Week #97; Wed, Nov 06: Jeremiah 17–23

Week #97; Wed, Nov 06: Jeremiah 17:1–23:40

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

1. It is definitely worthwhile to read the related notes for a verse in a concordance that ties the prophecy to other prophecies and similar topics in the Old and New Testament Scriptures. Use of Bible software on your PC or pad/tablet or phone eases searches and broadens depth of knowledge. See paragraph “1C” at www.jwaministries.net for suggested software including a dramatized audio version.

  • Inference: Note how Jeremiah 23:6 ties to Romans 10:4 and 1 Corinthians 1:30

2. Please click https://jwaministries.net/wp for all searchable archived postings.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Jeremiah 17, The Sin of Judah
1. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Asherim, beside every green tree and on the high hills, on the mountains in the open country.” (17:1-3)

  • Inference: “Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin throughout all your territory. You shall loosen your hand from your heritage that I gave to you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.” (17:3-4)
  • Inference: “‘Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’ Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool. A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.” (17:5-13)
  • Inference: Jeremiah Prays for Deliverance. “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Behold, they say to me, ‘Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come!’ I have not run away from being your shepherd, nor have I desired the day of sickness. You know what came out of my lips; it was before your face. Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster. Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed; bring upon them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction!” (17:14-18)

2. Keep the Sabbath Holy. “Thus said the Lord to me: ‘Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, and say: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. Thus says the Lord: Take care for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. Yet they did not listen or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck, that they might not hear and receive instruction.” (17:19-23)

  • Inference: “‘But if you listen to me, declares the Lord, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” (17:24-26)
  • Inference: “But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.” (17:27)

Jeremiah 18, The Potter and the Clay.
1. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and  there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” (18:1-4)

  • Inference: “Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” (18:5-8)
  • Inference: “If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and beak down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.” (18:9-10)
  • Inference: “Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.'” (18:11)

2. “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.'” (18:12)

  • Inference: “Therefore thus says the Lord: Ask among the nations, Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done a very horrible thing. Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams? But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway, making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. Everyone who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head. Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity.” (18:13-17)
  • Inference: “Yet you, O Lord, know all the plotting to kill me. Forgive not their iniquity, nor blot out their sin from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.” (18:23)

Jeremiah 19, The Broken Flask
1. “Thus says the Lord, ‘Go buy a potter’s earthenware flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.'” (19:1-3)

  • Inference: “Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind–therefore, behold, days are coming , declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.'” (19:4-9)

2. “Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury.'” (19:10-11)

  • Inference: “Thus will I do to this place, declares the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah–all the houses on whose roofs offerings have been offered to all the host of heaven, and drink offerings have been poured out to other godsshall be defiled like the place of Topheth.” (19:12-13)

3. “Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.'” (19:14-15)

Jeremiah 20, Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur
1. “Now Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the Lord.” (20:1-2)

  • Inference: “The next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, ‘The Lord does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror On Every Side. For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all  your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.'” (20:3-8)

2. Jeremiah reveals his personal grief . . . (20:7-18)

Jeremiah 21, Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadnezzar
1. “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchiah and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, ‘Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.'” (21:1-2)

  • Inference: “Then Jeremiah said to them: ‘Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls.'” (21:3-4)
  • Inference: “I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. Afterward, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. He shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.'” (21:5-7)
  • Inference: “‘And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war. For I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.'” (21:8-10)

2. The house of David is not exempted and is singled out with a special message of condemnation for evil deeds. (21:11-14)

Jeremiah 22, Do Justice and Righteousness
1. “Thus says the Lord: ‘Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people.'” (22:1-4)

  • Inference: “But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:” (22:5)

2. The sons of Josiah are also not exempted and are singled out with a special message of condemnation for failure to obey the voice of the Lord. (22:11-30)

Jeremiah 23, The Righteous Branch
1. “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: ‘You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.” (23:1-2)

  • Inference: “Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.” (23:3-4)

2. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.'” (23:5-6)

  • Inference: It appears that “a righteous Branch” is the church age led by Jesus.
    • “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)
    • “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom for God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

3. “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.” (23:23-28)

  • Inference: “Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.” (23:30-32)

 

Week #98; Wed, Nov 13: Jeremiah 24–30

Week #98; Wed, Nov 13: Jeremiah 24:1–30:24

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

1. Upon completing our readings to the point of hearing the prophets, it brings us to a point where inward thinking starts to settle in for personal utility. It appears to be a good time to fast forward to Colossians 3 and isolate three key words: above, earth, and below. When directions are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context that can be labeled God, earthly, and evil respectively. When reading Scripture, the current topic can then be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z context and mentally plotted by pinpointing the following:

  • Finding(s)
  • Criteria
  • Condition
  • Cause
  • Effect
  • Recommendation

2. See paragraph “1C” at www.jwaministries.net for suggested PC and/or iPad/tablet software including a dramatized audio version.

