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Jeremiah, Chapter 11
Heart of the Chapter: Covenant Found in the Temple in Josiah's Reign
Israel disobeyed God's covenant made in the wilderness
In this chapter, God by His prophet, reminds the people of the covenant He had made with their fathers, and the condition of the covenant was that they must be obedient to Him (v. 1-7). He reminds them that they, in succeeding their fathers, and in alliance among themselves, had stubbornly refused to obey Him (v. 8-10). He threatens to punish them with utter ruin for their disobedience, especially for their idolatry (v. 11, 13), and tells them that their idols could not save them (v. 12), and that Jeremiah should not pray for them (v. 14). He also justifies His proceedings for they had brought all this trouble on themselves by their own stupidity and willfulness (v. 15-17). There is a story of a conspiracy formed against Jeremiah by his fellow-citizens, the men of Anathoth; God's revealing it to him (v. 18,19), Jeremiah’s prayer against them (v. 20), and a prediction of God's judgments on them for it (v. 21-23).
In chapters 11 and 12 Jeremiah delivers this incredible message after the Law has been read to the people. Following the giving of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, God also pronounced certain judgments if the Law was disobeyed. These are the things that Jeremiah emphasizes, the aspects of the Law which conditions the way we live our lives; the way we treat our neighbor; the way we conduct our business, and the kind of social life we live.
There are many church members who actually worship sex. How many men have left their wives to marry some pretty girl because they were tired of their wife . . . then think they can still serve the LORD? Jeremiah makes it clear that if you have done that, you have gone down the broad path with the devil, and are far away from God.
Many people talk about being fundamental and correct in their doctrine, which is a must . . . but what is also very important is the kind of life that you are living. How honest are you? How clean are you in your living? Don’t you see that that is what Jeremiah is insisting on? If we were honest, we would get down before God and confess that we desperately need to have Him walk with us, to be close to Him. But the people in Jeremiah's day did NOT do that, and there are but a meager few who do it in our day!
Mat. 7:13-14 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: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV) . . . Are you one of the ‘few’ or are you with the vast majority in today’s world? Are you on the narrow road with Jesus . . . or are you on the broad road with the devil, leading to Hell?
God’s Prophet Reminds the People of the Covenant He Had Made with Their Fathers, and Their Obedience Demanded (Jer. 11:1-7)
Jer. 11:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, (KJV)
What time and in what way this revelation came from the LORD to the prophet is not stated, or whether it was in the days of Josiah or Jehoiakim. Some think say that it is supposed to have been delivered in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah.
Jer. 11:2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; (KJV)
Hear ye the words of this covenant . . . God speaking in the plural number, not hear thou, but hear ye, makes some supposition that this was a charge given to some other prophets, either, Zephaniah (if it were in Josiah's time, Zep 1:1) or Uriah (if it were in the time of Jehoiakim). The term this also reveals that the book of the law was before Jeremiah's time, for all conclude that the covenant here spoken of was the covenant of the law of God, delivered by Moses, to which the people more than once promised obedience.
*****It is possible that the prophet caused the words of the covenant made with their fathers in the desert (Ex.24:4-8), to be read to them on this occasion; or, at least, the blessings and the cursings which Moses caused to be pronounced to the people as soon as they had set foot in Canaan (Deut. Chapters 27, 28).
This covenant . . . when the Law was found and read to the people, King Josiah called in the leaders and they made an oath that they were going to follow the Word of God.
Jer. 11:3 And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, (KJV)
Deut. 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. (KJV) . . . The people's saying Amen testified to their agreement, and made the Law a covenant. But they had also formally and explicitly covenanted with God. Ex. 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. (KJV)
Exodus 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (KJV)
God would punish those that violated that covenant.
*****Before they found the Book of the Law, the people did not know the Law. Now they know it and their responsibility is great: God says, Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. Dear one, any church member who has heard the Gospel and rejected it, shall certainly be judged by the LORD.
Jer. 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: (KJV)
Which I commanded your fathers . . . which Law, that you by your agreement made it a formal covenant. God is the LORD, and had a sovereign power to lay Laws upon His people, and command their fathers.
In the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt . . . from the iron furnace; and required them to obey before He laid His Law upon them, by bringing them out of the land of Egypt, serving at iron furnaces being a very hard and submissive labor (Deut.4:20; 1 Ki.8:51). God's deliverance of them from such an ordeal intensifies their present guilt.
Saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you . . . for which kindness God required no more of them but a more gentle service to Him, in obeying His Voice as to the things of this Law which He gave them.
