Week #101; Wed, Dec 04: Jeremiah 42-48

Week #101; Wed, Dec 04: Jeremiah 42:1–48:47

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

I. A personal Biblical yardstick helps study the Bible.

A. This is mine:

  1. The Lamb’s Book of Life was compiled with our names before the foundation of the world.
  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; blasphemy results in a name being deleted from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
  9. God does condemn some and does not want them back in His kingdom.
  10. God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side.
  11. So, our earthly environment is a temporary testing or proving ground.
  12. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.
  13. He is testing us now with His free-grace to make a free-will choice to believe in Jesus.
  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.
  15. Interlocking fingers depicts how tight our relationship with Jesus should be.

B. Inference: Read on, Scripture gets richer and richer, particularly if it is read as one voice of God.

II. Upon currently hearing the prophets, it brings us to a point where some inward reflection is good.

A. Colossians 3 isolates three important 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 mentally plotted by pinpointing the following:

  1. Finding(s): Abnormality(ies)?
  2. Criteria: Basis for good results?
  3. Condition: What’s happening?
  4. Cause: How or why did the condition happen?
  5. Effect: Impact?
  6. Recommendation: Resolution for the condition/cause?

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Jeremiah 42, Warning Against Going to Egypt

I. “Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son Kereah and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, ‘Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant (that did not go into exile)–because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us–that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.'” (42:1-3)

A. Inference: “Jeremiah the prophet said to them, ‘I have heard you. Behold, I will pray to the Lord your God according to your request, and whatever the Lord answers you I will tell you. I will keep nothing back from you.'” (42:4)

  1. Finding: Jeremiah agrees to pray for the people who wanted to be shown the way they should go, and the thing that they should do.
  2. Criteria: Uncertain future; need for mercy.
  3. Condition: The people are living under captivity by the king of Babylon even though they were left behind those that were taken into exile.
  4. Cause: The people are living in fear of the king of Babylon; they did not obey God’s Word.
  5. Effect: Desperation.
  6. Recommendation: Listen to Jeremiah; adhere to God’s Word.

B. Inference: “Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord our God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.” (42:5-6)

  1. Finding: Jeremiah intercedes for the people to the Lord when they promise to obey the voice of the Lord God.
  2. Criteria: Promises to obey the Lord as revealed by Jeremiah.
  3. Condition: The people are living under captivity by the king of Babylon.
  4. Cause: The people are living in fear of the king of Babylon.
  5. Effect: Desperation
  6. Recommendation: Keep promises made to Jeremiah

II. “At the end of ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. Then he summoned Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least to the greatest, and said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your plea for mercy before him: If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you. Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land.” (42:7-12)

A. Inference: “But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there, then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die. (42:13-15)

  1. Finding: The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah and he told the people that the Lord said not to fear the king of Babylon; the Lord will save you and deliver you from his hand, and you may remain in your own land.
  2. Criteria: “The Lord has said to you, O remnant of Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.'” (42:19)
  3. Condition: The people (the remnant of Judah) are living under captivity by the king of Babylon.
  4. Cause: The fall of Jerusalem, Israel, and Judah.
  5. Effect: “Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live.” (42:22)
  6. Recommendation: Do not go to Egypt; stay in Judah where the Lord wants you when his untold greater plan unfolds.

Jeremiah 43, Jeremiah Taken to Egypt

I. “When Jeremiah finished speaking to all the people all these words of the Lord their God, with which the Lord their God had sent him to them, Azariah the son of Hoshaiah and Johanan the son of Kareah and all the insolent men said to Jeremiah, ‘You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to live there,’ but Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.'” (43:1-3)

A. Inference: “So Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the people did not obey the voice of the Lord, to remain in the land of Judah. But Johanan the son Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to live in the land of Judah from all the nations to which they had been driven” (43:4-5)

  1. Finding: Judah’s remnant that did not go to Babylon accused Jeremiah of lying about the voice of God about remaining in the land of Judah and not go to Egypt.
  2. Criteria: God commanded (through Jeremiah) the remnant of Judah not go to Egypt.
  3. Condition: The people (the remnant of Judah) are living under captivity by the king of Babylon.
  4. Cause: The fall of Jerusalem and Judah to Babylon.
  5. Effect: Desperation and fear.
  6. Recommendation: Listen to Jeremiah; the remnant should stay in Judah.

