease” even when the crowd was threatening him. To inspire us to a similar trust:   HERE  is Selah and “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

__________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Proverbs 1:33.    http://cdn2.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Proverbs-1_33_7-300×247.jpg
Don’t mess.   http://wallpoper.com/images/00/00/67/69/dont-mess-with-me_00006769.jpg
Micah 6:8.    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jsYIl5iCxis/T99QeRuHcHI/AAAAAAAAKqM/YexCmIA5Txk/s1600/micah6-8.gif
Advertisements

2218.) Jeremiah 20

November 1, 2017

Jer20 in mine heart

Jeremiah 20   (NLT)

Jeremiah and Pashhur

Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying. So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord’s Temple.

Jer20 stocks

The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’ For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword. And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon. As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’”

Jeremiah is not cowed in the least! As soon as he is out of the stocks, he says again, even more personally to the priest, exactly what got him in trouble in the first place!

Jeremiah’s Complaint

O Lord, you misled me,
    and I allowed myself to be misled.
You are stronger than I am,
    and you overpowered me.

My heart goes out to Jeremiah. He is strong on the outside, but questioning on the inside. Living in faith in difficult circumstances — God never says it will be easy. But in his questions and doubts, he goes to the Lord, and there is where he finds comfort and strength to continue. We are so fortunate to have all of Holy Scripture, as well as hymnals and devotionals and more spiritual teaching than we could ever listen to and more helpful books than we could ever read! “Come to Me when you are burdened,” Jesus says, “and I will give you rest” — rest for your souls. Do not let your questions fester in your soul; do as Jeremiah did and take them directly to God.

Now I am mocked every day;
    everyone laughs at me.
When I speak, the words burst out.
    “Violence and destruction!” I shout.
So these messages from the Lord
    have made me a household joke.

Jer20 burning fire
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
    or speak in his name,
his word burns in my heart like a fire.
    It’s like a fire in my bones!
I am worn out trying to hold it in!
    I can’t do it!

Now this is a strong prayer to pray for church leaders! “Lord, let your word burn like a fire in our pastor’s, youth leader’s, Sunday School teacher’s heart! Let it be that he or she cannot hold it in, but must preach and teach it!” Then add from verse 11 below, “And stand beside him or her like a great warrior, to defend your name and your servant!”

10 I have heard the many rumors about me.
    They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.”
They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.”
    Even my old friends are watching me,
    waiting for a fatal slip.
“He will trap himself,” they say,
    “and then we will get our revenge on him.”

Jer20 warrior

11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior.
    Before him my persecutors will stumble.
    They cannot defeat me.
They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated.
    Their dishonor will never be forgotten.

12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
you test those who are righteous,
    and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets.
Let me see your vengeance against them,
    for I have committed my cause to you.
13 Sing to the Lord!
    Praise the Lord!
For though I was poor and needy,
    he rescued me from my oppressors.

_________________________

Music:

Are you already hearing Johnny Cash singing “Burning Ring of Fire”?  HERE  it is!

_________________________

14 Yet I curse the day I was born!
    May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
15 I curse the messenger who told my father,
    “Good news—you have a son!”
16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old
    that the Lord overthrew without mercy.
Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,
17     because he did not kill me at birth.
Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb,
    that her body had been my grave!
18 Why was I ever born?
    My entire life has been filled
    with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

Many of God’s witnesses, in Biblical times and beyond, have experienced these dark nights of the soul. Jonah (who also had God’s Word burning in his heart) understood:

Jonah 2 (NLT)

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish.  He said,

“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble,
    and he answered me.
I called to you from the land of the dead,
    and Lord, you heard me!
You threw me into the ocean depths,
    and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
The mighty waters engulfed me;
    I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.
Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence.
    Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’