So shall ye be my people, and I will be your God . . . not only did God give them His Laws, but He also encouraged them to obey it, by His gracious Promise, that if they would, they would be a people that He would bless, defend and protect. They would be God’s people and He would be their God to possess and bless.
Jer. 11:5 That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD. (KJV)
That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers . . . the LORD required their obedience for their own good. Oath (Ps.105:9-10).
To give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day . . . He had sworn to their fathers that He would give their future generations a land abounding with plenty of all good things, the best and choicest things, upon their obedience. God had executed that oath, He had brought them into such a land, and showed Himself faithful to them. A land flowing with milk and honey (Num.14:8).
Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD . . . when the LORD ended His message to Jeremiah, the prophet said, Amen, either proclaiming the Truth of what God had said, or wishing that the people would do according to their covenant, or agreeing to the curse according as God had commanded (Deut. 27:26). So be it, Amen (Deut.27:15-26).
Jer. 11:6 Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. (KJV)
It seems that Jeremiah was to take a prophetic tour throughout Judah, to proclaim everywhere the condemnations in the Book of the Law found in the Temple.
It was to be his work to call upon these people, and not only for them to hear, but to do the words which God had commanded them, and they had promised to do. Hear and do (Rom.2:13; Jam.1:22).
Jer. 11:7 For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. (KJV)
In protesting God protested, a usual way in the Hebrew, by which they express the seriousness and vehemence of an action. By protesting, God means the same as accusing and commanding, with Promises annexed to obedience, and threats destined in case of disobedience. This God said He had done with a great patience and persistence, even from the time that this people were brought by Him out of the land of Egypt. Jer. 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; (KJV)
He Charges Them, That They in Succession to Their Fathers, Had
Stubbornly Refused to Obey Him (Jer. 11:8-10)
Jer. 11:8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not. (KJV)
They had not paid attention to God’s counsels, with each and every one walking after the imaginations (stubborn dreams) of their own heart (Deut.29:19; Jer.3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17). The imaginations of man's heart are always only evil (Gen. 6:5; 8:21). For this God threatened to bring upon them all His words of threatening annexed to the covenant of the law (Deut.27:15-26).
Jer. 11:9 And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (KJV)
All classes of the people, whether from the city or country, had done the same, as if they had conspired together to break God’s Law, and to provoke the LORD to wrath . . . they all are alike and all act alike. The conspiracy is clear, it is not done secretly, nor is it done hastily, but upon a conspiracy, upon counsel and deliberation. Conspiracy = deliberate grouping against God and against Josiah's reformation. Their idolatry was not the result of a hasty impulse. Ps. 83:5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: (KJV) Eze. 22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. (KJV)
Jer. 11:10 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. (KJV)
They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers . . . they are turned back from their better ways in the time of David, to the sins of their forefathers that worshipped the golden calf (Ex.32:4; 2 Ki.10:29), and/or the many idols which they worshipped in the time of the judges.
Which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them . . . they refused to listen to God’s prophets, but listened to the false prophets who told them lies.
The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers . . . they were all the same, both the ten tribes, which was the house of Israel, and the two tribes, which was the kingdom of Judah, they all had broken the covenant that God made with their forefathers.
He Threatens to Punish Them for Their Disobedience,
Especially for Their Idolatry (Jer. 11:11-14)
Jer. 11:11 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. (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the LORD . . . any time the LORD speaks, we had better listen!
Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape . . . a judgment from the LORD, from which they cannot be delivered, not by any counsels of their own, or assistance of their friends and allies.
And though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them . . . prayer was their usual path in such cases, and I had delivered them, yet God said that He will no more hear them, though they cry unto me (Pro.1:28-29; Zec.7:11, 13). God will close His Ears to their crying to Him in their adversity, for they had refused to hear Him speaking to them in their prosperity. A lesson here for all of us!
Jer. 11:12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. (KJV)
Their idols cannot help them. They will go and cry to these gods, and offer incense to them, expecting they would now receive relief from them, but it shall not come! (Judg. 10:14; Deut. 32:37-38). Their gods shall not save them, shall do nothing towards their salvation, nor give them any hope of it. They shall not give them any comfort or relief, nor ease their trouble. It is only the TRUE God that is a TRUE Friend when needed and an existing powerful help in time of trouble. Since the idols cannot help themselves; how could they possibly help those who worship them?
Jer. 11:13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. (KJV)
This is another way of saying that the whole country had rejected the LORD, and had gone over to idolatry, and that in all the streets of Jerusalem men worshiped Baal. Not that they had just as many idols as were cities in Judah, or altars as were streets in Jerusalem; the meaning is that they had many, and that the people who lived in every city and street were guilty.
