Thursday, February 25, 2010

Footmen,Horses Speckled Bird - Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah 12:5 "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"

Several famous phrases and terms are found in this chapter, those above, and the speckled bird in verse 9.

v9 "Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour."

In verse 12 we have an exhortation to strengthen ones faith or at least fortitude because things will get worse and it will take more strength later than now. Things are bad now, but buckle down because worse things are coming. You have to picture the war of their time. Fighting hand to hand combat is pretty bad and dangerous, but when the horses and their riders charge into men on foot, it is devastating to the footmen. To the prophet, the land is at peace now and it is troubling with the way things are going, but the enemy is just out there and will soon invade.

The other first with the speckled bird reminds me of the days on the farm. We handled laying chickens. They got along fine until a chicken was injured, i.e. a slight blood spot from falling. Then all the chickens that passed by would peck that spot until it became a deadly wound. They would even chase the injured chicken until it was pecked to death. So the speckled bird represents all that someone has (I expect the prophet), his heritage, those around him are pecking away at it and inviting others to do the same.

I've written a lot but this chapter is similar to Job reasoning with the Lord. Jeremiah is saying, why not just pluck up the evil and save the nation.

v1 "Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee; yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments; Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?"

Jeremiah is, no doubt, very alone in his country. We learned that the leaders and the priests are already lying to the people. He starts to wonder about things. Even Elijah got discouraged.

Jeremiah points out that the people talk a good talk but it does not come from the heart.

v2 "Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins."

But even with the judgment to come, there is a word of hope for the prophet.

v15 "And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land."

And a warning: v17 "But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Broken Covenant - Jeremiah 11

Jeremiah 11:4 "Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you; so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God;"

It was not a one-sided agreement. The LORD presented it to the people and they accepted. They would keep his commandments and he would give them the land that flows with milk and honey. They, however, turned to idols. It is so then that the land is being taken away because Israel and Judah broke the agreement.

v10 "They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers."

Down through the history, we can remember how Abraham was brought out and promised that he would possess the land. Jacob became Israel and twelve tribes were made. Egypt's bondage was broken and a great nation came forth to possess Canaan led by Moses and Joshua. Many miracles were seen on the way. Then there was David and Solomon and the great lessons we have during the temple building.

v8 "Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart; there fore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not."

We have the record of all this and of the prophets warning the people to turn back to what they were taught. They would not.

v11 "Therefore, thus saith the LORD, Behold I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them."

The returning from all this has been long and difficult for Israel. We have recorded the history of their trials. We see events unfold all the time. There will come a day when the nation is gathered and a new king will reign. It will be when Christ returns to heal the nations.

As for now, in this study, we are going over how the nation was lost and why.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Idols - Jeremiah 10

Jeremiah 10:5 "They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not; they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good."

The prophet is telling the people that idols are inert and can do nothing for themselves. I suppose this would have enraged the heathen around there. It is as if the Lord had to start over with this generation and teach them the basics.

v2 "Thus saith the the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the heathen are dismayed at them."

That is a good verse. He says to them that even those who make and worship the signs and idols don't understand them and are no doubt amazed that with all their attention they give to them, still they do not respond. It would seem logical to throw them out.

v8 "But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities."

brutish: showing little intelligence stock: the word has many definitions but one of the that they all have the same origin. Makes sense, since we know the devil is the father of lies and deceit.

v11 "Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, event hey shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens."

Pretty good preparations for a people who are going into captivity and will be subjected to idol worship on a daily basis. They are given an answer to give those over them.

On the other hand, they can refer to their God who is a God of action and power.

v12 "He hath made the earth by his power...v13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures."

They are being prepared mentally and physically to be uprooted.

v17 "Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress."

The enemy must have been close by when the prophet uttered these words.

v22 "Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons."

Then Jeremiah laments over his people.

v24 "O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing."

It is a chapter that tells of the goings on while in other books of the Bible we see the action.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bad Situation in Israel Then - Jeremiah 9

Jeremiah 9:14 "But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:" See also Gal. 1:14

Israel is at a point, at this time in history, when a generation has grown up away from God and have taught their children evil ways. This chapter tries to explain the difference in the ways of evil and the way it ought to be but the prophet is in distress.

v1 "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain; of the daughter of my people! v2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men."

Did you ever want to just run away? I have. There have been many times that I would like to have gone to a mountain cabin someplace and lived out my life. I don't know that one could escape the evil in the world even there.

Here the prophet is telling them that they should not trust anyone:

v4 "Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and trust ye not in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders."