“I sank beneath the waves,
    and the waters closed over me.
    Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
    I was imprisoned in the earth,
    whose gates lock shut forever.
But you, O Lord my God,
    snatched me from the jaws of death!
As my life was slipping away,
    I remembered the Lord.
And my earnest prayer went out to you
    in your holy Temple.
Those who worship false gods
    turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,
    and I will fulfill all my vows.
    For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
in mine heart.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/jer20-in-mine-heart.jpg
in stocks.    http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/images/fullsized/in_the_stocks.jpg
like a burning fire.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/f30fa-jeremiah-20v-9.jpg
great warrior.    http://www.dailylifeverse.com/posts/images/2012/08/jeremiah-20-11.jpg?s=full
Dark night.   https://www.cordeo.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DarkNight2.jpg

2217.) Jeremiah 19

October 31, 2017
"Jeremiah 19 The Broken Flask" by Sue Flanagan

“Jeremiah 19 The Broken Flask” by Sue Flanagan

Jeremiah 19   (NLT)

Jeremiah’s Shattered Jar

–from an ancient version of How to Win Friends and Influence People!

This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a clay jar. Then ask some of the leaders of the people and of the priests to follow you. Go out through the Gate of Broken Pots to the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and give them this message. Say to them, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will bring a terrible disaster on this place, and the ears of those who hear about it will ring!

It is not hard to imagine how annoying such a message would become.

“‘For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! So beware, for the time is coming, says the Lord, when this garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

We know how much people appreciate being told they are wrong.

“‘For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals. I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there. I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair.’

In fact, when Jerusalem’s food supplies ran out during the Babylonian siege in 586 B.C., cannibalism resulted (see Lamentations 2:20 and 4:10).

10 As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought. 11 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair. They will bury the bodies here in Topheth, the garbage dump, until there is no more room for them. 12 This is what I will do to this place and its people, says the Lord. I will cause this city to become defiled like Topheth. 13 Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah’s kings, will become like Topheth—all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.’”

A visual, a prop, an action. All to make the message more clear, more pointed.

14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth, the garbage dump where he had delivered this message, and he stopped in front of the Temple of the Lord. He said to the people there, 15 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will bring disaster upon this city and its surrounding towns as I promised, because you have stubbornly refused to listen to me.’”

“False gods never fail to fail.”

–Christopher Wright

_________________________

Music:

Time for us to stop and worship our God, the Creator and Redeemer and Sustainer of the world, our help in time of trouble, our everlasting hope and salvation.  We sing our praises to no false god; we do not forsake the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  HERE  is a young classic hymn, “In Christ Alone,” by Keith Getty (music) and Stuart Townend (Lyrics); sung by Kristyn Getty. The song was published in 2001. I love this hymn and am learning it by heart to keep my faith on the tip of my tongue!

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Flanagan.   http://jesuslovesyoutoday.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Jeremiah_19.223123014_std.jpg
pieces of pottery.   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/N7XQmcdZmSc/hqdefault.jpg

2216.) Jeremiah 18

October 30, 2017

Jer18 take me use me

Jeremiah 18   (NLT)

The Potter and the Clay

The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.

11 “Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.’”

 Jeremiah was sent down to the potter’s house, and there he saw three simple things, conveying to him a fantastic lesson. You may have observed the same things that Jeremiah did, for the art of making a pot has not changed through the centuries. The wheel is now turned by an electric motor, but that is about the only difference. Even this is still controlled by the foot of the potter. The clay is the same as it has always been. The potter is the same, with his capable hands, working to mold and shape the clay into the vessel he has in mind.

What did Jeremiah see in this lesson? First there was the clay. Jeremiah knew, as he watched the potter shaping and molding the clay, that he was looking at a picture of himself, and of every man, and of every nation. We are the clay. Both Isaiah and Zechariah, in the Old Testament, join with Jeremiah in presenting this picture of the potter and the clay. In the New Testament we have the voice of Paul in that great passage in Romans 9, reminding us that God is the Potter and we are the clay. So Jeremiah saw the clay being shaped and molded into a vessel. Then some imperfection in the clay spoiled it in the potter’s hand, and the potter crumbled it up, and began anew the process of shaping it into a vessel that pleased him.

Jeremiah saw the wheel turning constantly, bringing the clay against the potter’s hand. That wheel stands for the turning circumstances of our life, under the control of the Potter, for it is the potter’s foot that guides the wheel. The lesson is clear. As our life is being shaped and molded by the Great Potter, it is the circumstances of our life which bring us again and again under the potter’s hand, under the pressure of the molding fingers of the Potter, so that he shapes the vessel according to his will.

