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Jeremiah – The Message and Messenger—Chapters 1-16

© Val Lee

“Jeremiah – The Message and Messenger”
All Rights Reserved/© Val J. Lee 

No More Pure, Living Water

2 Peter 3:2:
You should remember the words spoken by the holy prophets
and the commandments of the Lord and Savior spoken by
the apostles.

Chapters 1-16 Explained

Jeremiah holds a special place in my husband Alan’s heart and mine. He was one who was willing to stand alone for God as the rest of God’s people went after the world and the things of the world. Jeremiah gave a message that no one would heed; yet, God told him to declare it. Why? Because of God’s unconditional love for all. His message still had to be proclaimed even when none chose to listen. The people of God still worshipped at the temple and had an appearance of godliness, but also followed after the surrounding, styling cultures; choosing not to be a peculiar, different people.

God raised Jeremiah to this calling because he truly loved and cared for his fellow Jews, God’s chosen race. Jeremiah is referred to as the weeping prophet, because his heart held the love that God held for His people who had gone their own way. He wept because God’s beloved had caved into the glorification of the sensual. I behold in Jeremiah and throughout God’s Word that the Lord’s people become half-hearted when they cave into the gratification of the senses.


Jeremiah was written as a book of warning of God’s approaching doom on a sinful and rebellious nation that preferred to do what was right in its own eyes.

The northern kingdom of Israel, consisting of ten tribes, had previously been removed as captives of Assyria, 136 years prior. The Benjamin area, where the temple is, and the area of Judah, are all that remains of Israel during Jeremiah’s time, this being the southern kingdom of Israel. If you own a study Bible, you can turn to the map area in the back. One of the maps should reveal how the land was divided amongst the 12 tribes. The land was divided according to these tribes when the people entered the land under Joshua.

Verses 3-5, turns our attention back to Judah, consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. To review again, if you turn to the maps in the back of a study Bible, you will see the tribal area of Benjamin. (You can also locate the twelve tribal map areas through an Internet Bible information search.)

None of the kings of the northern kingdom where of the line of King David, only the southern kingdom held to his genealogy. The kingdom split after Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, took the throne in 930 B.C. Rehoboam was very wicked and the Jews rebelled resulting in the northern tribes choosing Jeroboam for their king. He had served under Solomon over the forced labor. He too was extremely evil.

Jeremiah’s ministry was approximately from 627-586 B.C., during the periods of Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah who reigned as kings. Josiah reigned 33 years, doing right in the sight of the Lord. Josiah was exceptionally godly, yet his sons were ungodly and three of them ruled as kings over Judah. Jehoahaz, the first of Josiah’s sons, reigned only three months and was taken captive by Pharaoh Necco of Egypt and he expired in Egypt. Jehoiakim, his eldest son, ruled 11 years. During his reign, Judah began to be confronted by the kingdom of Babylon; and Egypt also caused them distress. Jehoachin, son of Jehoiakin, was the last vile king to reign within the direct line of Christ, before captivity. The next king to rule in the Davidic line will be Christ! It was during Jehoachin’s reign that the southern kingdom was taken captive.

Zedekiah, Jehoachin’s uncle, and youngest son of Josiah, was a puppet king of King Nebuchadnezzar. He rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar and was also taken captive with the last of the captives. There were actually three captivities under King Nebuchadnezzar. The first ensued when Daniel and others were removed to Babylon; Daniel chapter 1. The main one was under King Jehoachin and the last one was under King Zedekiah, which included the remaining Jews in Israel. This last captivity included the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.

The prophet Zephaniah proceeded Jeremiah; and Habakkuk was Jeremiah’s contemporary.

Chapter 1

Jeremiah was destined to be a priest as his father, Hilkiah, was of the priestly line of Aaron, Moses brother—verse 1.

Hilkiah, a high priest (chief of the priests), was a godly man who rose to the task of revival during the time of King Josiah. The Word of God had been cast aside. The people did not even know what the Scriptures commanded. Hilkiah found the book of the law (2 Kings 22:8f), which was then read to the sin-filled nation of Judah. The truths of God brought the Jewry to its knees in repentance of all idolatrous acts. The closed temple was repaired and reopened. Godly worship again reigned in the southern kingdom of Israel, under righteous King Josiah.

God called Jeremiah from the priestly entitlement to be His prophet, just as He did John the baptizer in the New Testament.

As we move into verse 4, we recognize God’s special calling of Jeremiah, being called before he was born as God’s prophet to the nations, not just Judah, though Judah was the main nation he addressed. Those who have given their lives to Christ have also been called to His adoption as His spokespeople, before the foundation of the world (explained in Ephesians 4:4-5), which God performed through the kind intention of His will. Many other portions of Scripture speak of our unique position in Christ through His calling and choosing us by His loving grace.

Jeremiah responds to God’s calling as Moses did, declaring he cannot speak. Jeremiah also explains he is but a child; verse 6. No worries! God will provide him the words to speak—His words; verse 7. When we are stating God’s words, we have no need to worry about our verbal presentation. We can rest completely in the word sufficiency of God, even if young. We do not need to be knowledgable of any religious books, only the Bible, where we find total truth, without misrepresentation.

God informs Jeremiah in verse 8, that he is not to fear those who do not want to hear the truth of God’s Holy Word, much of which the Jews felt they could ignore. They were going to be cruel to Jeremiah for his unbending stances that would never compromise with society.

Verse 9 is a personal prayer of mine, for God to put His words in my mouth as Val Lee’s words are meaningless unless they are in line with the Word of God. Moreover, I pray for His thoughts to be my thoughts as Jeremiah certainly walked in the mindset that stood in line with God’s Holy Scriptures.

Jeremiah, in verse 10, was to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and overthrow, that would be all false teachings contrary to God’s Word. Also to build and to plant and Jeremiah still does this today in our beings as he bears the truth of God that plants good seed in our hearts and minds.

As we move into verse 11, we come to where God moves into judgment concerning Judah or the southern kingdom. Jeremiah refers to a rod from an almond tree and a boiling pot, both represent the negative. A rod is to be applied as discipline to strike with and the boiling pot to consume in great and terrifying wrath, seeing God was to discipline His rebellious children. When God refers to the north, He is referring to Babylon—this nation moving downward toward Judah in fighting array and force. This will engulf all the inhabitants of the land, not just some, verse 14.

Pious Judah, will be judged by the godless Gentiles as we read in verse 15. This would be very humiliating for self-righteous Judah who views the other nations as consisting of godless dogs. This is Judah’s judgment for worshipping false gods, the work of their own hands.

Here are a few of the false gods that Israel worshipped:

Baal was the most noted false god of this time. Baal means master or lord. He was also designated as “the son of Dagon.” (Dagon was the god of the early Philistines. If you remember in 1 Samuel chapter five, the Philistines stole the ark of God. They placed the ark next to their god Dagon; subsequently, this false god fell on its face before the ark of God which brings a big smile to our faces. The Philistines were avenged with tumors as God’s hand was set against them. They were so plagued that they did all in their power to return the ark to the land of Israel. They truly experienced the chastening hand of God for their disrespect of the Creator of all.)

Baal was the storm god and when people heard thunder they believed they were hearing Baal. They believed Baal determined the fate of their crops. They worshipped him in temples and outdoors in fields and on the hilltops referred to as “high places,” so noted in Scripture. These high places held chambers for male and female prostitution.

To quote Unger “Baal worship always had a subtle attraction for the austere Hebrews bound to serve a holy God under a rigorous moral code.” Of course, there is nothing new under the sun, and today many believers go the way of the world to escape the righteous Word that commands holy living and not license. Baal-ism was attractive to the Jews as it presented a life of licentiousness or license.

Molech represents the essence of evil and he is mentioned in Jeremiah 32:35. Molech accepts the sacrifice of children and Jeremiah says the Jews were offering their daughters to Molech by passing them through the fire. Palestinian excavations have uncovered evidences of infant skeletons in burial places. Apparently, one of the rituals in the Middle East involved babies being placed in the hands of an outstretched Molech, which were heated and the infants were burned to death when positioned in these hands. I do not know if this was practiced by the Jews but they did offer children by fire to Molech. Today in the name of the god of promiscuous sex, babies are burned to death with a saline solution while in their mother’s womb.

Solomon himself worshipped this most wretched god and built an altar to him; 1 Kings 11:7 and 2 Kings 23:13. Solomon loved the world and compromised to please sinful man. His wives worshipped false gods, so to appease their pleas that he comply, he relented to their idolatrous example when he was old. He was very lukewarm in his faith as a compromiser with the ways of society and culture.

The “queen of heaven” is a goddess of fertility whom Jeremiah exposes. She was a goddess for the ladies whom they brought raisin cakes to. My husband had blood drawn at Mercy Medical Hospital in Nampa, Idaho awhile back. As we were leaving, I noted the statue of Mary with a crown on her head. She is often depicted this way in Catholicism as one of her titles is the “queen of heaven.” God, in Jeremiah, strictly admonishes His people not to worship the “queen of heaven.” (Jeremiah 44:17 & 25)

Ashtoreth is another prominent goddess of fertility, but not mentioned in Jeremiah. Solomon worshiped this goddess too as several are mentioned in Scripture that he went after in disobedience to God, who eventually chastised him.

There are many false gods mentioned in the Bible, but these are the main ones repeated.


Returning to verse 16 of Jeremiah chapter 1, we see the works of man’s hands are exalted and not the ways and works of God. Man often times ignores who gave him the abilities he possesses, though nothing of what he fashions will pass on into eternity, knowing he brought nothing into this world nor will he take anything out of it; 1 Timothy 6:7. The earth is passing away and all of its lusts, but the one who does the will of God abides forever. We are not to put stock in that which is material or made by man.

Verse 17 is a warning to Jeremiah to be obedient to God or God will bring judgment upon him for not holding and proclaiming His words. Jeremiah was called of God, but he could still refuse as we all have our will that can conform to God’s or can choose not to.

Encouragement is lavished upon Jeremiah in verse 18 as God reassures him of His great shelter placed about him illustrated by a fortified city, pillar of iron and walls of bronze. This was his protective invisible gear against opposition. It was unseen but it was there, and we will perceive it, studying through this book. Jeremiah always continued on no matter what befell. We have similar gear which is the armor of God which encases us when we walk in obedience. We read of this special protection provided for us that safeguards us against satan in Ephesians chapter 6.

Further encouragement is delivered to Jeremiah’s ears as God lets it be known that He will always deliver him from his adversaries. This also discloses to Jeremiah that it will not be an easy road—these disobedient Hebrews will always be attempting to stop the message of God’s Word.

Jeremiah Chapter 2

As we delve into verse 1 of chapter 2, the Lord reminds us that the Word of God came to Jeremiah, not the words of mere man. Remember in chapter 1, verse 7, God was going to tell Jeremiah what to say.

Venturing into verse 2, God tells Jeremiah further what to speak to His disobedient children. In chapter 1, verse 5, we learned Jeremiah was consecrated for this calling, being he was set aside as God’s ambassador while in the womb. We too are set aside as believers to proclaim God’s Word, as we also were chosen before the foundation of the world, as we witness in Ephesians 1:4-6. We maintain the same unique birthright position as Jeremiah did, but under the New Testament economy of grace.

There will arise a time when sinful men will no longer exalt their unproductive, selfish, worldy agendas, for they will be abased. The pride of men will vanquish; Isaiah 2:11,12, & 17.

God becomes romantically poetic in this verse, reminiscing of the Jews former devotion of love. They, being like one, who had given their lifelong nuptial vows in the covenant of marriage, would follow Him anywhere. The LORD takes pleasure in the remembrance of their faithfulness to Him when He led them from Egypt, onto the wilderness March, to meet their the land of bliss. This, their fulfilled wedding gift.

He proclaims they were holy to the Lord in verse 3! They were His chosen ones, yet they fell away and the guilt came upon them as they compromised and did what was right in their own eyes, forsaking His commands of loving obedience. They forsook their first love—the very best love was lost.

The LORD refers to the Jews as the first of His harvest. In James 1:18, we see as New Testament believers, we were brought forth by the Word of Truth, so we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

We hold a spectacular position, so did Israel, but it is easy for Christians to take their chosen, called election and throw this gift back in the face of God through not being totally dedicated to Him and His Word. We basically respond with, “We don’t want Your love and blessings that follow obedience, submission and lifetime dedication.”

Verse 3 also warns us that evil came upon them for their disobedience. In Hebrews chapter 12, verse 5-6, which is quoting Proverbs 3:11, we see God is a God of discipline who deals with His disobedient ones. In the church at Corinth, some believers were sick and some had died as they partook in communion in an unworthy manner; 1 Corinthians 11:30. God is very serious concerning submission and bringing Him glory in a righteous manner.

In verse 5, we witness more of the unconditional love of their Savior, who saved the Hebrews out of Egypt. God reveals the compassion of His heart for His people by inquiring of them, why they have forsaken Him after He has met all their needs? He led them through the pitted, desert land, verse 6, to deliver them from Pharaoh’s hand. I know nowhere else in Scripture where it reveals, God led the departing Hebrews around these “pits” on their wilderness march. He led them even in deep darkness. Exodus 13:21 reveals He did this by a pillar of fire by night, and they were protected by a pillar of cloud by day, that no doubt, shielded them from the bright sun of the desert. We serve a very gracious and mindful God!

Verse 7 goes on to state this unconditional, sustaining love brought God’s people to the land of milk and honey. It is so easy for me to forget all God has done for me; thus, to reflect over the previous years of His great and daily abundance which He bestowed upon me, is a productive exercise so I remember to engage in thanksgiving. God guides, directs, and protects everyone in countless ways. I believe, we are unaware of many things or we take them for granted such as the air we breathe moment by moment that sustains our lives.

The failure of worship, adoration and praise extended even to the priests who were to be examples of faithfulness; verse 8. They who handled the precious Word did not even take the time to know the God of the Word. And those who were to be God’s prophets, went after the false god, Baal.

A key statement here explains, they walked after those things that did not profit. I have to ask myself, how many things do I follow after, that have no eternal value nor bring glory to the Savior? If I am Christ’s child, I need to be constantly seeking those things that bring glory to my righteous, glorious, holy, pure, innocent, modest, decent, etc, … etc, Lord. I must use my time on earth for things that represent the things above where my mind is to be set. I hear it said, “You are not to be so heavenly minded you are of no earthly good.” You know, I have never met such a person—one who is too heavenly minded. The majority of believers I meet are too earthly minded for any heavenly good, as they are so involved in the passing pleasures and entertainment of this earth that is passing away. If you read Christ’s letters to the seven churches in Revelation, not once does He reprimand them for being too heavenly minded, just the opposite.

Hosea had been a prophet to the northern kingdom, Israel. In Hosea 4:2, some of the sins of the land are exposed … swearing, deception, murder, stealing, adultery, violence and bloodshed. Verse 3 provides us with an observation as to how far reaching and consuming disobedience to the Word can be! It causes all people to languish along with the animals, including the birds and fish of the sea—they all disappear.

Now isn’t that interesting, it is sin that causes wildlife and aquatic life to be removed when transgression consumes the land, not air and land pollution, but sin pollution!

Advancing into the next paragraph, God recites the silliness of forsaking Him, observing the Jews removed themselves from the Lord’s righteous glory and followed after the unprofitable, as earlier explained. God wants us walking in wisdom and common sense, but these attributes can be easily withdrawn when we turn to the temporary and selfish desires of the flesh and culture.

The sad cry of God’s heart is felt when we move to verse 12 and the following. He is always hurt by our sin and disrespect for His Word. He, the fountain of living waters, has been cast aside for vanity and temporary pleasure.

Verse 13 is a visual photo to us—we can visualize wells hewn out in stone that hold no rain water as there is a crack in the rock where the water leaks. These people no longer possess the pure living water of the LORD, but wasted, polluted water.

The following verses go on to explain how they are consumed by lions; those who hold no compassion and just want the smell of death. This passage speaks of the coming destruction. Here, Cairo, Egypt is mentioned, which was Memphis at that time, and Tahpanhes, both in NE Egypt. Judah was horrifically plagued by Egypt. Egypt was eventually consumed by Babylon as well, following Judah’s captivity.

Having shaved the crown of their heads represents slavery, seeing that would be their forthcoming appearance. Being shaved was not in line with Jewish law and represented the humility of their disobedience.

Verse 17 places all the blame on Israel! They couldn’t respond with, “Well, the surrounding nations had so many appealing ways that we just couldn’t say no. We wanted to be styling with everyone else. We didn’t want to be seen as weird, different and out of style.”

God continues to inquire of them, how could they not be totally devoted to Him when He led them personally in the way? He led them through the wilderness and up to the present time. This truth is viewed in Psalm 121:4, “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

God becomes sarcastic in verse 18, as He deals with their stupidity—He delivered them from Egypt and now they’ve enslaved themselves again to Egypt and other nations through their lusting after their cultural ways. God removed His children from Egypt, but He could never remove the Egyptian heart that desired all the world had to offer. Egypt was the place to live and a styling vacation spot … with the posh on display … gold, silver, costly garments, flashy home décor, exotic food, education, medical advancements and on and on. Not forgetting their arid climate.

The Jews disloyalty will cause God to use their own wickedness to correct them; verse 19. We all reap what we sow! If we sow iniquity, we will reap the consequences! This is basically what this verse is teaching.

The last phrase is so key … the dread of God is not in you! We are to fear God as He is a God of judgment; plus, we know the fear of God is the beginning of understanding. If we don’t truly dread our wrathful God (Philippians 2:12) we end up down a road that is all destructive! We truly see God’s wrath unleashed upon the godless when we focus in on the eschatological times of Revelation.

The following verses deal with Israel and the false gods she deceitfully chases, believing God doesn’t see her hidden sins that are performed on the hills, where the idols were placed, though they held no loftiness as lifeless images.

God tore off Israel’s Egyptian bonds; yet, she re-chose the sin of bondage. Sin always produces bondage that allies itself to satan. We are only free when we exercise His moral and upright ways in our lives which arises out of our deep love for our Savior.

God planted Israel as His chosen, a most precious and prevailing position, but they threw this celebrated stance back in God’s face to His heartache. They were at one time faithful and glorified Him, but now all has been discarded.

In Luke 8:8 & 11, we see a good planting in productive soil brings glory to God. Verse 11 tells us the seed is the Word of God. When God’s teachings are not received seriously, it becomes foul and unfruitful in our hearts.

As we traverse on, we see once one is intertwined with sin, verse 21, it brings a true cheapness, like overdone makeup. The depth and insightfulness that comes only from God’s Word is replaced with the worldly, cheap, sensual beat that has no deep refined instrumentation.

Judah is to the point of lying to God, pretending she is loyal and true, just as an unfaithful wife might attempt to convince her husband that she has always been the devoted mate to avoid the scalding water of his wrath.

Judah is stained with an irremovable stain that cannot be hid from her God who is omniscient, knowing all things. She can go to worship, sing the songs, hear the Word and appear holy, but God knows what is hidden within. She is walking in defilement though she lies and says, “I am not defiled.” The world and its ways are vile, but she enjoys it too much to confess it. God reveals the inner person in verses 22f.

To note a New Testament contrast, turn in your Bibles to Matthew 23:27. You will note Jesus Christ here is pointing the finger to the religious hypocrites who possess an external righteous appearance, but He, being God, knows their wicked sinful hearts. Reality reveals that these heads of faith actually held within them that which resembled dead man’s bones and all uncleanness. These Jews were compromisers too!

Verse 25 reveals fact, as Judah states, she will follow after the strangers and not her faithful heavenly Father.

Verse 26 of chapter 2 reveals a heart attitude of Judah as she is only ashamed when she is caught in her sin, not when in the practice of it. Also there is not a place of true repentance. We’ve seen politicians, athletes, etc, who would never admit they were wrong until they are caught and often times their confession is halfhearted and not always on the mark of true revelation and exposure. David, himself, did not repent of his sin with Bath-Sheba till Nathan brought the matter up to him in the tale of the little pet ewe lamb.

God calls for His people to be ashamed of their sin before Him; He who is all righteousness and purity. He is our standard never men! Even Israel’s godly leaders had turned to evil, their priests and prophets. They were the religious leaders of the time and they had all chosen a wrong road.

False prophets and teachers who infiltrate the church are exposed throughout Scripture, including 2 Peter and Jude. Even Christ warned us of their presence in our churches. Judas was the first false tare who we recognize in the New Testament. No one even suspected him as he was among the others who performed so many miracles, stayed faithful to Christ, etc.

Many of the false ones know how to walk the walk and talk the talk; yet, whenever they get a chance, they will state a false teaching here and there, a teaching of culture or society that is not Scriptural or of a separated stance.

These teachers become more prominent in the church in the last times as believers will no longer long for the deep and convicting teaching of verse by verse study. They will desire teachers who present very little Bible and only that which makes them feel good, not that which causes them to fall on their knees in deep repentance. They are not desirous of gaining continuous, higher ground as the hymn writer expressed it: “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day, still praying as I’m onward bound, ‘Lord plant my feet on higher ground.’ ’’

I don’t believe in worldly advertising for churches; but nevertheless, I have never read a billboard for a church that states, “Come and learn how to suffer for Christ.” Gaining friends and having fun appears to be the fancy by which churches want to advertise and present themselves in these last days.

In verse 27, God addresses the new age movement of the time, noting the Jews were worshipping the earth and the things of the earth, such as trees and stones. I was told of a man who decided to become a Native American though he was not by nationality. He would go up to the mountains to commune with his father-god of nature. People of this false faith truly believe the spirits are in the trees, rocks, etc; and these must be left undisturbed. We witness how this movement has grown as wilderness American soil is now not to be cultivated for man-made purposes to the insane extreme.

Romans chapter 1 addresses people worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, suppressing the truth that God has made Himself evident to man through His manufacturing attributes. After a society turns to a nature mentality (The evolution of animals, vegetation, stones, etc.), abandoning a Creator mentality, it then begins a downward, degrading path, where it even approves of homosexuality. This eventually results in a culture’s demise. The great kingdom of Rome is no longer, as it fell deep into these lustful, indecent and immodest ways. They diverted from all the chaste and prudish ways of holy God!

The culture of Judah is on its way to demise, and her discipline for her allegiance to the New Age religion will soon be felt.

When it settles down to reality and God’s discipline, these Jews will all of a sudden call on God to save them. They won’t call on their false idols to save them as those gods have no mouths to speak nor ears that hear (see Psalm 135:15-18). The end result is found in verse 18, they become like their idols; obviously lacking all common sense, truth and decency. However, reality doesn’t strike until terror is biting their heels.

Verse 28 portrays God in His sarcastic humor, as He challenges His people to let idols arise and save them if they can when His wrath strikes. This is similar to Elijah, 1 Kings 18, who told the false prophets to yell to get Baal, the storm god, to respond to them. He too mocked the stupidity of man-made religion.

Many people today worship the television in the sense that this is where they acquire their humanistic, cultural philosophies; yet, it wasn’t the television people ran to on 9-11 for hope; it was God. People picked up Gospel tracts as if they were worth a million dollars in New York City. At the Columbine school massacre, people ran to the churches, not the psychiatrists sent by the state.

Advancing further into Jeremiah chapter two, we see in verse 30 that God attempted to chastise His children but with no results. God is longsuffering, but only for a season.

Judgment placed on disobedience is for New Testament believers too, as we know from Hebrews 12, Revelation chapters 2-3, and other portions of Scripture.

We read in verse 30, that these people killed the true prophets. This is powerfully exposed in Hebrews 11:36-38.

Verse 31 reveals how faithful God has been to His children, always present for them. He has not been in the wilderness nor hidden in darkness. This truth proclaims God’s unconditional love for His people through His omnipresence. He has never failed them nor forsaken them even when they have chosen the wrong paths.

We move away from God, He doesn’t move from us! The second we repent, we know He is there and always has been, just waiting for that call of re-communion.

The deep heart hurt and cry is felt as we read verse 32 of God’s spoken words—Judah has forgotten God! Yes, God, the One who loves this nation with all His heart. This people, as a whole, have not even thought of Him—“for days without number!” It is akin to a bride forgetting her wedding dress and its ornaments. It seems absolutely impossible that Judah would forget the One who is to be her first love. Israel is the bride of Christ and so is the church. Both the true Jews and the true church will be united with Christ one day.

Judah’s personal wickedness is addressed in verses 33-35. She is so evil she even teaches the surrounding nations how to fall further into sin.

This nation doesn’t even care for its innocent poor population. James 2:5 and 5:1-6 disclose how detestable this is in the eyes of our Lord. God chose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of His kingdom. Partiality is a devious sin when we love the socially acceptable in men’s eyes above the ones who do not fit into worldly, uppity society.

God confronts Judah with reality by saying, you did not find the poor breaking into your home, whereby you believe you can justly ill-treat them. There is no reason for this, as it is just spiteful prejudice. They truly believe they are better than others. The Jews reveal how they are walking in denial in verse 34, stating, they are innocent. They turn their back on all sinful disclosure, including how they treat the undesirables.

They believe they are under grace alone and no judgment or wrath would arise from their God who is all love. Warning believers that there are consequences to disobeying the Holy Word was just as deplorable to the people back then as it is today!

Verse 36 speaks of them changing their ways, that of always walking in instability to go with the flow. This is certainly exposed in James chapter 1; people are tossed here and there by the instability of their ways not holding fast to Christ alone. They love to explore the newest trendy ways that change from year to year. Malachi 3:6-7 discloses God does not change, that is why we are not to accept new philosophies and methodologies that do. When we accept worldly ways and compromise, we are seen as unstable souls and our witness can become a matter of mockery.

The coming judgment of these actions appears in verse 37—they leave their land in humiliation with their hands on their heads. Many were killed and many were taken captive by Babylon. Judah trusted in the surrounding culture, but it would be that society that would bring forth its demise and captivity. When we trust in society, loving its fun, entertainment, materialism, etc; not being wise to its diabolical propagation—its outward deception of counterfeit presentation, we are consumed and enslaved by it.

Jeremiah Chapter 3

The sanctity of marriage and its vowels of life, is serious. It is as a covenant made with God and is addressed in the first verse. We know in this age that this covenant is not witnessed in the earnest and grave manner it was a century ago, when divorce was not a simple legal option.

Verse one is basically quoting Deuteronomy 24:1-4. This was a situation of divorce allowed by the law when a woman was found to be impure by her husband. She was not the chaste virgin he believed her to be. She lied. Even though virginity holds a place of mockery today, we know that women and men are to come together as chaste virgins through the marriage vowels stated before our holy LORD. Of course, many believers have turned to a pure mindset after being saved from a lustful past. God forgives, restores and renews as we see with the woman at the well. I believe God sees a couple as pure when they marry, if they pursued purity after coming to Christ.

Scripture also admonishes us to be chaste virgins before our Lord in the sense of walking in purity and not being stained by this moral-less world where chastity, modesty, and decency are hated.

When the movie Titanic was released, I was deeply hurt, as all of God’s calling for purity was cast aside in this drama that even Christians praised. Believers are to walk in all purity hating the sins that sent Christ to the tree of crucifixion, including nudity, pre-marital sex, swearing, and all the vileness of the world that was portrayed in this production.

Why did many observe nothing awry in this movie? I have no idea. I also do not know why believing parents let their young children view it. Why Christians even expect godless, vile Hollywood to produce decent programs is beyond me. They are not God’s called out and separated ones. We are not called to reform the unregenerate. This can only be accomplished by the new birth. Believers think if they complain enough, Hollywood will acquire a Christian mindset, even when producers have no spiritual discernment to begin with. Hollywood brags about the fact it is amoral, and that is why it is known to be full of pedophiles. This ugly fact has been testified to by former child actors, male and female.

In 1 Peter 3:2, we note a woman of chastity being able to win her erring husband back to the Lord (acting chaste toward other men). This type of woman today would be respectful in her behavior. She would not be flirtatious nor dress to attract the opposite sex. She would not be a woman who would set her mind on alluring men such as movie stars, Christian entertainers, or the neighbor next door. Her mind and heart would be set on her husband alone.

We are to possess pure minds. What we set before our eyes can pollute a godly mindset. We can turn to what is improper by what we seat ourselves before. I know personally, I have a far purer thought life when I’m away from worldly entertainment. I was formerly addicted to the television, but God released me when I cried for deliverance from this bondage as a young person. There are many people who are held so gravely in the bondage of entrainment that they could not go a week without it.

In verse 1, God is speaking of pollution, sin pollution that can occur when a man divorces his wife. Because she is not wanted, she goes to a man who desires her. Then, out of the blue, her previous husband decides to pursue her, even though she has been with another man. She then decides to return to her original husband. (Believe it or not, I have heard of similar situations.) Why is this wrong? Because we know God ordained one woman for one man. It bears the appearance of harlotry not purity. God’s children are not to go from mate to mate; this being abhorrent. If one divorces and remarries, then they must remain with their new spouse. A woman may feel guilty because she broke her original marriage vowels, but she must receive God’s forgiveness and stay with her current husband for life.

Of course, a woman may want to return to her former husbands for other reasons … Maybe this new husband is not an adequate provider or doesn’t pay her as much attention. Whatever the situation, she is not to pollute the land and return to her first husband.

We also view in verse 1, forgiving and imploring love arriving from God. Israel has played the lover with many false gods; yet, God is calling her to return to Him and be faithful to Him alone. It is remarkable love with conditions of faithfulness. No one can love Israel as God can. No one else looks out for her best interests that of eternal blessings beyond imagination.

Verse 2 moves into the idolatry of these Hebrews. They are pursuing many gods like an Arab in the desert who is a thief, just waiting for his next victim. It’s as if Judah can’t get enough gods to be in bondage to. The Arab thief is never satisfied either, no matter how much wealth he pockets by the edge of a sword.

In verse 3, we witness more of God’s curse on creation as He is withholding the rain, specifically the spring rain. How can crops grow without spring rains? No rain … no food. Today, Israel is a desert land where once she was a land of milk and honey. Obedience brings blessings; disobedience, great hardship. God commands in Zechariah 10:1 that we pray early for spring rains. We must seek Him for a blessed harvest long before the produce is planted. God can bring drought to America too if we take blessings for granted.

We see an interesting phrase in verse 3, that of Judah possessing a harlot’s forehead. A godly chaste woman covered herself with a veil, a promiscuous woman did not or she wore a very little one that did not cover her forehead.

In 2 Samuel 13:18, we see the dress of a virgin as we view David’s daughter, Tamar. She is dressed in a virgin garment for the king’s daughters. It is long sleeved and consists of modest robes. Because her sinful half-brother, Amnon, raped her, she tears her virgin garments in shame; no doubt, feeling unworthy to now don them; verse 19.

How many women today would consider it an honor to wear modest virgin garments? In today’s society, girls want to wear the garments of a harlot, very immodest and revealing. Modest virgin garments that cover the body would certainly be mocked today; but God, who calls women to dress modestly, endorses them; 1 Timothy 2:9.

Returning to verse 3 in Jeremiah, we see Judah is unashamed in serving other gods; reemphasizing verse 1. On the flip-side, we witness she likes to pretend she loves God; verse 4. Judah calls God her “Father” and feigns being God’s friend, wanting Him to guide. This would be similar to people attending church on Sunday, listening to the message, singing the hymns, praying, taking communion; yet, doing as they choose during the week without asking themselves, “Is this pleasing to my holy and righteous LORD?”

Judah recognizes God is angry with her; verse 5; yet, with no desire to turn away. She truly does not fear God. Fearing God is the beginning of understanding.

God speaks to Jeremiah in verse 6 in disgust concerning Judah as He asks him if he saw the wicked idolatrous ways of Israel (the removed northern kingdom of ten tribes of Israel)? God is asking Jeremiah this question during the rule of Josiah, the righteous king of Judah. Israel was taken captive by Assyria many years previous; however, Judah never learned from Israel’s sins and consequences.

God desired that Israel repent, but she did not. God cannot understand why Judah never learned a lesson in this. Today, society can witness people being haled off to prison for drug abuse; however, it never prevents others from following suit. The total wisdom of God is rarely desired in any society.

Verse 8 speaks of God divorcing Israel. We can’t have a better picture of this than with Hosea who was a prophet to Israel, the northern kingdom, and was told to marry a harlot to portray God’s heart toward Israel.

