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Week #100; Wed, Nov 27: Jeremiah 36:1-41:18
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:
- 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).
- Isaiah 14 addresses the war in heaven and Satans fall along with his not so angelic followers.
- 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.
- 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.
- When humans were created, God gave them free-will just like the angels.
- Our free-will to exercise our choice to follow God or not has similar consequences as the angels.
- We will soon read how Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His kingdom.
- 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.
- Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.
- He is testing us now by His free-grace for us to make a free-will choice to believe.
- 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.
- At the rapture, Jesus will meet believers in the sky at the “Bema Seat” of Christ to receive one of five crowns as reward.
- 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.
- A 1,000 year reign begins peace on earth as Satan is bound during this period.
- The period ends with Jesus on the Great White Throne of final judgment.
- 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):
- Finding–Abnormality(ies) bearing on the mission
- Criteria-Says who? Who says this is a problem?
- Condition-What is the problem/issue? What is happening?
- Cause-How or why did the condition happen?
- Effect-So what? Why should the reader care about this condition? What is the impact?
- 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.
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)
- Finding–The Lord speaks to Jeremiah to warn his people of his anger and wrath because of their evil way.
- Criteria–The Lord wanted his people to worship him only and not other gods or hand made idols.
- 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.
- Cause–The Lord wanted everyone to turn from his evil way; he wanted to grant mercy when they repented.
- Effect–The Lord intended to dispense harsh punishment without repentance by his people.
- 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)
- Finding–The king did not listen to the word of the Lord provided by the scroll from Jeremiah.
- Criteria–The Lord will not allow his covenant with David to be broken.
- Condition–The king and the people did not hear and heed the words of the Lord that were sent by the Lord through Jeremiah.
- Cause–The king and the people did not fear the Lord.
- Effect–Disaster will be delivered as pronounced on the king and the people.
- 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)
- Finding–The Chaldeans withdrew from Jerusalem on word that the army of Pharaoh had left Egypt headed for Jerusalem.
- Criteria–The Lord is still intent on the people being taken to Babylon.
- Condition–Zedekiah sent word to Jeremiah to have him pray to the Lord.
- Cause–The Lord wants the people to see their sin, repent, and turn back to him.
- Effect–There is no way out of going to Babylon without a change of heart toward the Lord.
- 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)
- Finding–The people are without the army of Egypt; they face the Chaldeans again and Jeremiah is taken to prison.
- Criteria–The people do not want to turn back to the Lord; they blame Jeremiah for bringing the bad news.
- Condition–Jeremiah suffered harsh beatings.
- Cause–The people did not want to hear or believe his words from the Lord.
- Effect–The Chaldeans will not relent in taking Jerusalem and taking the people to Babylon.
- 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)
- Finding–King Zedekiah resistence starts to crack and he meets secretly with Jeremiah to learn of any word from the Lord.
- Criteria–The word of the Lord is unchanging.
- Condition–There was word from the Lord.
- Cause–False prophets continue to say that Babylon will not come against Jerusalem.
- Effect–The false prophets are believable because of a preferred outcome over exile.
- 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)
- Finding–Jeremiah continues to speak the word of the Lord that the city will fall to the Chaldeans.
- Criteria–The word of the Lord through Jeremiah never changes; no false prophesy.
- Condition–Gloom over pending defeat by the Chaldeans.
- Cause–Jeremiah’s message is not being heard.
- Effect–Gloom remains.
- Recommendation—If 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)
- Finding–Jeremiah was was cast into the cistern.
- Criteria–The people wanted to follow false prophets and deny the Lord even with known gloom and doom.
- Condition–Only mud and no food in the cistern for Jeremiah.
- Cause–The refusal of the people to follow the Lord.
- Effect–The Lord will deliver harsh punishment.
- 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)
- Finding–Surrender is the best option if the people will not turn and repent.
- Criteria–The Lord’s word is the only option–repent, turn back, obey the Lord.
- Condition–The word of the Lord through Jeremiah to Zedekiah reveals the best counsel.
- Cause–False counsel will result in defeat and doom.
- Effect–The people and the king can live in Babylonian exile.
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)
- Finding–The Chaldeans breached the city wall.
- Criteria–Although blinded, Zedekiah was kept alive (as promised by the word of the Lord) and led away to Babylon.
- Condition–Zedekiah’s sons and all the nobles were put to death, the poor were allowed to stay in the vineyards and fields.
- Cause–The people did not follow the word of the Lord as delivered by Jeremiah (the weeping prophet)
- Effect–Jerusalem falls.
- 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-)
- Finding–Jeremiah is given care by the captain of the guard as promised by the word of the Lord.
- 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.
- Condition–The city is seized and destroyed.
- Cause–Failure to obey the Lord.
- Effect–Doom and gloom.
- 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)
- Finding–The Lord pronounced disaster against this place and the Lord has brought it about as he said.
- Criteria–The Lord fulfilled his promise to bring disaster on his people for sinning against the Lord
- Condition–Exile to Babylon
- Cause–Because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you.
- Effect–Exile to Babylon except for the poor.
- 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)
- Finding–Ishmael killed Gedaliah and all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah.
- Criteria–The king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah governor over the cities and land of Judah.
- Condition–Gedaliah was murdered by Ishmael.
- Cause–The evil of Ishmael
- Effect–Survivors attempted to go to Egypt to escape the Chaldeans and Ishmael
- Recommendation–Consult Jeremiah.