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

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