In the book of Hosea, we witness Hosea remaining faithful for Gomer even though she had many lovers and children by them, as well as by Hosea. Gomer finally leaves Hosea, because of her obvious desire to be with many other men. However, Hosea did not give up on desiring her return and eventually bought her, as she had become a slave to be auctioned. This illustrated the fact, God would eventually bring Israel back from captivity to the Promised Land. He would bestow His love on these Jews once again. The prodigal son is also a picture of God’s desire to forgive and restore the repentant person.

In counseling women who have wayward husbands, I request they pray the prayer of Hosea. He asked for Gomer to be hedged up with thorns, for a wall to be built against her, whereby she could not find her paths. Also that she would not overtake any lovers so she would return to him; Hosea 2:6-7.

The new age movement is addressed in verse 9 again. I spoke to this earlier in 2:27 when it first surfaced in Jeremiah. Judah looks earthward instead of heavenward for answers.

God desires we follow Him wholeheartedly, never halfheartedly. He reprimands Judah for not turning to Him with all of her heart. Deuteronomy 6:5 commands us to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our might. Judah disobeyed this command and God was going to bring frightful judgment. As followers of Christ, we are not to love Him with just 10% of our being, or 50% nor 90%, but with all our heart!

God is very disappointed in Judah as she is now even more wicked than Israel. Here, God pleads with Israel, not Judah, to repent and return to Him; verse 12.

Also in verse 12, God declares He is a gracious forgiving God. He simply asks Israel to repent. It is always so simple, but few follow this road. Psalm 103:13-14 explains God’s heart of loving His children, as He has compassion on His children who fear Him, just as any father does. He knows our frame and that we are but dust. This puts us in our rightful place. We have no reason to walk in any pride, being composed of dirt and exhibiting the stupidity of dumb sheep. What would we do without our Shepherd?

Verse 15 addresses a future time, when the Jews will be led by shepherds, those who will feed them on the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. We know this is referring to the millennial period—the next verse speaks of having no need for the Ark of the Covenant as there will be no need to even remember it.

Isaiah 65:17 speaks of the future when God creates a new heavens and earth when former things will not be remembered nor come to mind. Heaven will be so wonderful and fulfilling we will not have a desire to remember this sin-filled earth nor will we think upon it in time.

We so look forward to the period mentioned in verse 17 of Jeremiah, when all will call Jerusalem “The Throne of the Lord.” All the nations will be gathered to it and no one will walk again after the stubbornness of their heart.

We know after the Babylonian captivity both Israel and Judah became one nation again and this will be true during the millennium as well; verse 18. This however, will be a total union in love without disputes.

As we return to verse 19, God reveals the pain and hurt of having Israel turn from Him. We too grieve God’s heart whenever we turn from Him. God views this as treachery, when we put other things before Him.

Verse 23 refers to the hills being a deception. Why? Because that was where the idols were always placed. David in Psalm 121 reveals his help came from the LORD, not the hills where he looked. The idols were positioned on the hills.

Sin can be all-consuming as we perceive in verse 24. It devours the labor of fathers, and the flocks, herds, sons and daughters. Sin affects the land as we saw earlier. In Jonah 3:8, when Nineveh repented, the beasts had to be covered in sackcloth and ashes, as well as the people. And in Jonah 4:11, God spoke of saving the animals and the people.

Verse 25 is a great prayer of repentance that God desired His people pray. He requested that they simply state that they had sinned against the Lord their God from their youth till this day. A prayer of salvation can be very simple too if it comes from the heart of repentance. One simply asks Christ to save and cleanse them from their sins and take control of their life. God makes it simple for us simple folk.

Jeremiah Chapter 4

God is speaking to Israel, the northern captured kingdom, in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 4. He desires that this chosen nation would reach the nations for Him through Israel turning from detestable things. God wanted the Gentiles saved in Old Testament times as well as in the church age. He desired that the other kingdoms glory in Him just as Israel was called to do. God loves all men and desires all be saved; that’s why we are called to present the Gospel throughout the world and to our neighbors beside us.

James 4:4f addresses God’s disobedient ones, the Jews in the New Testament; yet James was also written for everyone’s learning just as the book of Jeremiah. In the book of James, the Jews had become a friend of the world and God warned they would pay their indebtedness for doing so through His discipline. Repentance was required. In Jeremiah, Israel and Judah had become God’s enemies through their compromising ways. James states compromising with the culture, always produces hostility toward God. He separates from us—true fellowship is lost. God never changes from generation to generation! Whenever we seek the world for answers and not God’s holy ordinances, we become God’s enemies. Society, which is ruled by satan, will justify most all evil and the Bible is not the standard, as holiness is a foreign word to this world.

Years ago, I was filmed for a response to a local news editorial concerning sex education in the public schools. The manager informed me, she had never seen the word righteous before reading my counter reply for airing.

Here are a couple verses from the hymn, More Holiness Give Me: “More holiness give me, more striving within; more patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin; more faith in my Savior, more sense of His care; more joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.”  Third stanza: “More purity give me; more strength to overcome; more freedom from earth stains, more longings for home; more fit for the kingdom, more used would I be; more blessed and holy, more Savior like Thee.” This hymn reveals what God desires for all His people and what I feel is the heart-cry of these verses in Jeremiah.

Verses 3-5, turns our attention back to Judah, consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. To review again, if you turn to the maps in the back of a study Bible, you will see the tribal area of Benjamin. (You can also locate the twelve tribal map areas through an Internet Bible information search.)

This was the land God allotted to the tribe of Benjamin who descended from Jacob’s son Benjamin. The people living in the area of Judah, below Benjamin, descended from Jacob’s son Judah. Judah is referring to the entire southern kingdom, consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Jacob had twelve sons. The northern captured kingdom, removed by Assyria, consisted of the other ten tribes.

Verse 5 and following speak further of the future Babylonian attack on Judah when many will be killed and made captives. When verse 6 speaks of Zion, it means Jerusalem, the holy city, which is in the area of Benjamin. Verse 7 speaks of a lion; this would represent King Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed kingdoms to enlarge his rulership in his thirst for power. We do know by God’s grace that he eventually became a believer through Daniel’s witness and God’s discipline.

In 1 Peter 5:8 satan is described as a lion, because through his craftiness he desires to destroy all of mankind. That is why we are never to waver and turn to the philosophies and teachings that come from his kingdom—the earth. Those teachings that contradict God’s Word eventually bring destruction to the hearer. This is satan’s plan to lead us down the path of destruction through cultural philosophies that sound reasonable and are flesh-fulfilling, but produce God’s discipline. Satan despises all mankind because man is made in God’s image.

God, in verse 7, is straightforward about the consequences of disobediences; if they don’t repent their land will become a waste without inhabitant. This is a result of the fierce anger of the Lord; verse 8; who hates all sin! We will see this anger of our righteous LORD powerfully unleashed again when judgment falls on the entire world as witnessed in Revelation. Pastors formerly taught on God’s fierce anger, but today it is avoided as not politically correct for the contemporary church. How sad, knowing such preaching brought many to our Savior in centuries past.

Verse 9 speaks of the differing responses of suffering people. “The prophets will be astounded.” This would be the false prophets who truly thought the people were righteous in God’s eyes, as they held a form of godliness. They believed this form of religiosity overshadowed the fact that they were not obeying all of God’s commands for holy living. This verse also states, “hearts will fail” and “priests will be appalled.”

Jeremiah pours out his heart in verse 10 as he feels the justice coming to his fellow Jews is not justifiable. He even boldly exclaims, “God has deceived this people.” However, Deuteronomy 28:15 declares, God will bring many curses on the Hebrews if they don’t observe all His commandments and statutes. Verse 32 of Deuteronomy 28 and following state, they will become enslaved to other nations if they disobey their holy God.

Verses 11 and 12, back in Jeremiah, foretell God is going to bring judgment and there will be no reason to winnow and cleanse the grain that was grown. The people will be ruined and so will the land.

We become redirected to the power of King Nebuchadnezzar in verse 13.  His chariots cannot be halted and the swiftness of his horses will prevail. Job 39, verses 19-25, speak of God’s omnipotence in forming the stately horse. God declares the inner workings of the horse that craves battle. The horse exalts in his strength and power; therefore he inwardly laughs at fear, being not dismayed; Job 39:22. In verse 25, when the trumpet sounds, the eager horse exclaims in his mind, “Aha!”

Moving further into Chapter 4 of Jeremiah, God exhorts His Jewry to wash their hearts from evil for their salvation; verse 14. We desire to be washed whiter than snow and we are in the eyes of God, thanks to Christ’s shed blood, which cleanses us from all sin.

We additionally witness that God desires that they practice a pure thought life as He desires that no wicked thoughts lodge in them. 2 Corinthians 10:5 commands us to take every thought captive in obedience of Christ. We are not to harbor any thoughts that are contrary to His holy ways. We do this by not allowing the speculations and lofty teachings of culture to have any place in our minds. Anything that contradicts God’s holy and inerrant Word should not be dwelt on, knowing it forfeits our knowledge of God. Ephesians 4:17 warns us not to walk in the futility of our minds. We are not to dwell on those things that don’t bring us closer to our Lord and King nor those things that produce anger, pride, and the sensual and so forth.

We are to think on those things that are lovely, pure, honorable, right and worthy of praise, etc; Phil. 4:8. The music that we regard should cause us to dwell on all those things that are lovely, pure, and honorable, like listening to a lovely symphony piece that puts our mind on quiet waters and green pastures, such as Psalm 23 proclaims. Of course, setting our mind on the Lord is of utmost importance! Those things that encompass our being should be representative of a gentle spirit, Philippians 4:5; and that which encompasses humility and lowliness of mind.

This is opposite of what the world teaches as it desires celebrities to applaud and to exalt as stars. It is so wrong when churches possess an entertainment mentality to please the world which exalts the talented. There was a time when the choir sang from the back of the church as the congregation faced the front, thus forsaking the uplifting of human talent and applauding, etc. Those things that brought haughtiness of mind were to be shunned in times past.

Telling jokes seems to be of all importance in the contemporary church and in entertaining Christendom, which often sets the mind on fleshly enjoyment; yet, not one joke is recorded in all of Scripture. Yes, God certainly has a sense of humor, being noted in the book of Job regarding creation, yet this humor is to exalt the greatness of our Lord and King alone. The teaching of God’s Word is to be witnessed in all seriousness of mind when we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing on our fellowship. Glitter and lights of showmanship do not cause our holy Lord to rejoice in man’s prideful self-exaltation.

God lets it be known in the following verses that inflicted pain is on the way as Judah has rebelled against God; verse 17. Rebelling is not conforming ourselves to God’s ways but to the ways we desire. These ways lead to a bitter end; verse 18.

Verse 19 turns our attention to a speech expressing the anguished heart of Jeremiah as God reveals the coming tragedy to the land. Jeremiah does not desire that his people suffer and so his heart aches for them. He says, “My heart is pounding in me.” God has allowed him to hear the battle cry and the sound of the trumpet. In Revelation 9:14 there will be the sound of the trumpet which will result in a third of the earth being destroyed, a far greater catastrophe than what Jeremiah was to experience.

Moving on in Jeremiah, we see him witnessing the devastation of the land. He even sees, by the will of God, his own tents being destroyed and his curtains; verse 20. God, no doubt, is giving him factual visions that disturb him.

We can understand more of the “heart” of Jeremiah by studying Lamentations which was also penned by him. Lamentations was written after the destruction of Judah. Lamentations follows Jeremiah in the Bible. If you turn to Lamentations 3:15-18, you view Jeremiah’s sorrowful heart, which states, God has broken his teeth and has made him cower in the dust. He speaks of forgetting happiness and having no hope from the Lord. Of course, Jeremiah rose up to praise God again, but the devastation was a frightening thing to live through, similar to experiencing an atom bomb or a 9-ll catastrophe. God’s judgment and discipline are never fun, that is why we have His Word to exhort us to holy living. He does not desire our sorrow.

God speaks in verse 22 in response as he lets Jeremiah know that His people are foolish and do not know Him, that is, His character of righteousness. They have “no understanding.” Why? They don’t study His ordinances. We are commanded to study God’s Word in the New Testament so we are approved unto God. They did not desire to be approved unto God, learning and practicing His truths. God is saying they are without excuse as they have access to everything. Also, Jeremiah by God’s grace was sent to warn them, but they consistently refuse to listen to him.

Psalm 50:21 is a very revealing verse; aptly disclosing the people thought God was just like them! We make a huge mistake when we think God enjoys the things we do or thinks the way we think. I believe we are living in the time of the apostasy because believers think God is like them, enjoying today’s culture and ways like they do. They are sadly mistaken! He is not impressed with the arts or any other thing that brings them entertaining joy. Isaiah 55:8 proclaims, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the LORD.”

Jeremiah speaks again in verse 23, quoting Genesis 1:2. He sees that the area of Judah will be “formless and void.” Jeremiah witnesses the result of the fierce anger of the LORD being accomplished probably through a vision. I believe this is referring to the total destruction of the area. Jeremiah continues to express what he sees, as even the hills move “to and fro;” verse 24. There is no man left; this is because the people were either killed or enslaved. Even the birds have disappeared. Nothing remains for the birds of prey to consume; every dead human has been devoured.

In verse 27, God begins speaking again, informing, He will not execute a complete destruction. This is by His grace. God always preserves a remnant. In Isaiah 11:11-12, God reveals He will gather the banished Jews from Israel and Judah. This foretells their preservation and return to the land, the post-captivity era. The following verses continue to relay the ruin, as God will not change His mind.

Verse 30 states how the women will attempt to make themselves beautiful in a worldly manner in hopes of winning the hearts of the Babylonians, but it will all be in vain as these fierce warriors only care about enlarging their borders for world domination. They are there to kill and destroy not to engage in romance.

Reality strikes in verse 32; a woman in labor, bearing her first child, is pleading for her life in vain. Her murderers have no compassion even on a woman birthing.

Jeremiah 5 Prelude:

 Cassidy the Cat

My cat Cassidy, who loves only me, hating all other persons and animals, enjoys curling up in a black and white ball on my lap. She also covets snuggling. (She is peering at me right now through the window, saying, “Let me in;” in her own way, of course.) If Alan, my husband, enters the room, she sits up and gives him the evil eye. He will look down at her and say, “Yes, I know, you want to be alone with Mama.” The moment he leaves, she encircles my lap and coils in simulation, relishing the gratifying contentment of owning only me.

Being alone with Christ in fellowship as I study, pray, and sing hymns is a fountain of living blessing. Holding a private session with my Savior minus any interruptions is my greatest joy. I do not appreciate it if one enters the room and interrupts my precious moments. God’s truths are powerful, persistently timely and daily enlightening and I don’t desire to miss any of their delights.

Jeremiah Chapter 5

As we enter the scene in chapter 5, verse 1, God is pleading for just one, just one righteous man to be found in the land. We hear this calling-plea today in America. It is a saddening thing when a court judge is removed for upholding the Biblical truths our nation was founded upon, especially in light of the fact that our original laws came forth from these holy writings. On February 29, 1892, our US Supreme Court declared, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.”

Of course, we just can’t blame our government completely knowing that many churches prefer not to teach doctrines that are offensive to a contemporary society. Unfortunately, the church frequently serves no better example. It is not strange that our society, which also views itself as contemporary, would see no need to embrace that which is often viewed as old-fashioned. When there is similar rhetoric descending from our pulpits, how can we expect this government to govern differently? The Ten Commandments exhorts us not to commit adultery and so does the New Testament; yet, how many pastors overlook divorce and remarriage in their assemblies? How many preach against it? Many commandments that are reemphasized in the New Testament are cast aside, to tickle the ears of those in an assembly. Preaching against coveting—desiring that which has not been allotted to us—is not cool for a materialistic society. Of course, one could go on and on.

Looking further into verse 1, part of seeking justice in the land is desiring truth. Of course, the Ten Commandments are truth and certainly basic for a righteous rulership, as the only truth for living we possess is God’s Word. The Ten Commandments are reemphasized in the New Testament, excluding the Sabbath Day and keeping it holy. A few places where you locate the Ten Commandments (actually nine) is Romans 13:1-10, Galatians 5:14, the book of James, Philippians 2:1-5. You easily see the commandments are far more expounded upon with more expected in the way of obedience with us having the Holy Spirit’s power within. Romans 5 teaches us that walking obediently to these commandments, shields us from legal trials.

God made it clear, if He could find just one who sought truth, He would pardon Judah and she would not suffer the consequences of compromise. However, that never became her desire.

In verse 2, we witness the Jews wearing an external appearance of righteousness as they would say, “As the Lord lives.” This statement makes it appear that they held a personal, close relationship to God; but it was only a façade—not lived out through their hearts. Through James 4:15, we interpret that we are still to refer to God’s will if we desire to pursue an endeavor—“If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” We apply this through a heart of righteousness, which the Hebrews did not possess; distinguishing, their being was filled with religious deception.

In verse 3, Jeremiah cries to God inquiring, “Do God’s eyes look for truth?” Jeremiah thinks God is unjustly smiting His people even though he acknowledges they refuse to repent. In this verse, the LORD lets it be known that He attempted correction, but there is no change. They make “their faces harder than rock” which certainly displays a heart that speaks, “I don’t want to be different from the crowd and I will not change for You, God.”

Moving us to verses 4 and 5, we note Jeremiah making excuses for his people by saying they are poor and foolish. Here Jeremiah sets forth his own solution—he’ll just go to the great and speak the Words of God. They know the Word of God. He believes this will result in everyone getting right with the LORD. However, he discovers they have already hardened their hearts and they won’t break them in repentance. They had let go of God’s guiding hands, His “yoke” and “bonds.” They refused to see the protecting love of the LORD that showers the upright with blessings. Jeremiah spent a great deal of his life attempting to bring truth to the people; yet, all in vain due to their set-in-stone sins.

In verse 6, Jeremiah acknowledges that they don’t seek the values of God; therefore, they must be destroyed by beasts as their transgressions are many and their religious facades are numerous. They are the pretenders.

God takes the place of speaker and inquires in verses 7-8, “Why should I pardon Judah when her sons have forsaken Me.” The Lord reveals these men have followed false gods. God warns in Psalm 135:15-18 that those who make and trust false gods become like them. We do become like the people and things we spend our time with. If one is consistently seated before the television and movies, they are going to spend their time speaking those things that surround the entertainment realm. If one spends time with one who enjoys telling dirty jokes, they will start retelling those jokes. I knew a pastor who engaged in such behavior. He lived a short life. I must restate, what we spend time with consumes our being through its outpouring. If we spend time in scripture, we will be sharing positive fruitful Biblical truth with others.

This verse states as well, they have committed adultery—sexual unfaithfulness—when they were to hold to one’s mate for life. They were lusting after other women and harlots. They were not holding their thoughts and actions in check. In Matthew 5:27-28, Christ plainly warns that no one should commit adultery, quoting Deuteronomy 5:18. The Lord adds more substance by stating, a man can also commit the sin of adultery by lusting after another woman. Of course, women can lust wrongfully after men as well.

In verse 9, we see God’s attribute of vengeance which is also revealed in the New Testament. Vengeance is to be performed by the LORD; Hebrews 10:30 and Deuteronomy 32:35. God is a consuming fire when it comes to dealing with the sinful and unrepentant. This conflagration of judgment will fully be revealed when the unsaved will stand before him. God is saying because they are not true to their wives for life that He has the right to punish and bring judgment upon the land of Judah! God certainly has the right to avenge America when we see infidelity so rampant in society and in the church.

Undeserved grace is seen in verse 10, as God states, “He will not execute a complete destruction,” but He will strip away the false branches. We read in John 15:2-6 of branches being removed, branches that don’t bear fruit. Those who don’t abide in Christ, will be cast into the fire and burned. This is illustrating apostates I believe.

The sin of treachery is presented in verse 12. God says both the northern and southern kingdoms have been treacherous against Him; they made Him to be someone He was not. They presented Him as one who overlooks their sin, believing that no misfortune—sword or famine would ever arise due to their disobedience. Verse 13 reveals it was the false prophets who declared this. They lyingly taught false grace—the Lord simply turns the other way when they cast aside the Word of God. He pays no attention to the sin of His chosen ones.

The New Testament teaches us about false prophets in many portions including 2 Corinthians 11:13f. This passage discloses they disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. They know how to enter our churches and play the Christian act, at least on Sunday. These vile dudes are revealed clearly in Jude. They modernize the Bible to their mindset. They aren’t ones who love inductive Bible teaching and application. 2 Peter, chapter 2, discloses how they will move among us introducing the heretical ways and practices of the world, bringing swift destruction upon themselves, which we witness in John 15. They use false words, not holding to Scripture alone! As we move further into chapter 2 of 2 Peter, we witness God’s anger is against them as He will cast them into hell. Trekking further, we see Old Testament examples being cited in Peter to reveal how God’s wrath is placed upon sinners.

God directly speaks in a personal form to Jeremiah in verse 14. He blesses Jeremiah by stating, because he has not compromised the message; God’s words would now be fire in Jeremiah’s mouth. These words would be the convicting fire of the truth of God’s inerrant and holy Word in judgment against sinners. Hebrews 4:12 reveals God’s Word is living and active! None of God’s Word has died. It is still wholly relevant for today. It is living and true just as it was centuries ago. Contemporary-ism does not murder any of its live content. This verse further reveals that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, “piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit.” A pastor may speak dully the living words from Scripture; yet, the words can still convict the one who is not practicing its truth.

The spoken words of Jeremiah were never dull as he was a fiery preacher of the truths of God. He spoke through the powerful, convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. Yes, God is a God of love and grace, however, His wrath, anger and vengeance cannot be cast aside. The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge! It can bring a hell-destined sinner to his knees.

We also learn, reading the next phrase, the words spoken by Jeremiah would “consume them” as fire. God is a “consuming fire” as noted in Hebrews 12:29. Unfortunately, such messages on this attribute of God are rarely and seldom heard. Of course, these sermons are most needed to be spoken from arenas where the multitudes of lost ones gather. Those in strong churches are usually snatched out of the fire: therefore, they mainly require the meat of God’s Word for uniform growth. Yes, a powerful Gospel still should be presented to one who is searching, as they slip in amongst believers; although, a church is to be careful of those who are false teachers who attempt to slip in as well.

When it comes to speaking forth the judgment of God, pastors should not neglect educating their congregations on the wrathful attributes of God. Whereby, believers desire to reach the lost, knowing hell’s fire is not a figment of one’s imagination or a playground for partiers.

In Jeremiah 5:15, our attention is turned to Babylon, which is bringing into play God’s judgment. We read this nation of power is enduring and ancient. It has been in existence since 1830 BC, at least. We first read of this area in Genesis 10:10, when Babel is spoken of. God removed everyone from this compressed area for world migration.

This verse also speaks how they will be unlearned in the language of these people. Babylon spoke Aramaic and Jews spoke Hebrew. Aramaic naturally became the world’s prose that Jews had to adopt. Even Christ spoke Galilean Aramaic on earth when He quoted portions of the Old Testament.

Verse 16 is a fierce verse as the Babylonian army was not to be reckoned with; they were mighty and their quiver was an open grave. This obviously revealed their mastery of striking the human mark without fail. David and his men were described as mighty men in 1 Chronicles 12:8. They had faces like lions and they were swift as gazelles on the mountains. These warriors were also feared in their day, long before the great Babylonian Empire surfaced.

God further informs Jeremiah in verse 17, returning to the passage, that these people will devour all their food, children, herds, vines, and trees. They will also demolish with the sword their fortified cities in which they trust. We see throughout the Word of God, we are not to trust in the things made by men’s hands or hold great admiration for them.

We as believers, in this wicked world, should never trust in the city or country in which we dwell, believing it will shield us. David in Psalm 20:7 states, “Some trust in chariots and horses, but we trust in the Lord our God!” Isaiah 40 teaches God elevates as well as destroys kingdoms at will; therefore, we learn we should never anchor hope in them, only in our Lord. God is condemning the people in verse 17, back in Jeremiah, for trusting in Jerusalem’s might when they should only trust in the LORD.

Verse 20 refers to a people who are not inductively listening to God’s Holy Word. They are equipped to do so with ears and eyes, but they use them not. God, in verse 22, reveals they are not fearing or trembling before their all-consuming God. Philippians 2:12 warns we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” These two verses, one in the Old and one in the New Testament, should educate us on how we must reverence God who is not to be taken for granted!

Progressing into the passage, we see the omnipotence of God displayed. He has made sure that the sea has boundaries even during a storm. If one desires to buy an oceanside home, they should investigate where God’s established boundaries have proven to be steadfast. He controls all and nothing lies outside His declared limits. When my husband and I were in Aruba on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Hurricane Ivan struck fiercely, removing the stretching, man-made beaches, which reestablished the shoreline to its original God-created boundaries.

In verse 23, God further explains His omnipotence in creation. He gives rain in its season, both autumn and spring rains for our harvest time. That is why we observe Thanksgiving, thanking Him for the abundance of food He allows men to reap in the fall; as well as remembering the Pilgrims and His blessings of provision bestowed upon them.

God does not always bless people with harvest. We hear often of drought in other nations. Here God is saying He is withholding these good things from them due to their sin; verse 25. Obedience produces blessings of harvest, sin eliminates many blessings.

Verses 26 and 27 reveal there were wicked men among them, those who take advantage of others and therefore have become great and rich. Sounds like many politicians today who support godless lobbies for their contributions.  Often these lobbies are orchestrated to remove the privileges of the righteous by eradicating moral laws of uprightness. Some lobbyist agendas include allowing evil to reign through the murder of unborn children. These same people will also lobby for homosexual rights and for promiscuity to be displayed legally. The ACLU fights to allow pornography to be put before children that they may be used sexually. Many of these groups lobby angrily also in hopes of removing Christ and the Bible from all government domains.

We observe these wicked ones in Jeremiah’s time also did not care for the lowly such as orphans who need special love and attention. They do not defend the rights of the poor. This resembles politics today, as the rich often gain the greatest tax breaks, not the average working person. Married people have been penalized for not living in sin. If people choose the sinful lifestyle, they receive a greater levy break under democrats.

God states again, in verse 29, that He has a right to avenge as He has listed many sins that are reigning in this kingdom.

Verse 30 concludes this chapter. God exposes that the priests were ruling on their own authority, not God’s. They obviously were not using the Scriptures for exhorting, or they bent and twisted them to justify their personal doctrines. These Jews loved hearing priests and prophets who refused to dig deep into the true ways of God.

Jeremiah Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is key to the book of Jeremiah. It sums the substance of the message of Jeremiah. It should remain instilled in your mind. Its wisdom should overtake your heart. It should be read over and over again. It should be marked in your Bible as a place to seek wisdom and guidance in this age of blatant apostasy.

The entry section of this chapter is directed to the tribe of Benjamin, whose God-bequeathed area included the prominent city of Jerusalem. Other close cities are also cited as Babylonian targets of war. The Lord is revealing to them that destruction is coming even to the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Babylon’s intelligent military strategy is revealed in verses 3-6, coming dressed as shepherds, or so it appears, to scout out the land. Who will suspect these disguised ones with their sheep? They determine to attack at noon and night for best advantage. At noon, people would possibly be eating, therefore not alert. In the evening, the enemy can hide in the thickness of the black night. It will be at night that they attack the palaces, which would most likely have posted sentries who can be caught off-guard by stealthy maneuvering.

God has declared that Jerusalem must be punished for its oppression! She is wicked, verse 7, noting “violence and destruction are heard in her.”

God has attempted other methods of discipline as parents might try with disobedient children. Sickness and wounds did not cause the Jews to repent as Jeremiah 2:20 reveals. God was striking their sons but to no avail. The verse discloses they accepted no chastening.

Please remember the Corinthian church, regarding the fact its members were sick and dying due to sin and it seemed Christ’s chastening brought no repentance; therefore, illness and death were amongst them—1 Corinthians 11:30.

God warns the Jews in Jeremiah that He will alienate Himself from them and will make their land without inhabitant; verse 8. It is not a pleasant thing when God deserts His people. And it will not be a fun time when they are removed from their homes and land to dwell with the heathen who have little or no knowledge of the Holy One.

God will not leave any person in the land. He will remove all, as one who moves their hand over a vine to insure all fruit is gathered for harvest; verse 9.

Even though Jeremiah persistently warns these Jews from a loving heart that reveals God’s love and concern, they refuse to listen, as their ears are closed; verse 10.

The last phrase of verse 10 is quite insightful as the Word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it!

How many believers today do not delight in the Word of God and even dislike much of its poignant teachings? How many Christians actually cherish having time to study and rejoice in the Holy Scriptures? If they do not, this type of attitude is very distasteful in the mouth of our righteous Christ.

Amongst the persecuted church, the Word of God is very precious, like sought-after diamonds! In a magazine that tells of persecution, I saw a photo of women secretly huddled in a crawl space for Bible study in China. They praise and learn of God in the darkness. They know they can be imprisoned or murdered for their faith. Yet, they are very hungry for the Word and are willing to take the chance for Bible study and fellowship. Would you meet in a crawl space under a house to hear God’s Word without all the worldly allurement that American churches entice people with today?

The government churches are safe places to worship for the Chinese, but they are not the on-fire churches that meet in a crawl space, in an attic or out in the forest. Yet, these are the churches that thrive in number without a fancy stage and sensual rock music with special lighting. These faithful Orientals simply “sing to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:13) Most often, it must be done quietly so no one turns them in.

American Churches are silly and blind to what dedicated truth is all about. And if you don’t think the world sees how silly they are, then think again. I believe they do and this keeps people from wanting to hear the true Gospel message when it is brought to them. Unsaved folk will sometimes watch so-called Christians on stages, televised by religious networks. They see the fancy clothes, gems, and the fact these people only follow God for wealth and fame. Of course, I am not saying these performers are necessarily true Christians.

Does not God have a right to judge us, as He did Israel that no longer took the Word seriously when it came to separating from society’s influence and sensual allurements for personal gain and fame? Israel also saw no reason to absorb the whole Word of God in all seriousness, reverent respect, honor and obedience.

Today’s pastors don’t desire to be obedient, going out to preach the Word on street corners and in public places, so they turn their churches into social, entertainment, recreational centers.

The persecuted Hmong people of the Orient run from village to village proclaiming the Gospel, though it often times means death or imprisonment. They aren’t afraid of what people think! They are the despised slave race of China, brutally abused by those who see them as socially unacceptable. The women wear modest clothing, a head covering in worship and the services are humble and lowly—very pleasing to our humble and lowly Christ! The lust and delight of the eyes are not important for their services that often meet in the forest’s seclusion.

To reveal how ridiculous Christianity has become, a pastor dressed as a clown in the pulpit every Sunday and told jokes to attract people to his fellowship. Another church brought in a stripteaser to perform, to entice outsiders. Does God not have the right to judge America as He did Israel?

Verse 11 reveals Jeremiah’s disappointment over Israel’s lack of love for God’s Word. He explains, he is full of the wrath of the Lord and he is weary of holding it in. Jeremiah formerly was concerned for the fate of his people; now he sees the reality of their sin and wants judgment. He states their many sins, including being greedy for gain. The church leaders even partook in the transgressions; verse 13.

Are not pastors greedy for gain, as they want the greatest numbers in attendance in church no matter the compromise with culture? This also provides a large, comfortable salary for all pastors. Though our pastors should be paid for working diligently in the ministry, some pastors today are paid way beyond what they perform. Many pastors will not evangelize outside the church, engage in congregational visitation, or hold other services outside of one Sunday sermon. Having a long rock concert with shallow, non-convicting Christian lyrics, and a short please-all sermon is basically the extent of many a pastor’s service in the church. Oh, and yes, with a bit of counseling thrown in for good measure.

Of course, members participate in this mindset as well, wanting to be in a large church which they can brag about. How many of us, when we hear of a church, ask how many people are attending, to ascertain how sizable it is, so we can judge its worldly success? We are silly and sinful too!

How many people parade their business in church for greedy gain or attend church only for trade-success? Does God not have a right to judge us as well!

Verse 15, truly lays it on the line as punishment is due, as the Jews no longer even know how to blush! Blushing is prudish and seen in America as something to be made fun of; yet, very commendable in God’s economy. A person can lose their ability to blush in today’s society by simply watching a couple hours of television with its immodest and immoral ways. Christian videos do not even promote modesty. Modesty in the Greek means “dressing in bashfulness towards men and in the fear of God,” according to Strong’s Concordance of old. Women are commanded to dress modestly in the New Testament. If people aren’t acting modest, dressing modest and walking in all moral uprightness, they should not be set before our eyes in the name of entertainment. We are to set no evil thing before our eyes!

