The Book of Jeremiah-Je.23:13-40- “everlasting shame”

The Spirit compares things, people and their state of being in terms of realities of heaven.”Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy(1 Pe.1:16; Le..11:44)”What does it indicate? Truth is Holy which is the everlasting God. It is illustratively described as ‘set in unapproachable light’ St Paul defines it as ‘Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.(1 Ti.6:16)” The Supreme Being is transposed into a state of being and is also defined as the everlasting light. When Jesus said,”I am the truth” we get to see the image of the Invisible God (Col.1:15). What is darkness but absence of light? Darkness is a state of being as light is. This being the case let us consider this verse,” And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). ” Their response to light is predictable. ‘Lest their actions would be reproved’ they stay away,- and have we not heard their excuses to keep them continue as before? They treat salvation as a joke and tease those who are afraid for their fate as giving in to some fables and so on. To what length do they go lest their deeds should be reproved? All for being shown they are buddy-buddy to some loser. Recently we read of a group in Spain calling themselves the Wolf Pack. Raping women for them was a macho thing and what did they prove? They did not have the courage to see themselves for what they were. Sexual predators in high places as well as in corporate sectors have deceived themselves to imagine they could get away with their private vices. There shall be a day of reckoning for everyone that does wrong. Their disgrace shall show their evil was very much is in their failure to heed truth written in their inward parts. There every person stands stripped of lies that their bodies cry out: The President of the nation is on the dock there as an undocumented migrant. Truth would not be truth if it were not so. 

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God(John.3:20-21). While we discussed about the earthen vessel that Prophet Jeremiah had to break at the east gate leading to the valley of Hinnom, it had a lesson for him. Truth was wrought in his inward parts. It is what the body holds. Thus the Spirit compares the inner man with Truth which is wrought of God. It has a lesson for us. ‘Whatever we may know God or truth is understood by His creation so no man has excuse. What is truth Pontius Pilate would ask and leave the Jews to do what they would with Prince of life. It is thus we walk away from our most precious possession our soul. Unless we prove truth by our deeds we carry our soul to no purpose. Though you have the world at your feet you are a loser if you have failed to enshrine Truth in everyday lives. You have damned ourself, and it is a perpetual shame. By law of gradation your shame is perpetual in terms of your body and also in terms of spiritual body.

Principle of Similitude keeps such comparisons heavenly realities with realities of the earth. We find it the Bible throughout. God breathing into the nostrils of Adam is one way the Spirit draws our attention to how wonderfully we are made. It has a bearing upon the incident when Gideon’s hundred routed the Midianites. We are pitchers holding light and it is what living soul means.

In vv.13-14 we see prophets of Samaria are placed on the same scale of prophets of Jerusalem because evil makes no difference. It is God’s Time placing evil on the same category; evil of holding truth in unrighteousness characterized them and it is judged on the same scale as false teachers of today. They were shown the way of life and they acknowledged truth once but now? Their lust for fame and wealth led them down a slippery slop and what they preach damns them. They are wolves in sheeps clothing. When they toady up to their President and make a show of piety and prayers what are they doing but ‘they strengthen also the hands of evildoers?’. These shall not go unpunished.

And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err (v.13).

14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

17 They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

20 The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?

24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

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The Book of Jeremiah-Je.23- “In the latter days”

While studying the book of Jeremiah let us make this clear.  He was a prophet. God laid the charge on him. Jeremiah as a result spoke as commanded of God and he was vilely treated. He was beaten and was put in stocks, meaning that his freedom of movement was restricted. He owed to God his allegiance because He was the sovereign Lord God. His body was nothing much, but as chosen before the worlds began his soul and inner man testified Truth. So he could not go against it.

His body was as the earthen vessel that he broke at the east gate leading to the valley of Hinnom. His action was a sign of discharging God’s command faithfully. By the same token he had submitted his body for suffering. He chose the  way of life because of which his own people had become his enemies. His enemies were powerful and they represented the powers that be. What he predicted before the nation would also touch him but these were only as far physical realities were concerned. He was secure since he fulfilled the will of the Lord God. His soul was safe .”And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt.10:28)”.it is what the words of holiness signify: these stand as signposts that direct the course of all those who would choose way of life.