B. Inference: “But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to live in the land of Judah from all the nations to which they had been driven . . . also Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah. And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord.” (43:6-7)

  1. Finding: The remnant of Judah, Jeremiah and Baruch were taken to Egypt by Johanan and all the commanders of the forces against the voice of the Lord.
  2. Criteria: The voice of the Lord commanded the remnant of Judah to stay in their land and not go to Egypt.
  3. Condition: The remnant left for Egypt against the voice of the Lord.
  4. Cause: The remnant of Judah were afraid of the Chaldeans.
  5. Effect: The remnant of Judah disobeyed the voice of the Lord, setting up harsh judgment by the Lord.
  6. Recommendation: Resist going against the voice of the Lord.

C. Inference: “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes: ‘Take in your hands large stones and hide them in the mortar in the pavement that is at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden, and he will spread his royal canopy over them. He shall come and strike the land of Egypt, giving over to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword, those who are doomed to the sword.” (43:8-11)

  1. Finding: Nebuchadnezzar will come and strike the land of Egypt
  2. Criteria: The voice of the Lord commanded the remnant of Judah to stay in their land and not go to Egypt.
  3. Condition: The remnant disobeyed the voice of the Lord.
  4. Cause: Their fear of Nebuchadnezzar and war was stronger than their trust in the Lord.
  5. Effect: In disobeying the Lord, they subjected themselves to the wrath of the Lord.
  6. Recommendation: Return to the voice of the Lord as soon as possible, believe Jeremiah, and obey the Lord.

Jeremiah 44, Judgment for Idolatry

I. “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Judeans who lived in the land of Egypt, at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Memphis, and in the land of Pathros, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers.'” (44:1-3)

A. Inference: “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah.'” (44:11)

  1. Finding: The remnant went to make offerings and serve other gods.
  2. Criteria: The Lord condemns Judah for falling away from the voice and word of the Lord.
  3. Condition: The remnant is at great risk from condemnation by the Lord.
  4. Cause: The remnant served other gods and made offerings to those gods.
  5. Effect: The Lord considers the acts by the remnant idolatry.
  6. Recommendation: Dump the idols and return to the Lord.

B. Inference: “Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: ‘As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them? Did it not come into his mind? The Lord could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitants, as it is this day. It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.'” (44:20-23)

  1. Finding: The people of Judah made offerings to other gods and sinned against the Lord
  2. Criteria: The voice of the Lord remembers the deeds of the remnant.
  3. Condition: The Lord is breaking down what he built.
  4. Cause: It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day. (44:23)
  5. Effect: Their land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitants.
  6. Recommendation: Repent quickly, return to the Lord.

Jeremiah 45, Message to Baruch

I. “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you , O Baruch: you said, ‘Woe is me For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.'” (45:2-3)

A. Inference: “Thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord: Behold, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up–that is, the whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bring disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord.” (45:4)

  1. Finding: Baruch laments.
  2. Criteria: God’s word on pending disaster.
  3. Condition: Do not seek great things for yourself.
  4. Cause: Disaster is coming to all flesh.
  5. Effect: Doom and despair.
  6. Recommendation: Accept and obey the voice of the Lord.

B. Inference: “But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.” (45:5)

  1. Finding: Baruch hears some good news.
  2. Criteria: The Lord gives Baruch his life.
  3. Condition: Baruch’s life is spared by the Lord.
  4. Cause: A prize of war.
  5. Effect: Baruch receives a pardon.
  6. Recommendation: Accept and obey the voice of the Lord.

Jeremiah 46, Judgment on Egypt

I. “The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations. About Egypt. Concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son on Josiah, king of Judah.” (46:1-2)

A. Inference: Pharaoh Neco of Egypt advanced for battle at the river Euphrates against Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and was defeated.