Immoral people are not to be allowed in church either. Believers are not permitted to associate with those who say they believe, but are living immoral lives; 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 and 6:9-11.

In verse 16, we perceive staying with the ancient paths is most important. This may sound very old fashioned for those who want the new and exciting roads. But new and exciting roads are ever changing and never bring lasting satisfaction. New roads are always sought, as the old ones become classified as out-of-date, and worn from overuse. God reveals, however, that people will find rest for their souls if they follow His ancient path. NO path of this world gives rest to the soul! Old fashioned, godly ways should not cause us to be ashamed. We need to stand for the old fashioned!

Holding to the ancient paths would be following the ones the great patriarchs, prophets and apostles followed. Jeremiah was certainly one who held to the ancient path and reaped spiritual blessings despite the rejection and hatred cast upon him by God’s lukewarm people.

God’s words are never old-fashioned in His economy of truth. Christians may reject those passages they consider not for a hip and styling generation, but all were given in wisdom and are enduring in the eyes of our most holy and separated God who never changes. God views the ancient paths of wise pursuit as “the good way,” or we might say, the good street. If we walk this road, we grasp Psalm 103:3 that declares, He pardons our iniquities and heals all our diseases. We have noticed throughout the book of Jeremiah that this is the yearning of God—He desires to remove His chastening hand. Blessing and healing arise from obeying this “good way.”

We also perceive from James 5:16, that we can be healed of disease if we confess our sins, seeing sin in light of the ancient paths. Of course, God can say, “No” if the disease will bring Him glory or it is our time to leave this world, which is passing away with its lusts.

We notice at the end of verse 16, in Jeremiah, that God’s children are not interested in the ancient proven ways of God’s holy truth. They want to emulate the styling society of their time, a society who sees God as old-fashioned, not fun and entertaining.

Walking further into this section, the consequences of facing the invading Babylonian army reappear. The Lord proclaims in verse 19 that this disaster is the fruit of their plans. Not plans ordained by the Lord. We can note an example of reaping harmful fruit if we turn to Luke 12:16-21. Here a rich man had reaped an immense substance of crops that he stored in great barns, but he did not even begin to imagine that he could fall dead that night with no eternal hope. He invested naught in the eternal fruits of God; but only in the fruits of materialistic, earthly accumulation.

In Jeremiah verse 20, we see that the offerings of the people to God are meaningless. Why? They did not give because they loved the Lord with all their hearts, souls and minds and His Word. It speaks of them offering to God even costly goods such as frankincense that came all the way from Sheba, which was SW of Arabia (a kingdom that encompassed Yemen and Ethiopia), and sugarcane which was shipped in from the tropics. We know fragrant frankincense is a significant gift of kings, being it was presented to Christ after his birth—Luke 2:1-12. Even though these gifts cited in Jeremiah were considered elaborate, they were rejected by God, as He knew the hearts of His people were not pure and holy and given solely over to Him.

God makes it be known again, in verse 21 of Jeremiah, that His people will perish without any partiality; for fathers, sons, neighbors and friends will all be slain by the sword of the Babylonians. More verses follow that elaborate on this catastrophe. Terror will be on every side and Hebrew lamentations will be most bitter.

In Lamentations 1:1-2, Jeremiah pours out his heart as Jerusalem is now desolate, a city that once was great is no more. This is no future prophesy, but living reality of sadness and gloom for Jeremiah who laments over the land and people of God. We also witness Jeremiah is broken in spirit over the fact that his people are now forced laborers under King Nebuchadnezzar.

Routing ourselves back a book, again in Jeremiah, verses 27-30, we note God has given Jeremiah the task of assayer. He is to judge the purity of the Jews in their allegiance to the Lord. We observe they have no valuable qualities. They possess rebellious hearts and they gossip. They tell tales on each other, probably most not true. It’s interesting how we can make people look bad by adding or subtracting from facts. Many people like to tell tales so they will be liked for the negative knowledge they hold on others or supposedly do. Some people relish sitting with the office worker who enjoys making fun of the boss.

Years ago, I remember being so discouraged when I began attending a church and was invited to a gathering of members. It ended up not being a place I desired to be, as they had roast-pastor’s-wife for lunch. Everything was stated in spite; yet, nothing of major consequence was spoken. They just wanted to make her look bad without the ingredients. As a new attendee, sitting out in an attached room not knowing the people well, I was taken back and hurt that respected people in the church were engaging in this.

When my husband and I lived in upstate New York, I knew a beloved,  humble, young lady who had been delivered from gossip after a guest speaker preached at her church in the power of conviction. She was the church gossip until she repented that night. I would have never had guessed her previous occupation of gossiper had she not shared. God certainly washes us whiter than snow when we allow Him to.

Verse 28 speaks of the Israelites being “bronze and iron,” not costly gold. They held corruptible sins within. Purity of substance could not be ascertained in these people.

In verse 29 of this section, we set our eyes on the fact that no matter the refining God is performing, the wicked are not separated.

No happy ending to this chapter or any in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah Chapter 7

I would like to quote a pastor who went to be with the LORD about 20 years ago:

“We are living in a day when men think they can rush into the presence of God and treat the Lord Jesus as if He is just a buddy. May I say to you that He is high and holy and lifted up. If He should appear in your church next Sunday morning, nobody would rush up to Him; nobody would become familiar with Him! Everybody would go down on their faces before Him. That is the picture the Word of God gives.”

This is most true, acknowledging we no longer know Christ after the flesh. He is glorified God who has a two-edged sword extending from his mouth; Revelation chapter 1!

Studying Jeremiah, we have discovered Judah has become too familiar with God; no longer fearing His wrath that falls upon the ungodly. They believe God is all grace and since they are His chosen people, no judgment will arise from their disobedience. They believe they have eternal life as His children; therefore, how they behave, is of no relevance. It is easy believe-ism not reality.

Today, salvation is very much emphasized in Christianity, but making Jesus lord or master often is not. Romans 10:9 proclaims that if we confess Jesus as LORD, and believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead, then we will be saved.

In many churches today a godly, reverential atmosphere is not found. The fact that we are coming to worship a holy, righteous and elevated God is not emphasized. Making no one feel uncomfortable is often today’s goal; presenting a “non-threatening atmosphere” is all the rage. Well, in this Jewish area of the Southern Kingdom, Jeremiah refused to sit satisfied in their “non-threatening environment.”

Entering verse one, we leave the Hebrew poetry of the last few chapters and return to the narrative. In this verse, God commands Jeremiah to go to the gate of the Lord’s house, or temple, to proclaim His truths.

God tells His disobedient people who are coming to the temple to worship Him; to amend their ways and deeds so they can continue to live in the land; verses 1-3.

Today, I feel we need some Jeremiahs to stand outside of today’s houses of worship to implore believers to turn from lukewarmness and worldly attitudes.

In verse 4, Jeremiah proclaims that they should not rest in the fact that the temple is there in Jerusalem, believing it to be a fetish of protection. The false teachers were telling the people that God would not destroy Solomon’s temple as that is where God dwelt, but God does not dwell in things made by man’s hands. Nothing can contain God’s greatness and immenseness; 1 Kings 8:27. The highest heaven cannot hold the person of God. Even though the heavens contain planets that are trillions of years away, this massive expanse is not impressive to God who cannot be contained in all the heavens. We simply can’t even begin to imagine how big God is. We know from Isaiah 66:1 that the heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool. In the scheme of things, we know the earth does not even show up as a dot in comparison to the mammoth planets in the distant universe.

Believers today may believe God will not bring judgment on America due to the fact we are covered in churches, but we cannot rest on that which God has not stated. God sees the hearts of those who frequent the church buildings. He is not interested in the structures, no matter their beheld beauty, set within state-of-the-art design. He knows if the hearts of those who are attending are wholly obedient to His inerrant Word or not.

In verse 5, God gives the provision for their lasting protection, as it rests solely on their obedience to Him. If they are to stay within His hedge of protection, they must repent or amend their ways and follow His statutes.

The edicts of God from verses 5-6:

1. They must practice justice between a man and his neighbor.

2. They must not oppress the alien, the orphan or widow.

3. They must not shed innocent blood.

4. They must not take on the beliefs of false religions or false gods.

In regards to us, the first injunction commands we practice true justice; we don’t take sides according to who we like the most, rather than according to facts of truth.

Focusing in on injunction 2, God’s unconditional love for others must be practiced in today’s churches. Partiality is sin! Romans 12:16 commands us to not be haughty in mind, or in other words, we are not to think we are any better than others. We are to associate with the lowly or those no one else would want to be with, due to various factors such as being mentally challenged, not stylish in dress, not attractive, uneducated, so on and so on. We are not to take part in any evil behavior of elitism.

We should not desire to dwell with the most popular in our churches or the rich or the beautiful, this representing vanity. We are to love those who love Christ, His Word and walk obediently with no desired perks.

Injunction 3 would represent any hate we would harbor toward another. The Bible makes it clear that hatred resembles murder; Matthew 5:21-22. Christ compared murder to hatred and even stated one who says, “You fool, shall be guilty enough to go into fiery hell.”

Contemplating the fourth, we know “not walking after other gods” or religions certainly pertains to us today. This would include not following after any worldly or empty philosophy—Colossians 2:8 and 1 Timothy 6:20. We don’t follow any teaching we hear in the media or from society that does not represent the total truth and example set in Scripture. We don’t adhere to false religious beliefs in the name of acceptance or tolerance. This is all evil and wicked in God’s eyes. The ecumenical/emergent movement is not of Christ! I am referring to all religions merging into one lane. True believers are to be washed clean of every religious lie, every teaching that does not conform to Biblical holiness 100%.

Verse 8 should speak to every one of us in warning, as they were “trusting in deceptive words.” Deceptive words have no eternal value nor do they aid the believer in becoming more conformed into the image of Christ. We must pray continually for spiritual discernment so the words and ways of man never become a part of us.

Verse 9 is the Ten Commandments restated in a one verse, condensed form. Adultery and stealing are the only ones added that were not stated in verses 5-6.

Adultery, as we know from Christ’s admonishments, also involves desiring to be with any woman or man in an inappropriate way. Marriage for life, one man with one woman, in total commitment, is the only legal way according to God. How sad that we now live in such a sick day, that we have to clarify a man with a woman in marriage! When Christ spoke of marriage, everyone knew He meant a man with a woman.

In the marriage vowels, it is stated that all others are to be forsaken. That is what Christ meant; never wondering if another will meet one’s needs to a more fulfilling degree. We must guard our minds, knowing they can easily wonder to points off limits!

The church commits adultery as much as the world. The divorce rate is even higher! Marriage until death is not adhered to seriously in the church nor was it in the time of Jeremiah.

God can always work marital miracles through prayer. We are bound to our mates as long as we live; 1 Corinthians 7:39. Often when one remarries, they still will speak of one or more past mates depending on the case, and often will continue a friendship with a former spouse. Most strange indeed! Bonding just doesn’t go away through taking a new set of marriage vowels. It leaves many weird associations. Of course, the secular world encourages people to remain friends with their past spouses. However, marriage means forsaking all others. Now if children are involved, their must be civility, but not a close friendship. It should be a business-like association.

Personally, if I had been born a man (perish the thought!) and called to the pastorate, I could never remarry divorced people. It is impossible for any pastor to know if any person was completely not at fault in a divorce situation. Pastors do not live with their congregational members 24/7 to see if there might be another side to them. Sometimes even Christians will withhold sex for power or to get what one wants, thus leaving another to be endangered through temptation. Many tricks can be played in a marriage. I know because I have counseled various women. Only God knows if one is completely innocent and godly in all ways.

Addressing the Jews sin of stealing, we know this involved them taking possession of what never belonged to them. Returning money to a store when we realize we received too much change is a witness in honesty. Recently, my husband noticed the bedsheets, we thought we purchased, were not on our sales receipt. We, of course, made it right with the store.

Stealing can also involve a business charging way too much for items for the purpose of taking advantage of others. Putting oneself first is what invokes a person to steal. We need to trust God for our increase, through honesty, not using worldly methods to increase our pocketbook beyond His will.

Verse 11, is one of the verses from Jeremiah that is quoted in the New Testament. We know Christ was very disheartened by the temple or the house of prayer’s activities, as it was being misused for personal gain; Mark 11:17. This verse in Mark quotes Jeremiah verse 11.

We can see many similarities between the temple and churches today. They were both to be:

1. A house of prayer

2. A house of worship

3. A house of singing

4. A house of giving money in offering

5. A house of speaking God’s Holy Words

Yes, there are many differences too. But nowhere in Scripture do we witness any commands for the church or temple to be doing that which is not given as an example to follow in the Word, including using people for substantial gain.

Verse 12 represents sarcasm for this people who believe God would never allow the place of worship to be destroyed. God basically challenges them to visit Shiloh if they do not believe. Shiloh was in the Northern Kingdom in Ephraim and was destroyed by the Assyrians. Joshua 18:1 speaks of how Shiloh was the original place of worship for the Jews when they entered the Promised Land.

Yes, there are many differences too. But nowhere in Scripture do we witness any commands for the church or temple to be doing that which is not given as an example to follow in the Word, including using people for substantial gain.

This was where they set the tabernacle for the people to worship, long before the temple was constructed in Jerusalem. It was a sacred place to the Jews. God calls them to remember that He made His name dwell there at the first.

Verse 13 refers to God’s love and care, for He rose up early to remind them of Himself. He called to the Hebrews, but they paid no heed! He was diligent in His love; they were not.

Because they paid no heed, verse 14, God is going to bring judgment on these Jews by destroying the temple just as He did Shiloh. He is going to cast them out of His sight; verse 15. He doesn’t desire to be with His disobedient children—the compromisers.

God gets very harsh in verse 16, as He commands Jeremiah not to pray for these people anymore. God will not listen as they have fallen away from the true path of moral uprightness. 1 John 5:16 tells New Testament believers not to pray for the sin leading to death. This could be deliberate disobedience to God on a continual basis, as we see here with these people who maintain a great hardness of heart to the voice of God.

In verses 17-18 God asks Jeremiah a question regarding His command to Jeremiah to refrain from praying for his brethren. God knows a question mark has been placed in this man’s mind, as he asks, “How come.” The LORD wants Jeremiah to live in reality of how evil these people have become by further explaining that they worship other gods and are not faithful only to Him. Just as we want our mates to be faithful and true to us in marriage, God wants His people to only hold to His ways and not be influenced by an adulterating crowd.

In verse 18 we sight the mention of the “queen of heaven.” This is satan’s disguise in female form. This title is most likely referring to the sensual worship of Ashtorath, the mistress of Baal. The goddesses, Venus and Diana, held this title also. In the present age, the false Mary of the Catholic Church assumed this title for worship. As mentioned before, this is one of her names and why she so often is pictured with a crown on her head.

The Lies of Idolatry:

The Queen of Heaven is one of Mary’s titles in Catholicism. She is the Catholics’ intercessor. Their doctrine holds to the belief that she was taken up to heaven while alive. Satan disguises himself in the image of a false Mary.

You can locate many heresies in the teachings of Catholicism that worships those the church elevates as saints. They appeal to different saints according to their needs. They will lie and say they do not worship the saints, but they do! They lie continually to recruit. I have been lied to more than once that they might recruit me. I caught them in idolatrous lies! They tried to get me to worship Mary after telling me they do not worship her.

On the next to last page of info at the above link, you will notice Mother Teresa signed a petition to make Mary one who redeems with Christ. God’s Word states: “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Mother Teresa was a pagan idolatress, a heretic, whom satan used. She tried to appear Christian to persuade people into her false religion.

This is a portion of a Catholic website, two separate inner sites, with inapplicable quotes removed:

Mary is the Queen of Heaven:
The kingdom of heaven belongs to believers.
Since Mary is the first and best Christian,
we call her ‘Queen of Heaven’.

More of their heresies:

When Jesus was crucified on the cross and about to die for our sins, Jesus, himself, gave His mother to us as our mother and all of us to His mother as her children of my home. “I am the Queen Of Peace. I am the Mother Of God. I am the Mother of All People On Earth”. Our Lady to the Visionaries in Medugorje …


The first Catholic quote below, reveals how people can be sucked into this religion as some truth is stated. A bit of the true Gospel is presented to recruit those who are not solid Christians. Remember Mary only remained a virgin up to the time of Christ’s birth, and the Bible states she had other children, four sons and daughters; Matthew 13:55-56. She was not sinless and she calls God her Savior in Luke 1:47. The Bible exposes her godliness, but never places her on a pedestal above other humans. Even in Christ’s day they tried to elevate this woman saying blessed is the woman from whom Christ was born. The LORD countered this Catholic mindset by stating the contrary, “Blessed is everyone who hears God’s words and obeys” (Luke 11:27-28).

Remember it only takes one drop of poison to make a large glass of clear water poisonous.

Two more quotes:

“Because when we disrespect the Immaculate Heart Of Mary as the Immaculate Conception (Mary was sinless), Mother Of God, our Eternal Mother, etc., in doing so we in turn disrespect the Sacred Heart of her Son as well…Yes, us Catholics are Christians, are saved, and someday will be in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know this to be true because Jesus made this promise to all of us in His word, the Bible.”

“Mary is our intercessor: To ‘intercede’ means to pray for someone. We believe that people in heaven can still pray for us, and that applies to Mary first of all.”

Here is another website exposing the Catholic beliefs of Mary:

History: Apocryphal writings fueled Mary-worship with their claims of her sinlessness and perpetual virginity. In 431 A.D., the Council of Ephesus dubbed Mary the “mother of God.” Fifth and sixth century veneration (reverence) of Mary can be traced directly to Ephesus and the false goddess Diana. By the 13th and 14th centuries the medieval Church saw Mary as a source of grace and power, a mediator who could keep God, the vengeful judge, from striking down sinful mankind.

At the Council of Trent in 1546, the veneration of Mary became official Catholic doctrine. She was declared sinless, and in 1854 Pope Pius IX added that her conception was immaculate as well, preserving her from original sin. The Vatican Council of 1870 ratified Mary’s immaculate conception and further stated that the popes were infallible.

Newsweek Magazine, August 15, 1997. 40,383 signatures attached to a petition asking the pope to exercise the power of papal infallibility to proclaim a new dogma of Roman Catholic faith: that the Virgin Mary is “Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God. In the last four years, the pope has received 4,340,429 signatures from 157 countries – an average of 100,000 a month – supporting proposed dogma. Among notable supporters are Mother Teresa of Calcutta, nearly 500 bishops and 42 cardinals, including John O’Connor of New York … If the drive succeeds, Catholics would be obliged as a matter of faith to accept three extraordinary doctrines: that Mary participates in the redemption achieved by her son, that all graces that flow from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ are granted only through Mary’s intercession with her son, and that all prayers and petitions from the faithful on earth must likewise flow through Mary, who then brings them to the attention of Jesus. This is what theologians call high Mariology, and it seems to contradict the basic New Testament belief that “there is one God and one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

It is a great thing when the media quotes Scripture to correct false dogma. God can move in the most unexpected places.


The virgin birth is completely key in Christendom, but not from the Catholic perspective. Unfortunately, the virgin birth is rarely even emphasized in today’s Christianity, even around Christmas time. This is due to the fact that chastity and modesty have become a joke within Christianity that follows Hollywood-minded sexual agendas and craves New Age mysticism. A couple newer Bible translations have removed “virgin” from the texts involving Christ’s birth, and another makes the miraculous conception questionable. “Virgin” is in the ancient manuscripts and it is impossible to hold it in question.

(Unfortunately, there are major errors in many new Bible versions. The Greek is translated correctly when it states, the “only begotten Son” in John 3:16. If you delve into a Bible version, where “begotten” is removed, you know you have a Bible that holds heresy. It was removed for sales purposes. Many do not want to believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, being the only son of God. They covet a Bible translation that tickles their ears.

Today’s publishers want all faiths buying their Bibles. Apostate changes, over several decades, have occurred because the church is bound to the ecumenical/emergent movement. Very sad indeed. Please check your Bible. KVJ, NKJV, and the unrevised NASB are good translations.)

Verse 20 discloses God’s attributes of anger and wrath, as He is a God who hates all sin! We will witness these attributes in their fullest power when His wrath and anger are unleashed in the last days. This anger and wrath, being generated in Jeremiah’s time, is due to the fact, the people spite God; verse 19. There is no true reverential respect and acknowledgement.

Loud is quite key to the culture of America, nothing reverential. If you speak to restaurant owners, they will tell you this is what America thrives on today, disclosing how they must have many televisions for all to view and loud rock music playing.

I believe America wants to hide in the irreverent noise to blot out her increasing sins. Unsaved society and even believers don’t desire to think of a wrath to come that will be poured out on all ungodliness through a completely holy and righteous God who died for all sin. Every transgression is vile in His sight. That is why our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, had to be sacrificed for us; even to the place where men could not even look upon him; but desired to hide instead. He was completely distorted by his torturers; Isaiah 53:1-6. He was even crushed!

I also believe Christ was not comely when He trod this earth as he had no appearance that men should be drawn to Him; Isaiah 53:2. Today, everything seems to rest on attractiveness and the worldly allurements attached to this, but such vanities had no value in the eyes of our humble and lowly Christ.

God’s anger explained here in Jeremiah reveals all will feel it, from man, beast, trees and fruit. Remember in Jonah 4:11, when Nineveh repented, God revealed how many animals were spared from His wrath. They too had to be covered in sackcloth to reveal repentance; Jonah 3:8.

In the concluding phrase of verse 20, it states how this anger and wrath will burn and not be quenched. Fire is certainly the way of God’s judgment as we view throughout Scripture, even to the end, when everyone’s name that was not found in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire; Revelation 20:15.

Verse 21 confronts the Jews in their heart attitude of sacrificing to God. They simply performed it out of service, not because they truly loved their Savior. The burnt sacrifices, unlike the thanksgiving peace sacrifices, were not be eaten; Leviticus chapters 4-9. I believe God says go ahead and eat flesh because they were not offered through sin-awareness and a love for God. These vain bestowments meant nothing to God.

We must be sure when we give to God that our sacrifices are done out of love for God and not just because we feel we have too. The New Testament makes it plain that our giving must not be done out of despairing obligation. We know also that unbelievers must not give because they do not love God; their actions are not mingled with a proper pure heart that has been washed in the blood of Christ. They have not been made white as snow.

In the Third Epistle of John, we read the evangelists were above reproach. One visible reason being, they took nothing from the Gentiles. Gentile giving is an abomination to God. This is why pastors, evangelists and missionaries must be careful when it comes to offerings.

Verse 22 speaks of God’s understanding and grace; this visualized when He first brought them out of Egypt. He did not lay on them immediately all the sacrifices and offerings He would require, He just asked them to obey Him. These sacrificial laws came later, as they continued to follow.

We see something similar to this in the New Testament—Acts 15:19-21 James the head elder of the church of Jerusalem, tells the believers not to trouble those turning to God, but to keep the commands simple for these new converts. He tells them, just command these new believers to stay away from things contaminated by idols, and pre-marital sex and from things strangled and from blood. These issuances mostly seem to deal with false worship. James tells new believers they need not worry about their growth as Moses is preached in the synagogues every Sabbath and they will be challenged and will mature. This obviously was before churches were established in most cities.

We also note in the following verses, back in Jeremiah, that they were unworthy to sacrifice due to the fact they were not walking in obedience. We see in verse 23 that obedience brings blessing. They were throwing away blessings through their disobedience.

Verse 24 is a revelation verse in proclaiming backsliding. We go back and not forward when we don’t obey the Lord completely. Many churches are backslidden from compromise and they lose out on the blessings of total obedience. This state occurs when leadership walks after its own counsel instead of Scriptural exhortations.

Verse 25 proclaims the unconditional love that we see God continually bestowing on these disobedient children of His. God, out of His love and grace continually, brought prophets to proclaim His ways even though they were unheeded. God made these prophets even rise early in the morning to go and preach because God loved His people so much.

God, once again, informs Jeremiah that these people will never listen to him; verse 27. Basically, it would be akin to God telling a pastor he must preach every week to his people, but letting him know they will never give any heed to what he says.

The only reason Jeremiah must obey and proclaim is because God has to reveal His sacrificial love continually, whether people truly listen or not. We all must be educated regarding God’s love! Everyday, He brings blessings to the unsaved, those who curse His name. Nearly every person has a roof over his head, food on the table, and clothes to wear; because God desires to reveal His love for every person. Romans 2:4 explains the kindness, patience and longsuffering of God leads us to repentance.

In verse 28, God tells Jeremiah to say that this nation did not obey God or accept correction. This led to all truth perishing. James 5:16 commands Christians to confess their sins to each other that we may be healed. We can be healed from the consequences of our sin through confessing our wrongdoings to God and each other. Proverbs 28:13 declares, he who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will prosper. Israel was not willing to comply to this and prosper with blessings. They were fools.

When we wonder from God, truth is cut off from our mouths because the Word of God is not being proclaimed through us. What comes out of our mouth when we disobey God is the rhetoric of the world and not the powerful Word.

Verse 29 commands, “cut off your hair and cast it away.” Cutting off their hair would reveal great mourning and sadness. Keeping their hair according to the Law was important to them and cutting it off was never a part of their Biblical culture unless it was to mourn. They were to mourn the fact that God has rejected this people and they were now the “generation of His wrath.”

Further verses declare their compromise with idols as they even seemed to be present in God’s temple. They acquired the popular religions of the world combining them with Judaism which was despicable in the eyes of God.

False religions even caused the Jews to burn their children in worship to the gods; verse 31. We see in 2 Kings 23:10 that they sacrificed them to the false god, Molech, who was supposedly referred to as the protecting father. What a  hideous and mournful joke!

This is similar to Planned Parenthood who views themselves as a group needed to protect the family, also receiving government funds for massive income. Yet, they burn babies like the Jews in Jeremiah’s time. One popular method of abortion is saline solution burning and it is exercised in the name of the god of promiscuous sex, which Planned Parenthood and other liberal organizations promote.

Burning children was something so abominable to God that it never even entered His mind. Today, however, it is an acceptable, legalized evil. How incredible!

God continues to reveal that this sacred place of false worship, Topheth (west of Jerusalem, the place where they sacrificed their babies), will become a graveyard for the Jews. These idol worshippers will be food for birds and beasts. In time of severe, violent war battles, taking the time to ship bodies back home is not a priority. My father-in-law, who served in WW11, speaks of the mountains of bodies of soldiers he witnessed. It took time to care for the bodies; and fighting to survive and win battles was the priority.

Chapter 7 ends in sadness as the joy that is usually located within a thriving nation will come to an end, even the voice of joyful marriage.

Jesus Christ addressed end times in Matthew 24:36f, when people will be marrying, totally unaware that God’s judgment is soon falling.

Jeremiah Chapter 8 

We see in the first verse of chapter 8, not a pretty sight. It declares prophecy, when tombs will be opened and the dead drug out—kings, princes, priests, prophets and all those who once inhabited Jerusalem. In verse 2, it appears that all these deceased Judean Jews were those who worshipped the host of the heavens (stars, moon and sun). They were not faithful to holy God. They did not remain loyal to the Word of God; thus, a vile judgment upon their remains will be part of the Babylonian desecration as explained by Jeremiah.

Societies easily turn to animal-like tendencies when God is no longer desired. He is the one who convicts of sin and demands holy obedience through civilized behavior. It is easy for men to turn their attention to anything on the earth or in the heavens which does not condemn or expose; however, it is at the price of demoralization.

This all progresses into verse 3, which reveals death will be desired over life when judgment falls on Judah. Only a remnant will remain alive. Those of this remnant will have survived many atrocities that took their loved ones, neighbors, religious leaders, etc. The temple where they once worshipped will be razed to their dismay as well as their homes.

All this will result in the deepest plaguing depression. The desire for their own death will encompass their being as they are led captive to Babylon.

Verse 4 returns us to Hebrew poetry as God again explains His reasons for His verdict. He covers the fact that they were not repenting even though they knew they were walking down a wrong path. They would not stop and turn back to return to the right road. They deliberately chose to stay lost in their wilderness of disobedience.

The “apostasy” that we witness throughout Jeremiah is restated here. God is pointing His finger at them in verse 5, observing it is now a continual state of not staying true to their first love, the Lord their God.

As I have stated before, there are the apostasies of the churches which God continually exposes in the New Testament. All around us we witness it as well, as the church compromises to please sinful man adopting the ways of the world that accommodates sinful man. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 informs us the end-times-apostasy comes before the antichrist arrives on the earthly scene.

We see deceit accompanies this apostasy, as we return to Jeremiah. Their speech is not of Biblical truth. They speak what is not correct. They do not desire to speak words that are pleasing to the ears of the Lord. They obviously speak words that justify inappropriate thoughts and actions. Holiness is not their standard of conduct.

The hymn, “May the Mind of Christ My Savior,” reveals what the true desires should be for a believer in God. Verses one and two are poignant, “May the mind of Christ my Savior live in me from day to day, by His love and power controlling all I do and say. May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour, so that all may see I triumph only through His power.” The children’s song, “Be careful little eyes” what you see, ears hear, feet go and so on, is a song that should be sung by adults as well as by children on a regular basis.

Continuing on to verse 6, God states everyone turned to his own course or did what was right in his own eyes. They charged into sin like a horse charges into battle. It was not an after thought, but true desired sought-after defiance.

As we enter verse 7, we discover some of the points to God’s omnipotence that should keep all believers in check. If we would dwell on His wonders of creation, we would see rebellion to such an awesome God is truly foolish.

God tells us of His wonders of flight as we look at the stork in the sky, which is always a marvel to behold. Starks know what they are created to do. They know when they are to migrate, mate, etc. They don’t fight against their creator and His designed plan for their lives. Other added birds are the turtledove, swift and thrush, all uniquely and marvelously made. They too know their migration times.

There is nothing outside of God’s overruling control. The New Testament reveals God even knows when a sparrow falls to the earth. Matthew 6:26 and 10:29 reveal how our heavenly father feeds the birds of the air so they never want. God also lets us know we are of far more value than they. Mother Nature controls nothing, God controls everything!

God says His people don’t know the ordinances of God. But they should because even birds know their planned purpose.

Alan and I had a teacher at Multnomah Bible College, Dr. John Mitchell, who had the whole New Testament memorized and much of the Old. He knew the ordnances of God! I certainly wish I had the Bible memorized.

Verse 8, discloses they are deceiving themselves, but not actually. Everyone knows when they are being dishonest about their sin, even though they may deny it and act ignorant concerning it. Walking in denial does not mean they don’t recognize their sin; it is just that they refuse to deal with it. Their desire is to feign innocence through a facade. Wisdom must cover our heart when dealing with those who pretend they are blind to sin. They are dangerous people.

Many years ago, a teen came and spoke to Alan and me, as he had engaged himself in pedophilia acts. (We were involved in youth ministry for many years in the past) He acted as if he was in total denial not remembering what he had done. However, his words revealed he knew exactly what he had done. He was held accountable before God and the laws of the land even though he claimed mental-denial.

God reveals in Jeremiah how the wise men refuse to use the Word of God when they counsel. Many counselors today do not only hold to the Bible. Most Christian counselors won’t even refer to it; how reminiscent of the wise men or counselors of Jeremiah’s day.

Today, counselors think the certified, educated experts know more concerning relationships than God Himself. If counselors implemented the Bible, they would ensure far better results. Especially, if they made their clients memorize portions that pertain to their situation.

I must admit, that I am surprised how easily a Christian counselor will recommend divorce when Scripture holds the answers to the difficult situations of life. They also rarely or never state to a woman in a problem marriage, “If you leave your husband, you must remain single in accordance with Scripture or be reconciled;” 1 Corinthians 7:11 and 39.

Jumping back into verse 8 of Jeremiah, we note that apart from God’s Word there is no true counsel, no true wisdom! One can’t simply say, “The law of the LORD is with us” and then teach contrary or implement man-made wisdom. None of us can implement man-written books or manuals and expect righteousness and truth to be achieved. Only the Bible is the answer to everything.

