Jeremiah

Jeremiah Index

Study of Jeremiah 

Chapter 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.

If only. If the backsliding Israel would just see and realize what they are have done. If they could just seen their sin and put away their abominations they would never have been removed from their own homeland. They had it all. They had the law, the very presence of God in their midst and they forsook the Lord for meaningless idolatry.

  • Jeremiah 4:2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.

Not only would they be strengthened themselves but other nations would be blessed by their righteousness. This verse seems to be a hint of the future to come. When Israel recognizes who their previously rejected Messiah really is and receives Him, the whole earth will be blessed.

Paul speaks of that in Romans:

  • Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
  • 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
  • 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 

If Israel was cast away because of unbelief and salvation came to the rest of the world, how much more good will come when they finally are grafted back into their own olive tree which is Jesus Christ. 

  • Jeremiah 4:3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

In order to grow good food the ground has to be prepared by plowing and breaking up the hardness. Then can good seed by planted. Seed has to be planted in fertile soil that does not have a lot of rock, weeks or thorns. The prophet pleads with Judah to break up the fallow ground of their hearts and return to the Lord.

  • Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Another comparison is giving to plead with them to depart from their evil ways and return to the Lord. True circumcision is that of the heart that needs to be cleansed of sin and reunited with God. 

  • Jeremiah 4:5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.
  • 6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

Judgment from the north is coming to destroy because they did not heed the words of Jeremiah and the other prophets. Sounds like many today who will not listen to the Word of God. The sin was so grievous that they are warned that they should to gather together in groups to repent and seek the face of God.

  • Jeremiah 4:7 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.

This destroyer we know now to have been Babylon. 

  • Jeremiah 4:8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.

When it happens they were to recognize God's judgment and mourn but many did not see even then. 

  • Jeremiah 4:9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
  • 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

The prophets that were prophesying peace instead of warning were lying prophets who desired the praise of men more than the praise of God. The destruction came upon them. The people thought God had deceived them when it was the lying prophets, not God. 

Those today who refuse to correct, warn and preach the truth of the word are the exact same way. Preachers and teachers need to forget pleasing men and seek for the anointing of the Holy Spirit for every message they preach from the pulpits.

I know this isn't easy. They depend upon the tithes for their living and to risk losing those that pay their salaries, isn't easy. I know the reward in heaven will be much greater than anything received in this life but sometimes its hard to remember that. If we are faithful to God and tell the truth, others will be saved. If we live just to please the audience, many will be lost.

In saying that though, there are those that want to preach so much negative messages that it condemns even those that are living right and doing the will of God. Others just preach good things and tickle the ears when a message of repentance is needed. What is needed is truth and a balance of comfort for those that obey and warning to those that do not obey the word. Not adding to or taking away from God's word.  

  • Jeremiah 4:11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
  • 12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.
  • 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.

Spoiled means to be plundered, goods taken away, wives, children, houses, lands to be confiscated. 

  • Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

This is God pleading for repentance and returning to Him from vanity and strange things that cannot save the soul. God always prefers to save rather than to destroy. He prefers to heal rather than bring judgment. Warning comes first before God sends judgment. 

To repent and turn to God and accept the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ before the coming judgment is also the message we need to preach today. This message is for the lost who have never received Jesus Christ and acknowledged their sins but also for the church who may have left the first love for Christ and allowed sin to creep back into their lives.

Repent and do the first works is the cry of Jesus to the churches in Revelation. Repentance is the only way to be saved by the power of God both in the Old Testament and the new. Both ways to salvation require repentance if one has sinned.

  • Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
  • 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
  • 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
  • 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
  • 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

A message of truth is not all doom and gloom but neither is it all positive and uplifting. The true word of God is always balanced with correction and hope.

  • Jeremiah 4:15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.
  • 16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
  • 17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

Again we are reminded as to why the evil came upon them. Rebellion against God is the main reason for judgment. The attitude that I'm going to do things my way and I'm going to do what I want, is an attitude of rebellion. 

  • Jeremiah 4:18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

They brought this on themselves. They had no reason to blame God for any calamity that happened to them. 

  • Jeremiah 4:19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
  • 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
  • 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
  • 22 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.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This is the truth and the wisdom that the whole world forgets. To reject God in education is to reject true knowledge. Why do you think that it is harder to teach children today? Why do you think that we have to pour more money into education and still reap bad results? No fear of God is allowed to be taught them. The word of God is forbidden. They can have video games, sports, television, movies and all other forms of entertainment but the word of God is rejected or left for one hour on Sunday morning. Without God we are leaving them empty of anything of value. 

We see here that the prophet Jeremiah has to give this gloom and doom message but he is not enjoying it. He weeps and wails because he sees what is going to happen. He is so unlike Jonah who actually desired to see the destruction of Nineveh. Jeremiah though, grieves over his prophecy. Now in the case of Jeremiah, this is his own people he is prophesying against but in the case of Jonah it was the enemies of Israel that he was sent to preach to and he didn't really want to go.  

  • Jeremiah 4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

This is just like the picture of a soul without the light of God within them. Like the earth was without form and void before God made it livable, the soul is in the same condition before receiving God's spirit within them and bringing them the light of the gospel. When a nation rejects God after knowing God, they are pictured here as the earth was before God created new life formed it. What a mess we are when we turn away from God. 

  • Jeremiah 4:24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
  • 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
  • 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
  • 27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

Even though they were to be left desolate, God would remember His promise to Abraham and bring a remnant of the Jewish people back to Him.

  • Jeremiah 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
  • 29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
  • 30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.

They followed after the other nations and their gods for nothing. In the end the other nations will reject and abuse them. No matter how they try to deck themselves out, the other nations will reject them. Why do you think that the Jewish people have always been hated and persecuted? This is their judgment for rejecting God and in latter times, rejecting their Messiah, Jesus Christ. The bible is full of prophecies about their sufferings. 

However, let all readers of this message understand, God's judgment will be even greater upon the nations that persecute the Jewish people or the believers in Jesus Christ. Just because God sends judgment does not give us a right to be cruel to or unkind to a Jewish person. If we do so and show any prejudice in any way, we will suffer the same judgment. 

This also does not mean that all who suffer persecution are suffering God's judgment. Persecution also comes to those who choose to please God regardless of what the law of the land in which they are living says. This type of persecution is not God's judgment but is a choice we make when we choose Him even when our friends and family choose not to believe. This type of persecution will result in a greater reward in Heaven when we love the Lord more than the praise of men. 

  • Jeremiah 4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

They were wearied and cast aside but they were not destroyed entirely. God still has a purpose for Israel. 

Study of Jeremiah 5

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