Jeremiah

Jeremiah Index

Jeremiah Chapter 34

 

  • Jeremiah 34:1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying,
  • 2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:
  • 3 And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.
  • 4 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:

Zedekiah did not die by the sword but he lived to see the king of Babylon slay his own sons and then cause Zedekiah's eyes to be put out. Zedekiah did suffer much cruelty and suffering because of his disobedience to the word of God.

  • Jeremiah 34:5 But thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.
  • 6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,
  • 7 When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
  • 8 This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;
  • 9 That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother.
  • 10 Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go.

When the people saw that Jeremiah's prophecy was coming to pass they temporarily began to fear God and allow their servants to go free. It was the law of God that after 7 years a servant had to be freed. God did not endorse slavery at any time but sometimes a family had so much debt that they agreed to work for their brethren for a season in order to pay the debt. This season was never to go beyond 7 years but like in everything else they began to ignore the word of God and keep the servants longer which became slavery.

We see here that they heeded the word of God because they saw evil coming upon them and they let the servants of God go. This however, did not last. Our human nature seems to be obedient when we fear evil but when things get good again some tend to forget God. God help us to stay faithful.

This reminds me of the Pharaoh of Egypt who kept changing his mind and let the children of Israel go only to change his mind again and again.

The preaching of the gospel and repentance sin brings conviction to the sinner by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many will turn to Christ when they fear God and realize their sins will take them to a literal hell. A good parable to read is the one that tells of different type of soil when a farmer plants his seeds. Seeds by the way sides get trampled upon and do not produce fruit, others fall on stony ground, others thorns and then lastly the good ground. That is the only one that produces fruit. We have to stay the course, keep going on, following the Lord in good times as well as bad. 

In Jeremiah's time, the people feared God and allowed their servants go free but then changed their minds when they thought things were getting better and they could get by without obeying God's word.  How much that sounds like us today. 

Unless we really get converted and continually desire to receive the infilling of the Spirit of God, we may temporarily get a dose of religion when we come to Christ. Perhaps we just want to escape hell, perhaps we are moved by the music or perhaps we are praying because our friends are praying but sometimes the word doesn't really sink deep down into our hearts and as soon as the feeling of the fear of God passes, we go back into what we came out of. This is receiving the word of God by the way side. The word is believed temporarily but soon discarded.

Some receive the word gladly but when their friends and family mock and torment them for their faith, they get offended at God and quit. This is receiving the word on rocky ground.

Some receive the word for a season but the riches, cares, troubles and everyday activities choke that word and it becomes unfruitful. Soon they return to the sin Jesus forgave them of. This is receiving the word among thorns.

Here is the real conversion. One who receives the word of God on good ground is the one who lets the word grow, learns to seek God, love God and spend time with God. We then serve God not because we fear hell but because we know him now and walk in His Spirit.

These people in Jeremiah's time were not genuinely converted by the word of Jeremiah and the coming of judgment. As soon as they thought things were getting better, they made their servants return again in direct disobedience to the word of God.

  • Jeremiah 34:11 But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
  • 12 Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
  • 13 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,
  • 14 At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.
  • 15 And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:
  • 16 But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
  • 17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
  • 18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof,

When they made a covenant to the Lord they showed their sincerity by cutting a calf in half and passing between the parts. This was an oath to perform what they were agreeing to. They broke this oath however and the calf was cut in half for nothing.

  • Jeremiah 34:19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;
  • 20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.
  • 21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you.
  • 22 Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.

Perhaps here the king of Babylon had delayed his siege or maybe turned back temporarily and the people had a false since of security. Whatever it was, they changed their minds about obeying the word of the Lord concerning servants. Later though we see from the rest of the book of Jeremiah that the prophecy concerning Babylon came to pass to the letter. God means what He says. 

Years ago a man called David Wilkerson preached that America was on the verge of economic collapse. I have his book and got it out the other day to read it again. When nothing happened we probably thought he was mistaken. I even read one on the Internet that called him a false prophet. However, consider this, the judgment just might have been delayed by the mercy of God. There may have been churches and individuals who started praying and seeking God at the time. 

Whether or not Wilkerson is right or wrong and I tend to believe he is right, judgment will come to America sooner or later if we continue to ignore God and tear apart His word.  No, I didn't get some great prophetic revelation on this. All one has to do is read the word of God. I believe this is what David Wilkerson did, just read the word and God revealed to him what was to come through the word. If we return to the word, God will show us what is right. I'm not talking about reading a favorite verse of comfort once in a while. I'm talking of deep study and taking time to search the scriptures and seek the presence of God for understanding. 

There is also a great need to study the word of God in context. Discovering who God is speaking to, why and whether or not it applies to nations, one nation, individuals or one individual. What is the text saying and to whom is important. I've seen so many rob the promises to Israel for their future and apply them to the church of today but when it comes to the corrections and curses, they assume those to apply to Israel alone.

His word is truth. There still are many churches that stick faithfully to the word of God without compromising; but if you happen to be in a church that no longer fears God or fears the word of God then get out of it. I'm not saying to hate, make fun of and use cruelty. I don't believe in preaching against anything without giving people some hope and a way out of the mess they are living in. I believe in compassion and love accompanying any preaching. 

To love God enough to obey His word is not bondage, it is freeing. It is beautiful to have a relationship with God which can only come when we believe and receive the one He sent to save us from sin. Jesus Christ. To receive Jesus and allow His Holy Spirit into our lives is freeing. To choose to willfully go our own way is bondage and leads us to misery. Studying the bible in context is where we learn more of this wonderful life in Jesus Christ.

If we don't stop this compromising it won't be long until the rape of innocent children will not be considered a sin. Mark my words. Many already do that and thank God it is still against the law but that will change if the church doesn't start praying a realizing what is happening to them. 

I will add here that we are not going to change anything by politics. That kind of change may be only temporary and electing bad people can change it back again. This change has to be by the power of the Holy Spirit. Prayer changes things. That doesn't mean that we don't vote our conscience but it does mean that real power to stop abortion means to preach, teach and pray for God to change the hearts of people so much that we won't need legislation, we will stop getting abortions in the first place. I would like to see abortion mills close down by any means though because they have gone way beyond 1st trimester abortions to even allowing them to be born alive to harvest their organs. 

The time of repentance and turning to God is now in the United States and not just for Jeremiah's day. The good news is, turning to Jesus Christ in repentance can bring change.


Jeremiah 35

 

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