God addresses the lying pen of the scribes also in this verse. They certainly seemed to be adding and subtracting from the law when they wrote or spoke it. We observe in the New Testament, scribes not presenting a truthful heart. They continually attempted to trap the Savior by deception. Christ exposes their evil hearts in Matthew 23:27f. It appears in later Old Testament times, their nature was not any different.

The scribes of Jeremiah’s day and of Christ’s day wrote Scripture manuscript copies, penned laws, acted as judges and jurors. They certainly gloried in their power and loved their traditions over the Word of God.

The counselors or wise men “are put to shame” as we read here. They could not be trusted. The wise men were usually stationed at the Jerusalem gate and they performed as judges and counselors. There were some godly men who held the wise men positions in times past. It was before the wise men that Boaz presented his case in order to obtain Ruth’s hand in marriage. The Proverbs 31 Man was a wise man; he sat at the gate with the elders of the land; verse 23. Job was counted as the wisest of the wise men in his time and he acted as judge, attorney, counselor, investigator and king, as we see from Job chapter 29 and 31:16-23. He was well-respected at the gates of his city.

The guilty sentence, again and again, is pronounced on these people, which involves the removal of all they hold dear, including those who surround them; verse 10.

Greed is also a plague of these people which is why God must judge. Like most humans, they always want more; and are even willing to use others for their own personal gain. This is fully examined in James chapter 5 in the New Testament.

Christian organizations and causes are sometimes formed only to fulfill a need of greed. When you give to an organization or cause, you need to thoroughly check out their reputation. Even missionaries have been known to take advantage of people as they sit in a pleasant location, enjoying the scenery and an easy life. I have heard it stated something to this effect, if you give to a missionary, you might want to visit them on the mission field to verify their ministry usage of funding.

I know of two local Christian causes that do not appear to be above reproach in their dealings and motives. They also have questionable people in authority. In this world, you always have some sly people who know how to rally believers, because they know we, Christians, can easily get angered over evil agendas. We can be swayed to give to those organizations that claim to expose without investigation. Often, the only thing that is accomplished, is it places money into greedy pockets. Laughter can be heard behind closed doors. Christians must always investigate the validation of reputation—good or bad.

False trust can also be placed in the church when it comes to funding. I learned, not long ago, of a person who took a church for thousands. He was a respectable attender, appeared totally dedicated, and promised to perform construction work for the church if he received so much money. When granted the money, he left the church without fulfilling his promises. He believed no Christian would have the nerve to confront.

“Deceit” is disclosed in the conclusion of verse 10. We saw it first mentioned in verse 5. It is certainly something that is very appalling to our Lord; therefore, He wants to make that clear. God comes against the prophets and priests, who were to teach the Word as pastors do today. These prophets ministered out of greed through deception. Unfortunately today, there are some pastors who are greedy for gain and they will not take a pastorate unless the price is right. Being called to pastor and relying on God for one’s provision is not the way of today and the dollar amount is what determines a place of ministry not a specific calling of God or so it seems.

These prophets and priests in Jeremiah, never seem to get to the sin issue. They do not produce a healing from sin by exposing the people’s unethical ways. These religious leaders don’t repent and they don’t call the people to repent. They just “say peace, peace,” verse 11, or in other words, “all is well” or “no worries, mate.” There is actually no peace as doom is looming upon the horizon.

Peace, peace if the catchphrase of today’s church. I just learned of a publisher that is exposing the New Age mentality that is becoming more and more prevalent in the church. This publisher is now being referred to as a “hate” organization because it exposes through the Biblical light what is evil. They refuse to shake satan’s hand and approve of the demonic world and its false spirituality now taught in the “emerging church.” This false church movement does not teach that everyone reaps what they sow when they play with satan and his agendas of sensual license and worldly spiritualism.

We notice as we traverse further into verse 12, that these Jews are unashamed of their sin and they do not care that they no longer “know how to blush.” This is a restated phrase from 6:15 to reemphasize the lack of innocence in these people. In Hosea 6:5, God condemns the Northern Kingdom of Samaria for being incapable of innocence. In Matthew 10:16, Christ commands us to be as shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. That is a great innocence to ponder! When has a dove ever set something evil before its eyes or pondered a road of greed?

Mourning Dove © Val J. Lee

Mourning Dove © Val J. Lee


Doves are clean (they love to bathe) and can be tamed. They pose no threat to humans or other animals. The Dove is the most famous bird of love. They have been associated with love and marriage for thousands of years. Their loyalty to each other and their joint care for their family is legendary.

Though this is true, it is the most hunted bird by sportsmen.

The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit in Scripture due to Christ’s baptism. John the baptizer personally viewed the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove.

The dove also denotes a new beginning and a promising future. This displayed when a dove confirmed, dry land awaited Noah and his family. Thereby, providing humankind a fresh start with life.


Because these people don’t desire to be labeled “prudish,” they are going to fall, through God’s punishment. He promises in verse 13, He will ‘snatch them away,” and all the produce gifts of the land that have been amply supplied to them—the grapes, figs, etc.

God goes on, telling them in the last phrase, all He has “given them will pass away.” Deuteronomy 6:10-12 informs us of all that was provided for the Jews when they entered the Promise Land—houses full of all good things, wells of water, vineyards, olive trees and food for their satisfaction, came from the LORD. However, God gave them a warning—to watch themselves and not to forget the LORD who delivered them from Egypt’s bondage.

Verse 14 reemphasizes their plight as they have sinned against the LORD and now they are doomed.

As we travel into verse 16, we see attackers will arise from the land of Dan, west of the tribal area of Benjamin where Jerusalem lies. A thundering of horses will be heard. You have possibly experienced a time when you heard many thundering horses on a prairie where their pounding hooves quaked the earth. Now, if you were to hear this sound, being totally aware that these horses held murderous enemies who were commanded to terminate, you would be petrified. This is what occurred in Israel. These sin-laden Jews watched as murdering Babylonians pursued them with swords drawn.

In verse 17, The Lord uses a metaphor of venomous vipers to describe what the Babylonians will resemble. They will bite the Judeans like a snake! Adders are poisonous, so we know the illustration is of certain death for many.

Jeremiah addresses his sorrow in the beginning of verse 18. He is faint by all the evil that will come to his people whom he loves. God’s personal care and love have departed from these Hebrews; their true King’s personal presence has exited the scene. At the end of verse 18, God speaks of why He has abandoned His people as they have turned to graven images.

Exodus 34:14 informs us that God’s children are not to worship any other god, for His name is Jealous, He being a jealous God.

A few weeks ago, I heard a speaker tell of his ministry work in India. One thing he stated to us was “Youth with a Mission” has compromised by telling this society that they could still worship other gods and just add Christ to them. They believed eventually they would remove their false gods. What false doctrine; as God makes it clear that it is an abomination to worship any other god or gods. Revelation informs, idolaters will burn in the lake of fire; 21:8 and 22:15.

Verse 20 is an often quoted verse “Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are still are not saved.” I recall as a young person, a man consistently sitting close to the front of the church, hearing the salvation message over and over; yet never yielding to Christ. What will such a man say that stands before the judgment seat who heard the truth countless times when many had no opportunity to even hear it once?

It is important to have a sorrowful heart for those who have not come to the Savior. When the Day of the LORD comes, those who are not saved will be cast into hell. That is why we must herald the salvation message.

(Gilead is the fertile mountain region east of the Jordan River. Balm refers to the fact, there was no medicinal, soothing remedy anywhere.)

Jeremiah cites his woe further, explaining he recognizes there are physicians in the land but no restoration of health is occurring. Why? Because they are ill due to sin and no blessings of deliverance can come even through a doctor’s hands.

James 5:16 informs us we are to confess our sins to one another, pray for one another, so we can be healed. These people would not take part in any confession of sin, as they were righteous in their own eyes.


Dear friends, may I present Jeremiah,

A man after God’s own heart verified through his love and sensitivity to the ways of God and love for others. He was one who was dedicatedly engaged in the service of the LORD, not being entangled by the things of this world. His fellow Jews had fallen deeply into coveting the surrounding amusements of their godless neighbors. 2 Timothy 2:4 lets us know, that one who is truly a child of God is not to become entangled with the affairs of everyday life, so he may please the true God who enlisted him as a soldier.

In a written description, Shirley Temple disclosed how she met her husband, Charles Black, in Hawaii. One item that drew her to this man was the fact he had never heard of her. He was placed in a military academy at a young age and had no access to movies, being his whole life was military; thus, he did not entangle himself in the affairs of everyday life. Shirley wanted to ensure that Charles was above reproach, being a one-woman-guy, so she requested that J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI investigate him. He affirmed the fact that Charles, a very handsome man, was above reproach toward women in his behavior, which caused Shirley Temple to entrust herself to him in holy matrimony.

We need to follow the command of Timothy and be those who entangle themselves in God alone. Jeremiah is a quality example to us through his separation and dedication.

 Jeremiah Chapter 9

A dichotomy seems to be set forth in verses one and two of Chapter 9. In the first verse, Jeremiah is experiencing deep grief over what is to become of his people, not desiring to see his people slain. However, we read in verse 2 that he wants to just flee from it all and forsake his people. Why? They “are adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.”

Have you ever just wanted to get away from it all like Jeremiah; capturing in your mind a simple cabin in the southern Idaho desert, in the early spring or fall? (I don’t mean in the sizzling summer or freezing winter.) Having no desire for anyone to disturb you as you long to be isolated with your righteous and holy Lord?

It’s very easy for us to want to see sinners saved; yet, to flee from all the grotesque vileness around us, at times, sounds very tempting. Often, I hope Christ will take us home soon so we can be delivered. At other times, I desire He tarries for the sake of bringing more souls into His kingdom. He is still saving in miraculous ways around our globe.

Adultery can be very depressing when it seems to enclose you all-around, so too in Jeremiah’s day. One theologian stated something to the effect that divorce and remarriage is America’s way of committing legal polygamy. I know a woman who claims to be saved (reads her Bible, attends church, sings in the choir, etc.) and has had several husbands. Sadly, she has explained, she simply couldn’t see herself staying with the same man her entire life. She does enjoy sounding like a victim in Christian company. I believe her words represent the truth behind a great many divorces though it would never be spoken in a church.

Many believers seeking a divorce claim being victimized so they can be set free to roam with Christian sympathy. He or she may even state they tried counseling so it appears they now have no other alternative. However, God always knows the heart that can never hide from Him.

You may say, but what if a woman says she was treated cruelly? Well, in my counseling and observation, most women (not all) who claim victimization, usually know how to push the buttons to make a husband angry. They can do it with pleasure to get back at a husband for whatever reason. This persists in a cycle as both husband and wife engage in a tug of war for command. Women will also withhold intimacy to be sinfully vindictive and this naturally causes a man to be angered. This is willful disobedience to God on the wife’s part.

Women can detest the words—submission, respect and winning their husbands without a word—2 Pet. 3:1-2. However, I have seen God maneuver within the heart through the truths of His Word, maturing to obedience. He can renew a steadfast love, whereby a couple begins to walk in a quiet and gentle spirit. It is not painless or something that metamorphoses overnight.

Alan and I will be the first to admit it has only been by God’s powerful grace that our marriage has survived, moving past 30 years. We have had great battles with the world, the flesh and the enemy. However, I am grateful to pronounce that we are still in love, which comes through seeking Christ daily. Marriage is a continuous moving exertion not a shot in the dark.

Prayer for our marriages has to be a consistent ingredient mixed with affection, kindness, sacrifice, generosity and gentle-wise communication and on and on. A marriage where the couple demands their own way lacks these important components which empower them to run smoothly like a tandem bike.

Malachi 2:13-17 also combines the words adultery and treachery as men were dealing treacherously with their wives forsaking their marriage “by covenant.” The covenant enacted with God for life; whereby, they were to abstain from all others. God exhorts these men who are unfaithful to honor fidelity with the “wives of their youth.” God goes on to emphasize that, “He hates divorce.”

It is noteworthy that God is not paying attention to these wicked men, who cry and groan as they present their unheeded offerings; Malachi 2:13. We see something comparable to this in the New Testament; God tells men their prayers will be hindered if they do not honor their wives and live with them in an understanding way. God does intervene for slighted women in marriage. He punishes men who are unkind and not honoring. No one gets away with sin that is why we never give up praying for our marriages. Prayer is exercised faith. In sinful marital situations, God can convict to repentance. It cannot always guarantee the outcome desired as man exercises free will, however, miracles of marriage renewal occur daily.

As we move to verse 3 of Jeremiah 9, we read “They bend their tongue like a bow,” not telling truths but falsehoods. We might say, someone is speaking with a forked tongue resulting in lies not fact spouting forth. The media certainly knows how to present lies. It covets justification and cover-up. They will tell you a woman has a right to choose, but when was the last time they televised abortions for the public to decide if it is indeed murder? They resort to slogans to conceal factual data, not revealing exactly what abortion is—the murder of children. They do this with every unbiblical agenda.

“Rights” is what everything evil seems to hide behind. Of course, our society, in general, veils everything of the liberal view through deception, using cover-up terminology.

They were growing in evil, from “evil to evil,” as verse 3 continues its declaration of why Israel is doomed. This could happen to any ungodly nation including America as Isaiah 40 proclaims.

If we were to attempt to tie all these verses in Jeremiah together in relationship to our country, we would have to admit America is in a pit of degradation as was Israel. I do think this admission is an easy one for the honest perceiver. A hundred years ago, all unbiblical behavior was illegal. I already mentioned abortion which was not legalized till 1973. No-fault divorce hit America in the 70s as well. My 1965 revised F & W Encyclopedia, states in NY, no one can divorce except for adultery. (I wonder where that came from?) Premarital sex, homosexuality, immodesty, etc, were all forbidden in general society.

Drug abuse was nonexistent outside of the opium smoked by Orientals in hidden underground dens, which were in the Boise, Idaho area around a century ago. I’ve seen a portion of an underground tunnel in historic Nampa, Idaho.

Yes, sin was evidenced in America, but it has definitely increased from “evil to evil” in past decades, also substantiated in other cultures. In our nation, there was a time when people never thought of locking their doors; they could have never envisioned needing an alarm system for their home. However, locks do travel back to ancient civilization. The most antiquated lock was located in the palace ruins near Nineveh in Iraq; they believe it to be 4,000 years old. This lock consisted of a large wooden bolt to secure a door, which had a slot with several holes in its upper surface. The holes were filled with wooden pegs that prevented the bolt from being opened.

When it comes to crime, many former harsh laws have been rescinded so the offender is left with many rights and the good guy is often trampled upon. This includes children who have been raped by pedophiles. A prosecuting attorney needs a mountain of evidence to prosecute anyone and many key facts are often thrown out to assist the criminal.

A hurting phrase closes verse 3, “They did not know Me.” God loved them and wanted them to know Him. I am one who can feel the wounded heart of God and so did Jeremiah. God always moves to the pinnacle of things! Do we strive to know God better each day? This certainly is something I need to practice, knowing Him more and more, not the practices of the world. They lacked a true knowledge of God, through a true love for Him and His Holy Word, this being observed throughout Jeremiah.

Verse 4, reminds us again of our communities being ridden with corruption as they were in Jeremiah’s day. I have dwelt in neighborhoods where I could not depend on my neighbors, and so possibly have you. In my previous neighborhood, I had to phone the police on regular occasions, keeping their number close by. Currently, we live in a caring neighborhood where we feel safe. This was a magnificent answer to prayer.

I have certainly been deceived by neighbors just as Jeremiah discloses in verse 5. Some neighbors enjoy using those they know are believers, viewing them as just do-gooders who wouldn’t know a black sheep if they saw one.  There are many deceptive foxes in this world that are very convincing, as they seek the unsuspecting sheep.

Deceptive neighbors can include anyone we may be in contact with. One giveaway for recognition, as we see in Jeremiah, is they are slanderers. One to be trusted would not be one who thrusts hate at others through a tongue of hidden deception. Some people will refuse to be friends with those who do not tag along with their accusing ways of making others appear bad. Of course, we know there are plenty of believers who will compromise with slanderers to keep friends or gain friends. If we love God above all else, we will not fall into this sinful trap.

Jeremiah speaks how the people have taught their tongues to speak lies, midway in verse 5. Alan sees this at the penitentiary and he has to use differing techniques with both offenders and staff to reach the truth.

Of course, we all know the repeated scenario of the man who tells his wife he loves her and is eternally faithful when he is playing around continually and doesn’t plan to stop. All such lies eventually catch up in every true story! You see, sin only gratifies for a season and can only be hidden for a time. When all surfaces, all those who trusted in this man, now feel betrayed—the wife, children, other family members and friends. The pain is excruciating to the victims! God declares in Numbers 32:23, “And be sure your sin will find you out!”

One may believe it’s no big thing to deceive slightly and it doesn’t hurt anyone. It can come down to something as common as one calling in sick so they can head for a day of pleasure in the sun—like one of Alan’s officers who phoned in sick. Another one of his officers saw this man at the park, and he certainly was not ill. This truant officer claims to be saved and attends a Bible-believing church. When Alan confronted the man, he justified everything, but Alan laid it on the line especially with him professing to be saved and attending church. It was obvious that this officer had taught his tongue to lie. It did not go off on its own tangent! If people can justify one lie, they most likely rationalize many other lies as well.

God informs Jeremiah; his dwelling is in the midst of deceit and in continuance He states, it is because of this deception, they refuse to “know Him,” this being reemphasized from verse 3. God wants to underscore this as being the root problem. Today’s believer can participate in deception by merely implying to others that some sin is not that evil. If we truly know God and His Word, through spending much time in study and prayer, justification of wickedness in any form would be absent from our lives.

Verse 7 returns us to the refining fire of God’s discipline. He speaks again of assaying them which we originally dealt with back in chapter 6.

Deceit is viewed for the fourth time in verse 8. Do you think God is trying to thump on something? It is obvious that God hates it! His hatred for deception reaches into the place of getting people to believe we are something we are not by playing the Sunday church game; where, during the week, people would never guess we are believers by our words and actions. I have a friend who knew a lady in the workplace for an extended period of time, never guessing she was a believer, but came to find out she is a Baptist pastor’s wife, and formerly ministered with a Christian organization. My friend couldn’t believe this liberal-mouthed woman was actually a believer. Of course, the two-faced woman put on her natural, secular appearance as soon as she left the church’s premises.

We can be deceptive with others by being unkind to our spouse, children and even pets when at home; believing we can let our hair down, yet putting on kindness when we meet with those outside the doors of our home. I witnessed a Christian lady speaking cruelly to her family members for no reason; yet, when the phone rang, she answered, sounding like the most pleasant woman in the world. Such behavior is completely baffling, but it reveals our natural flesh of wanting to put on a good show before others. We should be respectful to all including those we live with. If we don’t yell at people on the phone, at church, in the store, etc, we shouldn’t yell at those who dwell in our home. Of course, yelling is wrong, period! Christ never left this example. However, I am guilty and have had to ask forgiveness more than once. I have had to apologize to my family members on occasion for my treatment of them; far more than with friends. We do well to treat all in honor.

To add more illustration to the deception game, I will state, salespeople are great at duping. They know all the ropes. It is easy to be their victim until you catch on. Have you noticed sales people claiming to be Christian if they find out you are one? I have experienced this several times. And if I refuse their business, they quickly remove their believer mask and treat me like the dung of the earth, just for not catering to a sales pitch clothed in trickery. I know a Christian lady who bought into such an act and she lost thousands of dollars to a phone swindler.

Verse 8 continues, detailing neighbors speaking peace, but inwardly setting an ambush. We have a man in our subdivision who knows how to do this well … Kindly speaking peace to us; but upon getting the chance, will ambush us with held-in-hate. However, I must state, we feel very blessed to live around kind neighbors who look out for one another.

God goes on to disclose, as judge and jury, He has the right to bring a judgement of punishment and revenge on a nation such as this!

In verse 10, Jeremiah walks on the stage wailing and weeping for this unrepentant nation that he loves. He speaks of taking up a dirge, or a song or poem of mourning for the dead. Not only for the Jews who will die, does he cry this dirge, but also for the demise of the land and its beasts. Birds and cattle will have no desire to be present in this cursed kingdom. Birds spell life with their need for an abundance of trees and vegetation. I love to hear and observe the birds outside my window, pecking on the window, feeding and chattering at my feeders. It would be very disheartening if all of a sudden they were no more. What if there were no more cats? Now that would truly be something to wail about.

Verse 11 specifically points to the Jackal. This is one beast that does not mind living in desolation, being a scavenger dog that cleans up the leftovers. Without compassion, it says bring me your dead. Job chapters 38-41 reveal how God oversees all His creation and all are fashioned for His purpose and pleasure. Some, like the Jackal, were specifically designed to remove the stinking garbage of the earth, even if it be human.

Jerusalem would be a heap of ruins, “a haunt of jackals.”


The jackal is a scavenger dog that feeds on dead carcasses holding the same characteristics as a buzzard; they both spell death and lifelessness. The jackal feeds on a variety of insects, rodents, snakes, and young antelope. It possesses coarse short fur and inhabits holes in the ground. It mates for life, being a monogamous creature. Yes, one good thing can be said of it.

The jackal is a nocturnal animal, so it does most of its hunting in later hours. Occasionally, the jackal will be sighted in pairs in the late afternoon. It is a pack hunting canidae.


In these vivid Jeremiah verses, we are witnessing a color photo of natural life beaming with multihued birds, sprinting deer, roaming cattle, and on and on that spells an occupied, green, cultivated civilization which will divert to a photo of black and white lifelessness. Existence is crushed into dirt, everything fragmented. Anything of the lush color of vibrancy is as if it never were.

All inhabitants will be removed as verse 11 closes. For review, there were 3 captivities of Babylon:

First – 605 BC – Daniel, Meshach, Abed-nego and other knowledgeable, handsome youth, including royalty, removed to palace of Babylon—Daniel chapter 1.

Second – 597 BC – Jeremiah’s current predictions regarding.

Third – 586 BC – King Zedekiah removed with remaining Jews. City of Jerusalem destroyed (temple included)—2 Kings chapter 25 and Jeremiah chapter 39.

Verses 12-14 disclose the reasons for discipline and the desolation of the land as they chose not to obey all of God’s Word, only that which was convenient for their contemporary society. Honoring the Sabbath, tithing, sacrificing, temple faithfulness, practicing circumcision, etc, were still obeyed through rote. Their compromise, pleasing the surrounding trendy nations, brought judgment, as well as their self-centered fleshly desires.

The justice for forsaking God’s holy and inerrant Word is presented in verse 15. The LORD will give them wormwood (a bitter woody-herb that brings forth convulsions, etc.) and poisoned water to drink; all synonyms to represent the coming doom. These are things that will also be present during the tribulation period which will inflict the entire world.

As we read verse 16 of Jeremiah 9, we notice it speaks of God scattering His people among the nations. This is certainly made visible in the book of Esther, where we view King Ahasuerus ruling over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia within the Persian sector of Babylon; Esther 1:1. We witness in Esther, the Jews had become scattered throughout these provinces as the proclamation to annihilate them was proclaimed in all these regions.

Jeremiah speaks of God sending “the sword after them” (meaning when they are held captive in Babylon) and this was made very evident in Esther, but the Jews sought the Lord’s protection, and they were preserved through the godly intercession of Esther and Mordecai. Turning to God in this threatening situation presented in Esther, brought abundant blessings and security. If only Judah would have responded in such a way during the sermonizing of Jeremiah!

Verses 17-20 are presented to warn Jerusalem of the death and the mourning that will ensue. In Israel, women were hired to cry for the dead, those who would wail and those who would mourn. There were no men hired, of course.😄

The mourning for the annihilation upon arrival would be true grief, not a put on, as their voices will be great from Zion or Jerusalem. Verse 19 refers to those who will be deported from the land as well; escaping death, but wishing they had perished as we read earlier in Jeremiah.

In verse 20 and following, we read the dirge, or mourning song, restated from verse 10. God is attempting to get His point across of the importance of turning away from their worldly behavior. Death coming up through the windows certainly paints an inlaid memory. This demise is all-consuming, entering the palaces, killing children and young men in the town squares.

Corpses of men would be as dung on the open field; verse 22. Further, we read “Like the sheaf after the reaper.” Reaper of death reminds us of the tales of a death reaper coming to a dying mortal. The sheaves represent bunches of bodies piled like gleaned wheat. When in war, it is difficult to locate live men to bury dead men. In Judah, the dead will be gravely visible with many falling at once and the bodies everywhere cast; “no one will gather them.”

This is not the only devastation Jerusalem came to experience, there were other times the enemy marched in, including Rome in 70 AD. There is going to be another great extermination as we read in Ezekiel chapter 9, this will be during the Great Tribulation. Ezekiel 9:4 explains, a man will be commanded to place a mark on men’s foreheads, those with a tender heart, who sigh and moan over the sins of Jerusalem. All other lives of men, women, and little children will be extinguished by six other men … none spared!

I believe these remarkable godly Jewish men who hate all sin (who certainly are a brand of Jeremiah) are the 144,000 Jews due to the fact in Revelation 7 they are taken from every tribe of Israel. Revelation 14:1 speaks of them having the name of Christ and the Father “on their foreheads” and they are the ones who will sing a new song on beautiful harps strung by harpists.

These men are exceptionally righteous, being pure virgin males who “kept themselves chaste.” Jeremiah too was a virgin as God called him to celibacy. These 144,000 are so powerfully pure and righteous, they pursue “the Lamb wherever He goes!”

These are exceptional verses to show to Jehovah Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, Mormons and all who believe they are the 144,000; as well as those who get caught up in books that Hollywood-ize the true makeup of these virgin righteous males who are spared in another coming epoch of Jerusalem devastation.

Committing to Memory verses 23-24 of Jeremiah 9, would be very wise for all of us. We are commanded to only boast in the Lord, never in our wisdom, strength, or riches. God is the only One deserving of true honor and praise, especially due to the fact that every ability we possess is a gift from him and due to no one else.

Verse 24 emphasizes the Lord’s attributes that are worthy of praise that He exercises; His lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness. These are the attributes He delights in and so should we. Not the materialism, methodologies, technology, architectural feats, trendy styles and beats, special tech effects, etc, of this globe that is passing away. Rejoicing in the essences that magnify our Savior is His directive to us.

Punishment is the name of the game in verses 25 & 26. These Jews obeyed God, being circumcised in body but not in heart. They were not separated only onto their Maker, being truly devoted to only Him. Deuteronomy 30:6 commanded the Israelites to be circumcised of heart, loving the Lord with all their heart and soul. Unfortunately the hearts of the Jews in Jeremiah’s day clung to the manners of the other nations; not following the teaching of 2 Kings 17:15b, which is repeated in various ways throughout all of scripture including the New Testament, “And they followed after vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them NOT TO DO LIKE THEM.”

If I wear a covering atop my long hair to church but am not submitting to my husband, it is meaningless before Christ, just as circumcision meant nothing to God if His people were not lovingly obedient.

God speaks in the last verse, of all the surrounding nations who have influenced Israel, revealing names. The Jews fashioned themselves to them not HIM. These nations clipped their hair at the temples; the Jews were not allowed to cut this hair; Leviticus 19:27. The Egyptians shaved their heads and bodies and the other godless nations never held to the LORD’S exterior standards.

Jeremiah Chapter 10

Any statue or art piece viewed in a worshipful manner is like worshipping a scarecrow in a cucumber field; verse 5.

Exodus 23:2 implores us not to follow the crowd in doing evil. Parents give this instruction to children continually asking them, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?”

Parents see this tendency emerging at a young age when raising offspring, but often fail to recognize it in themselves. If their “mature” generation follows after whatever spells creative and exciting, it is viewed as excellent, being innovated from the culturally refined.

Even though God’s children were warned way back in Exodus not to follow what everyone else was doing, they were ignoring this powerful command during the time of Jeremiah. Judgment was about to fall like weighty balls of hail on these who desired to partake in what everyone else was doing. It is so much easier not be peculiar or is it? The consequences of discipline by God’s hand outweigh the temporary acceptance of others if one was to thoroughly contemplate it through to the bitter end.

Verse 2 of chapter 10 of Jeremiah, warns Judah not to learn the ways of the nations. We are to be imitators of God, not the nations of this world, including the US! We are not to follow the crowds of the global populace in their actions and ways.

In America, some believers enjoy delving into the hottest books on the NY best seller list. They also relish reading about all the new corporate trends that hasten prosperity for early retirement. They enjoy researching the recent developments in behavioral psychology as disclosed from sinful unregenerate man. They want to know what steps to take in becoming more “green.” Sad scenario for God’s separated, called out ones.

We live on a lofty hill in this country of fulfilled desires. The world views us as the nation to imitate when it comes to most anything in the way of entertainment and style. America is viewed as the Babylon of the modern world. In Jeremiah’s time, Babylon was the place where society set its eyes to learn the ways of the world. In end times, there will be Mystery Babylon (actual name not disclosed by God), not in ancient Babylon’s exact location, which has moved 14 miles from the Euphrates River—the center of end times prophecies. Because destroyed Babylon no longer owns pristine river access, it is no longer a logical construction local. Plus, God stated ancient Babylon will never be rebuilt. But some place in Iraq (most likely in this country), will arise. Many American, carnal folk of the New Age mentality, forecast the happening of a Babylon-type city, across the seas, in days to come.

God warns His people in the next phrase not to be in bondage to fear, specifically what is beheld as one observes the heavens or weather. As God’s chosen, we should know and understand God’s omnipotence over creation and His sustaining ways over the earth. We should never be terrified of the signs of the heavens. It is the way of the pagan and unredeemed to be concerned about forecasted foul, atmospheric conditions. Of course, it is their lot to continually complain about the weather as well.

Today, the jars of creation can make fearful the common man. So many seem to fear global warming from the sun’s supposedly increasing rays upon the earth. People seem to forget it wasn’t that many decades ago that scientists were predicting global cooling, causing everyone to fear that we were returning to the ice age. God is conveying here that He oversees all, and nothing is out of His omnipotent control, including all the predictions and ramifications being calculated about by atmospheric scientists.

Verses 3-5 poke much fun at idols, those things made by man’s hands. These images are so independently powerful that they have to be balanced so they don’t fall on their face. Yes, I am joking. Furthermore, they must be carried about like a kitten in one’s arms. ☺

They cannot speak or bring good or harm. Isaiah 44:12-18 illuminates this further, in the agenda of it all. One main disclosure is the fact many are shaped to look like men. Man loves to elevate himself and many do engage in this through self-worship. Often we hear “I did that or I will do that.” Sinful man loves spending about 90 percent of his time talking about himself. We all can be guilty of this, most certainly. No wonder man likes idols that resemble him!

This passage continues to reveal the folly of it all. A man selects a tree and cuts it down. With half of the felled tree, he warms himself, setting it ablaze for cooking a meal.  Then worships the other half, made in his image. He falls before it in self-deception! What a joke! God is right when He explains, idols are like scarecrows in cucumber fields—Jeremiah 10:5. God is poignant in man’s outrageous stupidity.

We see in verse 6, the proclaiming of the omnipotence of God; viewing the contrast between Almighty God and idols. No similarity at all is anywhere present as there is none like Him! He is great and in His name is might! Who would not fear Him? And all will, when every knee will bow down and confess Jesus as Lord to the glory of God the Father! He indeed is worthy of all worship, honor and praise!

Verse 8 returns to the folly of idols, in light of all this omnipotent, proclaimed truth. How could anyone who knows of the true God, engage in such an abomination? Well, they did because everyone else was doing it. Even though Jeremiah revealed God’s omnipotence, as well as the prophets throughout history, this did not turn these people away from doing what was trendy.

As we travel to verse 9, we see the “work of skilled men” in making idols that catch the eye. Satan knows he must make things attractive for men to partake of what is contrary to Scripture, and we recognize in this verse that many idols were made with silver, gold, and costly fabrics that are pleasing to one’s eye. Just as men love to look good, they love to make the idols that resemble them look just as swanky.

Today, there are fancy idols in America, not only in foreign lands. America houses various religions where people bow to images, burn incense before them, etc, that are made by man’s hands. We formerly attended a church where two oriental children cherished being present to worship the true and living God. They dwelt in a Buddhist home that was filled with idols and demonic influences. Coming to church was their escape from their parents’ worship of things made by man’s hands; averting the spiritual battle that raged in their home where they often felt the presence of demons.