Even now, in our country, it is getting so things are nothing like it use to be. It use to be that a neighbor felt an obligation to his neighbor. It was a given that property lines were respected and that help was always available in hard times. Now we hardly know our neighbor is in trouble.

v5 "They will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity."

It is a time for mourning. He tells them to go get professional women to mourn for things are going to get really bad. It is time to cry.

v11 "And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant."

Gold is refined in the fire. There is no other way to get the impurities out. So, it has become in Israel. It will take much trouble to turn them in this time. After telling the things that are going on the scripture asks this question:

v9 "Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?"

Society has basically broken down. No one can trust anyone. They have forsaken the LORD and gone to idols.

Here is what you should do:

v24 "But let him that glories, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."

Loving-kindness is what the LORD would like to shed on Israel and all his people but when that fails there must be some action to turn His people back to him.
Presious post

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is There No Balm in Gilead-Jeremiah 8

Jeremiah 8:22 "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"

Did you ever go to a doctor for a sickness and then go home and do something other than what the doctor told you to do? Then, did you stay sick and wish you had followed the doctor's instructions?

Israel has been told by the prophets what 'thus saith the Lord' but they have ignored it. Further, they have gone out to do themselves more harm. (Of course, we are talking about the scripture we are studying.)

v5 "Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return."

Israel has a great history, to this point, of the leadership and the grace of God. They were redeemed out of Egypt, led through the wilderness and crossed on dry ground where the waters were high. These are the memories they carry, yet we have this situation of them going to idols.

v9 "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?"

It is as if the Lord is standing and pleading with them to please turn back to the Lord, yet they turn their back and are carried away.

v14 "Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defensed cities, and let us be silent there; for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD."

Can you hear Jeremiah crying in the streets to his people. As the rows of people file by. Perhaps he grabs an arm here and begs them to turn from their sin. Then with tears he tells them.

v20-21 "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt, I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me."

A nation that is built on the trust and promise of God cannot leave that position and hope to stand.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Temple - Jeremiah 7

Jeremiah 7:2 "Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD."

Like a cancer that starts in some part of the body and then spreads to the brain or heart, idol worship and lying words and general breaking of the commandments has spread until it came into the place where the LORD had put his name. He here pronounces that even that place is doomed.

v4 "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these."

Although they were declaring that the temple belonged to the LORD, there were things going on there that were not of the LORD. Ezekiel also has the story.

Still a plea to turn.

v6 "If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: v7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever."

Just quit what you are doing and the LORD said he would stop the judgment.

It seems they were oppressing the most vulnerable people in the land and that made the LORD angry.

The boldness of their sin: v9 "Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Ba'al and walk after other gods whom ye know not; --- v10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?"

v11 "Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it saith the LORD."

There is no use denying it, the LORD tells them that he has seen it himself.

The temple was to be a special place where the sins of the people were dealt with. They could come here and go away feeling better for a season. But now there seems to be no conscience in Judah.

v30 "For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it."

Because Judah has shut their ears to the words of the LORD.

v34 "Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride; for the land shall be desolate."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Daughter of Zion - Jeremiah 6

Jeremiah 6:1 "O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem; for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction."

The trumpet was sound was the sign to Israel for various occasions, one concerned the approach of the enemy.

Here the prophet is encouraging them to sound the trumpet to let the people know to escape from the approaching enemy.

v4 "Prepare ye war against her; arise and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out."

It appears to be hopeless because this is the judgment that is to come upon Israel for disobedience. Still the prophet sounds the warning.

v11 "Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days."

The answer for Israel is simple, return to the Lord. As the scripture has said before, they have eyes to see and ears to hear but they will not even as the enemy approaches.

v16 "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye int he ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls, But they said, We will not walk therein."

The enemy is fearsome: v22 "Thus saith the LORD, Behold a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth."

It is a sad time. The prophet cries for the nation to repent. The Lord calls for them to return to him. The enemy is on the way. Judgment is sure. Yet Israel continues as if nothing is going to happen. It is a hard lesson they are about to learn and one we should all take heed to.

v2 "I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Shall I Pardon Thee? -Jeremiah 5

Jeremiah 5:1 "Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it."

This reminds us of Sodom and Abraham's plea that God spare it and they went through the numbers and could not find sufficient righteous to justify God sparing the city. In this chapter, God says to search for just one and he will stop his judgment.

v2 "O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction; the have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return."

Often this is the difference in a child, as well, when they are corrected. Some will accept that they have done wrong and endeavor to do right while others will harden their heart against correction and persist to do wrong.

In verse 5, he goest to the the great men of the city seeking someone who will do right but even there he finds none.