Then, Jeremiah saw the potter. God, he knew, was the Great Potter, with absolute right over the clay to make it what he wanted it to be. Paul argues this with keen and clear logic in Romans 9: Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, Why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:20b-21) Of course he has. The vessel is shaped according to the image in the potter’s mind.

So Jeremiah, by watching, learned that an individual or a nation is clay in the Great Potter’s hands. He has a sovereign right to make it what he wants it to be. He has the skill and design to work with the clay and to bring it to pass. If there be some imperfection in the clay, something which mars the design, spoils the work, the potter simply crushes the clay down to a lump and begins again to make it yet a vessel according to his own mind. We can trust that the Lord is purposing everything for good.

–Ray Stedman

.

Jer18 potterswheel.jpg.

Music:

Amy Carmichael says, “No matter what our affliction, there is always hope. Cannot I do with you as this potter? asks the Lord. We are in His hand, and no one can snatch us from His grasp.”

HERE  is Hillsong and “The Potter’s Hand.”

_________________________

12 But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.”

13 So this is what the Lord says:

“Has anyone ever heard of such a thing,
    even among the pagan nations?
My virgin daughter Israel
    has done something terrible!
14 Does the snow ever disappear from the mountaintops of Lebanon?
    Do the cold streams flowing from those distant mountains ever run dry?
15 But my people are not so reliable, for they have deserted me;
    they burn incense to worthless idols.
They have stumbled off the ancient highways
    and walk in muddy paths.

snow-topped mountains, Bsharri, Lebanon

snow-topped mountains, Bsharri, Lebanon

You could depend on snow and mountain streams in nature, but God couldn’t depend on His people!

–William MacDonald

16 Therefore, their land will become desolate,
    a monument to their stupidity.
All who pass by will be astonished
    and will shake their heads in amazement.
17 I will scatter my people before their enemies
    as the east wind scatters dust.
And in all their trouble I will turn my back on them
    and refuse to notice their distress.”

A Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then the people said, “Come on, let’s plot a way to stop Jeremiah. We have plenty of priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the word and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.”

The people of Jerusalem are fed up with Jeremiah and his speeches about their sin and God’s coming judgment.

19 Lord, hear me and help me!
    Listen to what my enemies are saying.
20 Should they repay evil for good?
    They have dug a pit to kill me,
though I pleaded for them
    and tried to protect them from your anger.
21 So let their children starve!
    Let them die by the sword!
Let their wives become childless widows.
    Let their old men die in a plague,
    and let their young men be killed in battle!
22 Let screaming be heard from their homes
    as warriors come suddenly upon them.
For they have dug a pit for me
    and have hidden traps along my path.
23 Lord, you know all about their murderous plots against me.
    Don’t forgive their crimes and blot out their sins.
Let them die before you.
    Deal with them in your anger.

Jeremiah expresses regret that he ever asked God to spare them.  Such a prayer is scarcely suitable for believers in this age of grace.

–William MacDonald

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Take me, use me.   http://todaysinconvenienttruth.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/11962755230117311hcfajnlhc2.jpg
potter’s hands.   http://www.truthseekersministries.org/images/General_Articles/potter.jpg
potter’s wheel sketch.    http://www.smp.org/size/files/c44cd6e8bd3a76c59bc69bd22aae4b6c/Jer18_1-6potterswheel.jpg.540x.jpg
snow-topped mountains.   http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/u/TvyamNb-BivtNwcoxtkc5xGBuGkIMh_nj4UJHQKuorcp8bNZVfUkGavEak6XqoYZi5QmL_5IEc7wDQ/

2215.) Jeremiah 17

October 27, 2017

Jer17 watercolor

Jeremiah 17    (NLT)

Judah’s Sin and Punishment

“The sin of Judah
    is inscribed with an iron chisel—
engraved with a diamond point on their stony hearts
    and on the corners of their altars.

