Vs. 12, “On the tenth day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.” Earlier on in Jeremiah, God’s word would remind us we would know if a man was a true prophet if their words came true (Jer. 28:9). We are now at the end of our 52 day journey in the book of Jeremiah. Most scholars believe Jeremiah did not write this last chapter. This last chapter really serves as a fulfilment of God’s word through His prophet. Question: What would happen to Jeremiah? We know Jeremiah went down to Egypt with the remnant who fled. Most scholars believe Jeremiah died in Egypt and his burial place is a mystery. What a very difficult life God would call Jeremiah to live, but major respect for how Jeremiah would live such an obedient life. I just want to share this last thinng about good old Jeremiah. When Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew 16 about who he was, look with me in their response. “They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” That’s some pretty good company Jeremiah is in. And that really should be the goal for all of us. To live this life so faithfully that people see Jesus in us! Amen, and with that said…we will be turning to the New Testament with the Gospel of Matthew!
Vs. 25, “The LORD has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign LORD Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.” While Babylon was being used by God, she became too prideful and arrogant. It was time to bring war upon Babylon. While this would apply directly the Babylonians, there was a dual meaning to this. Babylon often in Scripture symbolizes the world system. God would humble and will humble our human system of pride. He also gives us a wonderful picture of gathering back His lost flock (vs, 6-7) and forgiving the people (19-20).
Regarding application…God Redeemed Us. Vs. 34, “Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.” What a fitting reminder of the fact that God is our Redeemer. Here in our passage, we see God redeeming and forgiving His people. Yesterday, the message to the youth reminded them that they matter to God and that God redeems them! I’m sure God’s people often felt despair, but God would remind them that He had not forgotten about them. That His promises come true! Keep you head up this week and find comfort in our Redeeming God!
Vs. 49, “Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon.” It would be a prophecy of reckoning. Someone would have to pay for this pride and sin. The Lord God would warn Babylon of this future if they contiuned down this path. So God would raise up another leader in Cyrus from Persia and command him to attack Babylonians (vs. 20-24). He would remind those who got too comfortable in Babylon not to forget what had happened to them (vs. 34-35). There was no future in Babylon, just as there is really no future in this world for it is a dying world. We must make do the best we can to trust in God until a better tomorrow!
Regarding application…Never Forsaken. Vs. 5, “For Israel and Judah havye not been forsaken by their God, the Lord Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel.” As I reflect upon this incredible journey of God’s people from their homeland, to their sin, to the invasion, to the captivity…and now their restoration…I marvel at God’s faithfulness! I’m sure there were many doubts throughout the seventy years of captivity, but God would shine through. It’s just a reminder that there are mountains and valley’s in our lives. We must do our part to just know His love will never forsake us. Keep you head up and continue to live on the promises of God! One day, we too will be restored from this Babylon (world). Pray for this week and thank God for all the hard workers of the faith and regular workforce on this Labor day!
Vs. 1, “Concerning the Ammonites: This is what the Lord says: “Has Israel no sons? Has she no heirs? Why then has Molech a taken possession of Gad? Why do his people live in its towns.” This was a long chapter, huh? Now, we continue to see the consequences God would put upon the other nations surrounding Israel. Remember that the Edomites and the Ammonites are descandants of Lot (Abraham’s nephew from Ur). Ammon and Edom both had history of turning to other God’s and invading Israel…especially after the Northern Kingdom was taken by the Assyrians. Additional people’s would also be judged…Damascus (Syrai), Kedar & Hazor (Arabians), and the Elamites (Persians).
Regarding application...Cup of Consequences. Vs. 12, “This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it.” Hmmm…It’s never easy to read the consequences of those who have turned away from God. Of course, we read of such things because God is communicating to us that we must double-check ourselves. Are we going down the road of Pride? The picture of “cup” is considered God’s wrath. Yet, again…we see that even those these nations would receive punishment by God…The Lord’s grace in the end would be upon them (vs. 6, 39). “Just say No” like the Recabites (Jer. 35) and put God first in your life! Have a blessed Saturday and go to church tomorrow wherever you live
Vs. 42, “Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the Lord.” Question: Who were the people from Moab? They were the descandants of Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and would eventually become enemies of the Jews. When the Babylonians attacked Israel, Moab stopped their dispute with Israel. However, because of their pride…The Babylnonians also attacked them. They thought that their pagan god would rescue them. It’s notable that Jeremiah felt sorrow for the Moabites as well (vs. 31).
Regarding application…Future Hope. Vs. 47, “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the Lord. Here ends the judgment on Moab.” Question: How will this happen? Remember that Jeremiah is a prophet and here he was prophecying of a time when they not only would return to their land in 538 B.C. One day Jesus would reign and bring the Moabites and all Gentiles a hope through the cross! The storyline is familiar: Once in God’s favor, sinned, became prideful, judged others, experience hopelessness, but one day restored! That’s God’s redemptive work illustrated once again! Of course, God does this for all of us! So if you are feeling hopeless…don’t give up!
Vs. 4, “For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to cut off all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The Lord is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.” Here we have the Philistines who have been a thorn in the side of God’s people. Remember big old Golath? He was a Philistine. They lived along the gaza strip in modern-day Israel. Though they took a low profile after their defeat against King David, they still quietly lived on the coastal strip apart from the rule of Judah. But as the Babylonians came to conquer, the Philistines also would receive their wrath. Babylon would be pictured as torrential river coming their way.