What he calls their shame, or the shameful thing, is afterwards expounded Baal, called here a shameful thing, because it was what they had reason to be ashamed of, and what would certainly bring them to shame and confusion.
Baal means noble or master, and was a common name given to more idols than one; the Phoenicians used the name Baal, the Chaldeans Bell. God, forbade His people to call Him by this name (Hos.2:16). The people of Israel were placing the TRUE God on the same level as Baal and were trying to worship both. It is absolutely impossible to do that! God says that the day is coming when Israel will again call Him, "my husband."
Maybe Baal here mentioned was the sun, because it was near Manasseh's times, who had highly offended God; and it is likely that although Josiah had begun a prominent reformation, that the sins of Manasseh (2 Ki.23:26), are counted as the special cause of this wrath of God against Judah.
Jer. 11:14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. (KJV)
This was said once before in (Jer.7:16), and we shall find once after this (Jer.14:11).
Jeremiah's prayers would not help them. What God had said to him before (Jer.7:16), he here says again, Pray not thou for this people. This does not seem to be intended as a command to the prophet, but more as for a threat and warning to the people . . . that they would have no benefit by the prayers of their friends for them. God would give no encouragement to the prophets to pray for them, would not stir up the spirit of prayer, but would put it into their hearts to pray, not for the body of the people, but for the remnant among them, to pray for their eternal salvation . . . not for their deliverance from the temporal judgments that were coming upon them. Other prayers that were put up for them would not be heard. Those that are cut off from the benefit of prayer, are in a sad state of affairs! Those that have cast themselves so far out of God's favor, that He will not hear their prayers cannot expect benefit by the prayers of others for them . . . then and in today’s world!
God Justifies His Proceedings, They Brought it All Upon
Themselves by Their Folly and Willfulness (Jer.11:15-17)
Jer. 11:15 What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. (KJV)
Some say these words are the words of the prophet, declaring that God, (whom they suppose here called the beloved) was about to forsake the Temple. Others think they are the words of God, speaking of His prophet, whom He calls His beloved; while still others say it is God speaking of His people, whom He calls His beloved, because of his ancient union with them, and marriage to them . . . which seems the most likely, and agrees with: Jer. 7:9-10 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 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? (KJV)
And also agrees with the usual confidence of the Jews, because of the Temple of the LORD, and their formal services of God in it. Although God was formerly their Husband, yet they have committed idolatry with many idols. What have they to do in God’s House, than a base prostitute which hath turned a whore has to do in the house of her husband?
When thou doest evil, then thou rejoices . . . because they were not only evil, but gloried in their wickedness, and were full of laughter and joy as if they had done no iniquity.
Jer. 11:16 The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. (KJV)
The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit . . . God had done great things for them; they had been His favorites above any people under the sun. God had called Israel a green olive-tree (Ps. 52:8), and had made them so, for He miscalls nothing. He had planted them, had formed them into a people, with all the advantages they could have to make them a fruitful and flourishing people . . . so good was their Law and so good was their land. The olive is chosen to represent the adoption of Judah by the free grace of God, as its oil is the image of richness (Ps. 23:5; 104:15).
With the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it . . . noise of the invading army (Isa.13:4). Or with the sound of a mighty voice, that of God, that is as the thunder; thus there is no confusion of symbols. God’s Voice as thunder (Job 40:9; Ps.77:18; Rev.14:2).
And the branches of it are broken . . . a tree stricken with lightning has fire kindled upon it, and the branches are broken, at one and the same time. It is usual in prophetical writings to have things yet to come expressed as if they were past, because of the certainty of them; they being what shall as certainly be as if already done.
Jer. 11:17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. (KJV)
This verse explains what was symbolically expressed in the verse 16, that The LORD had declared His will to Jeremiah; that being that He would destroy His people, and the blame of it all must lie upon themselves. They had by idolatry most highly provoked God, and had in that gone against themselves . . . because all sin is our going acting against our best interest. God is invulnerable and unconquerable, we cannot hurt God, but we certainly can provoke Him to take vengeance upon us for our sins.
The prophet tells the people that the LORD that had planted them (Jer.12:2) would do this, thus suggesting to them that God indeed had the power to do it. He told them that they had no reason to be confident, that because God had made them, He would not destroy them. Just because God had planted them in that good land, was no reason that He would not pluck them up and cast them out of it (Isa.27:11).