3. Please click https://jwaministries.net/wp for all archived postings.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
Jeremiah 24, The Good Figs and the Bad Figs
1. After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, together with the officials of Judah, the craftsmen, and the metal workers, and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me this vision: behold, two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. And the Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ I said, ‘Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.'” (24:1-3)

  • Inference: “Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans, I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not uproot them. I will give them (by grace) a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.'” (24:4-7)
    • Finding–God’s “chosen” people turned away from Him
    • Criteria–The Lord demands a right relationship to know Him (visualize interlocking fingers)
    • Condition–His people need a new heart leading them back to the Lord (hear His voice)
    • Cause–His people turned away to evil and earthly temptations (pride and stiff necks)
    • Effect–Punishment (God humiliated them and imposed severe losses)
    • Recommendation–Return to the Lord (open heart and ears; follow Him, do His will with faith because of His love and His grace)

2. “But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt.” (24:8)

  • Inference: “I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.” (24:9-10)
    • Finding–King and officials, the remnant of Jerusalem, and Egypt will remain in exile
    • Criteria–His people will ultimately return and restore the land without evil and corrupt leaders leaders
    • Condition–Leaders will be made an example to others (made a horror, reproach, byword, taunt, and a curse; they shall be utterly destroyed)
    • Cause–Evil (bad figs)
    • Effect–Destroyed, sent into exile
    • Recommendation–Keep the land they were given pure and undefiled

Jeremiah 25, Seventy Years of Captivity
1. “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the sons of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the Lord persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, Turn now, every one of you, from his evil ways and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever.” (25:1-5)

  • Inference: “Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm. Yet you have not listened to me, declares the Lord, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.” (25:6-7)
    • Finding–The inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem ignored the word of the Lord as delivered by Jeremiah for 23 years
    • Criteria–These inhabitants worshipped other gods and the works of their hands
    • Condition–The anger of the Lord was provoked by these inhabitants and their evil deeds
    • Cause–These inhabitants did not listen to the word of the Lord through Jeremiah
    • Effect–The anger of the Lord was unleashed on these inhabitants sending them into captivity for 70 years
    • Recommendation–These inhabitants need to turn back to the Lord and obey Him

2. “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom (Jesus’ presence can be seen here) and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.” (25:8-10)

  • Inference: “This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste. I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.” (25:11-14)
    • Finding–All the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem did not obey the words of the Lord
    • Criteria–The servant of the Lord was Nebuchadnezzar assigned to devote them to destruction
    • Condition–Banishment for seventy years
    • Cause–Worship of other gods and the works of their hands
    • Effect–Anger of the Lord provoked
    • Recommendation–Surrender to Babylon, go into exile, wait on the Lord

3. “Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.'” (25:15-16)

  • Inference: “So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it . . . all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Babylon shall drink.'” (25:17-27)
    • Finding–The cup of the Lord’s wrath is to be poured out to all the kingdoms of the world
    • Criteria–The sword of God’s wrath must be delivered to all kingdoms commanded to take the cup
    • Condition–Jeremiah has a mandate from the Lord
    • Cause–Punishment to the whole earth has been dictated by the Lord
    • Effect–They are to drink, fall, and rise no more, because of the sword of God’s wrath
    • Recommendation–Drink the cup of God’s wrath

Jeremiah 26, Jeremiah Threatened with Death

1. “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word.” (26:1-2)

  • Inference: “It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. ‘You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.'” (26:3-6)
    • Finding–The Lord holds out hope His people will listen and return to His ways (free-grace, free-will in operation)
    • Criteria–Jeremiah was commanded to speak to all of the worshipers that come to worship in the house of the Lord without holding back a word
    • Condition–Walk in the law of the Lord and listen to Jeremiah and the prophets
    • Cause–The Lord wants to hold back His wrath on His people; He wants to relent
    • Effect–The Lord will lose His wrath if His people listen and return to Him
    • Recommendation–Jeremiah urgently speaks to the worshipers in the house of the Lord as the Lord commanded him

2. “The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, ‘You shall die!’ Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’? And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.” (26:7-9)