© Val J. Lee

© Val J. Lee

A Rabbit Trail

I hope you don’t mind if we divert a bit and go hopping on a lovely rabbit trail, sided with exquisite flowers in a range of varieties and hues; a trail that brings into view the expectation of emerging last days.

Happening to take note of the words, “work of skilled men,” I wanted to address Daniel 12:4 that speaks of the last days in reference to knowledge increasing. Many theologians believe this to be technology—man’s increasing skill with brain and hands. Never before has skill been elevated to this great pinnacle of invention. The machine age did not even enter historical embodiment until the 1800s. Nothing resembling complicated mechanisms existed in centuries past; and since their introduction, nothing has triggered their decline, simply the opposite. God put an end to the tower of Babel in its success of achievement; however, He has chosen not to do so in this era.

This portion of Scripture in Daniel also speaks of many going back and forth. Never previously has travel been so universally effortless, being routed with nearly a thought or hardship. It was just a century and a half ago that the majority of people traveled by wagon or horse, making it grueling and tedious. Travel by ship was time-consuming, taking months to cross an ocean blue. Trains trekked in limited locals. Most people didn’t make traveling a habit as is done today. Yes, more and more prophecy seems to be directing us toward the rapture. Only the LORD knows the approaching time, but it can be motivating jumping to a side trail in Scripture on arriving promises.


Once again we return to the omnipotence of our LORD, contrasting between that which is of men and that which is of God. Verse 10 teaches the LORD is the true and living God. He is the everlasting King! Images and art made by men have no life or meaning as we read earlier. Remember, they have to be carried. God never has to be wheeled about. Statues and other artworks can be shattered and most have been destroyed over the centuries. God will never be destroyed and His time will never end!

“At His wrath the earth quakes.” No, we cannot blame the earth’s inner layers or any San Andreas Fault as God makes everything apparent, it shakes at His will. We know increased earthquakes will come before Christ’s stand on the earth as sin increases. Of course, when Christ comes to reign, when sin is passed, there will be no need for His wrath to be displayed in such a way.

LA Earthquakes:

Geography and Seismicity

“Northridge is about 32 km northwest of downtown Los Angeles and is within the suburban San Fernando Valley, which is a sprawling region of residential neighborhoods, apartment complexes, low-rise business and industrial parks, and shopping malls. The area’s biggest and best-known geologic fault, the San Andreas, passes about 100 km to the east and north of the San Fernando Valley.

The earthquake occurred on a thrust fault along the northern fringes of the valley. The near-record strong ground motion generated by the earthquake was an indication of the significant risk presented by thrust-fault events of moderate magnitude. Accelerations in the range of 1.0g were recorded over a large area. Similar accelerations, including large vertical accelerations, have been recorded in the past, but at isolated locations and in very limited numbers. Numerous detailed EQE investigations have pointed out that such ground motions were typical in the epicentral areas of many past earthquakes, particularly thrust-type earthquakes such as those in San Fernando in 1971, Coalinga in 1983, Chile in 1985, New Zealand in 1987, and Armenia in 1988.

While this is a major earthquake in terms of its damage, there is no indication that its occurrence has reduced the probability for a stronger earthquake in the next 30 years on a major fault in the Los Angeles region. The probabilities remain in the range of 5% to 10% per year that a major earthquake will strike Southern California. It will be most destructive if it strikes on a major fault such as the Newport-Inglewood Fault or on the San Andreas Fault in the vicinity of Riverside.”

1971 San Fernando Earthquake and Comparison to 1994 Earthquake

“This was the second time in 23 years that this region has been affected by a strong earthquake. On February 9, 1971, a magnitude 6.6 event struck the San Fernando Valley, about 32 km northeast of the epicenter of the 1994 event. The 1971 earthquake caused 58 fatalities and about 2,000 injuries. At the time, the 1971 earthquake was the most destructive event to affect greater Los Angeles since the magnitude 6.3 Long Beach Earthquake of 1933, and it prompted an extensive reevaluation and update of the building codes. Direct damage to buildings and other structures exceeded $0.5 billion (1971 dollars).

Interchange (Interstate 5 and State Route 14) was also badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The San Fernando Valley was a recently developed suburban area in 1971. More than 90% of its houses and other buildings were constructed after the first earthquake design requirements had been incorporated into the local building code in 1933. The greatest number of earthquake-related fatalities occurred in the collapse of several 1920s and 1930s concrete-frame buildings at a hospital.” End of article.


As we read further, Jeremiah states, the nations cannot endure God’s indignation. Yes, in America we do not endure this indignation relentlessly, but when catastrophes have arisen they have been grueling to endure for those who have experienced them. God is sovereign, however, and we are not to question even if we fall victim to a catastrophe, knowing we are all sinners deserving of His earthly wrath. God has been gracious to America, causing us to give thanks with a grateful heart through His many bestowed blessings upon our country that witnesses little ongoing devastations.

This portion of Scripture is to point out who truly rules over all, and it is not things made by man’s hands! As verse 11 proclaims, false gods did not make the heavens and earth; therefore, they will completely perish someday. There will be nothing made by man’s hands in heaven!

Verse 12 continues in praise for God’s attributes. Here we review creation’s story originally recorded in Genesis. He formed the earth by His power. Why is He telling these Jews, who know the Scriptures, these things? Because the unredeemed and lukewarm believers can influence us away from His omnipotence, rightly witnessed by the number of theistic-evolutionists running amok in today’s assemblies. These false teachers explain Genesis from an allegorical perspective. This is the apostasy of lies. It is sad to note that TE is now taught in Nazarene Universities. We are warned to have nothing to do with anyone who does not present God’s Word that is true, down to every jot and tittle, when properly translated. Bible teachers must hold true to the most ancient of manuscripts—the most accurately translated Bibles, those not adding cultural and ecumenical twists.

Billy Graham is theistic-evolutionist friendly as he stated, “How you believe doesn’t affect the doctrine. Either at a certain moment in evolution God breathed into one particular ape-man who was Adam, or God could have taken a handful of dust and blowed and created a man just like that” (“Cooperative Evangelism at Harringay,” United Church Observer, July 1966).

It is heartbreaking to have to acknowledge, in this day and age, that most theologians speak out of both sides of their mouth and this is a perfect illustration. They have lost the faith that comes by continually hearing and adhering to the Word of God.

“Many Christian denominations support or accept theistic evolution. For example, on 12 February 2006, the 197th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, the day was commemorated by ‘Evolution Sunday.’ The message announced that followers of Christ do not have to choose between biblical stories of creation. Evolution was taught in classes and sermons at many Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Congregationalist, United Church of Christ, Baptist and community churches.”

The world was established by His wisdom, not His folly. It takes little to recognize His wisdom in creation. Isn’t it interesting that all beings have eyes and ears opposite each other and a nose in between with one mouth? Now if evolution is true, how did such a wise way of creation come from absolutely nothing that owns absolutely no intelligence? Absolutely nothing would be far lower in aptitude than the most brain damaged person who ever lived. How did such creative harmony with artistic productive functioning arise? We know researching the intricate eye spells intelligence beyond measure, extending above anything simple man can contrive. It is a silly game to play in this realm of stupidity.

God, by His almighty hand, “stretched out the heavens,” rightly concludes verse 12. But wait … God is not finished with presenting His truths, as He continues to explain His omnipotence. His voice resembles a tumult of waters in the heavens. This would be a massive noise beyond our finite and earthly audio attainment. Who can even begin to imagine the clamor our God can produce? His power is limitless and the noise that follows. By listening to Niagara Falls, we may gain a tiny note of the acoustics resounding in God’s secluded heavenly home. Unfortunately, I am sure the comparison is totally lacking.

We are also taught here, “He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth.” An obvious question arises here. How much water is stored in a single cloud? The facts are mind-boggling. “One inch of rain over one square mile equals 17.4 million gallons of water weighing 143 million pounds (about 72,000 tons), or the weight of a train with 40 boxcars. The precise mechanics of how a cloud forms and grows is not completely understood…”

Man can explain little of God’s might. He cannot enlighten regarding the great amount of moisture in our atmosphere, nor how roaming fluffy clouds can carry millions of gallons of water.

No meteorologist is needed to elucidate why we encounter such a range of weather conditions; God performs it all at His prescribed will. “He makes lightning for the rain.” It doesn’t control itself, neither falls by atmospheric will, only God! How big is your God?

“He brings wind out from the storehouses.” It may not be a scientific analogy, but it is visual truth. We experienced stalwart winds last night in our valley that kept me awake; all brought in by the hand of our Lord!

“Man is stupid and void of knowledge;” verse 14. How apropos with the above statements that should bring us to our knees in acknowledgement of who He is and how stupid we are! Aren’t we grateful He understands that we are but dust? Men cannot even begin to comprehend the universe; yet, he boasts in his complete ignorance of how things are designed. Yes, I am stupid and void of erudition! My extremely limited data is comparable to a retrieved drop of water from the ocean, while all the rest of the drops in the oceans, represent his interminable knowledge.

This verse again returns us to man worshipping silly images of men or whatever deceives man. For anyone to believe that an image has the power of a god or something of heaven is absolute nonsense. We are never to look at things made by man’s hands with excessive ah or admiration. Everything of this earth is passing away, only that which is of God will survive, meaning only us who have put our true trust in the living Savior.

Our pastor was recently stating how even carrying a wooden cross in one’s pocket is as a fetish. We don’t need things made by man’s hands to cause us to dwell on our great God. We have the living God living within us if we are truly saved from our sins by Christ’s shed blood. Yes, we take communion which is a symbol of His sacrificial death, but we don’t need to constantly carry grape juice and bread around with us in our pockets to continually remind us. The symbols are to allow us to focus on Him in remembrance of His work during worship; not for us to view them as the literal body and blood. Which they obviously are not, as Christ is exalted above all the heavens, absent from the flesh He held on earth, now dwelling in His glorified body. We no longer know Him according to His former earthly flesh—2 Corinthians 5:16. His earthly flesh no longer exists; He moves as living, commanding God of all in the heavens. God is spirit. He also, however, appears as a slain lamb, as seen throughout Revelation. He was commanding, controlling God when on the earth, but dwelt in flesh that decays. No fleshly thing is part of Him this day, nor ever will be again.

When many a year younger, I used to view the Bible as a fetish, being I had great fear consuming me due to demonic activity I witnessed in a church. I believed if I set an open Bible out, it would protect me from demons. However, even though it holds the words of God, it is still made by man’s hands and cannot protect me from evil. It is the Words of Life in the book that protect me, as I claim and rest in God’s truths. When Christ was tempted by satan, He didn’t throw a scroll holding the Words of Scripture penned by Him. He quoted the truth held in the Old Testament scrolls—His words of truth. It’s the quoting, believing, memorizing and submitting to the Word that are the components of our protective armor. Many people have Bibles in their homes that are never opened; they seem to believe that owning one is somehow redeeming.

Biblical common sense is what a believer submits to. As verse 14 reveals, there is no breath in things made by man’s hands; therefore, we attribute no power to them. I must repeat, only God deserves our complete devotion and admiration.

At times, I ponder on Jeremiah’s life and wonder if he ever wished he dwelt in a different era where the people were not so compromising with surrounding societies. When I evoke memories of several decades ago, when the church was a separate entity, minus the consuming ways of the world, sometimes I wish I could journey back to that period of marked distinction between Christians and non.

There was a time, even in general society, when respect for Biblical principles was everywhere present. To example this, I was recently reading “The Canyon County Community News,” as Alan’s Aunt Ruth had written an interesting article on the beginnings of the JC Penny store in Nampa, Idaho. After reading this article, I moved to another that perked my eyes, as it dealt with a former public school teacher for the county. It spoke of her faith in Christ, which she passed on to the students as she taught them the Bible daily. The account spoke of no hindrance to her daily exhortations, as that was when it was proper to have Bible teaching in secular, learning institutions. This had been legal since the establishment of our nation. In short time past, Christianity was considered part of normal life in America. Of course today, no Bibles are permitted in government schools, as lies of heritage abound. Historical correctness does not establish the rules of our day.

Verse 16 of Jeremiah 10, continues proclamation of the omnipotence of our Lord and God as it states He is the Maker of all. Israel is the tribe of His inheritance and the Lord of Hosts is His name. Lord of Hosts refers to His sovereignty over myriads of angles, countless stars, all creation. There is nothing outside of His complete control. All that is happening is allowed by His reigning hand, under His grace, that desires the salvation of all men. Though we too, dwell in an evil period, God is still on the throne awaiting the time of judgment and end of rebellion.

Israel is still the apple of His eye and Jerusalem will be where Christ sets His kingdom. His eyes are continually set on His disobedient ones who have rejected the Savior, but someday Israel will make Christ Lord, as well as her surrounding nations.

“Pick up your bundle” is a phrase that informs the people that they will not be able to take everything with them including the kitchen sink; well, actually not their wash basin, when removed from their land; verse 17. It is a visual that labels them vagabond, slave, and worthless human; those that have to be removed from their home in bonds to a distant place. Then God says they will be slung out, it is like the throwing of stones out of one’s yard. They will be removed as valueless and useless rocks.

Before Christ enters our life, we are unproductive and worthless; we offer Him nothing but filthy rags of sin. Yet He takes us in, places a robe on us; adopting us as His royal children. This all performed when we call upon His name, being saved from a life of slavery and bondage.

In order to be saved, we need to see our lost state, which Israel did not; she refused. God would have saved then immediately from their destined slavery state if they had repented. An old hymn testifies in the first verse, how Christ died “for such a worm as I.” At least it did originally state this until people complained that such a phrase damaged one’s self-esteem. In my newer hymnal, the words have been changed and not to protect any innocent ones, to this—“for sinners such as I.” It makes unredeemed men appear nicer so they can feel so much better about their lost state. Yes, we are sinners, but a true picture of our helpless state can rightly be presented by a worm. These modernists of our time cast old Isaiah’s truth aside as the Jews did. However, this is truly how God sees us as the Jews are called worms and we are no better; Isaiah 41:14. God also informs them, in this same verse of Isaiah, that He is One who redeems worms and He will redeem them. Isaiah is akin to Jeremiah, though a hundred years previous, as he too revealed the Babylonian invasion and captivity. He was sawed in two for this truthful proclamation. I like to state repeatedly, so it is engraved in our memories, the admonishment of 2 Peter 3:2. This verse commands us to remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets, and this includes Isaiah and Jeremiah.

The Jews were to be placed under siege by the Babylonians, being they did not listen and heed God’s true prophets. Any disobedient way we allow into our lives places us under siege or bondage. We don’t have to be led away in bonds. Anything that possesses no eternal value that we enjoy can place us in chains. That’s why James implores—“May your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.” This laughter and joy arises from cultural-fun, not through rejoicing in Christ’s holiness. We all must continually ask, What is my source of joy; is it truly Christ and His most holy ways?

“That they may be found” what an interesting phrase amongst this destined sorrow through distress; verse 18. No, God never gave up on them nor does He give up on us. This punishment was for the good of these Jews. It was for their repentance. All discipline seems terrible, yet it leads us forward in our walk with Christ. It directs us into greater maturity as we read in Hebrews chapter 12.

Jeremiah is empathizing, as he uses the first person pronoun to speak of their incurable state in verse 19. Jeremiah seems to want them to know how they will feel when all is destroyed, how they will react in their helplessness, being unassisted.

We change subjects in verse 21 to focus in on the shepherds or their spiritual leaders. Today, we often times use the term shepherds for spiritual leaders too and so did Christ. Christ told Peter to shepherd those who came to the saving knowledge.

These shepherds here in Jeremiah were neither close to God nor His Word and were misleading the people with false doctrine. God says they are stupid. The Hebrew word also means destructive. Whenever pastors don’t hold to God’s holy and inerrant Word alone, they are acting in stupidity and this destroys the people. Many unbiblical ways have entered our churches through compromising pastors. Whatever is trendy, the shepherds will follow, and sometimes they follow for social acceptance amongst believers or fellow pastors. This leads many believers down deadly roads of sin, as too many follow leaders over the Word of God.

Because of the compromise in Jeremiah’s time, the followers (or flocks) of these shepherds would be scattered. They were scattered in theology due to stupid teaching and example, and they would be scattered when the Babylonians came as well.

Tickling the people’s ears by telling them compromise is good got these shepherds nowhere. Those who teach do receive a stricter judgment; James 3:1. God lays it on the line with these spiritual leaders, as He did concerning the Sadducees and Pharisees in the New Testament who were headed for the lake of fire.

Verse 23 is key in reminding us that our lives are ultimately directed by the God above; our way is not in ourselves nor do we direct our own path or steps. Proverbs 20:24 basically states the same, explaining man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, and how then, can man understand his way? Acts 17:28 tells us that every person in the world lives, moves and has their existence in God. No one could stand, move, see, hear, bat an eyelid, and on and on, apart from their creator!

The steps of these Jews were going to be directed to a place not of their choice! God is the one who ultimately has control of all lives. A place of slavery is not a road one would personally choose, but God knows what is best and what will bring these people to their knees in humility.

The humility of Jeremiah and his sinful state is expressed in verse 23. Don’t we all need God’s mercy daily? Jeremiah was a godly, uncompromising man, but he knew he was a sinner deserving of God’s wrath, and we all fall into this category of truth.

Jeremiah had a heart possessing a desire to be close to God. He moved through the grace and forgiveness of the LORD, yet desired righteousness and justice to dwell in all the earth. He was obedient and wanted all to bow before God in this same cooperation. He desired the justice of God poured upon those nations who did not fear Him, and those who would level Israel. Verse 25 is speaking in past tense so I assume he means Assyria, knowing they had made the northern kingdom a wasteland. Egypt also had been a thorn in Israel’s side, as well as Moab and Phoenicia. Though these nations were thorns imparted due to Israel’s sin, Jeremiah still desires justice, observing they do not worship the King of kings.

All this travels back to the fact, God will bless those nations that care for Israel and will curse those who do not (Genesis 12:3 & Galatians 3:8); even those positioned to spank Israel. Though the land of Israel is deep in sin today, the same curse still applies. Therefore, I am grateful America is standing in aid of her to a small degree. We too can be spanked for compromises. Some of our leaders in recent time, have shown tremendous disrespect for God’s chosen ones.

To illustrate this perhaps better, suppose God desired to purify His church in America through allowing an enemy into its boarders. Let’s say we decided to surrender to this ruthless, destructive nation that was invading the land through terrorist bombings, though we held the power to overcome. America felt it should be sympathetic to its cause, being this nation believed America had always been malicious to it, desiring its oil or whatever. Suppose this nation that took possession of America, closed or destroyed all our truth-held churches. By performing this ill-will, all the chaff and lukewarm believers suddenly held no interest in meeting together, knowing it could mean death for them if they were discovered. As a result, the remnant church became on-fire, even through great persecution, resulting in many being saved. And the wishy-washy believers and ecumenicists became unheard of. Though this fictitious invading nation brought about a good result, God would still judge these people for their sin, just as He did Assyria and Babylon; and later Germany for her atrocities to the Jews.

Jeremiah Chapter 11

One key thing in this chapter that must be understood is the fact this is not about Jeremiah, it is all about God and His convicting Biblical truths that are not fleshly-pleasurable. These are God’s authoritative words being set forth by Jeremiah and this is clearly understood through verses 1-3 of chapter 11. Who will argue with that? Well, most every person in the remaining southern kingdom, the area of Judah. Many so-called Christians question the entire Bible today, refusing to adhere to it because it is not tolerant and not non-threatening. Pastors teaching through the Bible verse by verse is almost unheard of in this young millennium age. The hearts of men are indifferent to the Word of God because men like things their way and they have not changed through the ages.

Verse 3 emphasizes God’s supremacy and omnipotence, “Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of the covenant!” What is this covenant? What God commanded the forefathers of these Jewish people. Verse 4 is very calculating in exactness, rightly acknowledging God graciously brought them out of the house of slavery, the iron furnace of Egypt. This lovingkindness came with a ultimatum that they understood as Jews—the descendants of Jacob. They were to listen to God’s voice and obey. Very simple!

We see the words covenant and oath repeated again and again in the first section of chapter eleven. The emphasis is on contracts that are not to be broken. A Scriptural covenant involves positive and negative promises by God. There are always dreadful consequences when men disavow the terms and conditions of obedience to the laws of God. Obedience to the Creator of life produces blessed fruitful repercussions. A covenant resembles an established law. If we are law-abiding citizens, obeying the covenants or laws of the land, we, in general, live in peace. If we determine to disobey the laws of the land, there are dreadful consequences. This is very true regarding God’s Word and its conditions as well.

The utmost covenant is the grace covenant, “The New Testament covenant in His blood.” (1 Corinthians 11:25) Under a new documentation, we possess the grace covenant that is total forgiveness of sins for the one who surrenders their life to Christ, who offered His blood for all. Part of this new, dispensational covenant was revealed through the covenant God made with Adam, Eve and satan, though not an official listing. This was the first pledge regarding consequences of sin, specifically what Adam and Eve had to bear, and all future generations. Here the Messiah is promised as the One who would bruise satan on the head and satan would bruise Christ on the heal; Genesis 3:15. When fulfilled, it ensured that the curse of sin would loosen its powerful grip on those who were reborn through Christ.

A covenant we witness continually is the rainbow covenant. It was unveiled to Noah for all humanity; actually, every living creature; Genesis 9:11-16. This covenant was enacted following the flood to reassure man that God would never again overflow the entire world with H2O. This covenant is totally immutable; man can do nothing to change it. No matter how great the sin of mankind, God will never violate His one-sided rainbow covenant.

The Abrahamic Covenant is an oath made by God to Abraham and his descendants, the Jews; Genesis 12:1-3. This covenant also included a Promise Land deed for Abraham’s descendants. And we know Christ will establish His kingdom and His throne in Jerusalem from which He will rule the globe. All is destined for this unveiling—Revelation chapter 20, Zechariah chapter 12, Psalm chapter 2, etc.

The Abrahamic Covenant also involved Abraham’s descendants outnumbering the stars Abraham could count; Genesis 15:5. This was fulfilled by the time Israel left Egypt. There were approximately 2.5 million departing Jews. God blessings of procreation continued—He moves beyond what we can ask or think. Today there are approximately 13.2 million Jews in the world.

Another covenant, which we are most familiar with, is the covenant of the Ten Commandments. We have witnessed many sad legal battles concerning these words of God because the desire of men is to have them desecrated. We find these basic rules for living in Exodus 34:28f, and various places where it is tucked within the Bible Scriptures, including Jeremiah’s penning. The Ten Commandments are a portion of the Mosaic Covenant (all the laws bestowed upon the Jews). They were to be obeyed by the Hebrews to receive benefits of security and well-being. Godly obedience produces blessings.

The Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament in various places, as I mentioned in a previous lesson.

They are included in Romans chapter 13, but the Sabbath command is excluded. The church meets on the first day of the week in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection—Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. This is because believers are in the dispensation of the New Covenant of Christ’s blood. The church is to obey nine of the Ten Commandments. The church recognizes holy requirements for living has increased, knowing born again Christians possess the power of the Holy Spirit within.

When it comes to obeying the seventh commandment, not committing adultery, Christ made it clear that men are not even to lust after other women. Christian sisters are to aid men by dressing modestly—in a bashful, proper manner that doesn’t display tempting skin. Job was a tremendous example of not lusting, as he would not even gaze upon a virgin. He had made a covenant with his eyes; Job 31:1.

I include amongst the covenants, the Mosaic laws of consequence, simply dubbed by me. You locate these consequences by promise in Deuteronomy 28:15f. God has guaranteed penalties throughout His Word for disobedience. One of these comeuppances taught that Israel would be led away captive by a foreign nation or nations if Israel chose to worship other gods. Imagine that! God fulfilled His Word to the Jews in Jeremiah’s time and previous to. The rules of this pact included the withdrawing of blessings if the Jews packed away the Mosaic covenant as old-fashioned, as if they no longer heeded it, as they trekked in uppity, self-reliant society.

In the New Testament, God never declares the church will be removed to captivity if she rebels, but God does promise discipline in Hebrews 12 and other texts. Believers are told they will reap what they sow in Galatians 6:7. God created the world in such a logical way that if a farmer plants corn seed; he will reap corn, not aromatic mint or any other produce. No one gets away with disobedience to God. Yes, there is forgiveness and renewal, but consequences can remain. For example, if a man murders a person and becomes a Christian in prison, he is not automatically set free to rejoin society.

The Davidic Covenant entails David’s throne and it being everlasting through Christ, who was born in the line of David.

There is also the Marriage Covenant. In Proverbs 2:17, God speaks of marriage as a covenant made with Him, that of lifetime commitment—high fidelity. Christ reaffirmed this covenant of lifetime faithfulness in the New Testament.

The final approaching covenant is that of Jeremiah 31:31, where God reveals “This is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

In Jeremiah 11:5, we observe God reiterating His covenant of the Promised Land being theirs. Israel was once their homeland of milk and honey. A blessing they threw away, causing it to be transformed from an oasis to a desert as witnessed today. Jeremiah asserts this blessing of Holy Land ownership by proclaiming, “Amen, O Lord.”

The church was once a place of blessed truth, but it has become a wasteland of doctrinal failure.

Verse 6 is God’s command to Jeremiah to be a street preacher or open-air evangelist. Alan and I partook in open-air evangelism down south in Georgia and Tennessee in ‘82. We stood on street corners in cities presenting the Gospel to whoever would listen through preaching and testimonies. When we presented the Gospel outside the World’s Fair in Knoxville, the police wanted to arrest us, but could find no grounds. (No, I did not preach, simply gave my testimony; though I did teach children in housing projects) We didn’t cover as much territory as Jeremiah who had to proclaim God’s Word in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem and to many nations.

It is wonderful to proclaim God’s Word in the open-air. However, Jeremiah didn’t have a trained group of people assisting him. He was basically alone and always the unwanted one. He was not fashionably dressed, manicured, or prepped to impress. No one desired to hear His words from God, as they were not walking in the heavenly talk.

God stresses in verse 6, that they are not to be simply hearers of the Word, but doers! This is reiterated in James 1:22 for us today.

God loves His people; this is why He consistently warned them to obey His voice; verse 7. He did not want to survey the Jews suffering the consequences of disobedience to His covenants and teachings.

God re-stresses His covenant in verse 8, which is over and over again presented in this section. God says these Jews are stubborn—never wanting to obey. We see they walked after the “imaginations of their evil heart.” This is Christianity today as well. Christians are commanded to dwell on truth, but they prefer the imagined. This is why they crave to be entertained. God says in the last days people will turn to fables. It is unbelievable the silly made up things I have heard taught in churches and how often fable Hollywood productions are referred to as if they are real. Yes, we live in a day like Jeremiah’s.

In Jeremiah’s era and in ours, we see men accepting men’s teachings and rejecting God’s. The Jews had a form of religion in Jeremiah’s time, as do many people in the world today. We have observed that the Jews were still worshipping on Saturday, sacrificing and tithing; but disobeying other areas of the covenant.

God continues in verses 9-10, addressing the fact the Jews were breaking His covenant in the area of idolatry. They were not to set any other gods before them; Deuteronomy 5:7. God says it is “a conspiracy” because they conspire to break His holy law. These are strong words but very true whenever one finds ways to disobey God and justify it. It reveals the inner heart of disobedience, as it devises ways to defy the LORD and His oracles. As my husband and I have dealt with the false doctrines in churches and elsewhere, it is obvious that it is a conspiracy against the God of the Bible. His power of truth removed from the scene is a deliberate conspiracy.

The Jews probably enlisted excuses to shun Jeremiah’s words, perhaps saying, “Well, that was what Moses wrote, but that was simply his opinion.” Such logic is proclaimed today when people want to disobey the New Testament. They will state, “Well, that was just Paul’s opinion.” When they contend the Bible, they never say, “Those are God’s words,” they just name Bible authors. They forget the Word is God-breathed not man-made. Many false movements are in Christendom today because they remove the true Author—God when disputing the Word.

We can tell by reading verse 10 how God is feeling about all this, as these Jews turn back to pagan ways. It’s akin to society deciding it wants to live like ancient native Indians and follow the New Age religion, but everyone knows it is the old age religion of paganism with a new name. It’s the way of insanity.

God cannot understand why the Jews are desiring this sinful lunacy—turning from Him to images; living as their crude ancestors lived. It all represents the broken covenant. Like one would break their marriage covenant so has Judah, desiring freedom and new lovers. The sadness of God can be assessed throughout these verses.

Verse 11 surges into God’s dealings as justice must be handed down from the Judge of judges. It is the sentence of inescapable disaster. When the unsaved stand before God at the close of earthly time (Revelation 20:11-15), they will also be handed a sentence of inescapable disaster. The people whom Jeremiah addressed are ones we will possibly see in the future if we are allowed to view all judgments. John the apostle may have seen some of them when he viewed the judgment seat of Christ when he stepped into the time tunnel of future events.

When the disaster of Babylonian invasion arises and God takes no heed of their cries, they will run to their lifeless gods, being there will be nowhere else to turn; verse 12. What a scene can be set before us, as we envision the invading enemy and these Jews bowed before their little wooden people, begging them to stop the conquering terror. Their gods were no different from the wooden, carved toy soldiers of children’s play.

God, being the wise God that He is, lets the diminutive Jews know they cannot stop massive Babylon from invading. Now wouldn’t they know this? Well, time changes but not people. Jews then and believers today can believe you’re ok and I’m ok philosophies and proclaim them. However, in time of distress, positive thinking will not bring any comfort nor produce true answers. Repenting from the ways of society and only following Biblical doctrine is the answer to all adverse circumstances for all ages. Living on the fringe of drifting clouds of ever-changing agendas is endless fluff.

In verse 13 God addresses how many gods they serve; nothing escapes His notice. Today’s ecumenical movement encompasses all religions with many slants on believism. Judah claimed to follow God but all the other gods of other nations as well. It was tolerance then and it is still called tolerance today. If you go to the internet and research the World Council of Churches, you may readily read the Gospel. Unfortunately, as you continue on in your research, you will grasp their agenda that all religions on the earth are to be accepted. They want to sound Christian to lure you into the same falseness that reigned in Jeremiah’s time. Most false religions will spout a bit of the Gospel to appear to be true. We must beware of satan’s devices. There is only one true God and He is the God of the Bible with no additions and subtractions.

Verse 14 is full of deadly punch! Jeremiah can no longer pray for his people; he can no longer intercede for their repentance or salvation! What a thing to be told as he so loves his fellow Jews. This is repeated from chapter 7, verse 16. Obviously, it is very tempting for one to desire to pray for those they love. It would be a hardship on me to be told this. When we studied chapter 7, we saw how the same command is taught in the New Testament in 1 John 5:16-17. These were obviously very wayward New Testament believers that John was referring to, not being spirit-filled and living only for Christ.

In verse 15, God says His beloved has no right in His house or temple. She, His people, were coming to His house unwashed, bearing hearts and minds filled with worldly vileness. They were filthy and lewd in their activities. Here we see an image of temple life. They were coming to the temple sacrificing spotless lambs to cover their lewd sins and then rejoicing in forgiveness. God, however, was saying NO to forgiveness, being they had no change of heart; there was no turning away from the vile world and its lewd ways. The LORD knew they were not sincere. They did not desire their hearts to be washed, displaying purity. There was no pursuit to live lives in holiness and separation.

Our pastor relayed on Sunday the conversation between father and son when he was a tike and caught in transgression. When his father confronted him, he would humbly claim he was sorry. His wise father would respond with “Don’t be sorry, be different.” This is God’s desire for everyone when they come to Him admitting their sin and seeking forgiveness.

I heard a testimony of a former Catholic who had regularly attended a Catholic church drunk. He sometimes had to be carried forward to take the eucharist. He sadly revealed, sometimes he was so drunk they had to force it down his throat. He was so grateful to be set free of religiosity through Jesus Christ. Religion cannot save, only the Jesus Christ of the Bible can deliver from sin and save unto eternal life. Works and religiosity cannot save! People are empowered to obey God as they are saved; they receive the Holy Spirit who enables righteousness.

To gain more understanding of God’s hurt heart regarding the Jews in the book of Jeremiah, let us relate it to marriage. It would be similar to a husband coming home and finding his wife with other men on a continual basis. She, being a violator of their lifetime marriage covenant, would be thrown out with her lovers.

Ultimately, beloved Israel will come home to only one God in the millennial kingdom. The Lord’s faithful devotion to His people will blossom into true united love one day!