Conspiracy Formed Against Jeremiah by His Fellow-Citizens
Jer. 11:18 And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. (KJV)
And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it . . . the LORD has told Jeremiah that the men of Anathoth had conspired against his life, because he rebuked them for their sins, and criticized the judgments of God against them. Of this the LORD had given the prophet a secret warning, so he might be on his guard. Jeremiah did not suspect it, until the LORD revealed it to him
And I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings . . . their doings, the men of Anathoth. His thus referring to them, before he has mentioned their name, is due to his excitement.
*****The prophet Jeremiah has much in his writings about himself, much more than Isaiah had, because the times in which he lived were very troublesome. Here it seems is the beginning of his sorrows, which started with the people of his own city, Anathoth, a priest's city, and yet an evil one.
This may be understood as relating to all the wicked actions of his countrymen, and their wanting to know, How do you know what we do? or else which seems more likely, with relation to the conspiracy against him which is mentioned in the following verses.
Jer. 11:19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. (KJV)
There is no other mention of this conspiracy in the Holy Bible, but it is plain, both from this verse and what follows to the end of this chapter, that the men of Anathoth (which was Jeremiah's own town) were offended at his prophesying such sharp things against the land of Judah, and they had threatened to kill him if he would not back off, and they had united to that purpose . . . some think it was to mix poison with his meat, others by starving him, while others think by beating him. They wanted not only to put an end to his prophesying, but to his being also . . . . they wanted to cut him off some way or another, that his name would no more be remembered. Of all this the prophet said he was ignorant as an ox or a lamb that is brought to the slaughter-house, and knew nothing about the plan against its life.
His Prayer Against Them (Jer. 11:20)
Jer. 11:20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. (KJV)
Jeremiah appeals to God, and appeals to Him as One that knew both the innocence of his heart toward them, and the malice of their hearts toward him. He knew that the LORD would deal out justice fairly, so he committed his problem to the LORD, (as we are commanded to do, 1 Pet. 2:23), and desires that God would avenge him, and that he might see the vengeance; which words some interpreters think were spoken not without some passion and mixture of human frailty. Others, think this is a prophecy, not a prayer.
*****The information that God gave Jeremiah of this conspiracy against him, he knew nothing of it himself, so cleverly had they concealed it. He came to Anathoth, meaning no harm to them and therefore feared no harm from them, like a lamb or an ox, that thinks he is driven as usual to the field, but is instead brought to the slaughter. Jeremiah never considered that the citizens hated him so. None of his friends could, and none of his enemies would give him any notice of his danger, that he might shift for his own safety, as Paul's sister's son gave him intelligence of the Jews that were lying in wait for him (Acts 23:16). There was just a step between Jeremiah and death; but then the LORD gave him knowledge of it, by dream or vision, or impression upon his spirit, that he might save himself, as the king of Israel did upon the notice Elisha gave him (2 Ki.6:10). Thus he came to know it. The LORD showed him their doings; and such were their plans that the discovering of them was the defeating of them.
Dear one, God takes care of His prophets. He allows no man to do them wrong; all the rage of their enemies cannot prevail to remove them until they have finished their testimony. God also knows all the secret designs of His enemies and His people's enemies, and He can, when He pleases, make them know. A tiny bird in the air shall carry His voice.
God as the LORD of hosts, judges righteously. It is a matter of comfort to us, when men deal unjustly with us, that we have a God to go to who does and will plead the cause of injured innocence and appear against the injurious. God's justice, which is a terror to the wicked, is a comforting peace to the godly. He knew the honesty that was in Jeremiah's heart, and that he was not the man they represented him to be. The LORD knew the wickedness that was in their hearts, even though they had ever so cunningly concealed and disguised their wicked plans against Jeremiah.
A Prediction of God's Judgments upon Them for It
Jer. 11:21 Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life,
saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand: (KJV)
Prophesy not (Isa.30:10; Amos 2:12; Mic.2:6). If Jeremiah had not spoken his condemnation predictions, they would not have plotted against him. None were more bitter than his own fellow townsmen. The men of Anathoth wanted the prophet's life, for they did not want to hear that they were sinners, they did not want to hear of God’s wrath that would bring judgment on them . . . just like people in today’s world!
They were determined either to silence him or slay him. Jeremiah provoked them with his prophesying in the Name of the LORD without license from those that were the governors of the city, of which they were members, and he did not prophesy smooth things. Isa. 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV)
Jeremiah always spoke of judgment to come unless they repented of their sin. They did not want to hear the Truth of God’s Law . . . just like people today! It was then resolved that if he did prophesy, as certainly he would, he would die by their hand; they would be accusers, judges and executioners. It used to be said that a prophet could not perish but at Jerusalem, for there the great council sat; but so bitter were the men of Anathoth against Jeremiah that they would undertake to be the death of him themselves. A prophet then shall find not only no honor, but no favor, in his own country. Lk. 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. (KJV)
Compare the conduct of the Nazarites towards Jesus of Nazareth.