Because of their idolatry, which had caused sin to be deeply engraved in their hearts, there will be tragic consequences:

Even their children go to worship
    at their pagan altars and Asherah poles,
beneath every green tree
    and on every high hill.
So I will hand over my holy mountain—
    along with all your wealth and treasures
    and your pagan shrines—
as plunder to your enemies,
    for sin runs rampant in your land.

Jerusalem will fall . . .

The wonderful possession I have reserved for you
    will slip from your hands.
I will tell your enemies to take you
    as captives to a foreign land.

. . . and the people of Judah will be sent into exile.

For my anger blazes like a fire
    that will burn forever.”

“The human heart is an idol factory. Every one of us from our mother’s womb is an expert in inventing idols.”

–attributed to John Calvin

Wisdom from the Lord

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
    who rely on human strength
    and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
    with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salty land.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.

But I will bless the person
    who puts his trust in me.
He is like a tree growing near a stream
    and sending out roots to the water.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
    and desperately wicked.
    Who really knows how bad it is?

Jer17 Prov 4 23

Unregenerate human nature is in a grave condition without divine grace, “desperately wicked.” Other translations have it as “exceedingly corrupt” (ASV), “desperately sick” (ESV), “too sick to be healed” (GNT). It may seem a harsh description but I have noticed, in my life and in others’, that we do not drift towards righteousness. Left to our own devices, we prove the truth of this verse.

Psalm 19:14    (ESV)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
    and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
    according to what their actions deserve.”

Jeremiah’s Trust in the Lord

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid,
    so are those who get their wealth by unjust means.
At midlife they will lose their riches;
    in the end, they will become poor old fools.
12 But we worship at your throne—
    eternal, high, and glorious!
13 O Lord, the hope of Israel,
    all who turn away from you will be disgraced.
They will be buried in the dust of the earth,
    for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.

14 O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
    if you save me, I will be truly saved.
    My praises are for you alone!
15 People scoff at me and say,
“What is this ‘message from the Lord’ you talk about?
    Why don’t your predictions come true?”

With this taunt Jeremiah is accused of being a false prophet.

16 Lord, I have not abandoned my job
    as a shepherd for your people.
I have not urged you to send disaster.
    You have heard everything I’ve said.
17 Lord, don’t terrorize me!
    You alone are my hope in the day of disaster.
18 Bring shame and dismay on all who persecute me,
    but don’t let me experience shame and dismay.
Bring a day of terror on them.
    Yes, bring double destruction upon them!

Observing the Sabbath

Jer17 sabbath

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first in the gate where the king goes in and out, and then in each of the other gates. 20 Say to all the people, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem. 21 This is what the Lord says: Listen to my warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. 22 Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, 23 but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline.

24 “‘But if you obey me, says the Lord, and do not carry on your trade at the gates or work on the Sabbath day, and if you keep it holy, 25 then kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. Kings and their officials will always ride in and out among the people of Judah in chariots and on horses, and this city will remain forever. 26 And from all around Jerusalem, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from the western foothills and the hill country and the Negev, the people will come with their burnt offerings and sacrifices. They will bring their grain offerings, frankincense, and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s Temple.

27 “‘But if you do not listen to me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames.’”

“Similar principles apply to the Lord’s Day for Christians. It too is for spiritual and physical refreshment, remembrance of the Redeemer and our redemption, worship of the Lord, and commemorating our Lord’s first-day-of-the-week Resurrection victory.”

–William MacDonald

_________________________

Music:

I love verse 14:

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
    if you save me, I will be truly saved.
    My praises are for you alone!

A song of praise for our glorious Lord! “O Worship the King” was written by Sir Robert Grant. Born in 1779 in India, he went to college in England, became a lawyer, won a seat in Parliament, and returned to India as a director with the East India Company. In 1834 he was asked to be the governor of Bombay. He died four years later, and is best remembered for penning this hymn, his rendition of Psalm 104.  HERE  it is performed in St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
green tree watercolor.    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5023/5612578210_1323d1ffba_z.jpg
tree by the waters.    http://plainadventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/tree-1024×768.jpg
above all else guard your heart.    http://jasonstuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/4-23_ProverbsDaily.jpg
Remember the Sabbath day.    http://www.rememberthesabbathday.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/sabbath_day_banner.jpg

2214.) Jeremiah 16

October 26, 2017

Jer16 17

Jeremiah 16   (NLT)

Jeremiah Forbidden to Marry

The Lord gave me another message. He said, “Do not get married or have children in this place.