Remember the armies are coming and the spies are already around.

v7 "How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods; when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses."

In this question, we touch on the many characters of God which I am not knowledgeable enough to explain. I do understand that God will not go against his character. God hates sin and sin must be judged. He is also love and that love is everlasting. So in this chapter he seeks just one person that will justify him stopping judgment on the land.

It also goes to the question that people often ask: "How can God let this happen?" It is not that God wants things to happen. It is that people bring the penalty of sin upon themselves for sin must be judged.

v9 "Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?"

The answer to the why is found in the following verse.

v19 "And it shall come to pass when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours."

The punishment reflects the transgression.

He goes on to say that they have eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear. verse 21. They have a revolting and rebellious heart. verse 23.

In verse 25 we can see the love of God and the consequence of sin: "Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you."

The bad part is that the leaders are teaching the people falsely and the people like it.

v31 "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?"

The captivity is coming and some will learn not to like falsehood.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Plea to Repent - Jeremiah 4

Jeremiah 4:1 "If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove."

Israel is in more danger than they know. They are still steeped in sin but apparently think they are not in danger. Perhaps they remember the days of David and Solomon when the enemy always fall before Israel. The thing about that time was that the kings looked to God for help.

v3 "For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns."

He is talking about their hearts here. They have hardened their hearts against God.

v14 "O Jerusalem, wash tine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?"

The armies are on the way to destroy them and Israel, Judah and Jerusalem are unaware of the danger because they will not listen to the cries of the prophets, in this case Jeremiah.

v7 "The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant."

The watchman sleeps.

The situation is this. Israel is in the midst of worshipping idols. Destruction is coming because of their sin, not because God wants to destroy them. The enemy is coming and yet there is warning given to Israel and another opportunity to repent and turn from the idol worship.

v22 "For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."

He is not saying that doing evil is wise. He is saying they are quick to go after idols, they understand how to do that, but they are not quick to seek the Lord and do not seek understanding as to how to do that because they will not hear.

v27 "For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end."

Monday, February 08, 2010

Backsliding Children - Jeremiah 3

Jeremiah 3:14 "Turn, O backsliding children saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:" See Romans 11:5

The Lord alternate refers to the children of Israel and a wife and as children. Here he compares them to a wife that has left her husband for another (see Hosea). Also, I think he refers to the remnant of Israel. As in the wilderness, the majority of those idol worshippers will be lost.

v1 "They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly pollluted? but thou has played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. (See Hosea)

It is a demonstration of God's great love for his people. He is willing to take them back even after they have turned their back and face from him and even pretended to serve him but did not. Even then, God is willing to take them back.

v19 "But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me." See Isaiah 63:16

In the next verses, there is a cry from Israel, not to God, but a distress cry that they are wrong.

v21 "A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel; for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.:

In this condition, it seems they have forgotten how to approach God or are ashamed to do so. The Lord tells them to return then tells them the prayer to pray.

v22 "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God."

It continues with the realization that there is no hope of salvation in the high places of idol worship.

v23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel."

The great confession of sin and the utter hopelessness of our condition.

v25 "We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth, even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."

That is a very good place to start from to come back to the Lord. Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. I John 1:9 "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Friday, February 05, 2010

First Sermon - Jeremiah 2

Jeremiah 2:2 "Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown."

Israel was a young nation when they were in the wilderness. It compares to the way the United States was back in the discovery days. It seemed much like a wilderness to our forefathers. We met sometimes hostile forces and relied on the Lord to get us through.

Israel is reminded that, back then, they relied on the Lord and sought to do his commandments.

v3 "Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase; all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD."

My note: "I remember when you were young and loved me."

So what happened to change your mind.

v5 "Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have y our fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?"

Israel is established. It is plain to see that it was the Lord who established them. We as a nation seem to be established in the world. We have risen to be the most powerful nation. Why is it that now we turn away from God?

v6 "Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?"

Israel did not follow a well travelled trail to Canaan. They were given food and water where there was none. The Lord guided them by day and night.

My note: "What did I do to change your mind? Why did you no longer seek me?"

The Lord provided:

v7 "And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination."

What have we done to our country? Is it not similar to what Israel did to theirs? We have changed the landscape. We have let our morals slip and there is violence on every hand.

Even the leaders of Israel no longer sought the Lord. You'd think the leaders would be wise enough to remember why they have had success.

v8 "The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not; the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit."

We know that there was much idol worship. Things made by the hand of man were worshipped as gods. Children were killed in the name of worship and to appease.

Yet in the face of all this, the Lord still loves Israel and still pleads with them.

v9 "Wherefore, I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead."