Verse 16 of Jeremiah chapter 11, speaks of the wondrous poetic love God had for Israel in His calling and choosing her as His nation that was to be an example of God’s truth. He testifies of her beauty comparing Israel to a green olive tree that bears beautiful fruit. This short, amiable poetic phrase of love states volumes of God’s fondness for Israel. This nation was to bear beautiful fruit of faithfulness for her gracious husbandman, but she refused. Removing this bad tree (Judah) is the only solution, ensuring God’s holy name will no longer be disgraced by rotten hypocrisy.

In relationship to today, rotten hypocrisy is usually spoon-fed to a congregation or class. I am always tremendously hurt when I hear congregational members who have been indoctrinated or brainwashed. They, like Mocking Birds, mimic apostate teachings without question. They willingly turn from inerrant Scripture because they enjoy sinful man’s teachings or because they are totally ignorant of the Word and will believe anything a leader will speak.

Christ proclaims in Matthew 7 that false teachers will be cut down and burned. Christ warns that we will know these false ones by their fruits. They will not be bearing righteous fruits of solid teaching. They will speak words that confuse, being out of alignment with the Bible. Those who follow them will also teach doctrines that contradict true Scripture and their lives will not be holy and conformed to true Bible theology. They will be as the confused world. The true and living God never rears confusion.

In Jeremiah, we are dealing with the false teachings that crept into the nation Israel. The common Jewish hearers allowed themselves to be influenced through compromise as seen in verse 17. They willingly followed the false deity—Baal—their main form of counterfeit worship. Their religious leaders would not condemn any idolatry, but also partook and propagated many false gods and doctrines.

The Jews would believe anything they heard from the temple preachers, excepting Jeremiah—the religious nut. What self-respecting religious person would ever want to associate with him? They wanted their idols, a liberal living mode and social acceptability. They did not desire to hear Jeremiah proclaim the condemning Word of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing deep within them to convict, as it is quick and powerful—more potent in intent than any experienced, attacking warrior. It delves deep within, exposing the thoughts and intentions of the heart; Hebrews 4:12. It is intrusive!

We also perceive from this verse that their lewdness was performed by choice. They knowingly performed it against themselves. They were without excuse.

In verse 18, we enter a section that deals with a personal situation of Jeremiah’s, that of persecution. Jeremiah stands alone for God and His pure Word, resulting in the people desiring his demise. They want to do him in. One uncompromising voice is one too many in the eyes of these idolaters. I have noted that if there is only one voice disputing evil, satan still wants it silenced and he will hit it with all his might.

God graciously lets Jeremiah in on the schemes of these wayward Jews. He identifies all our thoughts and desires. Not one of our thoughts escapes God’s notice. This is why we must take every thought captive in obedience to Christ. I know, I must confess my evil thoughts whenever they arise; those contrary to Christ’s righteous ways. I must not walk in mindless futility. I am thankful I serve a forgiving God who is full of mercy and grace.

Matthew 9:4 speaks of Christ knowing the evil thoughts of the scribes who desired to silence Him. These thoughts arose from their wicked hearts. Man is unable to keep anything from the Creator of all.

Jeremiah 11:19 addresses the humble scope of Jeremiah. He was a gentle lamb, yet his opponents were planning to lead him to the slaughter. We witness the gentle spirit of Jeremiah; he only desired God’s truth proclaimed. He held no desire for fame and fortune. He walked in meekness and lowliness of heart. Christ, being perfect, walked more humbly than Jeremiah on this earth.

Our God had to be led to the slaughter as a gentle lamb; it was part of His plan. When the Jews murdered Christ, they believed He would be remembered no more. He is worshiped now and will be through all eternity.

Though Jeremiah’s community desired he be led to the slaughter, it was not part of God’s plan. Jeremiah lived a long life though filled with persecution, pain and rejection. Jeremiah did not have true faithful members of a church to encourage him on, though He did have the LORD and He is more than adequate!

True Christians must uphold and encourage those who stand true to the Word. Such stamina is a difficult thing to maintain in this day and age. We do not desire that faithful believers fall by the wayside due to obstacles. All of us must make sure we are dressing in the full armor of God daily with the Sword of the Word outstretched; Ephesians chapter 6.

Jeremiah had no idea of the evil plan of these conspirators; verse 19. Here we see Jeremiah represented by a tree—a good tree that bears profitable fruit of righteousness. It was this good tree the Jews desired to cut down. It doesn’t look good if all the trees in an orchard are dead but one. This is not complete conformity. The odd one must be done away with even if it is the only one bearing fruit. Today the church must look like the world so it doesn’t appear separated or different. It must speak the rhetoric of the world, bear the sensual dress of the world, own the materialistic mentality, etc; even though the world is a dead tree that is going to burn along with all its paraphernalia.

These Hebrews foolishly believe if they stifle Jeremiah and his godly preaching, his messages will be contemplated no more. However, whatever God desires to remain will remain. Jeremiah’s body has long gone to dust, though not by their hands. He is still remembered, his words are still preached and he is residing with the LORD in paradise. This cannot be stated of the Jews who followed false teachings of compromise.

Jeremiah wants God’s vengeance unleashed in verse 20. He wants his enemies avenged so life will be easier, so he doesn’t have to live in constant fear. The natural man always desires the easy, flowery path. Pain and rejection are not fun. It is not pleasurable having to look behind you continually, wondering if the person following you conceals a deadly knife. But all those who live godly are told they will be persecuted and Jeremiah greatly was. New Testament believers are taught to rejoice in deadly persecution; we are privileged to share in Christ’s pain.

Verse 21 addresses the pleasant and undisturbed life—just quit telling the truth of God and you will not be bothered. Jeremiah can choose this route, being hatefully offered by the men who live in his hometown of Anathoth. The people of Anathoth represent Jeremiah’s neighbors and family; this being where Jeremiah was raised; 1:1. This was where the priests resided. Jeremiah’s father was a priest and Jeremiah was part of the priestly line. It is Jeremiah’s own who want to bring forth his demise.

Jeremiah responds with a “no.” He will not succumb to their threats and promise of life for silence. He continues to expose the lies that contradict Scripture! He preaches the doom of the priests who live in Anathoth. They will pay for misrepresenting God and rejecting His prophet. This assured to Jeremiah by the LORD. His justice is coming and all those who desire Jeremiah’s demise will perish by the sword and their sons and daughters by famine. No one gets away with sin. God will not even permit a remnant to remain in the area of Anathoth.

In Revelation, believers will await the vengeance of God on those who persecuted them and it will thunder down.

Jeremiah Chapter 12


© Val Lee

Huge Chameleon of Barbados

Verse 1 of chapter 12, Jeremiah declares God’s righteousness; this is prayerful adoration for this holy attribute of our LORD’S. Jeremiah continues reflecting his heart by imploring with a question, which certainly pertains to this attribute of righteousness. He inquires of the LORD regarding justice—an element of exercising righteousness—as Jeremiah is witnessing the prospering of the “wicked.” This may sound familiar, remembering the Psalmist brought this same troubling situation before the LORD in Psalm 73:3.

Jeremiah is additionally troubled by the fact the “treacherous” live at ease. God’s discerning one recognizes that righteousness cannot prevail without judgment. Righteousness and wickedness are not synonymous! Something must be done.

This can be troubling for all true believers as they witness the present state of affairs. Wickedness is persistently mounting from bad to worse. And God, who is merciful, is not striking people with lightning every time they engage in evil.

Of course, Jesus Christ hates all sin and does not care to hear His name blasphemed countless times, every minute, throughout the world. He is  longsuffering so He curtails judgment that men might repent.

My husband was speaking to me regarding the number of lesbians who are employed at the prison where he administrates as a lieutenant. When first hired he knew of none. He continued to relay his thoughts concerning the lifespan of this nation that keeps resembling ancient Rome to greater degrees. Rome, at one time, was the ruling world power that appeared indestructible, but doom eventually fell upon her. Judah appeared to be a nation that would never suffer demise, however, it did. Only God knows what is in store for future America; the timetable of gracious longsuffering is in His hands.

When we think of past and present evil prosperity, we should not overlook the very hot place these people will be spending all eternity if repentance remains absent.

Jeremiah lets God know in verse 2 that He planted them, as if God did not know He was the maker and preserver of the Jewish nation! Jeremiah states they have taken root and they even produced fruit and the Lord is near to their lips. These people may be praising God, even speaking great things of God, chameleon-like, but Jeremiah lays truth on the line. He knows their true un-blending color. They are simply providing lip service, not rendering their heart love to God. They do not truly mean their actions and words. They obey with robot-like programmed service. Jeremiah perceives they are two-faced—praising the living God with one side of their mouth; yet, giving religious acknowledgment to false deities with the other.

It distresses steadfast Christians when they observe hypocrisy in many church attendees who act out the dedicated role on Sunday. Yet, during the workweek, take on the fleshly part of their script, a total nauseating role reversal.

I have had to ask myself regarding some church attendees, “Are these truly the same people I saw on Sunday?” I have been with people who appear to love the LORD with all their hearts, but when they get around the “in crowd,” they act accordingly. I have been left in shock regarding the fact they are self-blenders. They do not even display a minute etching of Christianity when they believe it is not appropriate. Yes, chameleons. May God severely reprove me if I have ever appeared to others in this manner.

Jeremiah, in verse 3, reminds God of the fact he does not compromise and he stays ever true to his Savior or in equivalent terms, never appears as the chameleon. He tells the LORD to examine his heart. He is not afraid of what God will see; he is His faithful one. When we are close to the Lord, we never have to fear Him peeking into our hearts to take notes.

Continuing further into this verse, Jeremiah requests the LORD’S judgment be placed on those who serve God only outwardly. God commands, “Set them apart for a day of carnage!” We know a day is coming when Christ will separate the tares in our churches from the actual true harvest of believers for judgment and that may not be too distant into the future. Matthew 13:47-50 refers to the saved and unsaved as the good and bad fish. The bad fish will experience an eternal destruction in the furnace of fire. The good fish (those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ) will glory in heaven.

Just as believers desire for Christ to come and rule on the earth where all things will once again be blessed, so Jeremiah wanted the Promised Land to once again be blessed in its original beauty—when it was a land of milk and honey; where the countryside did not wither and was occupied with many animals, including birds. When Christ returns to the earth (Acts 1:11, Revelation chapter 20, Zechariah chapter 14, etc), there will be abundant beauty and peace. We cannot even begin to fathom this. When the Jews were moved into Babylonian captivity and the land laid waste, it was probably hard for them to grapple a time when it would be rejuvenated again; but it was, within 100 years. When the Jews returned after exile, they did rebuild and they restored the land to beauty by the grace of God’s agricultural and architectural hand. Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah were the significant ones in producing the beginnings of this in Jerusalem.

I love verse 5 and have kept it in the back of my mind. It certainly has been an encouragement in time past and present. It tells me if I get discouraged when living in a time of peace, how will I survive in time of war? If I’m not fleeing from armed enemies, yet, I feel faint, what would I do if I was actually being pursued by them?

Believers in many lands are being imprisoned and slaughtered for their faith; these facts are confirmed in articles and through other sources. Yet, I live in a nice neighborhood, in a pleasant home that has many conveniences. My country affords freedom of religion, speech, etc; but I can still get discouraged just as Jeremiah did from circumstances.

The verse proclaims: “If you have run with the footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses. If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?”

Horses were going to charge into the land and people were going to run, but they could not rush far from these mounted Babylonian soldiers with thrust swords. If Jeremiah ran to the Jordan River, how could he easily cruise through the trees and shrubbery that line that stream and escape unscathed? God wants Jeremiah to toughen up as James 1 proclaims to us. We are to learn endurance as we encounter trials and tribulations. We are to be training ourselves through holding onto Christ for what may come next that is not a picnic in the testing of our faith. Jeremiah was able to stand when he faced the enemy, but it was heart-wrenching and emotionally painful. By grace, he was toughened-up and learned endurance through God’s boot camp. As I stated before, Lamentations tells the story of this broken man who persevered. This crying gentleman loved his fellow Jews, witnessed their demise and captivity, but did not cave into self-destruction. He knew it was their chosen lot, but he was still hurt and disappointed. He could only hold onto God’s hand through it all.

God continues in verse 6 by informing Jeremiah that he is in harm’s way. Jeremiah’s brothers and other family members have dealt treacherously with their own. They are only pretending to be Jeremiah’s faithful family before his face. God warns Jeremiah not to believe in their false-loving ways. We learned previously that Jeremiah’s family lives in Anathoth—where the priestly Jews dwell. These religious leaders have formed a murderous conspiracy to do Jeremiah in (chapter 11). Though none dare call it conspiracy, it is. Jeremiah was born into a heritage of priests who were called to holiness, but this plot has been formed by the priests to stop his message of truth. Remember, it was the priests and religious leaders in Christ’s time who did Him in (though all according to God’s will). They continually tried to trip Him up, but you cannot trip up the Creator of the universe. Because they could find no fault in Him, they created a false case against Him that He might be tied to the tree of crucifixion.

In Matthew 10:34f Christ warned us that our own family members would come against us for standing on Him. One’s enemies could come from his own house. In Muslim countries, family members will attempt to harm or kill their own who have become believers. There was a boy in my son’s class at Nampa Christian whose father is a high-ranking priest in the Muslim faith. This Muslim priest tried to kill this son and other members of the family for turning to Christ before they fled to America.

Even in the good old USA, believers can be shamefully treated by family members for being on-fire for the Savior, even by those who call themselves Christians but don’t believe one should be overly vocal about their faith nor live a forthright holy life. Many do not believe you should take the Bible too literally. Most sad indeed.

Of course, our attitude in all our trials of faith should parallel Philippians 3:8 where Paul states he counts all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus as His LORD, for whom he suffered the loss of all things, but counted them as rubbish so that he could gain Christ.

This was certainly Jeremiah’s attitude too, knowing what awaited him in the eternal heavenlies—him being forever with the LORD.

In verse 7, God speaks forth His heart for His adored nation who is the beloved of His soul. He will have to turn over His beloved to her enemies, as she has become the enemy of God by shaking her fist at Him for His holy ways of conviction. She is like a lion roaring against God’s truths. Here we see God speaking in Hebrew poetry to touch the heart of us readers so we obtain true understanding of His righteous ways of judgment that arise from his fatherly heart. In the New Testament God exhorts us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven”… Do we truly understand how much of a Father He truly is, in His love for us? These verses certainly give us a clue. We too are “the beloved of His soul.” If we truly understood this, I think we would do all we could to live in holiness for the One who loves us so.

God ends verse 8 by saying he has come to hate her, the beloved of His soul. What a sad commentary of love that once was.

God speaks of hate in the New Testament in John 8:25 where we are commanded to hate. We are commanded to hate our life in this world so we will keep it to eternal life. Christ wants to present us as pure virgins, betrothed only to Him; 2 Corinthians 11:2-4. We must keep ourselves separated from cultural ways to achieve this. We must separate ourselves from all the false jesus’ that are arising today and are being presented in churches that do not stress separation from the world—its ecumenicalism, its philosophies and its methodologies.

God hated the sin of Judah and we are to hate sin too, that which is inherent in this world. If the Jews had hated this world then the hate of God would have never touched them.

The unsaved global population of today can be delivered from God’s hate or coming wrath by turning their lives over to Him, that is why we proclaim Jesus Christ’s truths of love for lost sinners.

In verse 9, we see the results of God’s hate—God will bring the wild beasts to devour the Jews.

The shepherds in verse 10 would be the religious leaders who have become false teachers who were called to pastor the people of God. Jeremiah 50:6 speaks of how the pastors or religious leaders have turned the people away from God. Today shepherds or pastors who are even in fundamental churches can turn people down false roads through the compromise of the world and contemporary false theology, which includes the “emergent” ecumenical movement.

There is hope for the true uncompromising believer in today’s world and it is stated in Jeremiah 23:4f and that hope is Christ who will set up godly shepherds during the millennial reign of Christ. Even in these days of compromising apostasy, where one may have a difficult time locating a church that solely rests on the Word alone, completely apart from cultural ways, we hold hope in the true Shepherd who is coming to lead us away one day.

In Groton, Massachusetts, Alan and I assisted in a church pastored by Pastor James Sheppard who was a powerful man of God. He taught inductively the Word and preached solidly against the ways of the world and sin. He was a faithful loving shepherd with an appropriate name.

The people in Jeremiah’s time allowed false shepherds to lead them. The people did not hold to the example of the Bereans as seen in Acts 17:10f. The Bereans diligently sought the Old Testament daily to check the teaching accuracy of those who called themselves shepherds and found them (Paula and Silas) to be true. Unfortunately, in Jeremiah’s day, the shepherds were false teachers and led the Jews astray and the results were death and devastation.

Looking further into the New Testament concerning shepherds, we read in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-11 of Pastor Paul who informs the Thessalonians how they (the shepherds) moved gently among them like a nursing mother, tenderly caring for her own children. These shepherds revealed a fond affection for the Thessalonians, which resulted in Biblical truth being implanted in their hearts through proclaiming to them a non-compromising Gospel. We read how the nursing lambs became very dear to the shepherds through this process of nurturing discipleship.

We are assured in these verses of 1 Thessalonians that the people were discipled in complete love, care and concern as Biblical truths were imparted. We also view the fatherly side of these godly men who exhorted, encouraged and implored these Thessalonians. They were being exhorted in the ways of Christ through godly behavior, learning to be blameless and upright as their shepherds were. Of course, Timothy and Titus are books that give the godly requirements for shepherds who tend us too. These are Scriptures that we need to heed so we are never placed under false shepherds who teach and live by error.

Jumping back into Jeremiah, verse 12 informs us that the sword of the Lord is devouring from one end of the land to the other. Revelation 2:16 speaks of the Sword of Christ’s mouth that will make war with the church in Pergamum for this fellowship tolerated false teachings. May this be a warning to any compromising church today.

We read in verse 14 of God’s anger which will come against Judah’s neighbors who have harmed them. God did deal with Egypt as well as with the Ammonites and Moabites as they too were devoured by Babylon.

Verse 15 offers hope as God will restore these other nations through His compassion. The LORD also informs them that if they turn to God’s ways, these Gentile nations will be built up and blessed. If they don’t submit to God’s ways after the captivity, these countries will be uprooted and destroyed; verse 17.

Jeremiah Chapter 13

We begin this chapter with the words of the Lord coming to Jeremiah in an unusual request for him to purchase a linen waistband and wear it. Now that is an atypical appeal coming from the LORD. No other request of this sort was made by God in recorded history. Jeremiah’s obedience was a visual lesson to the LORD’S people, as we will see.

Jeremiah was to travel to the Euphrates River; verse 3. This would be quite the trip! Why not the Jordan River, which was only 19 miles from Jerusalem? The Euphrates was a great distance. Afar Babylon lay along this river, a distance of 720 miles from Jerusalem. Jeremiah possibly did not travel that far, as he could have traveled up north a bit, which would have been less of a journey. But still a great distance from home. He may have had to travel 500 miles or more. It may have been akin to traveling from Boise, Idaho to Seattle, Washington. But it must be remembered, there were no paved roads and flashy fast cars back then.

Why the Euphrates? I believe it was due to the fact Judah was to be removed to captivity at this charted point. They were to be exiled to Babylon where the Euphrates lies and the Tigris—a bit farther east. Babylon was the point at which these two rivers held the closest proximity in present day Iraq, though the topography has shifted and ancient, destroyed Babylon now lies 14 miles from the Euphrates, as I have pointed out previously.

Jeremiah, being God’s servant, obeyed without question even though this long trek was probably not pleasant. Now, we do not know if he walked or rode a donkey. He would have certainly needed provisions and a tent in the wilderness, which could have been placed on a donkey. Daily entrées may have arrived through a personal hunt.

When he reached the distant shoreline of the river, he was told to hide the linen waistband in a crevice of a rock. Why that garment would need to be hidden, I do not know; except for the case of illustration. I might say this can demonstrate how one attempts to hide their sin but never with success. The Jews are hiding from the truth of God revealed but with no success.

This reminds me of my cat, Cassidy, our sneaky female, who loves only me. Our male cat, Alfredo, who loves everyone, is never sneaky nor runs away. It seems Cassidy can read my mind. When I am thinking I need to put her outside because she is being too rambunctious, she seems to sense my desire of capture. She will run behind the bed where it is not worth my bother to get down on all fours to crawl into the little space to retrieve her. She knows I will get her if she hides elsewhere, but not there. My cat that is wicked at times has success. A time of judgment is coming and God will make sure all wicked people will be humbled. There will be no successful hiding from God.

After many days, Jeremiah heard God’s voice again. This new verbal command was for Jeremiah to retrieve the garment. Now it does not say God’s presence appeared just His voice. When God spoke to Samuel when a child, he only heard the LORD’S voice; 1 Samuel chapter 3. God speaking to Jeremiah and other prophets was an ongoing verbal communication. Today God speaks through our hearts if we are teachable and desirous of His holy truths. In light of this, we do have to test the spirits by the inerrant Word of God. The Scriptures are the true test of anything experienced. God’s inerrant Word travels in truth beyond experience. We are commanded not to take any stand on visions, messages or angelic sightings; Galatians chapter 1 and Colossians 2:18. Everything must be tested with the Bible, being God never changes.

In Genesis 5:22 & 24 it states that Enoch walked with God three hundred and sixty years. I believe this may have involved verbal communication as well as righteous obedience. If you want to read more of Enoch, Jude 14-15 refers to his prophecy of the apocalypse. He certainly knew of Christ, being he prophesied of Him. Perhaps he walked with Christ in an actual way of footing it as the disciples walked with Christ literally and learned from Him. Enoch’s walk was spiritual and could have been physical as well. The original Hebrew word used in Genesis 5:22 for walk” is “halak” and it literal means to walk or go and is used throughout the Old Testament. Halak is used of Abraham in Genesis 18:16 when he walked with the LORD toward Sodom; though only a short distance.

Enoch practiced the presence of God in more ways than one; so much so that “God took him.” There was never a burial plot, no place to set flowers. If Christ believers are removed soon to heaven by rapture, being no more on the earth and of the earth, there will not be any need for funerals, carved tombstones and flowers. There will be no need for sorrow.

Returning to Jeremiah, we know Jeremiah buried the linen waistband deep in the earth, as he had to dig for it. He did not simply place it under a rock. Upon retrieving it, Jeremiah found it to be ruined. This was a visual lesson to the people of Judah how God would destroy the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. This can be a visual lesson for New Testament believers as well. We were bought with a price, with Christ’s blood, which made our hearts whiter than even a linen garment. White garments will be the dress of heaven’s citizens, as we read in the book of Revelation. When we allow sin into our lives, our styling worldly pride ruins us on many fronts and it removes our white or pure testimony. We can become worthless in our walk as Judah became worthless in her walk with God.

God has always called His people to humility through total dependence on Him. Paul came in humility to the churches as we witness in 1 Corinthians 2:1-3.

Lowliness represents a life that is 0% dependent upon ourselves, but 100% dependent on the LORD. Both the Old and New Testaments verify the humility trail is the path all believers should hold to steadfastly.

1 Corinthians 1:29 informs us that God is not impressed with any man as no flesh will glory before His presence. Nothing in man or about man impresses God. Albert Einstein never impressed God. Today none of man’s technological achievements, media endeavors, or humanistic agendas warrant any merit. What impresses the worldly man of this age of minuscule wonder gadgets, emerging whatnots, digital media and agendas for change are totally meaningless to the God of all wonders.

In David’s praise to God in 1 Chronicles chapter 29, he acknowledges in verse 14, that all things come from God and from God’s hand the people returned tithes to Him.

Acts 17:28f tells us that we all live, move and exist by God’s power; therefore men should repent and serve Him.

Verse 9 proclaims the LORD is going to destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem! The southern kingdom thought she was so trendy and styling, holding to God and the ways of the world at the same time; but the Jews are going to fall on their faces in truth and reality. They are going to see they are nothing and have nothing to brag about when they are stripped bare of all their external worldly ways. 1 John 2:15-17 lays God’s truths more on the line in this area. God explains if one loves this world and its things, the love of the Father is not in him. The lust of the flesh and eyes and boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world, which is passing away. It is wise to ask ourselves, “What is this doing to matter a hundred years from today.”

Verse 10 addresses further the wickedness of God’s people, specifically their stubbornness. I think we can all relate to this negative trait, as we have all been guilty from day one. When it comes to obeying God’s set truths, our LORD will not listen to excuses that arise from a stubborn nature that mostly thinks of fun and believes God only wants His people having fun. From childhood, this attitude is engraved in man. Most every child would rather play than clean their room. Adults would rather be playing or attending socials than serving God in hardship.

This verse continues to teach through review. Again we learn God’s people allowed the religions of culture to influence them, including idolatry. They became consumed in false ways of man-created beliefs. This religion of men ignited the pride of the Jew! God calls them “evil,” “an evil people.” He is most blunt, more blunt than most pastors today. How many pastors would call anyone in their congregation evil for taking part in man-manufactured decrees of religion? God is all-wise and He tells it like it is. He is not a man-pleaser.

The falseness of the Jewry stems from imagination, not Biblical reality. I believe the invention of imagination plays a huge part in what we witness with the acceptance of every belief system in the church.

We witness further in verse 10 that there is another segment to the illustration of the waistband. The Jews will be made as worthless as the band. Some will be annihilated and others made into slaves. No one will admire them as being the renowned people of God. Their nation will be trampled under and they will be dispersed without land and home.

God looks at the waistband in a positive past tense at the end of verse 11. He remembers how the kingdom of Israel was once made to cling to Him like the waistband or a belt clings to a man’s body. Their destiny was to cling to God alone, producing “a people for renown, for praise and for glory.” God’s righteous plans are always for good not evil for those who willingly obey Him; Psalm 1.

If we peek at Joshua 2:9-11, we see a time when Israel was distinguished for God’s praise and glory. Rahab was one who testified to this. She spoke to the spies in these verses, revealing how she knew the LORD had given the Hebrews the land, and that the terror of Israel had fallen upon her people. All the inhabitants of the land had melted away. She continues in this text to testify of God’s miracles that removed the courage of the Canaanites. They were being annihilated, via the Jewish people. She offers further praise and glory to God by stating He is God in heaven above and the earth beneath.

Back in Jeremiah, verse 12 takes us into the temple where the ceremonial drink offerings were conducted. Jeremiah inquires if the people are obeying and keeping all the jugs filled with wine because God wants to know! The people respond stating they know they are to keep the jugs filled with wine. Exodus 29:40-41 refers to the drink offering poured before the Lord and Numbers 28:7.

God uses this question to let the people know how consuming His judgment will be, even upon them who are ensuring things are performed properly in the temple; verse 13. He compares this act of obedience to drunkenness, as they will most likely be so filled with sorrow and woe that they will stumble about as one drunk. They will be so out of it that they will not appear to be in their right senses.

God is going to dash them against each other having no pity, sorrow or compassion in this verdict; verse 14. We can view this through a larger, crisper telephoto of explanation if we turn our Bible pages forward to Ezekiel chapter 5, verses 1-6 and 10-12. Ezekiel foretells how a third of Jerusalem shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, and a third will be struck with a sword and a third scattered to the wind, which most probably means moved into exile. Verses 10-12 speak of the great hunger that will arise from all this, as fathers will eat their own sons and sons will eat their fathers. There will be a deadly famine exercised through God’s judgment, leading to cannibalism.

God hates every sin! Sins are never to be overlooked in our lives! We must deal with them daily as they attempt to raise their ugly heads in our minds and through our actions. Sin is powerfully destructive, being brought before the eye through the waistband illustration. God has to cut it out of our lives and it can be excruciating discipline.

Verse 15 introduces Hebrew poetry that flows to the end of chapter 15. Verse 15 is a verse of grace and a verse of love. It is calling Judah to humility, so repentance can reign. Repentance will lead the nation into future blessings, granted through God’s mercy. This is the only antidote for this calamity of dreadful doom. God wants them to heed and swallow the facts.

Verse 16 of chapter 13 begins with a call to worship the LORD through giving Him glory. He is the only One who deserves glory, never us.

These people were walking in sinful pride and stubbornness; therefore, it was impossible for them to worship God in all humility and dependence. They could not bow in genuine praise and adoration. Embracing false teachings and religions places an impassable barrier between God and us unless repentance occurs. People can fall deep into sin and when they do, they lose sight of what they have lost, forgetting what sweet fellowship with Christ was like. They are blinded to their past relationship, it becomes mind absent. This denial keeps them falling deeper and deeper to the place of no return; 2 Peter 2:20-22.

Any false religion can hold to a form of godliness, often times using and applying Scripture; but when it comes to walking in total humility and reliance upon God, it totally misses the boat. It sinks. Most deceptive teachings will elevate “religious” man and his accomplishments, not seeing he is lost beyond any self-redemption. Falsely led people of various religions believe their works for the advancement of their faith will ensure a heaven of some kind. You observe this with Muslims, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses; and no doubt there are many more, being many cults exist in this fallen world.

Previously, verse 15 commanded God’s people not to be haughty; this being stated before they were called to worship God in verse 16. We cannot enter into a time of praising and glorifying God with an arrogant heart and mind. A position of bended knee and bowed head can remind us of who God is and our lowly state. It can remind us that redemption arose through Christ’s grace alone, not us being worthy of His attention because we were so cute and adorable.

The verses in this section are a summons to repentance. A documentation that these stubborn people are headed “into deep darkness;” verse 16, and in more ways than one. The darkness leading to stumbling “on the dusky mountains” is a reference to when they will cross to Babylon if reforms do not arise.

Verse 17 reminds us that pride comes before a fall; Proverbs 16:18. They are going to stumble on the road to Babylon; this will genuinely produce lowliness. We read Jeremiah will cry over their held-onto arrogance that brought such steps. He is a humble man who will weep greatly, as tears will cascade down his face while in sorrow’s dark pit. What a tender heart of love, a savior’s heart. No wonder the LORD loved him so.

Ireland Sheep © Val J. Lee

Ireland Sheep © Val J. Lee

It is interesting that Jeremiah is still referring to Judah as the “flock of the LORD” in this verse, even though God has rejected the nation. However, Jeremiah, being God’s foreteller, knows their descendants will return to the land in obedience and they will once again be His flock. Christians are Christ’s flock; He is their good Shepherd. He is gracious to guide us stupid sheep back to Himself. We often turn down a wrong path and must be reguided with the crook of His stave to His correct way.

Looking at this future tense lamentation, verse 17, we witness the grievous sorrow that will overtake this sensitive and loving man. The Hebrew poetic conveyance is beautiful, yet painful of heart: “My soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and my eye shall weep sore and run down with tears because the LORD’S flock is carried away captive.” We can see this prophecy of sorrow fulfilled in Lamentations 2:11. Lamentations was composed completely in Hebrew poetry. Here Jeremiah declares how he is crying to the point he cannot even see! At this juncture of his writings, the terrors had actually befallen Judah. We witness his spirit being poured upon the earth. Here Jeremiah also refers to the destruction of the people of Jerusalem and even greater grieving is produced from the fact that little ones and infants faint. One of the aspects that made America mourn grievously over 9/11 was the actuality that children died too; a toy animal found, made our hearts cry out for this metropolis of NY.

We should be most concerned with the fact that Israel today does not serve Jesus Christ and she is a country in distress. Her rebellion pains are like labor pains and they pain God’s heart and should ours as well. Israel is chosen of God as Christians are chosen of God. She requires our prayers.

Returning to our path in Jeremiah, we see the king and queen mother addressed in verse 18. The king is King Jehoiachin and his mother is Nehustia. It was not unusual for the queen mother to reign beside her son. We note this exampled in 2 Kings 2:19. Here Bathsheba sat on her throne to the right of Solomon.

You can read about the exile of King Jehoiachin, who reigned three months; whereupon, he was exiled with his mother in 2 Kings chapter 24. This is the account of the humiliating withdraw from their wicked rulership that the people loved, being everyone’s hearts were bent on evil. Their beautiful crowns definitely came down from their heads as Jeremiah predicted. This continually occurred with many wicked kings who ruled the nation of Israel, who were found personally harvesting the evil that they planted. Under King Manasseh, Jerusalem’s streets flowed with innocent blood, including that of babies who were offered to the gods; 2 Kings chapter 21. One of the reasons for the Babylonian captivity was the sins of Manasseh, and we will see this in Jeremiah 15:4 and it is repeated in 2 Kings 24:1-4.