Here we see two directions that spell out way of life and way of death. Of which Jesus also spoke: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matt.7:14). Jesus showed with his example where would that lead to. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:(7:13)”Also significant is the verse that follow it.”Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” In Jeremiah’s time such a phenomenon existed and it is very much now evident. Man-child is a composite picture in the Vision of the woman clothed with the sun (Re.12). The iron rod that he was given is a clue to the identity of the Son. He is the way, the truth and the life. Antithetically what modern churches present is a composite picture of wolves in sheeps clothing. Their ravening appetite is for wealth while their ‘Jesus talk’ is like a sugar coating to bring in larger congregation ready to part with their earnings. Here is a quote: “In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith Movement,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.( Ack: http://www.gotquestions.org)”. You judge the quality of a tree by its fruits. Faith of these false teachers is more in tune with the Barnum quote,’A sucker is born every minute.’ Our Redeemer Lord did not have a fixed abode and for what purpose did he come to the earth? He suffered shame for our sake. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach (He.13:13,12)”. In the present chapter the prophet accuses  them thus,”Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord./ Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord(vv.1-2).

“….For every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God (v.36)”.

 

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.

10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.

11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

17 They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

20 The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?

24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord.

34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the Lord, I will even punish that man and his house.

35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.

37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

38 But since ye say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord;

39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

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The Book of Jeremiah-Je.22-1-10 “King of King,Lord of Lords”

What God commands Prophet Jeremiah here to speak before Israel, let us consider this one: “Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place(v.3).” Considering the desolation that was to visit the city soon (and inhabitants taken prisoners and to exile), would it not sound rather strange? His words here are addressed to kings of Judah past and present. Terrible fate awaiting Jehoiakim (Coniah) touches the present. The Spirit elliptically touches also  on the king of kings, and Lord of Lords in future. God’s judgment therefore covers all past present future. In a way He is withholding the blessings He had promised to the nation for breaking their covenant. Way of life was what Moses had mentioned and blessings or curse was dependent on what they chose. Way of life or way of death? Here what the kings of Judah faced belonged to the result of their choice.

On one hand we have reference to King David and If Jerusalem was so special surely He would have averted the evil, would he not? We have seen these judgements were partial. So prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and others prophesied which the Spirit organized not in any chronological order. These touch the specific as well general,- nation of Israel and the Gentiles, in God’s Time. King Zedekiah hoping for a miracle (as God had worked when Sennacherib and his Assyrian host were routed overnight) was misplaced. God offers no such remedy but make the city desolate eventually.  Consider these verses: “And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?/ Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them (vv.8-9). Here it is referring to the end times.

Perpetual backsliding of the nation has proven their apostasy was more ingrained in them than divine chastisement could cure. Righteous God would instead shame them by choosing the Gentiles. Consequently God had set in motion the advent of the Son as Servant-King as well as the Messiah-King. Of this one is already fulfilled. It led to the founding of the Church. Did Israel learn the lesson despite of all that befell them? The Spirit instructs us that their evil connected the dots all the way to the choice they made before Moses (De.30:19). Had they chosen way of life they would not have sought a king to lead them as other nations about them. God had allowed Samuel to give in to their wishes. He also made it clear that they were not refusing his office as a judge but Him. What it brought in wake was a curse of disobedience and fate of Coniah mentioned in vv,18-24 was foreordained. These kings chose way of death didn’t they? So the burden of the prophet had to go beyond the very fortunes of the nation and the city of the great king(Matt.5:35). 

God also cites a reason: ‘they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.’ It is to be seen in the context of the everlasting covenant. We have already discussed while studying Prophet Isaiah. The Spirit places also an everlasting emblem of ‘the lamb slain before the world began (Re.13:8). Legality of such a covenant was the word forever settled in heaven (Ps.119:89). Moses’ exhortation to choose life was on the basis of life of God the Son (I am the way, the truth and life). God shall renew this everlasting covenant when Jesus Christ create the heaven and the earth as new (Re.21:5) Out of Zion the law shall go forth and Israel and nations dwell on the new earth and there shall be no temple or animal sacrifice. Instead it shall be the House of Prayer for all nations. 

Thus saith the Lord; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,

And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:

Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.

For thus saith the Lord unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.

And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.

8

And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?

Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.

11 For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:

12 But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.

13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;

14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.

15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?

16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord.

17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.

18 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!

19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.

21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.

22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.

23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!

24 As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;

25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.

26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.

27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.

28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?

29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.

30 Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

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The Book of Jeremiah-Je.21- “The Way of Life”

 

The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,

Enquire, I pray thee, of the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the Lord will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.

This chapter is not continuation strictly speaking, if historicity of the nation of Israel were the main focus. The Spirit in organizing the narrative from standpoint of God sets down certain parameters within which the nations were required to follow. In case of the nation of Israel we read what it was. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:(De. 30:19)” And what do we read in this chapter but direct consequence of it. From this it becomes clear that the disasters that befell them were pendent on their actions. Consider the verse,”And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death(v.8). History in the sense that nations give heed to is more in vanity than from learning the truth and it is of scant interest to God. So the Spirit places events places and persons on the same yardstick. Such juxtaposition is intended as instruction in righteousness (2 Ti.3:16) and we are not to piece together chronologically scriptural narrative. Instead seek what the Spirit instructs us for our spiritual edification.

