In this chapter God uses Jeremiah as a sign and he was to make the bonds and yokes,-‘and put them upon thy neck,/ And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;/ And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;…” As a sign he himself was to be yoked first and thereafter these bonds and yokes to the many kings specified through their messengers who were present in the court of King Zedekiah. Like the earthen vessel and wine cup the objects are intended for a specific purpose. “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me./ And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.” God’s purpose could not be more clearer. Objects and their usage hold spiritual underpinning determined by God. Desolations for apostasy were meant as chastisement and it was to be published through his prophet. By the same token good tidings that the gospel of God carried was declared through his Son and it was to reach far corners of the earth. The Great Commission began from God and the whole earth was its ambit. Those who chose way of life were as though yoked with Jesus. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light(Matt.11:29-30).” No other way ministry of man can be justified before God. Prosperity theology is not from God.
Prophet Jeremiah had accepted God’s word and it was signified by His touching his mouth. Now as a sign he was first to wear the bonds and yoke himself and to pass them on. It was a kind of circular letter that in the early church St Paul sent to specific churches to be read to congregation. These epistles were in a way written by hand or dictated to by the Apostle. Who sent St Paul but Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is an apostle and so was St Paul, sent by God, the Father. “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart(2 Co.3:3)”. St Paul makes a case for epistles of Christ as written by Spirit of the living God. Its significance is that man may die but the living God passes it on to the next generation and so on. Thus the gospel is not only for the congregation of St Paul’s time but also including us. This is how the Spirit of the living God incorporated the Will of God the Father so we are part of a cloud of witnesses in God’s Time. We accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior in time and place but according to the divine Will it is as though we have been predestined to be adopted in his Son. We are the firstborn of all creation as an epistle of Christ. Here we see principle of Association connecting us to God, before the worlds began.(Matt.10:40)
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus saith the Lord to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,
3 And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;
4 And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
5 “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
9 Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
10 For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
11 But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
12 I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
13 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
14 Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
15 For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
16 Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the Lord‘s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
17 Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?
18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.
19 For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city.
20 Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;
21 Yea, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem;
22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.