Hitler maintained a very wicked regime with most Germans choosing to go with his flow, turning their heads to his atrocities. But there was one in particular who toiled to slash Hitler’s holocaustic ways before any nation arose to free. His name was Kurt Gerstein. He was a German Christian Bible teacher who joined the vicious Nazi SS to spy on the death camps, gathering incriminating evidence in an effort to destroy Hitler’s satanic extinguishing methods of torture. He offered stacks of documents exposing Hitler’s institutions of death to many government officials including American and British intelligences. But none would listen. Bible churches should have made a stand but cast no care. The idolatrous Vatican signed an agreement with Hitler.

“This concordat with Nazi Germany was negotiated by Cardinal Pacelli, who in 1939 became Pius XII. Undaunted by his wartime record, the Vatican is now attempting to have him declared a saint.”,8599,1949565,00.htm

“In the Reichskonkordat, the Vatican promised that German Bishops and their subordinates will be obedient to and honour the Nazi state (Article 16). It has promised that German Catholic educators will teach children patriotic love for the Nazi state (Article 21). It has requested and received the Nazi dictatorship’s promise to enforce internal Church decisions (Article 10). Cardinal Bertram of Breslau has called on Catholics to avoid all subversive or illegal (by Nazi definition) activities.”

Please see Catholics with Nazis photos:

If you do a search on the Internet you can locate a photo of Hitler greeting Muller, the “Bishop of the Reich” and Abbot Schachleitner. “On April 20, 1939, Archbishop Orsenigo celebrated Hitler’s birthday. The celebrations, initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) became a tradition. Each April 20, Cardinal Bertram of Berlin was to send ‘warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany’ and added with ‘fervent prayers which the Catholics of Germany are sending to heaven on their altars.’” (Source: Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell)

Remember, according to the Catholic faith, the Vatican is sovereign and faultless.


Kurt Gerstein, who was uncompromising, died in a French prison.

The world finally intervened when infamy struck the personal borders of nations.

Our great God did not allow Hitler to reign for many decades, which we graciously offer thanks.

Jeremiah was faithful to speak out against compromising government leaders such as King Jehoiachin, as well as the false religious teaching of his time.

Today heresy proclamations consume the formerly strong church. When bold, Scripturally-sound believers expose those who are false in doctrine, they are branded as troublemakers by leadership just as Jeremiah was branded. They are viewed as being too nitpicky for today’s church culture and labeled gossips. Many believers just close their mouths in fear knowing they will be told they are not submitting to leadership if they question or expose. A great false guilt-trip is laid upon them. Dictator-pastors know exactly what tactics to enforce upon congregations so all lay silent as the grave. It seems these leaders were all taught in the same school of deceptive ways.

I was told many years ago not to tell anyone I believed in being chosen or in predestination as Scripture teaches. A pastor’s wife dreadfully informed me if I did, I would cause a church split. Leadership knew I believed in evangelism and did evangelize. They knew I believed all men could be saved who called upon the Lord, being I had stated so. But the word “predestination” was never to be spoken by me or I was in sin! I was not submitting to church authority. I was also told, by the head pastor, I could not teach or counsel using the Bible unless it coincided with their church doctrines. This was in a very conservative Baptist soul-winning church. I did appreciate the fact the church went into the community regularly to present the Gospel and I loved taking part in this.

False teachings and society’s methodologies boldly walk through the front doors of most churches as evil has become brash and accepted; it no longer has to sneak in a secluded, back entrance.

Many denominations that held a conservative Biblical stand not long ago have fallen into worldly compliance. These churches will quote Scriptures, state the Gospel, etc; but accept new ways of interpretation so they can pull all they can through the doors. Everyone’s ears receive imaginary fingers that touch their ears so they feel tickled, and are tickled-pink because church attendees hear what they want. All can hear what they crave, except for the uncompromising, godly old-fashioned believer that exists in few numbers today.

Verse 19 states there will be nowhere to flee when Babylon’s military might arrives. If they run south to the Negev area, the cities will be locked and there will be no one to open them. All of Judah will have been taken into captivity, including this far southern area.

Verse 20 commands Judah to look into the future and envision Babylon coming down from the north as the future will soon be reality. Here it speaks of the flock that was given to them, their beautiful sheep. I believe “them” could be speaking of the religious leaders (though commentators seem not to agree with me). However, they were the teachers. I don’t believe this is addressing Jerusalem because how could all the city dwellers be teachers? (Verse 21) We have seen in the past it is the religious leaders who taught the people and they were false teachers.

When it speaks here of former companions ruling over them, I believe this could refer to the fact there is no more stations held in importance, no more resemblance to a caste system whatsoever. Those lowest in rank will tell the religious leaders—the pompous elevated ones—what to do. King Nebuchadnezzar could have placed the submitting Jews in the positions he desired for assistance. It was not unusual for a king to put captives in positions of support who promised compliance to the new regime.

Verse 21 ends speaking of the pain of a woman in childbirth. Now most married women know what kind of agony this involves and it is not like the little pain of a hangnail. It is excruciating and you just want to die believing there could be no worse pain in all the world. This illustration, I believe, tells the religious rulers and prophets, they are going to be humbled to the place of great pain. There is nothing grand about being treated like a worthless slave.

We see they will come to the place of asking, why me? (Verse 22) God tells them when they come to this place, to remember His words that explain that it is due to the “magnitude” of their iniquity. “Magnitude” educates us in knowing that this punishment was for no small sins. Of course, believers know “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and there was never one righteousness outside of our blessed Redeemer; Romans 3:10-23. Here, however, God is dealing with the gravity of reality in the depth of wickedness they had fallen to. The New Testament writers spoke of severity too, which came to believers who sought license in their behavior.

God continues to explain how vile and immoral they are, having now to be shamed. This shame will be completely magnified to the fullest measure when these people stand before the judgment seat of Christ where we will possibly view their terror and humility.

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots;” verse 23? What a common phrase heard! Did you know it came from the book of Jeremiah? The rest of the phrase is not commonly heard, “Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil?” God reveals at this point, it is impossible for them to become teachable to the ways of holy living. There is no hope offered. Being under grace through Christ, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to live godly.

We do acknowledge that believers can choose to live in sin and there can be a point when God takes believers home who are unteachable and unchangeable. When believers bring shame to His holy name, discipline in drastic measures can ensue. It is totally God’s call, but believers must be made aware, and 1 Corinthians chapter 11 makes this call clear.

“Drifting straw” that is the expressive picture we behold in verse 24, descriptive of the Jews who will be exiled. They will be left homeless as the wind.

Idaho Rough Road

© Val J. Lee

Who is responsible? God! He is not pulling any punches. This is His judgment though the Babylonians will believe it was instigated through them and accomplished by their supremacy in military might. When we enter glory, we will witness how events were not orchestrated by man’s hands. The plainness of sight will reveal that it is the one and true God who predetermines all things for His glory and righteousness.

We witness things graphically in verse 26, as God is angered by their lack of shame when they plunge themselves in false religions that hold no moral standards of purity. God declares their true lewdness will be exposed before all. They were “neighing” or lusting, being totally lewd. We know the men were involved in adultery as we previously read in chapter 5, verse 8, where each one was “neighing” after their neighbor’s wife. God addresses their prostitution; this appears to be both in relationship to going after other gods and sensuality. However, in this timeframe, public disrobing was considered totally unacceptable, unlike today where people will reveal whatever they desire, almost just short of nudity in some cases. There was a fear of immodest public shame; no one wore bikinis or anything of the like.God informs them further of His grounds for discipline, explaining they have trusted in falsehood; verse 25! They heeded the false teachers and prophets without “examining everything carefully” with the Word of God; 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Trusting in a person or persons will always lead us down a pitted washboard road. If we are faithful in the study of all God’s Word, there is less likelihood of being led astray by any so-called Christian leadership.

Living in New Testament times, believers do not have to bear their own shame as Christ bore it all. He took all our filth upon His sinless Self. He stood in our place so we do not have to be exposed in such a manner. He has regenerated us, giving us pure desires so we no longer are in bondage to that which is sensual and immodest.

The immoral, sensual ways that we see in Jeremiah are still clung to by the world. Satan still dresses them in glittering wrappings and places them all about. They can even lure believers. When Satan captures Christians with his pretty bait, they often depart Bible teaching churches. They would much rather be seated in churches that are lukewarm, that do not cling to the Word’s inerrancy.

A lady relayed to me of her pretty daughter who once held strongly to the Bible and its teachings, but when she decided to leave her husband and engage in adultery, she settled for a church that enables everyone to feel welcome no matter one’s lifestyle.

God ends this chapter—though chapter and verse divisions were contrived by mere men—with an apropos question, “How long will you remain unclean?” We know we need daily cleansing through being in God’s Word and asking His forgiveness so we do not become stained by this vile world and lured by satan’s fancy state-of-the-art packaging.

In Luke 11:34-35 Christ informs us that the lamp of the body is the eye; when the eye is clear, our whole body is full of light; but when it is bad, our body is full of darkness. He also tells us, if we are full of His light there is no darkness, and we are fully illuminated with its rays. What a beautiful picture is framed before us to contemplate as we dwell on the pure beauty that can be held within us if we choose not to put any evil thing before their eyes and in our hearts. Through one’s pure lifestyle, innocence can be witnessed; the wholesome chaste light of the Holy Spirit can draw others onto our Savior.

Jeremiah Chapter 14


In Jeremiah’s day, fawns were abandoned 

Jeremiah desired to persuade men with the words of God in order that they would be saved from immediate coming doom and the eternal wrath of God. We too need to be persuading men toward God that they may be saved unto eternal life. I, personally, need to be more diligent knowing the Lake of Fire is not an imagined allegory, but a stated approaching destiny for unregenerate man.

In 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 we are entreated to draw men to Christ. This poignant passage discloses that we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ and therefore knowing the fear or terror of the LORD, we persuade men. Knowing the horrific destination of the unsaved, we need to care wholly for all, warning all of the wrath to come.

When I pass out tracts or Bibles, I like to add a sentence or two to persuade a person who is not sure to take the Gospel salvation message. The other day, a lady and I were speaking to a Catholic man and he hesitated to reach for the tract, believing he already knew the information. I stated he might want to read the tract and he did take it. We also pray for these people who receive the Gospel message, as we know God’s Word never returns void, though it can be rejected. Also, through experience, we know it can be passed to the appropriate hand.

Satan hates believers placing God’s truth in unsaved hands, knowing the harvest is plentiful and the laborers few and he wants to keep it that way.

Some people try to discourage the giving out of God’s Word by saying it is numerically ineffective. That is where we need to always rest on the commands of Scripture alone, which instruct us to go into the entire world with the truths of Christ. Commands are not for analysis sake, but for application through simple faith and obedience. False teachers have influenced many through their discouraging rhetoric, dispiriting believers into not giving the truth in public places.

street preacher in London

London Street Preacher © Val J. Lee

If Jeremiah had considered statistics, he would have been in a sad state of affairs, as no one listened or paid heed. God even told him he would reach none with the truth. Jeremiah, being an obedient servant, simply proclaimed God’s Word leaving the results to His Savior. We are called to proclaim truth in all the world, not first sit and determine if it will be profitable or not. If one believes their city will not respond to them because a pastor, another believer or some Christian program told them so, who is actually their Lord. Often times it is trouble-free to rest on data, sit in an easy chair and watch TV, instead of believing in the power of the Gospel to save.

Over the plenteous years of my life, I have seen numerous programs come into churches that are unbiblical for reaching the lost. These various programs are applied because immense results are advertised and the methods happen to be presently trendy. These programs always seem to fizzle out in a year or even after a few months. To this day, I have never witnessed even one yield greater results than God’s command for just going out and preaching the Gospel where the unsaved dwell.

Satan always desires that we see man’s progressive programs as more important than God’s written Word. This is how he impedes the Scriptures by prompting us to look into books, articles, videos, etc, for compromising easy-to-do outreach promotions that keep us in our fleshly comfort zone. These diversions keep believers from searching the Scriptures alone for outreach commands.

Satan attempted to thwart the words of God spoken through Jeremiah by putting forward false teachers that made everyone feel quite comfortable as compromisers, at least for a season … now a new season begins that of consequence for compromise. The season of relaxation has passed. Judgment begins in chapter 14, commencing with the infliction of drought, which spells no production of produce—ensuring hunger. This is one of the pronounced woes of warning from God’s Word proclaimed through the spokesman, Jeremiah.

Someday, into the future, the rapture will take place and the tribulation will unfold. God’s truths concerning judgment will be painfully felt. Unfortunately, people will still wear their hard and unbelieving hearts that defy God, just as in Jeremiah’s time. The period of the apocalypse will produce many woes including hunger, disease and death by an angel’s sword; Revelation chapter 6. Three of the main ingredients for justice that the LORD brought upon Judah.

With all that we have read in Jeremiah concerning the Jews and their hardness of heart, it is difficult to believe that many of these now starving and parched people, were the very ones who partook in the revival led by King Josiah and Jeremiah, not that long ago. Even though Josiah was the grandson of the most heinous king who lived in that time, Manasseh; Josiah still arose with a heart that loved God in totality, as we read in 2 Kings 22 and especially 2 Kings 23:25.

In review from chapter 1, remember Jeremiah’s father, Hilkiah, was the high priest during Josiah’s reign. As Josiah sought to repair the temple for true worship, the Book of the Law was located by Hilkiah. Its closed and unheeded words were reopened which established revival. Jeremiah’s father was used of God to introduce righteousness during Josiah’s reign.

Concerning this time of revival under Josiah, it is key to note 2 Chronicles 34:33. This is a tremendous verse, revealing, during Josiah’s lifetime, the people did not turn from following the LORD. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to live in a period where everyone around you loved and obeyed the LORD; including governing heads of state? After Josiah’s death, all changed. His godless son, Jehoahaz, became king; and the people once again turned to the religions of the world to add to their worship experience. They engaged in what is called today the new spirituality or emerging or emergent trends.

Living in America, we have witnessed the effect godly leaders create when they reign, and how quickly a nation can turn and justify evil if government headship embraces that which is contrary to Biblical directives.

The famine that we witness here in Jeremiah should have never arisen; being the spiritual awakening should have kept the people close to God for a lifetime. Regrettably, even today, when believers bear the privilege of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and reside under grace, they will still turn from a lifetime commitment.

Because of Judah’s utter turning away from the revival truths of the past, this dreadful scene of drought is presented in Jeremiah 14:2, which effectively sums-up the situation—“Judah mourns.” This is the narrative of this chapter placed in a nutshell.

No, I won’t stop here as more must be stated in reference to the devastation. This superb God-proclaimed Hebrew poetry speaks to our hearts, especially such phrases as “her gates languish” and “They sit on the ground in mourning.” We cannot help but understand that this was a very grievous time for these people who have continually replied with a “No” to their God.

In this section, servants search for water and none is found, leaving them to cover their heads in shame, recognizing they are unable to meet the needs of their noble masters. When we fail, it is easy to desire to be undetectable so we do not have to show our face, maybe yearning to fly to some distant land out of sight and reminder. The farmers in Jeremiah’s time are also shamed and desire obscurity, knowing they can harvest no produce to sustain any person.

Taking our eyes to verse 5, we see a doe even abandons her young for there is no grass. The Lord God graciously created these remarkable animals, which reveal true caring devotion. Hereby, placing this visually described scene of His dutiful creation, we truly recognize the sadness of this deadly famine, which reached to all creatures, great and small.

© Val J. Lee

© Val J. Lee

Doe and Fawn facts:

Deer mate between October and January so the female usually gives birth sometime from May to June. At the time when a fawn is to be born, the doe secludes herself for the birthing. The fawn or fawns are born with fur and their eyes open; weighing 4-8 pounds. Fawns nurse almost immediately and walk within hours. Their coat is reddish-brown, dappled with white spots to help camouflage them in sunlit foliage.

Deer are usually silent. However, a fawn will bleat for its mother and a mother will call for her baby with a whine. In 3-4 weeks, the fawns begin eating grass. At this time, the doe and fawn return to the doe’s family group. Fawns are usually weaned at 4 months of age. By early fall the young fawn will weigh approximately 60-80 pounds. A doe and her 1 or 2 fawns reside together for approximately 1 year.


Now donkeys are not as precious and lovely as deer, but they are suffering too as we see in verse 6. God wants us to know this as well. These Donkeys are in such a state that they even pant like a dog or jackal and their eyes fail, being there is no vegetation for proper nutrition. Job 39:1-8 describes the intricate manners of both deer and donkey created by our LORD and King. In this text, God informs Job that little man cannot even begin to comprehend the ingenious ways of God who manufactured each animal to His purpose and design. This book is a great recourse of encouragement and joy. The Lord reveals to this man, Job, and us that all creatures are remarkable and wonderfully crafted by Him! Some animals were fashioned in oddness just to leave us in bewilderment and laughter. Simply think of all animal life in the world today that we can view through educational networking that leaves us in awe of our most incomprehensible God; whereby, all things move and exist and have their being.

In verse 7, back in Jeremiah, we can almost hear Jeremiah pleading with God for mercy and grace. He admits they have sinned and their apostasies are many, despite this, he wants his Savior to be their hope and deliverer. He further states they have sinned against God. When we sin, this is whom we come to first for forgiveness and then others. Psalm 51:4 tells us we sin against God and Him only.

Yes, we always hurt others too when we do what is right in our own eyes and we need to ask their forgiveness. Undoubtedly, God is the true One whom we ultimately sin against. He has set the standards of right and wrong behavior.

Romans 6:1-6 divulges we are not to sin that grace may abound. Looking at these folks in Jeremiah, they certainly believed in abounding grace through carnal living; totally ignoring the fact, they were disgracing and defaming their Lord that they claimed to serve.

God can never be presented in any way that is deviant to His Word. They had been voted in by Him to be His representative to the observing world and now they have shunned their own party—God! They now must be voted out for a season; until they return to party loyalty.

Believers today, as we read in Romans, are united with God in the likeness of Christ’s death and resurrection. Therefore, our old nature that desires to sin should be done away with. Sin is never to be united with our Holy LORD. We, as a result, are to view our old desires for sin as crucified. Through this obedient observance, we never betray our commission as His representatives.

Verse 8 of Jeremiah proclaims that God is hope and He is the Savior in times of distress. We know today, He is also the Savior of the world as John 4:42 and 1 John 4:14 proclaim. There is no true universal savior besides Christ.


Yellowstone Park

Drawing back to these distressful times in Jeremiah, we read in verse 9 that Jeremiah is asking God if he is like one who is just passing through on a journey. We might say, like one traveling from Portland, Oregon to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, and deciding to spend a night in Boise, Idaho, not caring for Boise in one way or another. Jeremiah also inquires here, why is God mighty, but yet too weak to save them from this famine?

At this juncture, reverence and worship are offered to God. He is the LORD! We are taught through Jeremiah that questions and inquiries must be made in light of the fact that our God is sovereign and makes no mistakes! Through this bold but humble worship, Jeremiah concludes with pleas for God not to forsake them.

God reveals in verse 10, that He is willing to give answers to those who truly seek Him in humility and honesty. He graciously answers Jeremiah’s inquiry. The LORD reminds Jeremiah that these people “have not kept their feet in check.” What a powerful statement! It is so like the children’s song that cautions, be careful little feet where you go, be careful little eyes what you see and ears hear. We must keep our whole beings in check!

God says because they are not being kept in check according to His holy Word and ways, He is going to remember their iniquity and will call their sins into account.

We must remember not everyone who calls Jesus Lord and does good works will be allowed into heaven. Jesus will say to some, “I knew you not.” Those who truly know Him should be ones who keep themselves in check through pure living, loving their righteous and holy Savior with all their existence.

“Do not pray for the welfare of these people;” verse 11. This is God’s third command to Jeremiah not to pray for His people; review 11:14 and 7:6. But Jeremiah loves these people so much, it just comes naturally. This would be similar to you or I being told we cannot pray for a wayward child. Our hearts would naturally pour out our pain and desire for their repentance.

Verse 12 speaks of their works; fasting and sacrificing that mean nothing to God, knowing their hearts are not pure and innocent in all areas. When they go to the temple to offer their commanded offerings, they are ignored. They cannot have one foot planted in the unprofitable ground of fleshly-fun activities and expect God to heed their obedience in temple commanded service. It is all for God or none. Their deference must come from loving God with all their hearts, souls and strength, which would equip them to turn away from false teaching and teachers who had incorporated foreign methods with true worship.

The false pastors in the Old Testament desired the Jews worship in an inclusive tolerant way. Deuteronomy 13:6-11 is a warning to all who would seek to imitate that which is not solely Scriptural. No one was to “seduce” the Jews away from pure worship. It commanded the killing of one who desired to falsely worship in an ecumenical way, combining the religions of others with Judaism. This wholly reveals how much God hates ecumenicalism or the emergent mentality.

It is obvious from the Old and New Testaments that no religious philosophy is to be combined with worshipping God. Of course, regarding the church age, killing heretical believers is not permitted. They are simply to be removed from the church. We are to pray for their repentance.

We are reminded again, in Jeremiah, that the false prophets were ear-pleasers (verses 13-15), telling the people all they wanted to hear. Life would always produce comfort and prosperity. Alan and I sat under a Baptist pastor, many years ago, who basically taught that as long as you were faithful in church attendance and tithing, you would be blessed. You were doing everything God wanted of you. It was as if the Bible consisted of only two commands.

In verse 14, the false teachers are certainly sounding spiritual by the fact they are claiming visions. Today, with so much emphasis on experience, one can hear of unusual visions, and these revelations rarely, if ever, line up with Scripture. Christians do lie and twist things to sound spiritual so others view them as hovering on a supreme level of spirituality. This is no different from Jeremiah’s discerning viewings of religion in his day. Religious shepherds were claiming false visions for popularity sake. Power play was the name of the game and still is today.

People will relate to visions and experiences to manipulate and control others—making listeners believe they are inferior if they had no remarkable revelations. We know if anyone was to have a vision of Christ, they would fall like a dead man before Him, and it would not be about them and their experience, it would be all about Christ in His magnified heavenly state.

John fell like a dead man before Christ. Paul was blinded by His glory, observing he fell helplessly before all holy God, Jesus Christ. I have never heard anyone explain, they saw Christ and He had a sharp two-edged sword extending from His mouth to conquer all evil, as John witnessed in the book of Revelation. Nor that His voice was like many waters and it cast great fear upon them. People who truly have seen the LORD Jesus in all His glory, distinguish how wicked and vile they are, being ones who fall totally short of His glory even as redeemed ones. Humility and fear totally consumed their being before His bright holiness. We are to test the spirits and we test them with the Word of God.

Jeremiah exposes that these false teachers were also involved in divination. A desire to be elevated can lead into dealing with demons through witchcraft practices. People love to scare others so they are viewed as the controllers of life.

Today, one may desire to sound with-it by discoursing on the most popular books on the market, which often involves reading of the occult. They are always the best sellers. God forbids reading about or speaking about divination, which can involve fortunetelling, spell-casting, speaking to the dead (actually demons), drugs, drinking blood, channeling, etc. Any sorcery activity of any kind should not be dwelt on. Our thoughts and ways should continually be centered on Christ and His holy righteousness. Both Testaments condemn anything related to witchcraft and sorcery. All compromise leads to futility and deception.

Dwelling on anything that has no eternal value is walking in futility and deception. Ephesians 4:17f, Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:2, and Colossians 3:1-2 inform us where our minds are to be kept and that is on Christ. And on those things that uplift in a lovely, righteous and chaste manner. Our thoughts are to please the Savior as I have emphasized previously.

The Jews should know by this time the prophets have lied and they should no longer heed them. They are in the midst of famine that the prophets stated would never arise. However, similar to today, people expect leaders to lie to them once in a while. How many people still follow politicians and their agendas though they are filled with deception and lies?

God has not sent these prophets; verse 14! What a statement. How many today are serving God on their own, never having sought Christ’s direction? They simply thought it was a good idea and would pay lucrative wages. You can well bet these false pastors in Jeremiah were living in luxury compared to others, receiving abundant tithes from their followers.

God, at this point, informs us teaching false doctrine leads to discipline; these men were headed for a savage, deadly end; verse 16. The New Testament parrots these same truths of consequence.

How about the listening followers of the false teachers? Are they judged too? Yes, the Jews knew truth from error, being they were religious and knew the commands. They should have paid heed to Jeremiah! He taught the Word without compromise. They knew all the sins Jeremiah listed were contrary to Scripture and that they were disobeying. Therefore, the declared judgment for them, in verse 16, is just.

If we choose to listen to compromising preachers or teachers, we are held accountable. When presented doctrine is wishy-washy, sin resides in the listeners. It is no different from these Jewish congregational members. We cannot hold silly excuses and play ignorant.

False teachings often arrive in video form for Sunday school classes and Bible studies. A well-dressed, well-spoken, so-called theologian will use all the technology of Hollywood to make his presentation state-of-the-art, even rivaling the secular and sensual producers. Liberal theologians will be interviewed for their fleshly take that is totally silly from Biblical standards. Unfortunately, because church attendees are not separated from the world’s carnal entertainment, they are prime to receive what is presented in the best of staging.

One video series involves figuring out a repugnant man, Charles Templeton; merely because he was renowned at one time, as an associate to liberal Billy Graham.

Viewers observe author, Lee Strobel, interviewing Templeton. He does not meet with him to call for his repentance; he attends like a secular reporter on assignment. The production includes interviews with another false teacher, Bishop N. T. Wright. He is presented as a reputable Bible expositor. This man is blasphemous of Christ and His holy Word. This is totally exposed through his writings and teachings.

Like most Christian videos today, it was produced in high-tech style to entertain, through propaganda, the Bible illiterate Christian masses.

The Bible puts it rightly; they left us because they were not of us; 1 John 2:19. The answer to why he left is simple and uncomplicated. Nothing needs to be pursued according to the Bible. Fame has nothing to do with it! Fame is irrelevant in Christianity. To make one think in a wise way, why did not Lee Strobel interview the unknown man, who lives down the street, who abandoned Christianity long ago? It is because Christians are apostate and strive for the famous who are the notorious ones.

Lee Strobel is completely in sin, as we are called by God, throughout Scripture, to shun the unrepentant false teachers, not present them in living color on a large screen. They are not to be allowed to attend our churches, even in video form.

There are many film series making their run in so-called Bible churches that uplift famous, blasphemous Christian pastors and teachers who spout their liberal theologies. Men who even approve of homosexuality (including NT Wright) and who hate Christians who hold to Scripture. It certainly makes you wonder how many people, who call themselves Christians, are truly washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. Many still seem to be filled with vile filth. People need to recognize what internal cleansing is all about. (1 John 5:10-13)

My husband and I have known of people who experience salvation; yet, remain in churches where lukewarm or false doctrine is present because that is where the entire family attends or precious friends. They don’t want to be different. Of course, not! Their priorities are all wrong and they pay through lack of spiritual growth. They remain quite worldly and speak falsely concerning doctrine.

We know of a couple, who after many years of choosing not to leave the family church, finally recognized their need be watered with the Word to grow. They now attend another church. There is excitement in their voices for the LORD. We contentedly praised God when we heard.

Some may see the end of verse 16 as being harsh as God will “pour out their own wickedness on them.” We must grasp God is just and justice will be most harsh when all unsaved are thrown into the Lake of Fire. God is the true judge and this will be just punishment for those who reject Christ the Lord. God does not act out of what is not deserved; therefore, it’s not according to sinful man’s design of tolerance.

Tenderness and love are expressed in verse 17 and the following. Jeremiah so loves these people and cries for them “night and day,” for he does not desire that they suffer so extensively for their sins, though he knows God is equitable.

In closing of this chapter, Jeremiah wisely reverences the LORD in all humility, even though he is desperate in his pain for his people. We witness, also in these verses, that Jeremiah does not disassociate himself with the sin of the people. He states “we” throughout and says in verse 20, that “we” have sinned. Jeremiah knows he is walking in obedience with God simply through grace. I will add, Jeremiah is not fellowshipping with evil people, he simply recognizes that he too would be lost without God’s truths abiding in him.

I have had to ask myself, do I have a heart akin to Jeremiah’s that is so broken over those who are going to hell that I cry for them night and day? Yes, I pray for the salvation of the lost, and my heart hurts for them; but I do not cry night and day . . . No, I fall very short! Jeremiah also interceded with sincere prayers. He did not don a pious, spiritual voice of superiority, but cried from his inner being, filled with true sadness over these lost ones. He hired no renowned orator to instruct him on praying, he simply interceded from a humble heart of pain.

We learned in Jeremiah chapter one, that God created Jeremiah while in the womb for ministry. He placed in this summoned man the most compassionate and unselfish heart. The same type of sensitive heart the LORD owns. The same type of heart Christ presented on the earth, which led Him to the tortures of the tree for you and me.

As Jeremiah pours out his heart of disbelief on what is now present, and what will befall God’s people, he asks the Lord not to disgrace the throne of His glory and not to annul His covenant with the Jewish race; verse 22.

We have already covered the covenants that God made with mankind, including the Jews in chapter 11; but I’d like us to read a couple of passages concerning the endurance of the Abrahamic promise through prophecy. Jeremiah 31:33-34 reassures the nation Israel that during the millennial period, the obedient Jews will have God’s law written on their hearts and they will be forever His people, and they will know their Lord. He will also remember their sin no more as it will be forgiven.

In the New Testament there is a noteworthy text concerning Israel; Matthew 19:27-28. Here, Peter is asking Jesus if the faithfulness of the disciples will be rewarded. The disciples have left all to follow Christ and Peter desires to know if there is any compensation for them; verse 27. Christ informs Peter of a day when the twelve Jewish disciples will rule on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Is that not interesting, that the twelve were chosen in number to match the twelve tribes of Israel? Of course, this matched perfectly with Christ’s earthly ministry and the church age as well. In Revelation 21:10-14, we read New Jerusalem will come down from heaven, having twelve foundation stones bearing the names of the twelve apostles. God is omniscient beyond all human measure!

The last verse of Jeremiah 14 ends with praise to God. Jeremiah acclaims all hope lies in God and He has done all these things. God implants both the bad and good. All results for His ultimate glory. The evidence of this harsh judgment being a good work of the LORD was witnessed when the righteous remnant returned to the Land, equipped to do God’s will and bring glory to His name; thus revealed in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

If God had not punished, sin would have only deepened beyond remedy. Many people sit in prison because their parents spared the rod and spoiled them. Now, what was needed in the way of human correction, is unobtainable.

Jeremiah Chapter 15

Bird of Prey (Regal White Falcon) © Val Lee

God’s chosen ones became food for birds of prey

Enough is Enough!

This is the attitude that seems to stem forth at this point in Jeremiah, entering chapter 15 and verse 1.

God is not going to yield to the intercessory prayers of Jeremiah … His patience has ended. Nonetheless, it is not because Jeremiah is not a godly, faithful man. God assures him, He would not even heed Moses or Samuel at this point.

Yes, God had listened to Moses, such as when he stood as an intercessor for his erring people; Numbers 14:11-16. At this point in Hebrew history, the chosen were not trusting in the LORD and not listening to Moses. It was easier to deny God’s power and preserve themselves, walking the cowardly road. When facing the intersection of fate, they wanted to walk backward. They were too frightened to take the next step. There were giants in the Promised Land and the Jews were simply “grasshoppers” in their sight. (Numbers 13:32-33)

God did not want to put up with their silly lack of faith any longer. He wanted to smite these Jews and create a new crop through Moses’ progeny. Moses stood in the gap, strong and persistent. He wanted these back-walkers preserved. The LORD, out of grace, did pardon at this time. However, God did annihilate the first generation of the wandering Jew; He only allowed their descendants to step into the Promised land. (Hebrews 3:16-18, Jude 5, 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, and the book of Numbers) Joshua and Celeb were the only exceptions, due to their persevering faith. They were the exclusive ones, preserved from the first generation, who were allowed to enter.