  • Inference: “Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, ‘This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, ‘The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.” (26:11-15)
    • Finding–The Lord sent a “last chance” to His people to mend their ways and deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord their God
    • Criteria–Return to the ways of the Lord, His people are needed to consummate His master plan
    • Condition–Jeremiah is threatened with death
    • Cause–The Lord’s people still will not follow the ways of the Lord
    • Effect–Jeremiah is spared from death by testimony of certain elders who arose speaking of Micah and Uriah who prophesied the same as Jeremiah in the days of Hezekiah and Jehoiakim
    • Recommendation–Jeremiah was spared, but Nebuchadnezzar looms so surrender needs serious consideration

Jeremiah 27, The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
1. “In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Thus the Lord said to me. ‘Make yourself straps and yoke-bars, and put them on your neck. Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the sons of Ammon, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them this charge for their masters: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: ‘It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him all the beasts of the field to serve him. All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations of great kings shall make him their slave.” (27:1-7)

  • Inference: “But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand . . . But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the Lord.'” (27:8, 11)
    • Finding–The Lord declared that all nations must serve Nebuchadnezzar
    • Criteria–The Lord can give the kingdoms and lands to whomever it seems right to Him
    • Condition–The Lord dictates that all the nations shall serve Nebuchadnezzar
    • Cause–To make example of His great power over all the earth and bring His people to His law and will, through harsh submission to Babylon
    • Effect–The Lord’s edict is widespread over the whole world
    • Recommendation–compliance should follow; serve Nebuchadnezzar and live–ignore the false prophets

Jeremiah 28, Hananiah the False Prophet
1. “In the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, Hananiah, the son of Azzur, the prophet from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, declares the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'” (28:1-4)

  • Inference: “Then the prophet in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord, and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words that you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. Yet hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet. Sometime after . . . the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: ‘Go, tell Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord: . . . I have put on the neck of all these nations an iron yoke to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him, for I have given to him even the beasts of the field.'” (28:5-9, 12, 14-17)
    • Finding–Hananiah is a false prophet intent on uttering rebellion against the Lord
    • Criteria–The Lord will overcome the false prophets to accomplish his will
    • Condition–Hannaniah died
    • Cause–Hannaniah uttered rebellion against the Lord to undermine God’s will
    • Effect–The Lord won
    • Recommendation–Don’t follow the false prophets like Hannaniah

Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles
1. “These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. . . . The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (29:1-9)

  • Inference: “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (29:10-14)
    • Finding–Exiles shall build houses and raise families for 70 years in Babylon
    • Criteria–Pray for Babylon and do not decrease in number
    • Condition–The Lord will fulfill His promise and bring the exiles back
    • Cause–The Lord’s plans for the exiles will not be for evil, but to give them a future and a hope
    • Effect–Then they will call upon the Lord come and pray to Him with all their heart; He will hear them and He will restore their fortunes
    • Recommendation–Exiles should return to the place from which they were sent, He plans to use them to fulfill His master plan through Jesus

Jeremiah 30, Restoration for Israel and Judah
1. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.'” (30:1-3)

  • Inference: “Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall  be saved out of it.” (30:7)
    • Finding–Jacob and Israel’s fortunes will be restored
    • Criteria–The Lord’s city will be restored
    • Condition–The exiles will be God’s people and He will be their God
    • Cause–As promised by the Lord
    • Effect–The Lord will multiply the exiles and they will not be few
    • Recommendation–Rebuild to execute and accomplish the intentions of the mind of the Lord

Week #99; Wed, Nov 20: Jeremiah 31-35

Week #99; Wed, Nov 20: Jeremiah 31:1–35:19

Suggested archives: https://jwaministries.net/wp

Suggested software: www.jwaministries.net, paragraph 1-C

Suggested references: Page 7 in this Blog

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

I. It appears that an overarching biblical context is unfolding and should be incorporated in all remaining reading, particularly Week #100 through Week #156. Corrective “comments” are welcome.

A. Inference: Since week #1 in 2018, our blog postings increasingly reveal the height, depth and breadth of God’s Word that demands including God’s free-grace and our free-will.