Luke 4:24-29 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. (KJV)
*****God tells Jeremiah, There is no use speaking in Anathoth anymore. They have rejected Me, and they want to kill you. Do not prophesy to them any longer. Dear one, there are churches today that no longer stand for the things of God or teach the Word of God as they once did. What is terrible is that the Word of God is NOT being taught in their pulpits. Jeremiah stopped giving the Word of God in Anathoth. He went somewhere else, because the people were going to kill him; they had totally rejected the Word of God.
It cost Jeremiah something to stand firm for God. It broke his heart and separated his hometown from him. In Luke 4:24-29 above, Jesus Himself stated that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Our LORD had to leave His hometown of Nazareth and move His headquarters to Capernaum. That is what Jeremiah also had to do.
Jeremiah delivered a message to these people, not like any we hear today. Jeremiah says that it will cost you something to turn to God . . . but it will be worth everything you have to pay.
In spite of the fact that Judah made a covenant to serve God, the revival in the land proved to be a mainly surface movement. There is no question that the words of Jeremiah had their effect and that there were some who sincerely turned to the LORD. Jeremiah had preached: Jer. 11:6 Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. (KJV) . . . But, things in the nation were going downhill. After the revival, interest in spiritual things began to wear off, and the people turned back to their old ways. Even King Josiah made a serious mistake. He went out to battle against the king of Egypt, Pharaoh-nechoh, and they fought at Megiddo. Josiah was fatally wounded, and Jeremiah mourned for him: 2 Chron. 35:25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. (KJV)
Jeremiah wept because he knew that the people would not only return to idolatry . . . but that they would sink even deeper into immorality. And, that is what they did. Jeremiah had to give the people a message that they did not want to hear. They rejected him and his message and were planning to kill him. He had to leave his hometown of Anathoth. Had Josiah still been alive, he would have protected Jeremiah, but Josiah was now gone.
Jehoahaz came to the throne but reigned for only three months. Pharaoh-nechoh then raised Jehoiakim to the throne of Judah. Jehoiakim had to pay a tax to Egypt, so he taxed the land heavily. It was not very long until Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian king and Jehoiakim became a vassal of Babylon. That lasted for three years, and then Jehoiakim rebelled against the king of Babylon, ignoring Jeremiah's warning not to do so. Jeremiah had also warned earlier against the alliance with Egypt as a source of false confidence, but the kings of Judah paid no attention to him and continually became more corrupt.
Jer. 11:22 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts . . . God says, I will punish them; let Me alone and I shall deal with them. I will visit this upon them; as the Word was spoken. God will enquire into it and reckon for it. Two of God's four sore judgments shall serve to ruin their town: The sword shall devour their young men, though they were young priests, not men of war (their character shall not be their protection), and famine shall destroy the children, sons and daughters, that tarry at home, which is a more grievous death than that by the sword. Lam. 4:9 They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field. (KJV)
This chapter closes with the fact that Jeremiah is actually rejected by his hometown of Anathoth.
Jer. 11:23 And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation. (KJV)
Not even one of the plotters against Jeremiah, from Anathoth, will survive, for the LORD shall bring total disaster upon them when their time of punishment comes.
*****Jer. 11:21-23.The prayers of God's prophets, although they may at times have too much passion and human weakness mixed with them, yet they are heard by God, and many times answered in fairness and righteousness by terrible things, as to those against whom they are directed. The same thing they had so desperately planned to do to the prophet . . . God now threatens to do to them . . . He would utterly consume them, so there would be no remembrance of them.
Prayer under the Law of Moses
Mat. 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (KJV)
This type of prayer, made under the Law of Moses, can also be prayed by a TRUE Christian in today’s world. The TRUTH is that every time someone prays for the will of God to be done in earth as it is in heaven, he is actually praying that Christ Jesus will come with the armies of heaven to defeat the armies of Earth and take over the rule of the nations . . . when this day comes, it shall have an effect on millions of lives, as revealed in Scripture (Isa. 63:1-6; Joel 2-3; Zech. 14; Mt. 25:31-46; 2 Thes. 1:7-10; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 11:15; 19:11-21).
And it shall drastically change the scenery around Jerusalem!
Zec. 14:1-4 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (KJV)
Mat. 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
Rev. 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)
Book of Jeremiah
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