Regarding Samuel’s beseeching, (1 Samuel 12:17f), he prayed for the weather of judgment on the Jews on the day of wheat harvest. God and Samuel were angry. The Jews desired a human king, and no longer the King of kings to rule them. They had been called to be a separated, holy people, ruled by the Creator of the heavens and the earth. However, they decided they wanted to be just like the other nations; not wanting to miss a cool beat. All the other nations had human kings so why couldn’t they? God sent thunder and rain upon them to destroy their harvest. It stormed insofar that the Jews thought they were doomed to die. They pleaded with Samuel to intercede once again in mercy that they might not be “swept away.” God turned away from His thundery anger; yet, not without strict warnings provided through Samuel.

Returning to Jeremiah, we understand now that God’s “No” to Jeremiah’s pleas for his people has nothing to do with partiality, just facts. Jeremiah loves the LORD and walks obediently, and if this plea had been in God’s will, it would have been answered with a “Yes.”

God can say, “No” to any godly person’s prayer if it is best and just for the circumstance. Such an answer can bring forth great pain; howbeit, the wisdom of such an answer will be discerned in time.

Most Christians have lived with a “No,” that they became thankful for, as time marched on with the wisdom of hindsight. I certainly have.

In verse 2, God tells Jeremiah to inform the people where they will be led. Most will walk to calamity, down death’s designated streets—”Sword” and “Famine.” Those who survive will travel the long overland road to Babylon. Verse 3 speaks of four gruesome types of destined fatalities, including being drug off by dogs and birds of prey.

In Ezekiel 5:12 we read that a third of these disobedient ones went to death by sword, another third to famine and the final third to captivity. The survivors became an object of horror among the nations, very grotesque even to imagine through the mind’s eye. They were not a pleasant site to behold, seeing their bodies bore the visible scars of sinful consequence.

When we study the book of Revelation, we see in the forthcoming doom of the world that judgments are divided into thirds, as exampled in chapter 8, verses 7-13. Here, a third of the earth will burn to its destruction—a third of the trees and grass, creatures, ships, and on and on. Earth’s topography will take a drastic change. God’s appointed wrath will be no laughing matter nor was it in Jeremiah’s era.

Manasseh’s name is dropped in verse 4, as he was one wicked and vile, despot-king. He escorted the Jews down all avenues of evil. What is unsettling, is he ascended to his throne via his prominent, godly father, King Hezekiah.

(Scriptures produce a violation of thought that plays in our mind when a very wicked king sprouts from a godly king. David fashioned at least three wicked, offspring princes who walked through his palace. What a bafflement! His heart walked hand in hand with God. Though, we must admit, David failed as a father in many instances. Of course, we all fail those we love at various times. Where would we be without the grace of forgiveness?

It is a grievous thing when a person from a God-fearing family shuns the LORD. We must be mindful that everyone has a freewill and God did not create personal puppets. He is not one to twist the heart in the opposite direction it desires to go. We choose him out of a personal love for Him. Christians know they have to make a daily commitment to follow Christ. It is not an automatic thing that comes without effort. It takes continual prayer, Bible study, and fellowship to maintain a close walk with our Savior.

I will also add here that a man must have children who believe in Christ to be qualified for the pastorate. He must have his household in order. There are many godly qualifications God has established for eldership; all expounded in Scripture—specifically in the books to Timothy and Titus.)

We read in 2 Kings 21:6 that Manasseh had his son pass through the fire. Manasseh, in other words, murdered his little boy by burning him to death! He engaged in the false worship of the gods, and they demanded baby and child sacrifices. (Wikipedia discloses some of the civilizations where remains from baby and child sacrifices were discovered. Example:

(“… Greek and Latin sources speaking of the offering of children by fire as sacrifices in the Punic city of Carthage, a Phoenician colony. Cleitarchus, Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch all mention burning of children as an offering to Cronus or Saturn, that is to Ba‘al Hammon, the chief god of Carthage … Paul G. Mosca, in his thesis described below, translates Cleitarchus’ paraphrase of a scholium to Plato’s Republic as: There stands in their midst a bronze statue of Kronos, its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall upon the body, the limbs contract …

There are also skulls suggestive of child sacrifice dating to the Maya periods. Alike the Aztecs, the Mayas performed child sacrifice in specific circumstances. In the Classic period, some Maya art depict the extraction of children’s hearts during the ascension to the throne of new kings and at the beginning of the Maya calendar.

In one case, Stela 11 in Piedras Negras, Guatemala, a sacrificed boy can be seen. Other scenes of sacrificed boys are visible on painted jars.”)

Verse 16, of 2 Kings chapter 21, informs us that Manasseh shed “very much innocent blood” that filled Jerusalem. What a reigning tyrant! Who would want to dwell within his regency?

Manasseh also practiced witchcraft, implementing divination. He held to a Harry Potter mindset.

All his activities were satanic, and thus he provoked the LORD to anger.

You would imagine from the Biblical commentary regarding him that he was unredeemable. Not so! We learn from 2 Chronicles 33:12f, that he came to repentance, and bore good fruits. Through God Almighty working in his life, he tore down the false, demon gods of Jerusalem.

No one is beyond God’s outstretched hand of redemption. Paul was rightly considered the “chief of sinners.” He oversaw the murder of Stephen and imprisoned believers. He was resolved to extinguish the voice of Jesus Christ.

Many believers in that day viewed him as unredeemable. Fortunately, God, out of His grace, saved this evil man to a most righteous, productive state. All righteous things are possible with God; Matthew 19:26.

Paul sacrificed his all for the Gospel. We learn from his God-breathed teachings daily. God placed inerrant Scripture on his heart to pass on to the church.

Even though Manasseh repented, the damage to Judah was still present; his sins were passed down to the proceeding generations. Manasseh’s rebellion had to be rightly punished.

Despite Manasseh’s change of heart, the Jews continued to hold tightly to Manasseh’s wicked heart. Generations of Jews had come to imitate his ways. The sins of Manasseh had to be removed from God’s people.

We can repent of sin, but that doesn’t mean the consequences disappear. Wisdom teaches us that consequences just don’t fade away. We all reap the repercussions daily of being part of a sinful earth.

Due to Abraham’s and Sarah’s sin regarding Hagar (Genesis chapters 16 and 21), we experience constant unrest in the Middle East; and America lost many beloved ones in Iraq due to the war on terrorism. Middle East strife will continue until the Millennium. There is a reason why God commands one man and one woman come together as one in holy matrimony for life.

I am elated to hear of the Christian young people who determine to stay pure and not kiss until they marry. I have a friend who has a daughter on the mission field. Her husband is a pastor. Her “first kiss” was on her wedding day. She kept herself pure and unstained for her marital vows.

Returning to Jeremiah, God reveals in verse 5 that no one will have pity on the city of Jerusalem! Kingdoms will recognize the Jews are simply receiving their just comeuppance, as a people who have deserted their LORD and King.

They are backslidden; verse 6. This is the second time God points this out. In Proverbs 14:14 we read the backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways.

At this point it is obvious, God is tired of relenting and being longsuffering with no results. God can only bear the sin of a people for a stage of time.

He is a holy God! He cannot stand to look upon sin! He is completely righteous, pure, innocent and undefiled. He absolutely hates all that is done that is contrary to His holy, inerrant Word.

Verse 7 continues to unveil His wrath. He is going to cause Judah’s dear children to die, leaving families bereaved of their young ones. He is going to destroy Jews of all ages since they have not returned to Him. Some might ask, “Why the children?” Because God knows they will someday walk perfectly in their parents’ idolatrous steps, slapping Him in the face in order to do their own thing.

Of course, God does not desire to bring pain to families! We have to rest in the fact He is omniscient (all-knowing). He knew they would not repent of their loathsome ways from generation to generation unless He punished in total severity.

God repeats truth over and over again; unfortunately, it never sinks in. Many people learn from repetition, but these people did not.

Verse 8 informs us further of this travailing—Judah’s widows will be numerous before Him, as the sand of the seas. A great number of Jewish men did perish when they were struck with the swords of the conquering Babylonian army. They did not own a chance of defense.

Generally, most women are left alive during war. Many soldiers will think twice before they kill defenseless women.

In the recent eight-year war with Iraq (formerly Babylon), we observed far more men dying in warfare than women, even though female soldiers assist in time of war. Fortunately, American female soldiers, at this time, were not allowed in combat zones; whereby, fewer deaths incurred.

Isaiah lived approximately 100 years before Jeremiah, yet he too spoke of the coming wrath of God upon Judah; Isaiah 4:1. He foretells, through God, how seven women will take hold of one man and will tell him they will eat their own bread and wear their own clothes.

When men are scarce, women can get desperate and visa versa. In the American wild west era of old, men were anxious to have women join them on the barren prairies or in the rugged mountains. If a single woman moved west, she always was flattered with a great amount of suitors who were seeking a wife.

Jeremiah continues on to paint before us a picture of anguish and grief, to allow us to see the fearful heart that will attack mothers when the destroyer arrives, and their young men are no more.

You can begin to imagine the pain a mother, who once had “seven sons,” experiences when they all are murdered by the slicing and dicing ways of the heartless Babylonians; verse 9. We read here of her labored breathing and her pining away! What does she now have to live for?

No hope is offered, as God continues to let them know He will pass their survivors over to the sword.

Verse 10 opens with Jeremiah speaking his heart, standing as one rejected and hated. He wishes he was never born. Everyone curses him as if he had borrowed money and never returned it.

Why is he so loathed? Well, we all know it is due to the fact, he refuses to turn to the route of easy compromise. He refuses to tell the wayward Jews what they want to hear—that it is fine not to take all the Scriptures seriously. It’s okay to blend them into your own personal way of thinking and living.

God so loves Jeremiah that He continues to bring reassurances in his depth of depression; verse 11. He tells him someday “the enemy” (the Babylonians) will “make supplication to you.” Will this be so? Does it eventually occur? Yes, remember, God never lies! Turn to Jeremiah 40:1-4. We see a marvelous thing in these verses, that of God working through Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar. This king’s captain of the bodyguard, Nebuzaradan, is moved to kindness toward Jeremiah, assuring him he will look after him if he chooses. God moved in Nebuzaradan’s heart to show respect for Jeremiah who predicted his army would come and destroy Israel.

Also, glory is given to God by this Gentile guard, owning the fact, he has spiritual insight to know this captivity is God’s spanking punishment for His wayward children. This man may have not been saved; however, at times, unbelievers know better how believers should act than believers.

I heard a true story of a person who attended a dance, where someone knew they professed Christ, and they inquired of them, what in the world they were doing here, where they didn’t belong?

All things work together according to God’s will for this planet, not excluding wars and disasters. We know King Nebuchadnezzar arrived at the place, where he could give glory to God. Through the miracle of the fiery furnace that we read of in the book of Daniel, he witnessed three lives untouched by the raging heat, when Christ appeared with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. This occurred after the first Babylonian captivity when only a few, designated, gifted and royal lads were taken from Jerusalem, including Daniel.

King Nebuchadnezzar learned to fear and respect God, which I believe transmitted to respectful treatment toward Jeremiah during this third Babylonian captivity of Judah.

Daniel, while in Babylon, most likely had heard of Jeremiah when in this distant land; and may have requested that special kindness be bestowed upon him. Of course, this is a “may” as Scripture does not say.

As we move further into this chapter, we see God restating the same judgment as proclaimed before, only using different illustrations in hopes to grab hearts with the pronounced doom.

Fire always seems to accompany the wrath of the LORD in both the New and Old Testaments. In verse 14, returning to Jeremiah chapter 15, God speaks of the fire kindled in His anger that will burn upon these Jews.

In the next section, Jeremiah is crying out to God to take vengeance on his persecutors; verse 15. He is not ready to die! He does not desire his brethren take his life, nor the LORD take his life. He reminds God, His Savior, that he has been faithful to His Word. He is keenly aware that only God can save him.

Jeremiah speaks of eating the Scriptures which were a joy to him, a delight to his heart. He knew they were composed for his betterment. It was a joy for Jeremiah to be God’s child and to study His Words which were composed for Jeremiah and all men. Yes, even Gentiles. Various accounts of Gentiles coming to faith are recorded in the Old Testament, including Ruth the Moabite.

Jeremiah was assigned by God to appear before Gentile nations, chapter 25, to warn them, they would receive God’s judgment for not complying to His Word. Jew and Gentiles were both to pay for their sins of Scriptural disobedience.

There is no substitute for the Word of God; nothing shines truer, fuller, or brighter. No wisely composed words set to formal speech can fully recount its sweet fellowship of wisdom.

The “joy” that Jeremiah describes is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that arose when he dove into the Scriptures. Jeremiah walked joyously in the Holy Spirit as one who did not neglect His quiet times with the LORD.

Though Jeremiah was a man of tears, torment and sadness, he still walked in God’s overriding joy when delighting in His Word.

Jeremiah reminds God, it was for His sake that he suffered rebuke. The Jews in Jeremiah’s day would not cease their attempts to end the message of God’s messenger.

Of course, part of being a follower of God, is being willing to be ridiculed and deeply hated. Christ was ridiculed and hated unto death.

People wrongly believe if they can extract a godly person, they will no longer feel conviction.

It was love for God’s people that brought Jeremiah to tears and sadness. Though they hated him, he wanted them saved. Love is another fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah’s love and tears were a picture to the Jews of God’s heart for them, as stated previously. Though, God loved them far more than Jeremiah ever could. God loves perfectly! He always kept a tally of all their hairs on their heads, just as He numbers our hairs; Matthew 10:30. The LORD knew repentance was for their best interests; unfortunately, He could not make them. He could only set a person like Jeremiah before them to reveal the love He held for His chosen ones.

In the New Testament, we are called to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice. Paul, who was full of the Holy Spirit, cried for three years for the church of Ephesus; Acts chapter 20. He knew when he left this church, he would see its members no more. He also perceived that after his departure, satan’s wolves would arrive by stealth and would attempt to destroy this fellowship and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Despite all the pain and suffering that came with serving the LORD sacrificially, Paul never lost his joy of serving.

This passage in Jeremiah is not the only text whereby we witness a godly man, eating the truths of God. In Ezekiel 3:1-4 the words of God that Ezekiel was to speak were given to him to eat and they were sweet as honey.

In Rev. 10:9f, John was given a little book of prophecy to eat and while it was in his mouth, it was sweet as honey, but in the stomach, it became bitter! This was to disclose the ramifications of the dreadful calamities scheduled to assault the earth during the great tribulation. Man’s self-will is not a pretty sight when placed beside its equivalent consequences.

Returning to Jeremiah, we observe further Jeremiah’s conversation with God; verse 17. He reminds God of his faithfulness to Him. He did not live according to the “merrymakers” or in other words, those who love the gratification of the flesh. We know Jeremiah was out faithfully proclaiming the truths of God that men might be saved. He was not a fun-seeker, but a soul-seeker.

Jeremiah also reminds God that he is a quiet man, not one to party or exult. He was the wallflower who sat alone and took life seriously. He received God’s Words of warning soberly, where the fun-seekers did not. This is not different from today. Only a few Christians take God’s Words seriously, hating the party-fun agendas of pleasure.

Jeremiah speaks on with his suffering tale and inquires of God if He is like a deceptive stream that is unreliable? He wants to know if God is a God who plays games with His presence and work in a person’s life who has been found faithful? Is God one who is always coming and going like a stream that flows strong in fall and winter; yet, evaporates in the summer heat? Jeremiah knows the true character of his faithful LORD, but he dares to inquire anyway, being he is disheartened in the ministry. He is lonely, having the role of one who must tread on alone in perpetual pain.

Of course, God loves Jeremiah with all His heart and answers in His abundant grace. He tells him if he will return to his commitment; not seeking out the vile Jews and their “wicked,” manmade, liberal religion, He will restore him. (verse 19)

God does not demand that Jeremiah perform a list of works. He simply asks Jeremiah to “return.” That is all He requires of us, a heart offered solely to Him in love and dedication. This type of heart automatically washes away all sediment.

Facts are the facts and Jeremiah will simply have to learn to live with the cost of being God’s disciple. He must become skilled in tribulation; not allowing rejection and persecution to turn him away from the ministry God has called him to perform. He must continually speak God’s words as God’s “spokesman;” verse 19. He must bear the heart pain.

Jeremiah has never had to make up anything to speak. God has told him exactly what to proclaim. It has been no guessing game. When we set forth the Bible’s truth, it is never a guessing game. We simply speak God’s Words as Jeremiah did.

At this point, Jeremiah is crying out to God to remember him, to deal rightly with his enemies who feel Jeremiah has no right to judge. Of course, we know it is God’s judgement not Jeremiah’s. When we speak the convicting Scriptures, we put forth God’s judgment which is always to be set forth in season and out of season.

Jeremiah is eyeing the pain of discipleship. He has to get ahold of things, to remain strong in service. This is no place for the weak-kneed.

God views this conversation with Jeremiah as a time of re-commissioning. Jeremiah is rededicating himself to the Savior’s service.

Jeremiah has not fallen into sin and needs to repent of awful acts. This has to do with following the LORD no matter the cost.

Jeremiah replies again in the affirmative to God’s calling, as he did when he was first summoned.

The LORD then sets forth the rules of this recommissioning. Jeremiah must be faithful in presenting the truth, even if the Jews combat him as one who lacks grace and mercy.

God commands Jeremiah not to turn to the false tellers; or in other words, don’t become like the liberal, Judah Jews of licentiousness. They could never be accused of being judgmental, being those who are accepting of every evil way. (Jesus Christ commanded in John 7:24 that we not judge according to appearance, but according to righteousness.) Jeremiah must not take part in their compromising ways. He is never to seek their counsel, knowing they would not advise from the Scriptures in true doctrine.

Jesus Christ never fellowshipped with the false religious leaders in His day. He never sought their advice nor did He need their advice. He knew it all, and they knew nothing of real truth. He only confronted them in their sin, exposing their wicked, murderous ways that were leading them to hell’s destruction.

The influences of Jeremiah’s people were not to rub-off on him; contrarily, his godliness was to rub-off on them.

Unfortunately, it was the conviction of this rubbing off of the truths of Scripture that caused them to desire Jeremiah’s demise.

God assures Jeremiah that no harm will come to him for the LORD is with him to save him from the wicked and violent; verses 20-21. Jeremiah will stand like a wall of bronze through God’s power. Who can harm such a wall? What promising, loving words of comfort!

True believers can be assured that God holds their hands through it all; Psalms 37:24. He is there for His persecuted children.

What we observe here, is God restating what He told Jeremiah from the beginning in 1:18-19. The LORD informed him, he would be a pillar of bronze and iron and no one who fought against him would succeed; that the LORD would deliver him.

We too need to be reminded that God is omnipotent and holds our every breath, and we need not relent to the enemy of our souls.

Jeremiah Chapter 16

Kokanee Salmon © Val J. Lee

God’s people would be hunted like fish
(Kokanee Salmon above)

We begin chapter 16 with God telling Jeremiah the reenlistment requirements for combat service. Jeremiah must spiritually sign on the dotted line if he is going to remain faithful in duty. He must comply to the provisions that God will lay down.

Reviewing the concluding verses of the last chapter, we recognize this all arose through the uncertainty of Jeremiah. He needed assurances from God restated; the reminders of His faithfulness set before him.

He held questions similar to these: Would the LORD strengthen in future battle? Would God’s spiritual armor always cling to him? Would God faithfully stand beside? God’s protecting promises were stated to him in 1:18-19.

Jeremiah wanted God to tell him nothing had changed, that God had not abandoned him since his first calling into soldiering.

Jeremiah had requested that God take notice of him and remember him; 15:15. It is a blessed thing that believers can go to God anytime and cry out their hearts before Him.

Jeremiah had made his separated stands amidst loaded, ground attacks—almost unbearable torture from his liberal enemies.

God brought to Jeremiah the words he desired to hear by reminding him of the promises made at the beginning of their personal relationship, recorded in chapter 1.

(We, as Christians, must continually be in God’s Word to be reminded of His presents of love and faithfulness given to us. These gifts never fail or alter.)

God assures that even though the ungodly would engage in formation strategies, attempting to destroy Jeremiah, God would always protect him. The LORD is Jeremiah’s perimeter of defense of protecting love. The enemies would never gain fatal entry.

The specifics of returning to active, full duty is recorded in 15:19. Jeremiah had to determine if he was truly ready for combat; if he had the strength to endure all the hatred placed upon him by the partiers because he had no desire to carouse. The enticers wanted him to stop the spiritual nonsense and party with them—the “merrymakers.” They wanted him in the off-duty, civilian zone forever.

Jeremiah makes the decision, he will not surrender to the enemy. He loves God and is ready for his new orders. God will “restore” him as His enlisted spokesperson; 15:19.

🔷  🔷  🔷  🔷  🔷  🔷

Departing our review, we focus on God’s first reenlistment command in verse 2. Jeremiah cannot take a wife and raise children. He cannot enjoy the step of taking a lovely bride. He can never see a son follow in his steps of ministering for God.

Jeremiah’s personal protection seems to be the reason for this difficult injunction. Though Jeremiah’s heart probably sunk to his feet, God was thinking totally of Jeremiah. He must shield him from unquenchable pain! Jeremiah holds a faithful heart of gold. It would have probably destroyed Jeremiah to see his wife and children suffer and then perish. God makes it clear, He is going to kill the sons and daughters of Judah.

Additionally, we recognize, locating godly people at this time is nearly impossible; therefore, this would hold true in locating a spirit-led, dedicated wife. A compromising wife would not be a good influence on God’s servant.

(When it comes to the church, believers are commanded to come out from amongst the ungodly. And believers are not to marry the unsaved.)

Jeremiah stands alone in separation from satan’s beguiling ways or so it appears.

We learned from the previous chapter that Jeremiah was a man who sat alone; 15:17. It seems he had no one to share his table with; he being different—an alien from the norm.

He also dealt with terrorizing, murderous pursuers. No doubt, having a loving wife to come home to, could reduce his pain of isolation and persecution.

Jeremiah’s second enlistment requirement involves the realm of life and death. He is not to enter a house of mourning. He obviously could not minister to hurting grievers; verse 5. Jeremiah had a compassionate heart and having one like him console a mourner would bring some peace of mind. Though of course, none who mourned would desire to hear any of his heavy-duty preaching. They would want that left outside the door.

It is interesting how some people desire a pastor to come and comfort them when a death occurs in the family; however, they never want to attend church and hear a powerful sermon.

God gives Jeremiah His reasons for this tough, isolated soldiering; that being, He has removed His lovingkindness and compassion from these people. How desperately sad for them to have these gracious attributes of God withdrawn! I hate to think how I would survive without them. What emptiness would engulf me! Sin, however, blinds people to what they have lost through their self-chosen deception.

Verse 6 speaks of “cutting.” This was completely pagan back then and it is now. In our country, a few decades ago, it was unheard of; but now, cutting is extremely prominent among teens and young people who love to watch themselves bleed for various reasons, such as being depressed or in grief. Unfortunately, 14 to 24 percent of all teens and young people cut themselves. Unbelievably, we have become this pagan as a nation.

News information video:

Cutting is condemned by God in Deuteronomy 14:1. His people were not to take sharp objects and cut themselves in grieving. You may remember the Elijah episode of 1 Kings 18:28, when Jews partook in “cutting” to wakeup the false god, Baal, in hopes he would override the power of God. Of course, these backward Jews were not interested in Scriptural obedience. This was true in Jeremiah’s day as well. When the Word of God is thrown away, anything goes. You simply have to look at present day society and its lack of wise behavior to understand this. It is overflowing with silly and unproductive conversation and behavior.

As Americans become more godless, pagan rituals become more visible. The article below relates to teenage girls but I know it is very prominent among teenage boys as well, as various ones have related information to me in this area. I knew a girl who engaged in cutting before becoming a Christian.


“Self-mutilation, or ‘cutting,’ as it has come to be known, has become so prevalent among teenage girls that it has been dubbed the ‘new-age anorexia.’ Some teenage girls, between the ages of 13 and 19, regularly practice self-abusive behaviors. Some burn themselves, others find ways to inflict bruises on their bodies, but the majority of self-abusers cut their flesh with razors, knives, shards of glass, or anything sharp they can get their hands on. Because they are so careful and adept at covering their scars, most of these kids appear perfectly normal on the outside. But under the bracelets, watches, and long sleeves, lie the physical manifestations of their inner pain, torment, and anguish.” (Courtesy of Family Forum)

We certainly desire that this generation would come to learn of Christ’s saving love for them.


Verse 7 speaks of the cup of consultation which was a gift of wine for the funeral meal. This verse informs: There will be no comfort chalice offered in mourning in this all-consuming Judah devastation.

At this point, a third enlistment command is given to Jeremiah by God, another of separation. He is not to engage in feasting or eating with these condemned people who will soon have nothing to rejoice in. All blessings that produce celebrations such as weddings, plentiful harvests, wayward children coming home, healing in the family, and on and on could not be engaged in. He was to withdraw himself from communal rejoicing. He was not to associate with these worldly, unrepentant people of God; verse 8. Today, unrepentant believers are to be shunned, such as those who do not respond to church discipline; Matthew 18:17. We are further entreated to stay away from every brother who leads an unruly life and does not follow Biblical traditions; 2 Thessalonians 3:6. We must shun brothers and sisters who are sexually immoral, dishonest, who get drunk, etc; 1 Corinthians 5:9f.

Verse 9, back in Jeremiah, makes it clear that there is going to come a time when the weddings will end and the joyful voices that accompany them. There will be no voice of gladness in anything.

We read of a similar scenario in Luke 17:26f, where it speaks of the day of doom for the Jews at the time of tribulation; these too will be celebrating wedding unions, financial prosperity, planting for harvest; but sudden destruction and judgment will fall upon them.

My husband and I experienced the tail of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, when in Aruba; seeing first hand how quickly the hand of God can move to destroy. Many states and Islands mourned the destruction that arose, via the hurricanes of that season. Ivan was one of the costliest hurricanes in history. We observe through devastation that it would take nothing for God Almighty to destroy the whole earth in less than a second. He is most gracious and long-suffering that men might repent.

Patagonia Volcano
Patagonia Volcano

On top of wind-defying disasters, we, at times, have concerns regarding volcanoes. Twenty American states own them. There are around fifteen hundred volcanoes in the world.

Mount St. Helens in Washington State may erupt again. Today it is the number one monitored volcano in North America. It is one of the most scientifically observed volcanoes in the world. “It’s the volcano most likely to explode,” says Bill Steele, director of the Seismic Monitoring Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

Alan and I remember Mount St. Helens 1980 eruption when living outside of Portland, with everything being blanketed in ash. It was the first and last day I lived in a colorless world. All was gray, even the sky. It prompted me to be very appreciative for God’s manifold color palette, which ultimately reappeared as time slowly passed.

Volcano Rumblings:

My husband, the insightful man that he is, spoke to me of the news media and what their scientific experts were stating regarding Mount St. Helens’ future. They came across like they were in charge of the mountain and its happenings. Therefore, we should listen to them and trust them, like presiding gods. However, they have no idea regarding any possible eruption. It is not in man’s charge and who is he to even think so.

But this was also how it transpired previous to the first eruption, the scientists wanted men keeping their ears tuned to them for all answers through the airways. But they fell short diagnosing the power of God’s hands; see Psalm 104:32.

The resulting death toll and travel distance of the ash and storm was so baffling to them. Our nation witnessed 57 deaths. It ash-coated towns 250 miles away. Winds blew 520 million tons of ash eastward across the United States, and total darkness swallowed-up Spokane, Washington.

(The mountain also experienced eruptions from 1847 through 1857.)

Report from Long Beach Weather:

Recent Observations: On February 10 and 11, 2013, a swarm of seven small but locatable earthquakes occurred on the south side of Mount Hood (outside of Portland, Oregon). Similar earthquake swarms commonly occur a few times per year and represent no change in volcanic activity.


We must be grateful to the LORD for His daily graciousness, knowing we are kept from harm the majority of our lives.


Christians are aware that catastrophes related to earth and atmospheric unrest will increase as time moves forward. The days will increase with evil and man will not take these things to heart. They will refuse to repent no matter the many calamities that fall upon them from God. It’s wholly insane to witness how people throughout the Bible scoffed at God’s warnings concerning devastating, deadly judgments, originating with Noah’s floatable, animal craft.

In verse 11, God assigns His instructions to Jeremiah for when the people ask “why” regarding the murderous devastation, arriving by the hand of God. He is to say because you forsook the LORD, and your forefathers walked in ecumenical idolatry, not in obedience to God’s words. Further, Jeremiah is to declare, they performed the same vile wickedness as their forefathers, even more so.

We have learned from Jeremiah that Israel first erred when she wanted it all. She desired what all religions had to offer, taking a bit of this and that from the surrounding cultures. This resulted in total saturation. She also added a dash of Judaism. Now Judah has countless gods and beliefs. Soon the sons and daughters of the land will not wake up to worship their images—their adored heroes of earth and sky.

The key teaching in verse 12, reveals they have not listened to God. They have not given any heed to His Word through Jeremiah or obeyed the written texts of the LORD. The judgment for all their false, external religiosity is pronounced again and again, and it is the forthcoming exodus.

A return promise offers hope in verse 15, a pledge to restore God’s chosen people to their land. Their captivity was to be 70 years of punishment; 25:12.

Idaho Fisherman © Val J. Lee

“Fishers of men” is what we observe in verse 17. The soon to be scattered Jews will, after 70 years, be gathered like fish, hunted down and returned to their land. God’s people would be collected from the mountains, rocks, etc. Christ used “fishers of men” to illustrate evangelism outreach.

Today, Jews are remarkably returning to their land and this is consistently broadcasted. It is like the Jews are being fished out again and have been since the end of WWII—when they desired to escape the anti-Semitism that engulfed much of the world. What Hitler meant for evil has turned to some good, being Israel became a nation again in 1948. This twentieth-century migration continues into the twenty-first.

In the end times, the Jews will be in their land, before being deported once again. A temple is explained in Revelation chapter 11. This chapter and chapter 12 also refers to the exile of Jews in the tribulation.

Jewish Migration to Israel, News Segments:

Today, approximately five million Jews, more than a third of the world’s Jewish population, live in the land of Israel. The Jewry composes eighty percent of the population of the land, and they are currently in political control of the land.

Jews continue to immigrate to Israel in large numbers. Immigration to Israel is referred to as aliyah (literally, ascension). Under Israel’s Law of Return, any Jew who has not renounced the Jewish faith (by converting to another religion) can automatically become an Israeli citizen.


“A new life begins today for Washington resident, Tova Serkin, one of about 420 U.S. and Canadian Jews who will board a flight in New York this afternoon to immigrate to Israel. More than 1,500 Jews plan to move to Israel this year, substantially boosting a North American immigration rate that has averaged 1,300 people a year since the 1980s. The ultimate goal is to bring 100,000 Jews to Israel within the next five to 10 years.”


Verse 17 testifies of the omnipresence (being everywhere present) of God, as He says His “eyes are on all their ways” and their iniquity is not “hidden from His face.” We never conceal anything from our God who knows our thoughts and plans that are divergent to His virtuous and holy desires, before they are even contemplated; Psalm 139.

We do not witness grace in verse 18! God declares they are going to repay doubly for their sin. Hell is certainly going to be a dreaded place of hot torture. Unfortunately, people feel today it is too harsh for a loving God and represents over payment for sin. Some Protestant groups believe hell just implies man’s separation from God. Sugarcoating Biblical condemnations will lead one to that fiery place.

You see the heart that communes with the heart of God in verse 19. Jeremiah proclaims the LORD is His strength and stronghold. Not any silly religious theology of contemporary society.

We also learn from verse 19, the nations will arrive from the ends of the earth and will denounce “falsehood” and the things that own “no profit.” They will turn to the LORD of the Bible, forsaking all false beliefs that contradict. Isaiah 19:21-25 provides this coming happening with more detail, where the nations are named.

God’s omnipotence ends this chapter, reminding us of His power and might—His “name is the LORD.”

The Jewry, in time, came to know this truth through individually witnessing the chastisement that assailed them in power and might! They learned of the true God and there was none else! The Bible informs us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction;” Proverbs 1:7. This is where wisdom is rooted.

In His love for you,

Val Lee


Your hope: Paradise

Further Jeremiah commentary chapter reviews; please click on:

Photos © Val J. Lee

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Bible Commentary, Case for Faith, Christianity, Hitler, Jeremiah chapters 1-16 Commentaries, Jews, Uncategorized, White Falcon Photo | , , | Comments Off on Jeremiah – The Message and Messenger—Chapters 1-16