B. Inference: And, as we recognize key events in His plan unfolding, I have attempted to plot 15 of those milestones in a loop that looks like this (Suggested diagram: www.jwaministries.net, paragraph 4-A):

  1. The Lamb’s Book of Life recorded God’s elect, chosen, and pre-destined before the foundation of the world (Proverbs 8:22-31, Matthew 25:31-46, John 10:28-30, Ephesians 1:4-14, Philippians 4:2-5, Revelation 3:4-6; 13:7-9; 17:7-9; 20:11-15; 22:18-20).
  2. Creation of earth and angels (Psalm 148:5; Revelation 12:7-12).
  3. War in heaven where Satan falls along with his not so angelic followers (Isaiah 14; Revelation 12:7-12).
  4. Lucifer’s pride escaped his internal controls and he and his followers exercised their free-will to contend with God over ruling God’s kingdom, a big mistake although God knew the outcome before hand (Isaiah 14; Revelation 12:7-12).
  5. The split resulted in a ratio of 2/3 of the angels opting for God’s side and 1/3 of the angels opting for Lucifer’s side. (Revelation 12:7-12)
  6. When humans were created, God gave them free-will just like the angels (Genesis 1, 3).
  7. Our free-will to exercise our choice to follow God or not has similar consequences as the angels (Genesis 3).
  8. We will soon read how Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His kingdom (John 3:16-21).
  9. God already knows who will become a believer and He sealed their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world (2 Peter 3).
  10. Someone asked me how God would permit some to be condemned and not want them all back in His kingdom (Luke 18:7).
  11. It has to be that God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side (Hebrews 10:37-39).
  12. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth (Ephesians 2:8).
  13. He is testing us now with His free-grace to make a free-will choice to believe (Luke 24:47).
  14. God sent Jesus to die for all, but we have to believe in Him and more than that, we must develop our relationship with Him from that point on (Matthew 4:17).
  15. I visualize interlocking the fingers of our hands to imagine how tight our relationship should be (John 15:4-5).

II. Upon completing our readings to the point of hearing the prophets, it brings us to a point where inward thinking starts to settle in for personal utility.

A. Inference: It appears to be a good time to fast forward to Colossians 3 and isolate three key words: above, earth, and below.

B. Inference: When directions are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context that can be labeled God, earth, and Satan respectively (Suggested 3-D cartesian model: www.jwaministries.net, paragraph 4-B).

C. When reading Scripture, the current topic can then be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z context and mentally plotted by constantly pinpointing the following:

  1. Finding–Abnormality(ies) bearing on the mission (pertains to GAO, GAGAS Yellow Book)
  2. Criteria-Says who?  Who says this is a problem?
  3. Condition-What is the problem/issue? What is happening?
  4. Cause-How or why did the condition happen?
  5. Effect-So what? Why should the reader care about this condition? What is the impact?
  6. Recommendation-How do we resolve the condition/cause?

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Jeremiah 31, The Lord Will Turn Mourning to Joy
I. “At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” (31:1)

A. Inference: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.” (31:27-30)

  1. Finding–“He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.” (31:10)
  2. Criteria–“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people; . . . but everyone shall die for his own sin.” (31:30, 33)
  3. Condition–“I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm.” (31:28)
  4. Cause–“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (31:3)
  5. Effect–“The Lord will turn mourning to joy.” (31:13)
  6. Recommendation–“The planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit.” (31:5)

II. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.” (31:31-32)

A. Inference: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (31:33-34)

  1. Finding–“I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” (31:31)
  2. Criteria–“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” (31:33)
  3. Condition-“And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (31:33)
  4. Cause–The Lord’s people strayed from Him, turning to other gods and handmade idols, followed by exile.
  5. Effect–“. . . they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.” (31:34)
  6. Recommendation–Do not depart from the Lord and His ways; obey the Lord.

Jeremiah 32, Jeremiah Buys a Field During the Siege
I. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah. For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, ‘Why do you prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall capture it; Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye.” (32:1-4)

A. Inference: “Jeremiah said, ‘The word of the Lord came to me: Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours. Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.'” (32:6-8)

  1. Finding–Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace and the Lord declared that he was to go and buy a field.
  2. Criteria-The word of the Lord gave Jerusalem to the king of Babylon and he shall capture it.
  3. Condition-Jerusalem is under siege by the Chaldeans and is about to fall.
  4. Cause-Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned Jeremiah for his prophesy that the king would be taken to Babylon to face Nebuchadnezzar because the people did not obey the Lord (worshiped Baal and other gods).
  5. Effect-Even pending the exile of inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Lord revealed his promise for his people.
  6. Recommendation-“The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah to buy the field of his uncle Shallum; Jeremiah bought the field for seventeen shekels of silver and placed the deeds in an earthenware vessel for the Lord said, ‘Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.'”