In the book of Jeremiah unlike that of his predecessor we hall find disasters of the nation are set against his own inner turmoil as anyone who has been given a charge that set him for this reason against every other. We can sense his anguish in this passage:”Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? let it come now./ As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee./ Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil./ Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction: (Je.17:15-18)”. But does God downsize his charge? Because the prophet had chosen way of life he would have to rely on God and speak despite of the consequences his unpleasant prophecies would cause about him.   “Thus said the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;(v.19).”

Between the previous and present chapter according to the Bible scholars there were some 20 years gap. In the present chapter we read of a new king on throne. The verse quoted here below we can understand that Nebuchadnezzar (or spelt differently as Nebuchadrezzar) has already overran the city so much so to set a new king on him we find mention in in the books of the Kings.  Let us consider Jeremiah 37: “And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah./ But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words of the Lord, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah (Je.37:1-2).” This new King Zedekiah was awed by Jeremiah’s moral strength and feared God  but not wholly committed to abide by His commands.

 Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:

Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.

And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.

And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.

And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.

He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.

10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

11 And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the Lord;

12 O house of David, thus saith the Lord; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?

14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.

 

 

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The Book of Jeremiah-Jer.20- “ways of the world”

What it is to be a child of God? God does not change. The ways of the world would mean building upon what was set in motion the source of which is definitely not from God. A child of God is called to be steadfast in his faith and do things what is pleasing to Him. In him God’s laws are written n fleshy tables. A worldly person is sold out to conform to the world and its lusts. So ways of the world consists in touch-not, taste not laws of will worship and in keeping with the trends and fads; and those who set them stand to cash in on the silliness that novelty of the day carries are as clueless as those who are caught up in mad rush, what awaits them.. Modern world holds skepticism as a sign of its coming age. What it cannot see or understand it dismisses as nonsense. This has made inroads into modern churches as well. Symptomatic of this is toning down miracles and wonders from sermon. Modern ecumenism would  build bridges among many denominations and churches. So what do see as a result? Jesus Christ is photoshopped and his miracles are not given emphasis. There is one faith and one body so when churches are cherrypicking from the book of life what ecumenism would stand for?  For a Christian worth his salt ways of the world a lie and is a perilous slope.  “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Ti.3:12)”.

Flesh and the spirit war in our bodies. “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want(Gal.5:17).What we seek is love that constrains us and it can only come from being rooted and built on the foundation of the risen Christ. “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead(2 Co.5:14).” Jeremiah’s predicament one can appreciate.:”“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay (v.9)”.

Destruction of Judah and Jerusalem loomed over the nation and God commanded his prophet to speak words that even this day would be tantamount to treason and liable to be hauled over to a military tribunal. When God has taken over your life your loyalty is to his Power and Wisdom. Nations that are run by godless men are like stubble. In hell no lost soul bears his nationality for the simple reason his soul shall end there. On the other hand  children of God ,-martyrs or not, all those who suffered persecution for the sake of their savior shall have a new name as belonging to Him.

Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.

Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The Lord hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib.

For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.

Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.

And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.

Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.

11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

12 But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.

13 Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.

15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.

16 And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;

17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.

18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

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The Book of Jeremiah-Je.19-“Universal lesson”

Object lesson of an earthen lesson never changes whether it is applied to Israel or to the Gentiles. Universal lessons when taught by the Spirit are consistent but these have their own coloring according to the context. A vessel is a physical object chosen by God and Jeremiah had to establish its significance accordingly. So God commanded him to go into the entry of the east gate leading to the valley ‘Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee (v.10)’, His words were primarily for those who accompanied him which represented the whole nation. The judgment on them and reasons were to be said and it were as commanded by Lord God in person. So the Spirit sets object lesson and also the context and words that God have pronounced. Continuing from the previous post judgment on the Valley of Hinnom, it is similar to other places where God’s judgment fell. Consider this verse,”the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified (Re.11:8-ESV)”. How would Sodom stand cheek by jowl as it were, with Jerusalem or Egypt? The significance is on the clause ‘where their Lord was crucified.’ Jesus died for the sins of mankind and hence the Spirit by law of gradation draws any place on earth as having bearing of the Atonement offered by Jesus Christ. The White Throne judgment is on the world on the basis of what God the Son fulfilled.  Potters wheel is how symbolism of the Spirit refers to the Will of God. The object lesson of the earthen vessel in terms of symbol is similar to the pitchers Gideon’s army broke before they joined the battle (Jud.7:19-21). Thus judgment on Israel while it has a historical basis, must draw our attention to it in larger context. Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, every one us must break the hold of flesh on us as Prophet Jeremiah was asked to do. 