Jeremiah is the only man in the Bible forbidden to marry.  He will be childless, a sign that there is no immediate future for Judah.

For this is what the Lord says about the children born here in this city and about their mothers and fathers: They will die from terrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them, and they will lie scattered on the ground like manure. They will die from war and famine, and their bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.”

Judah’s Coming Punishment

This is what the Lord says: “Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy. Both the great and the lowly will die in this land. No one will bury them or mourn for them. Their friends will not cut themselves in sorrow or shave their heads in sadness. No one will offer a meal to comfort those who mourn for the dead—not even at the death of a mother or father. No one will send a cup of wine to console them.

Jer16 bread and wine

This practice of breaking bread in connection with death seems to be the origin of what the Lord Jesus consecrated into the grand memorial of His remembrance. “Neither shall men break bread for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation” (verse 7). There you have the Supper, in both its parts. It was a familiar custom among the Jews, but the Lord gave a unique significance to it, and stamped new truth upon it. It was connected with the Passover, for, as we know, that was the time of its institution. There was a particular reason for its establishment at that and at no other time, because it was to mark the impressive change from the great central and fundamental feast of Israel. A new and different feast was begun for the Christians.

–William Kelly

“And do not go to their feasts and parties. Do not eat and drink with them at all. For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard.

10 “When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the Lord our God?’

11 “Then you will give them the Lord’s reply: ‘It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word. 12 And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land and send you into a foreign land where you and your ancestors have never been. There you can worship idols day and night—and I will grant you no favors!’

God will send them into exile.

Hope despite the Disaster

14 “But the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when people who are taking an oath will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ 15 Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ For I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors.

16 “But now I am sending for many fishermen who will catch them,” says the Lord. “I am sending for hunters who will hunt them down in the mountains, hills, and caves. 17 I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me. 18 I will double their punishment for all their sins, because they have defiled my land with lifeless images of their detestable gods and have filled my territory with their evil deeds.”

Jer16 map_captivity_routes

“The land of the north” refers to Babylonia, and the “fishermen” and “hunters” are Babylonians.  Judah is pictured as the prey of the Lord.  (The Reformation Bible)

Jeremiah’s Prayer of Confidence

19 Lord, you are my strength and fortress,
    my refuge in the day of trouble!
Nations from around the world
    will come to you and say,
“Our ancestors left us a foolish heritage,
    for they worshiped worthless idols.
20 Can people make their own gods?
    These are not real gods at all!”

21 The Lord says,
“Now I will show them my power;
    now I will show them my might.
At last they will know and understand
    that I am the Lord.

_________________________

Music:

Lord, we thank you that you are, forever and ever, our strength and fortress and refuge!  HERE  is Chris Rice and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
for mine eyes are upon all their ways.    http://delivertheword.com/lookingdifferent/files/2012/10/A04-Jeremiah_16_17_LookingDifferent_v1_03-Preview.jpg
bread and wine.    http://www.clker.com/cliparts/f/e/3/1/1194984104231157410bread_and_wine_mark_near_.svg.med.png
map.   http://apworldipedia.com/images/thumb/e/e1/Hebrew_captivity.JPG/300px-Hebrew_captivity.JPG

2212.) Jeremiah 15

October 24, 2017

Jer15 16

Jeremiah 15   (NLT)

Judah’s Inevitable Doom

Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn’t help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight! And if they say to you, ‘But where can we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those who are destined for death, to death;
    those who are destined for war, to war;
those who are destined for famine, to famine;
    those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.’

“I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” says the Lord. “I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

Manasseh was the most wicked king in Judah’s history (see 2 Kings 21:1-11, 16), and his sins were a primary cause of the nation’s eventual destruction (see 2 Kings 21:12-15; 23:26-27; 24:3-4).  (The Archaeology Study Bible)

“Who will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?
    Who will weep for you?
    Who will even bother to ask how you are?
You have abandoned me
    and turned your back on me,”
    says the Lord.