Jeremiah 33, The Lord Promises Peace
I. “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: ‘Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it–the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.'” (33:1-3)

A. Inference: “‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.” (33:11)

  1. Finding–While Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace, the Lord declared that ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.'”
  2. Criteria–The Lord’s covenant with David.
  3. Condition–Hidden things will be revealed about promises of peace.
  4. Cause–The Lord has a master plan that spans a greater amount of time than the defeat, exile, and return of his people from Babylon.
  5. Effect–Peace, joy, and forgiveness are on the other side of the current conflict and siege of Jerusalem.
  6. Recommendation–Be patient and wait on the Lord; call on the Lord, wait for his answer.

II. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.‘” (33:14-18)

A. Inference: “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne in the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices forever.'” (33:17-18)

  1. Finding–A righteous Branch (Jesus can be seen here) shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
  2. Criteria–The righteous Branch to come sets out a provision for eternal peace in the Lord’s pure kingdom at the end of the age.
  3. Condition–There is a fixed order of heaven and earth. (33:25)
  4. Cause–The Lord promises to restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them. (33:11, 26)
  5. Effect–This new covenant from the Lord is unbreakable then and now.
  6. Recommendation–Trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 34, Zedekiah to Die in Babylon
I. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all of its cities: ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. You shall not escape from his hand but shall surely be captured and delivered into his hand. You shall see the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak with him face to face. And you shall go to Babylon.'” (34:1-3)

A. Inference: “Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the Lord concerning you: ‘You shall not die by the sword. You shall die in peace. And as spices were burned for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so people shall burn spices for you and lament for you, saying, ‘Alas, lord!’ For I have spoken the word declares the Lord.” (34:4-5)

  1. Finding–Zedekiah king of Judah will die in Babylon in peace
  2. Criteria–Declaration of the Lord
  3. Condition–Jerusalem is given into the hand of the king of Babylon and burned by fire.
  4. Cause–The Lord is angry because the people turned away and worshiped other gods and idols.
  5. Effect–The city is captured and it’s inhabitants are taken to Babylon.
  6. Recommendation–Surrender.

II.”The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them, that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother. And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that everyone would set free his slave, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again. They obeyed and set them free.”  (34:8-10)

A. Inference: “But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves they had set free, and brought them into subjection as slaves. The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, ‘At the end of seven years each of you must set free the fellow Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; you must set him free for your service.’ But your fathers did not listen to me or incline their ears to me. You recently repented  and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name, but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves.” (34:11-16)

  1. Finding–The inhabitants broke the proclamation of liberty to set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female which they obeyed; however, they broke the proclamation and took back their slaves.
  2. Criteria–The people repented and did what was right per the proclamation to free their slaves, they digressed and reclaimed them, returning them to slavery.
  3. Condition–Even though the people repented and freed their slaves, they took them back and returned them to bondage even while the invading army withdrew from Jerusalem
  4. Cause–The people did not obey the proclamation of liberty for their slaves.
  5. Effect–The Lord was angered by the transgression of the people and he proclaimed they would be given to the sword, famine and pestilence.
  6. Recommendation–Go into the hands of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives.

Jeremiah 35, The Obedience of the Rechabites
I. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: ‘Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak with them and bring them to the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers; then offer them wine to drink.'” (35:1-2)

A. Inference: “Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, ‘Drink wine.’ But they answered, ‘We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, ‘You shall not dink wine, neither you nor your sons forever. You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.’ We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine in all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed, but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us.” (35:5-10)

  1. Finding–The Rechabites were obedient to their father’s commands not to drink wine, build houses, plant or have a vineyard, or sow seed demonstrating how to follow commands.
  2. Criteria–The Lord sent to his people the prophets saying, “Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.”
  3. Condition–The Lord needed an example to use to show his people how he desired obedience; he used the Rechabites.
  4. Cause–The people disobeyed God and worshiped other gods and handmade idols.
  5. Effect–The Recabites obeyed the command of Jonadab and kept all his precepts and did all that he commanded.
  6. Recommendation–The people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem should obey God like the Recabites obeyed their father.

Week #100; Wed, Nov 27: Jeremiah 36–41

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Suggested software: www.jwaministries.net, paragraph 1-C

Suggested references: Page 7 in this Blog

Week #100; Wed, Nov 27: Jeremiah 36:1-41:18

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

I. It appears that a larger biblical context is unfolding as we reflect back to our first week in 2018 and look forward to our final week in 2020.

A. Inference: Thoughts of the depth and breadth of God’s works seems to settle into our conscious as we proceed and as we are led by the Holy Spirit.