  1. Finding: “That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes.” (46:10)
  2. Criteria: “The Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.” (46:10)
  3. Condition: “Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes: say, ‘Stand ready and be prepared, for the sword shall devour around you.'” (46:14)
  4. Cause: “That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes.” (46:10)
  5. Effect: “. . . the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment. (46:21)
  6. Recommendation: While Egypt is handed over to Babylon, Jacob is not to be dismayed; “Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.” (46:27)

Jeremiah 47, Judgment on the Philistines

I. The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh struck down Gaza.” (47:1)

A. Inference: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, waters are rising out of the north, and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it.'” (47:2)

  1. Finding: “Men shall cry out, and every inhabitant of the land shall wail.” (47:2)
  2. Criteria: “For the Lord is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.” (47:4)
  3. Condition: The Lord has given his sword charge. (47:7)
  4. Cause: The Lord has appointed it. (47:7)
  5. Effect: The Lord will whet his sword. (Deuteronomy 32:41; Psalm 7:12)
  6. Recommendation: Accept and obey the voice of the Lord.

Jeremiah 48, Judgment on Moab

I. “Concerning Moab. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: . . . the renown of Moab is no more.” (47:1, 2)

A. Inference: Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.” (47:10)

  1. Finding: “Moab is destroyed . . .” (47:4)
  2. Criteria: “The destroyer shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape; the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord has spoken.” (48:8)
  3. Condition: “For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken; and Chemosh shall go into exile with the priests and his officials.” (48:7)
  4. Cause: “Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people, because he magnified himself against the Lord.” (48:42)
  5. Effect: “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, declares the Lord.” (48:47)
  6. Recommendation: “Stand by the way and watch.” (48:19)

Week #102; Wed, Dec 11: Jeremiah 49-51

Week #102; Wed, Dec 11: Jeremiah 49:1–51:64

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

I. A personal Biblical yardstick helps study the Bible and God’s master plan.

A. Here’s mine:

  1. The Lamb’s Book of Life was compiled with our names before the foundation of the world.
  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. Yes, Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His pure 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; blasphemy results in a name being deleted from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
  9. God does condemn some and does not want them back in His kingdom.
  10. God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side.
  11. So, our earthly environment is a temporary testing or proving ground.
  12. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.
  13. He is testing us now with His free-grace to make a free-will choice to believe in Jesus.
  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.
  15. Interlocking fingers depicts how tight our relationship with Jesus should be.

B. Inference: All Scripture (old and new) gets richer and richer, particularly if it is read as one voice of God from beginning to end.

C. Further, Colossians 3 isolates three important words: above, earth, and below. When directional labels are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context for God, earth, and evil respectively.

D. Then, the current Scripture topic can be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z three-dimensional Cartesian context as good, bad, or ugly, and mentally plotted by pinpointing coordinates for the following elements (see: paragraph 4.B at www.jwaministries.net):

  1. Finding(s): Abnormality(ies)?
  2. Criteria: Basis for good results?
  3. Condition: What’s happening?
  4. Cause: How or why did the condition happen?
  5. Effect: Impact?
  6. Recommendation: Resolution for the condition/cause?

E. Assess and remember the slope of the topic’s curve; use as needed.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Jeremiah 49, Judgment on Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and Elam
1. “Concerning the Ammonites. Thus says the Lord: ‘Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then has Milcom (their king) dispossessed Gad, and his people settled in the cities? Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will cause the battle cry to be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall become a desolate mound, and its villages shall be burned with fire; then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him, says the Lord.'” (49:1-2)

A. Inference: “Milcom shall go into exile, with his priests and his officials.” (49:3)

  1. Finding: The battle cry will be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites. (49:2)
  2. Criteria: The declaration by the Lord to Jeremiah.
  3. Condition: Israel will dispossess those that dispossessed them. (49:2)
  4. Cause: Milcom was an abomination to the Lord. (I Kings 11:5)
  5. Effect: Terror will be brought upon the Ammonites. (49:5)
  6. Recommendation: The Ammonites will have to wait and seek the promised restoration of their fortunes from the Lord. (49:6)

2. “Concerning Edom. Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished? Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time when I punish him. (49:7-8)

A. “For Behold, I will make you small among the nations, despised among mankind. The horror you inspire has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, I will bring you down from there.” (49:1-16)

  1. Finding: Edom shall become a horror. (49:17)
  2. Criteria: The declaration of the Lord to Jeremiah.
  3. Condition: “For I have sworn by myself, declares the Lord, that Bozrah shall become a horror, a taunt, a waste, and a curse, and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes.” (49:12-13)
  4. Cause: Pride.
  5. Effect: “Edom shall become a horror.” (49:17)
  6. Recommendation: Consider a change to follow the Lord quickly, abandon abominable practices.