Jer15 the_end_is_near_sign
“Therefore, I will raise my fist to destroy you.
    I am tired of always giving you another chance.
I will winnow you like grain at the gates of your cities
    and take away the children you hold dear.
I will destroy my own people,
    because they refuse to change their evil ways.
There will be more widows
    than the grains of sand on the seashore.
At noontime I will bring a destroyer
    against the mothers of young men.
I will cause anguish and terror
    to come upon them suddenly.
The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath;
    her sun has gone down while it is still day.
She sits childless now,
    disgraced and humiliated.
And I will hand over those who are left
    to be killed by the enemy.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Romans 6:23 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death . . .

Jeremiah’s Complaint

Jeremiah has heard the bad news and turns to the Lord for comfort.  The following conversation between Jeremiah and God is precious to read.

10 Then I said,

“What sorrow is mine, my mother.
    Oh, that I had died at birth!
    I am hated everywhere I go.
I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose
    nor a borrower who refuses to pay—
    yet they all curse me.”

11 The Lord replied,

“I will take care of you, Jeremiah.
    Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf
    in times of trouble and distress.
12 Can a man break a bar of iron from the north,
    or a bar of bronze?
13 At no cost to them,
    I will hand over your wealth and treasures
as plunder to your enemies,
    for sin runs rampant in your land.
14 I will tell your enemies to take you
    as captives to a foreign land.
For my anger blazes like a fire
    that will burn forever.”

15 Then I said,

Lord, you know what’s happening to me.
    Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors!
Please give me time; don’t let me die young.
    It’s for your sake that I am suffering.

16 When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
    They are my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
    O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

Jer15 Eat the Word

from Experiencing God Day-by-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

REJOICING IN GOD’S WORD

If you were to receive a note from the leader of your country or someone famous, you would probably save it as a keepsake. How much more precious is a message from almighty God!

Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that are beyond our control. This was the case for Mary and Martha as they were grieving the death of their brother Lazarus. At these times a word from Jesus can bring much rejoicing (John 11:41-45). Other times when Jesus speaks, His words bring correction. “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23) and “O you of little faith” (Matthew 14:31) do not seem to bring joy. Yet Jeremiah said that God’s word brought him joy.

It is overwhelming to consider that holy, almighty God would speak directly to us! What a privilege that He would care enough to challenge our destructive thoughts or practices. No matter whether His words are praising us or chastising us, we ought to consider it joy to receive life-changing words from our Master!

Every time we prepare to worship the Lord, we ought to do so with anticipation that almighty God may have something to say to us. Whenever we open our Bibles, we should expect that God has something to tell us in our time with Him. We ought to be far more concerned with what God will say to us during our prayer times than with what we intend to tell Him.

When you receive a word from your Lord, whether it be of praise or of correction, consider it joy that almighty God would speak to you.

17 I never joined the people in their merry feasts.
    I sat alone because your hand was on me.
    I was filled with indignation at their sins.

We will learn in the next chapter that Jeremiah never married.

18 Why then does my suffering continue?
    Why is my wound so incurable?
Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook,
    like a spring that has gone dry.”

19 This is how the Lord responds:

“If you return to me, I will restore you
    so you can continue to serve me.
If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,
    you will be my spokesman.
You must influence them;
    do not let them influence you!
20 They will fight against you like an attacking army,
    but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.
They will not conquer you,
    for I am with you to protect and rescue you.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!
21 Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men.
    I will rescue you from their cruel hands.”

Romans 6:23 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death . . .

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

_________________________

Music:

How tenderly the Lord reassures Jeremiah and calms his anxiety. God promises to protect his prophet and encourages Jeremiah to remain faithful.  HERE  is a song to lift up Jeremiah’s spirits and yours as well! — Bruce Springsteen and “This Little Light of Mine.”

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Your words were found.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/08281-jeremiah1516.jpg
the end is near.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/5da32-the_end_is_near_sign.jpg
When I discovered your words.   https://i.pinimg.com/236x/63/60/e9/6360e9eeb49ccbb22f86272d72a2338c–faith-bible-bible-verses.jpg