B. Inference: One such though filled my mind on God’s free-grace and our free-will that unfolded like this:

  1. The Lamb’s Book of Life is the “Boss File” that was compiled before the foundation of the world; It is referenced at least ten times in the Bible (Page 7; I. Books A.; Table 12 pertains).
  2. Isaiah 14 addresses the war in heaven and Satans fall along with his not so angelic followers.
  3. Lucifer’s pride escaped his internal controls and he and his followers exercised their free-will to contend with God over ruling God’s kingdom, a big mistake although God knew the outcome before hand.
  4. The split resulted in a ratio of 2/3 of the angels opting for God’s side and 1/3 of the angels opting for Lucifer’s side.
  5. When humans were created, God gave them free-will just like the angels.
  6. Our free-will to exercise our choice to follow God or not has similar consequences as the angels.
  7. We will soon read how Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His kingdom.
  8. God already knows who will become a believer and He sealed their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world.
    • Someone asked me how God would permit some to be condemned and not want them all back in His kingdom.
    • It has to be that God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side.
    • I pictured all of the above at the breakfast table using a paper plate and the salt and pepper.
    • I poured out a small quantity of both on the plate in separate piles for angels and humans.
    • I then divided each pile into two to represent the free-will of angels and humans.
    • By God’s free-grace, He knew which grain of each would be in which pile.
    • So, our earthly environment is like a temporary testing or proving ground.
  9. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.
  10. He is testing us now by His free-grace for us to make a free-will choice to believe.
  11. God sent Jesus to die for all, but we have to believe in Him and more than that, we must develop our relationship with Him from that point on; blasphemy brings about deletion of a name from the Lambs Book of Life.
  12. At the rapture, Jesus will meet believers in the sky at the “Bema Seat” of Christ to receive one of five crowns as reward.
  13. A seven year period of tribulation will follow; the battle of Armageddon ends the period with the second coming of Christ with his angels who will gather any converted Jews and gentiles and defeat Satan and his demons.
  14. A 1,000 year reign begins peace on earth as Satan is bound during this period.
  15. The period ends with Jesus on the Great White Throne of final judgment.
  16. The New Jerusalem will descend to a fire purified earth and sit on Mount Zion in the former Jerusalem for eternity.

C. Inference: Read on. Scripture gets richer and richer, particularly if it is read as one book containing all of God’s interrelated Word.

II. Upon completing our readings to hearing from the prophets, it brings us to a point where inward thinking starts to settle in for personal use.

A. It appears to be a good time to fast forward to Colossians 3 and isolate three key words: above, earth, and below. When directions are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context that can be labeled God, earthly, and evil respectively.

B. When reading Scripture, the current topic can then be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z context and easily mentally plotted using a single toy jax (stick out the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger of your right hand so that they are perpendicular to each other, and then let your thumb be the “good” or positive x-axis, let your pointer finger be the “bad” or positive y-axis, and let your middle finger be the “ugly” or positive z-axis. Plot the following observation points to gain a fuller understanding of the topic’s position (GAO, GAGAS Yellow Book pertains):

  1. Finding–Abnormality(ies) bearing on the mission
  2. Criteria-Says who?  Who says this is a problem?
  3. Condition-What is the problem/issue? What is happening?
  4. Cause-How or why did the condition happen?
  5. Effect-So what? Why should the reader care about this condition? What is the impact?
  6. Recommendation-How do we resolve the condition/cause?

III. See paragraph 1C at www.jwaministries.net for suggested PC and/or iPad/tablet software including a dramatized audio version.

IV. Please click https://jwaministries.net/wp for all archived postings.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
Jeremiah 36, Jehoiakim Burns Jeremiah’s Scroll
I. “In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that everyone may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.'” (36:1-3)

A. Inference: “Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord that he had spoken to him. And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, ‘I am banned from going to the house of the Lord, so you are to go, and on a day of fasting in the hearing of all the people in the Lord’s house you shall read the words of the Lord from the scroll that you have written at my dictation. You shall read them also in the hearing of all the men of Judah who come out of their cities. It may be that their plea for mercy will come before the Lord, and that every one will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people.” (36:4-7)

  1. Finding–The Lord speaks to Jeremiah to warn his people of his anger and wrath because of their evil way.
  2. Criteria–The Lord wanted his people to worship him only and not other gods or hand made idols.
  3. Condition–Jeremiah was banned by the king from going to the house of the Lord so he sent Baruch to read the words of the Lord from a scroll he dictated.
  4. Cause–The Lord wanted everyone to turn from his evil way; he wanted to grant mercy when they repented.
  5. Effect–The Lord intended to dispense harsh punishment without repentance by his people.
  6. Recommendation–Baruch needs to read the scroll with the words of the Lord to the people.