3. “Concerning Damascus: Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for thy have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet. (49:23)

A. Inference: “Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, declares the Lord of hosts.” (49:26)

  1. Finding: The soldiers of Damascus shall be destroyed.
  2. Criteria: Declaration by the Lord to Jeremiah.
  3. Condition: Pending destruction
  4. Cause: Pride.
  5. Effect: “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.” (49:27)
  6. Recommendation: Quickly consider a change to follow the Lord.

4. “Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down.” (49:28 )

A. Inference: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Rise up, advance against Kedar! Destroy the people of the east! Their tents and their flocks shall be taken, their curtains and all their goods; their camels shall be led away from them, and men shall cry to them: Terror of every side!” (49:28-29)

  1. Finding: Terror will be on every side.
  2. Criteria: Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has made a plan against you and formed a purpose against you. (49:30)
  3. Condition: The Lord uses Nebuchadnezzar to scatter Kedar to the winds.
  4. Cause: Wealth without care, secure, and at ease. (49:31)
  5. Effect: Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals, an everlasting waste; no man shall dwell there; no man shall sojourn in her.” (49:33)
  6. Recommendation: Flee

5. “The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah. ” (49:34)

A. Inference: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come.'” (49:35-36)

  1. Finding: Elam will be scattered by the Lord. (49:37)
  2. Criteria: The fierce anger of the Lord.
  3. Condition: I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. (49:37)
  4. Cause: No fear of the Lord; living at ease in wealth.
  5. Effect: I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.
  6. Recommendation: The Elamites will have to die or flee and seek the promised restoration of their fortunes from the Lord. (49:39)

Jeremiah 50, Judgment on Babylon

1. “The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet: ‘Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodah is dismayed. Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed'” (50:1-2)

A. Inference: “For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away. In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.'” (50:3-5)

  1. Finding: Babylon is taken and it is put to shame.
  2. Criteria: Declaration of the Lord through Jeremiah.
  3. Condition: The people of Israel and Judah come to the Lord seeking to join with the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten. (50:4-5) Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon. (50:33-34) Babylon is a land of images and they are mad over idols. (50:38)
  4. Cause: The Lord said, “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the Lord, their habitation of righteousness, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.'” (50:6-7) Babylon opposed the Lord and he will take vengeance for his temple. (50:24, 28)
  5. Effect: Chaldea shall be plundered; all who ponder her shall be sated, declares the Lord. (50:10) Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. (50:39)
  6. Recommendation: Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. (50:8)

Jeremiah 51, The Utter Destruction of Babylon

1. “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon, against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai, and I will send to Babylon winnowers, and they shall winnow her, and they shall empty her land, when they come against her from every side on the day of trouble.” (51:1-2)

A. Inference: “For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord of hosts, but the land of the Chaldeans is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel.” (51:5)

  1. Finding: The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes (and Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz), because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for his temple. (51:11, 27)
  2. Criteria: “The land trembles and writhes in pain, for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant.” (51:29)
  3. Condition: “Prepare the nations for war against her (Babylon), the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies, and every land under their dominion. (51:28)
  4. Cause: I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the Lord. (51:24)
  5. Effect: “For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.” (51:33)
  6. Recommendation: “Go out of the midst of her, my people! Let every one save his life from the fierce anger of the Lord!” (51:45)

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Week #103; Wed, Dec 18: Jeremiah 52:1–Lamentation 5:22

Week #103; Wed, Dec 18: Jeremiah 52:1–Lamentation 5:22

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

I. A personal Biblical yardstick helps study the Bible and God’s master plan.

A. Here’s mine:

1. The Lamb’s Book of Life was compiled with our names before the foundation of the world.

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. Yes, Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His pure 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; blasphemy results in a name being deleted from the Lamb’s Book of Life.

9. God does condemn some and does not want them back in His kingdom.

10. God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side.

11. So, our earthly environment is a temporary testing or proving ground.

12. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.

13. He is testing us now with His free-grace to make a free-will choice to believe in Jesus.

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.