Then Jeremiah and the Lord lay out the situation in simple terms.

v13 "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

Of all the nations, Israel has forsaken their God. The other nations held on to theirs. It was a strange thing, even by earthly standards for a nation to forsake their God.

v11 "Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit."

He goes on with other comparisons to show how ridiculous it was for Israel to forsake the Lord. The message is one of hurt of the heart for Israel. It is like a devoted man when a wife gets ready to leave him for another or the other way around. He( or she) cannot understand. He has taken care of her. Provided. Yet she goes to another. God is trying to get Israel to see that there is hurt down the road if they continue with their present course of forsaking Him.

v37 "Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head; for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them."

You have a false confidence in yourself and your ways. There is trouble ahead. I would, that our nation turn back to God.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jeremiah -Who is he? - Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah 1:1 "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: " See Joshua 21:18

Who was Jeremiah?

He was a prophet who prophesied to Judah and the remnant (II Kings 24:14)left behind. He later when with the remnant to Egypt where he died. (Scofield) Jeremiah was born about 60 years after Isaiah died. The events in Jeremiah cover a period of 41 years. (Scofield)

Jeremiah means 'whom Jehovah sets up)

v2 "To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign."

v3 "It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month."

It is important to note when the Bible tells us who someone was the son of and the time period. There were others named Jeremiah, one who went with David to Ziglak which would be the wrong time frame for the prophet Jeremiah who was of the priestly line and came later.

v4-5 "Then the word of the LORD came unto me saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

This verse is rightfully used when the discussion comes up about when is a child a person. In God's eyes he is a person with a purpose while in the womb, as stated in this verse.

v6 "Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child."

Similar arguments were given to God by many of the great me of the Bible. Isaiah was a man of 'unclean lips'. Moses had a stammering tongue. And so on. Jeremiah was very young and no doubt lacked wisdom until God fixed that problem.

v9 "Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth." See Isaiah 6:7, 51:16

Jeremiah had a hard job, there is no doubt. The nation was going into captivity, worshipping idols, there were false prophets among them and I think they indicated that they did not want to hear from God. But Jeremiah was given a commanding character that would make them listen to him.

v10 "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."

v18 "For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land."

Jeremiah was to be against everyone who did the things for which Judah was to go into captivity. God wanted them to know why they were being punished. It is like the 'talking to' a child gets before a whipping. Some have said that the 'talking to' was the worst part.

Jeremiah, though made bold, was not without feelings. He later said that he wished his eyes were fountains so he could cry for the children of Israel. We will find the exact words as we go through the book.

Jeremiah was indeed the weeping prophet.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Peace - Isaiah 66

Isaiah 66:13 "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem."

Basically, this chapter says, I the Lord started it and will finish it. In the end Jerusalem will be a place of rejoicing.

v9 "Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD; shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God."

Remember what we have studied, how the Lord took Abraham on a journey from his home to the land of Canaan. Then, how he multiplied his family after he was old and Sarah was old. Then in travail, he forged a nation from slaves out of the land of Egypt and marched them to victory in Canaan.

The sad part is that after all they they rebelled against Him and worshipped idols. Thus the punishment, but victory will still come.

v15 "For behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire."

We cannot pass this chapter with mentioning verse 12 which I believe the great song "It is Well with my Soul" came. V12"For thus saith the LORD, Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, ..." I Heard a story about the writing of that song which I hope is a true account: A man lost his family on a voyage to America. He journeyed back across the ocean and the captain told him when he reached the spot where his family went into the deep. He then penned the words to the song upon receiving peace in his soul that only God can give in such a tragedy.

"When peace like a river, attendeth my soul and shadows like sea billows roll..."

v23 "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sought After - Isaiah 65

Isaiah 65:2 "I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;"

Speaking to Israel in their days of rebellion and idol worship. The Lord is talking to them but they will not listen.

v1 "I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not; I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name."

We are seeing the wooing of the Gentiles which we will see happen in the New Testament. They will come to Christ when Israel would not. It is the story of the king who invited guest who would not attend the wedding so he sought those of the highways and byways.

v7 "Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills; therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom."

These events led up to the coming of Christ although the verses are somewhat shrouded in mystery at this time.

v8 "Thus saith the LORD, as the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it; so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all."

It is wonderful that God is full of mercy and even in rebellion, he will preserve some of the nation.

v17 "For behold I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." See also 2 Peter 3:13

While the judgment is carried out with Israel, there is a look ahead to a more glorious day.

v19 "And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying."

Then the promise that the LORD is always near.

v24 "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."

From the words of that great song: "There waits for me a glad tomorrow."