II. During a fast proclaimed before the Lord, Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the scroll, in the house of the Lord. Micaiah went down to the king’s house and told the officials all the words that he had heard when Baruch read the scroll in the hearing of the people. Baruch then read the scroll before the king’s officials. They feared the words of the Lord and sent Baruch and Jeremiah into hiding. They went into the court to the king, and they reported all the words to the king. Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. (36:10-21)

A. Inference: “As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the pot. . . . After the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord, You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?’ Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: he shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity. I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon the people of Judah all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, but they would not hear.'” (36:23, 27-31)

  1. Finding–The king did not listen to the word of the Lord provided by the scroll from Jeremiah.
  2. Criteria–The Lord will not allow his covenant with David to be broken.
  3. Condition–The king and the people did not hear and heed the words of the Lord that were sent by the Lord through Jeremiah.
  4. Cause–The king and the people did not fear the Lord.
  5. Effect–Disaster will be delivered as pronounced on the king and the people.
  6. Recommendation–Recognize their sins, repent, turn back to the Lord, seek mercy, or prepare for disaster.

Jeremiah 37, Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah
I. “Zedekiah the son of Josiah, who Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.” (37:1-2)

A. Inference: “King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘Please pray for us to the Lord our God.’ Now Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison. The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt. And when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.” (37:3-5)

  1. Finding–The Chaldeans withdrew from Jerusalem on word that the army of Pharaoh had left Egypt headed for Jerusalem.
  2. Criteria–The Lord is still intent on the people being taken to Babylon.
  3. Condition–Zedekiah sent word to Jeremiah to have him pray to the Lord.
  4. Cause–The Lord wants the people to see their sin, repent, and turn back to him.
  5. Effect–There is no way out of going to Babylon without a change of heart toward the Lord.
  6. Recommendation–Defeat and exile must be accepted without a reversal in total reliance on the Lord.

II. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet: “Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army that came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land. And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city. They shall capture it and burn it with fire. Thus says the Lord, Do not deceive yourselves, saying, ‘The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,’ for they will not go away. For even if you should defeat the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men, every man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.'” (37:5-10)

A. Inference: “Now when the Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh’s army, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his portion there among the people. When he was at the Benjamin Gate, a sentry there named Irijah the son of Shelemiah, son of Hannah, seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘You are deserting to the Chaldeans.’ And Jeremiah said, ‘It is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.’ But Irijah would not listen to him, and seized Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. And the officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for it had been made a prison.” (37:11-15)

  1. Finding–The people are without the army of Egypt; they face the Chaldeans again and Jeremiah is taken to prison.
  2. Criteria–The people do not want to turn back to the Lord; they blame Jeremiah for bringing the bad news.
  3. Condition–Jeremiah suffered harsh beatings.
  4. Cause–The people did not want to hear or believe his words from the Lord.
  5. Effect–The Chaldeans will not relent in taking Jerusalem and taking the people to Babylon.
  6. Recommendation–Keep praying and turn back to the Lord.

III. “When Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells and remained there many days, King Zedekiah sent for him and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house and said, ‘Is there any word from the Lord?’ Jeremiah said, ‘There is.’ Then he said, ‘You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.'” (37:16-17)

A. Inference: Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, ‘What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison? Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land‘? Now hear, please, O my lord the king: let my humble plea come before you and do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, lest I die there. So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard. And a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.” (37:18-21)

  1. Finding–King Zedekiah resistence starts to crack and he meets secretly with Jeremiah to learn of any word from the Lord.
  2. Criteria–The word of the Lord is unchanging.
  3. Condition–There was word from the Lord.
  4. Cause–False prophets continue to say that Babylon will not come against Jerusalem.
  5. Effect–The false prophets are believable because of a preferred outcome over exile.
  6. Recommendation–Turn away from the false prophets.

Jeremiah 38, Jeremiah Cast into the Cistern
I. Jeremiah cast into the cistern. “. . . Jeremiah was saying to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live, He shall have his life as a prize of war, and live. Thus says the Lord: This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and be taken.'” (38:1-3)

A. Inference: “Then the officials said to the king, ‘Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.'” (38:4)

  1. Finding–Jeremiah continues to speak the word of the Lord that the city will fall to the Chaldeans.
  2. Criteria–The word of the Lord through Jeremiah never changes; no false prophesy.
  3. Condition–Gloom over pending defeat by the Chaldeans.
  4. Cause–Jeremiah’s message is not being heard.
  5. Effect–Gloom remains.
  6. RecommendationIf you return to the Lord that is best, then the Lord will provide mercy, else give up the city. (classic if, then, else reasoning)