15. Interlocking fingers depicts how tight our relationship with Jesus should be.

16. The ones that interlock fingers and hands with Jesus will meet Him in the sky and clouds when He returns (think Chinese finger prison).

17. Death and sickness will end for eternity.

18. See references in page 7, paragraph I.E about the ones “left behind.”

19. God’s plan is consummated upon restoration of His pure kingdom.

20. He will dwell on a fire purified earth from a New Jerusalem on Mount Zion with His saints.

B. Inference: All Scripture (old and new) gets richer and richer, particularly if it is read as one voice of God from beginning to end.

C. Further, Colossians 3 isolates three important words: above, earth, and below. When directional labels are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context for God, earth, and evil respectively.

D. So, the current Scripture topic can be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z three-dimensional Cartesian context as good, bad, or ugly. Then mentally plot coordinates for the following elements (paragraph 4.B at www.jwaministries.net pertains):

1. FINDINGS: Abnormality(ies)?

2. CRITERIA: Basis for good results?

3. CONDITION: What’s happening?

4. CAUSE: How or why did the condition happen?

5. EFFECT: Impact?

6. RECOMMENDATION: Resolution for the condition(s)/cause(s)?

E. Assess and remember the slope of the topic’s curve; use as needed.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Jeremiah 52, The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted

I. “Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For because of the anger of the Lord things came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.” (52:1-3)

A. Inference: “And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siege works all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, while the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death. ” (52:1-11)

1. FINDING: Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem.

2. CRITERIA: The anger of the Lord was kindled against Zedekiah because of the evil he did like Jehoiakim, his father, had done.

3. CONDITION: Evil of Zedekiah (52:2)

4. CAUSE: The Anger of the Lord. (52:3)

5. EFFECT: Jerusalem fell at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Give up, surrender. Turn back to the Lord.

II. The temple burned. “In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month–that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon–Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the Lord, and king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem.” (52:12-16)

A. Inference: “And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried all the bronze to Babylon. And they took away the pots and shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service; also the small bowl and the fire pans and the basins and the pots and the lamp stands and the dishes for incense and the bowl for drink offerings.” (52:17-23)

1. FINDING: Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord were razed by the Chaldeans.

2. CRITERIA: The anger and vengeance of the Lord

3. CONDITION: In addition to burning the temple, valuable metals were taken and moved to Babylon.

4. CAUSE: Greed over high value items inside the temple of the Lord.

5. EFFECT: The temple was decimated and all valuable metal items were stolen as the spoils of war.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Surrender to captors from Babylon.

III. The people exiled to Babylon. “And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold; and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and seven men of the king’s council, who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. ” (52:24-25)

A. Inference: “And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. And the king of Babylon struck them down, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.” (52:26-27)

1. FINDING: Nebuchadnezzar carried away the people to Babylon after the siege of Jerusalem and razing the temple of the Lord.

2. CRITERIA: The anger and vengeance of the Lord executed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

3. CONDITION: Defeat and exile at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.

4. CAUSE: The anger and vengeance of the Lord.

5. EFFECT: Exile to Babylon

6. RECOMMENDATION: Surrender to captors from Babylon.

Lamentations 1, How Lonely Sits the City

I. “How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.” (1:1)

A. Inference: “She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies.” (1:2)

1. FINDING: Jerusalem is in ruins and the people have gone into exile.

2. CRITERIA: The Lord rejected his people and his fierce anger brought them down.

3. CONDITION: Servitude and distress for grievous sins and uncleanness.

4. CAUSE: The Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

5. EFFECT: Suffering.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Repent and obey the Lord.

Lamentations 2, The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity

I. “How the Lord in his anger has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!” (2:1)

A. Inference: “He has cast down from heaven to earth the splendor of Israel; he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.” (2:1)

1. FINDING: The Lord has swallowed up without mercy all the habitations of Jacob; in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom and its rulers.” (2:2)

2. CRITERIA: The anger and vengeance of the Lord.

3. CONDITION: Destruction and defeat for the people.

4. CAUSE: The Lord withdrew from them his right hand in the face of the enemy. (2:3)

5. EFFECT: In the dust of the streets lie the young and the old; my young women and my young men have fallen by the sword; you have killed them in the day of your anger, slaughtering without pity.” (2:21)

6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek the Lord, cry out to the Lord.