Regarding application…Selfishness. Vs. 3, “at the sound of the hoofs of galloping steeds, at the noise of enemy chariots and the rumble of their wheels. Fathers will not turn to help their children; their hands will hang limp.” Wow~~~how crazy is this? The Philistines would abandon their own children to escape the invading Babylnoians. That reminds me of an old Seinfeld episode. One of the character’s named George was mingling in a social setting where there were children. Someone had yelled fire and George started pushing all the kids out of the way to save himself. Of course, it was used for comedic laughter, but it was laughter only because we just assume the normal person would never do this. How sad the nature of human sin reverts back to selfishness. I’m reminded of Frodo’s long journey to Mount Doom only to selfishly keep the ring. If it hadn’t been for Gollum’s own selfishness, Frodo would have been the antangonist of the story. Tolkien reveals to us what the Philistines reveal to us. We are so selfish that we would abandon our own children. Of course, that is an example of what we can become. Not we we necessarly choose to live. Let us be people of God who love and give up this life. Learn to “Just say NO” in a world that gives in to all it’s desires. Turn to the LORD (Yahweh) today through Jesus!
Vs. 2, “Concerning Egypt: This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah.” Jeremiah now begins addressing the nations with oracles (authoritative statements). Starting with Egypt, we see God begin to humble them and remind them of their big defeat at Carhemish from the new rising power (Babylonians). Bear in mind, it was the first the Egyptians that attacked and killed Josiah (Judah’s last good king). Jeremiah goes on to give them prophecies of what is soon to come. Egypt would be destroyed, because of what they did and their very high pride. But in this chapter, we also see God’s reminder of His covenant promise to Israel (Jacob)!
Regarding application…Don’t Get Discouraged. Vs. 27, “Do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel.” The time we live in now is actually very similar to Jeremiah’s. Wars and the demise of nations and punishment continue in our day. It can get very discouraging to see all the wars and atrocities that happen in this world. Then we look at our own lives and sometimes see the seemingly pointless activities of our lives. Yet, God would remind His people that He is calling them back home. Just as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.” This place we live in is but a shadow of what our future holds! Keep the faith, don’t get discouraged when tough times come. Turn to God’s word this week and let Him be a part of your daily life in all your interactions!
Vs. 1, “This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating.” This chapter was written at the time Jeremiah 36 transpired. The reason it is placed here now is that it will shed some light into the following chapters. Remember that Baruch was the faithful assistant to Jeremiah often writing down what Jeremiah was sharing. Baruch also lived a very difficult life and even some blamed Baruch for inciting Jeremiah in our earlier chapter. Baruch had a brother who could have secured a very easy career at the palace, but Baruch stayed faithful to Jeremiah!
Regarding application…Serving Faithfully. Vs. 5, “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.” Sometimes we get it in our mind that only those who serve as Pastors, Missionaries, etc. are the only faithful. But Baruch served God faithfully in his skill of writing. Whatever skills God blesses us with, there are undoubtedly opportunities to serve God and the church. Notice, how God even acknowledged Baruch could have done other things that the world thinks is greater. However, God would reward Baruch with safety in the midst of all the chaos. And, as we serve God…He too will do likewise for us. Serve Him faithfully, and know that God has much more in store for us when we do!
Vs. 11, “Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah.” Question: Why? Because God’s people still would not listen. This chapter gives us Jeremiah’s last message to the Judah remnant in Egypt. Fourty-six years of faithfully administring God’s word as a His prophet. We are reminded from this chapter how God had given them every chance to turn back to Him (vs. 1-10). The people were so stubborn that they reasoned all these struggles came when they stopped worshipping other God’s (vs. 15-19). They ran to Egpyt for protection, but God would remind them that Pharoah wouldn’t be able to stop God’s wrath.
Regarding application…God’s Faithfulness. Vs. 14, “None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.” Even in the midst of this very dark message and the increase of wickedness among the Judah remnant in Egypt…we see God’s faithfulness at work. What an amazing God we have. Sadly, Jeremiah is believed by biblical scholars to have died in Egypt. Yet, there would be a few fugitives…faithful few, that would live to return back to their homes. God would not hold all guilty because some still had faith in Him. Isn’t that how God works today? Despite, so many who will not listen nor turn…God will bring all of us back home. But until that day, “just say, no!” to the things of the world and turn back to God this week…more importantly…today!
Vs. 2, “Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.” Azariah and Johanan were too short-sighted to see God was bigger than any enemy they percieved. Poor Jeremiah continues to receive grief…all the prophecies have and are becoming true and yet, they still call Jeremiah a liar. Just like their ancestors before them, they fled south to Egypt, taking with them Jeremiah. God would instruct Jeremiah to do another action sermon as he would gather large stones representing the Babylonian empire and their eventual domination over Egypt. They feared the Babylonians more than they feared God.
Regarding application…True Safety. Vs. 7, “So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.” The remnant of Judah that stayed would now flee from their land in hopes for safety by the Egyptians. Even though they were categorized by God as the rotten figs, God still in His mercy would have extended them safety if they had listened to Jeremiah. The only “true safety” we have is when we are following God’s commands. It’s already a very dangerous place to live, that is why we must allow the Shepherd to protect His sheep. As we start the new week, let’s come closer to God in faith and start listening and reading His Word!