The object lesson of potter’s vessel becomes universal lesson because God the Son serves as fulfillment aspect in the Father Son relationship. The Spirit in setting the narrative body Scripture resorts to symbolism so it is instruction for righteousness. Besides he leads us into truth. He is the Spirit of truth. So entire scripture shall have the three fold significance and Jesus Christ as the focus.

Thus saith the Lord, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;

And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,

And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.

Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.

11 And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.

12 Thus will I do unto this place, saith the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:

13 And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.

14 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord‘s house; and said to all the people,

15 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.,

 

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The Book of Jeremiah-Je.19.”Object Lesson”

Je.19:1-2

God instructs man by allegories as in the case of what we have discussed in the previous post, of the potter working with clay that was marred. In this chapter we are shown an object lesson. In the verse 1 Jeremiah was to take the potter’s earthen bottle to the valley, the  name of which is of significance. It bears value for us as knowing the place that stands testimony to divine Judgement. The valley of the son of Hinnom as a result shall be known as the valley of slaughter. It is tagged by the Spirit for our instruction and in the order of Sodom and Tyre and Mighty Babylon that fell when the angel threw a great millstone from heaven (Re.18:21) it is named that is all.  Divine judgement by fire brimstone, stone meteor or asteroid, flood of water are all inextricably bound with the physical reality of the earth. God instructs us with our very physical make up  in a manner of speaking. (‘Dust to dust, ashes to ashes…’). By the same argument what is an earthen vessel? An object, is it not? What is the most important aspect of it what is an object or the space that it carries within? Suppose a cup of tea is served its contents is the most part and it is one way God tells each of us the most vital aspect of human life. God as the creator God has shaped a vessel and that inner space (in terms of theology ‘inner man’) is what determines our standing with God.

Yesterday’s post dealt with the potter who worked with clay which was marred. The potter’s wheel is to be understood as divine Will. The vessel that he worked on got its shape as he had willed it. Nevertheless in the previous case the clay was marred not because of God’s poor workmanship but because of something intangible as we speak of soul. So how was Israel’s standing with God but as a marred lump of clay? Their formalism outward show of piety were surely awesome judging from what one get to see. But in their soul or inside it was all spoilt, marred as a whitewashed sepulchre. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt.23:27).” King David sinned and it was grievous fault of the flesh overcoming aa man after the heart of God. In committing it he showed that it was not. Suppose he had insisted on the testimony of God in the past to justify his deed it would be tantamount to make God an accomplice to his sin. It was what Israel doing consistently not owning up to ‘all uncleanness.’ Contrast this with King David’s prayer,”/You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. / My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Ps.51:17)”. For this reason St Paul’s advise as to the right spirit in which a believer has to take communion is valid in our own standing with God. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged(1 Co.11:31)”. Our interior life has a color of its own and for a child of God it is where the Holy Spirit like an in-house tutor conducts instruction lessons, a state which is like a sleep. (Wakeful rational man as against natural state of the inner man. It is qualified as the eye. Compare what Jesus said of light of the eye being darkness.)

We have in spiritual terms an earthy visible life and also a sleep as babies lulled to sleep “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child (Ps.131:2). Let us consider this verse: It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep (Ps.127:2). Here we see two aspects of living, physical and inner lives. On one level it is  all toil for bread of sorrows. A metonymic expression of ultimate end of heritage in flesh. It may be wealth, fame and prestige but it shall suffer the fate flesh is heir to. Whereas inner lives are like the Spirit of God upon the face if the waters(Ge.1:2). It is what St Paul had in reference while he wrote,”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Co.4:6)”. It is the glory with which we grow while our outward form is wearing out, little by little so slow a man merely notices his mortality when he hits mid fifties and it is an intimation as to your heritage. Is it of flesh or of spirit. In the creation account we read that the earth was without form and void. Similarly soul of man is a question mark and it also can throw hints to him as he gets on with living if he is doing right. Conscience is a powerful tool for a child of God and to profit from. The word of God creates faith by hearing and acting according to the prompting of the Spirit(Ro.10:17) Spiritual body has a shape just as the earth had. So the glory of it as part of the Church, Body of Christ is our heritage in the Spirit. 

In the book of Jeremiah we find more than any other prophet his introspection which the Spirit has set down for our instruction. It is similar to the song of praise Jonah sang from the belly of the great fish. Here spiritual songs are in your inner man,”Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ep.5:19)”

 Thus saith the Lord, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;

And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,

 

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