II. Jeremiah rescued from the cistern. “So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.” (38:6)

A. Inference: “Ebed-melech went from the king’s house and said to the king, ‘My Lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.’ Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.’ So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes. Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, ‘Put the rags and clothes between you armpits and the ropes.’ Jeremiah did so. Then they drew Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.” (38:8-13)

  1. Finding–Jeremiah was was cast into the cistern.
  2. Criteria–The people wanted to follow false prophets and deny the Lord even with known gloom and doom.
  3. Condition–Only mud and no food in the cistern for Jeremiah.
  4. Cause–The refusal of the people to follow the Lord.
  5. Effect–The Lord will deliver harsh punishment.
  6. Recommendation–Listen to Jeremiah.

III. Jeremiah warns Zedekiah again. “King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, ‘I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me.’ Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.’ Then King Zedekiah swore secretly to Jeremiah, ‘As the Lord lives, who made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of these men who seek your life.'” (38:14-16)

A. Inference: “Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” (38:17-18)

  1. Finding–Surrender is the best option if the people will not turn and repent.
  2. Criteria–The Lord’s word is the only option–repent, turn back, obey the Lord.
  3. Condition–The word of the Lord through Jeremiah to Zedekiah reveals the best counsel.
  4. Cause–False counsel will result in defeat and doom.
  5. Effect–The people and the king can live in Babylonian exile.
  6. Recommendation–Surrender.

Jeremiah 39, The Fall of Jerusalem
I. “In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes, and the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon. The Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the house of the people, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, carried into exile to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. ” (39:1-2, 6-9)

A. Inference: “Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.” (39:10)

  1. Finding–The Chaldeans breached the city wall.
  2. Criteria–Although blinded, Zedekiah was kept alive (as promised by the word of the Lord) and led away to Babylon.
  3. Condition–Zedekiah’s sons and all the nobles were put to death, the poor were allowed to stay in the vineyards and fields.
  4. Cause–The people did not follow the word of the Lord as delivered by Jeremiah (the weeping prophet)
  5. Effect–Jerusalem falls.
  6. Recommendation–Weep along with Jeremiah; change, turn back to the Lord.

II. The Lord delivers Jeremiah. “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, ‘Take him, look after him well, and do him no harm, but deal with him as he tells you.'” (39:11)

A. Inference: “Go, and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will fulfill my words against this city for harm and not for good, and they shall be accomplished before you on that day. ” (39:12-)

  1. Finding–Jeremiah is given care by the captain of the guard as promised by the word of the Lord.
  2. Criteria–The word of the Lord stated that he will fulfill his words against the city for harm and not for good; and he did.
  3. Condition–The city is seized and destroyed.
  4. Cause–Failure to obey the Lord.
  5. Effect–Doom and gloom.
  6. Recommendation–Return to the Lord God and plead for his mercy.

Jeremiah 40, Jeremiah Remains in Judah
I. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in chains along with all captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, ‘The Lord your God pronounced this disaster against this place. The Lord has brought it about, and has done as he said. Because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you. Now, behold, I release you today from the chains on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you well, but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come. See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go. If you remain, then return to Gedaliah the son Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed governor of the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people. Or go whoever you think it right to go.‘” (40:1-5)

A. Inference: “Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah, and lived with him among the people who were left in the land.” (40:6)

  1. Finding–The Lord pronounced disaster against this place and the Lord has brought it about as he said.
  2. Criteria–The Lord fulfilled his promise to bring disaster on his people for sinning against the Lord
  3. Condition–Exile to Babylon
  4. Cause–Because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you.
  5. Effect–Exile to Babylon except for the poor.
  6. Recommendation–Serve Babylon and dwell in the land.

Jeremiah 41, Gedaliah Murdered
I. “In the seventh month, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family, one of the chief officers of the king, came with ten men to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. As they ate bread together there at Mizpah, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men with him rose up and struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, with the sword, and killed him, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor in the land. Ishmael also struck down all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldean soldiers who happened to be there.” (41:1-3)

A. Inference: “The slaughtered were cast into a cistern.” (41:7)

  1. Finding–Ishmael killed Gedaliah and all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah.
  2. Criteria–The king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah governor over the cities and land of Judah.
  3. Condition–Gedaliah was murdered by Ishmael.
  4. Cause–The evil of Ishmael
  5. Effect–Survivors attempted to go to Egypt to escape the Chaldeans and Ishmael
  6. Recommendation–Consult Jeremiah.