Lamentations 3, Great Is Your Faithfulness

I. “I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long.” (3:1-3)

A. Inference: “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord. Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (3:18-23)

1. FINDING: Although endurance is perishing, there is hope in the Lord.

2. CRITERIA: Great is the Lord’s faithfulness.

3. CONDITION: Perishing endurance and hope.

4. CAUSE: The destruction of Jerusalem and exile of its inhabitants.

5. EFFECT: “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” (3:31-33)

6. RECOMMENDATION: The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (3:25-26)

Lamentations 4, The Holy Stones Lie Scattered

I. “How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.” (4:1)

A. Inference: “The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them.” (4:4)

1. FINDING: “The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.” (4:11)

2. CRITERIA: “This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous.” (4:13)

3. CONDITION: “For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, and no hands were wrung for her.” (4:6)

4. CAUSE: Sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests.

5. EFFECT: “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.” (4:40-42)

6. RECOMMENDATION: Surrender to the punishment of the Lord. (4:22)

Lamentations 5, Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

I. “Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace!” (5:1)

A. Inference: “Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows.” (5:2-3)

1. FINDING: “The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!” (5:15)

2. CRITERIA: “But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. (5:19)

3. CONDITION: “Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities.” (5:7)

4. CAUSE: Sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests.

5. EFFECT: Condition mandates a need for redemption.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Plea to the Lord thusly, “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old–unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.” (5:21-22)

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Week #104; Wed, Dec 25: Ezekiel 1-8

Week #104; Wed, Dec 25: Ezekiel 1:1-8:18

M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S !

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

I. A personal Biblical yardstick helps study the Bible and God’s master plan.

A. Here’s one of mine for under your tree:

1. The Lamb’s Book of Life was compiled with our names before the foundation of the world.

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. Yes, Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His pure 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; blasphemy results in a name being deleted from the Lamb’s Book of Life.

9. God does condemn some and does not want them back in His kingdom.

10. God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side.

11. So, our earthly environment is a temporary testing or proving ground.

12. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.

13. He is testing us now with His free-grace to make a free-will choice to believe in Jesus.

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.

15. Interlocking fingers depicts how tight our relationship with Jesus should be.

B. Inference: All Scripture (old and new) gets richer and richer, particularly if it is read as one voice of God from beginning to end.

C. Further, Colossians 3 isolates three important words: above, earth, and below. When directional labels are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context for God, earth, and evil respectively.

D. So, the current Scripture topic can be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z three-dimensional Cartesian context as good, bad, or ugly, and mentally plotted by pinpointing coordinates for the following elements (see: www.jwaministries.net at paragraph 4.B):

1. FINDINGS: Abnormality(ies)?

2. CRITERIA: Basis for good results?

3. CONDITION: What’s happening?

4. CAUSE: How or why did the condition happen?

5. EFFECT: Impact?

6. RECOMMENDATION: Resolution for the condition(s)/cause(s)?

E. Assess and remember the slope of the topic’s curve; use as needed.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Ezekiel’s name translates to “God strengthens” and he was called to prophesy to the exiles for more than 20 years. He was exiled to Babylon with the people taken by the Chaldeans that defeated Jerusalem. He stressed the universal reign of God and his judgment and grace. Ezekiel wrote of God’s ability to restore his people and to dwell among them forever. He used visions and symbolic acts to describe God’s Spirit and the coming Messiah. (See illustration in this Blog on Page 7; Para. I. Books; Item F. Larkin for “Ezekiel’s Cherubim,” p. 2)

Ezekiel 1, Ezekiel in Babylon

I. “In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.” (1:1-3)

A. Inference: “As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparked like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lighting. Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Whenever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance (Jesus can be seen here). And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness all around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.” (1:4-28)

1. FINDINGS: The Spirit of the Lord coming on a cloud appeared to Ezekiel.

2. CRITERIA: God’s eternal master plan is becoming more apparent; His sovereignty is displayed.

3. CONDITION: The Glory of the Lord appeared out of a stormy wind

4. CAUSE: Time is near for the restoration of His exiled children and to prepare for greater things.

5. EFFECT: Repentance and restored relationship with his people are coming.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Welcome the Spirit of the Lord visualized by Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 2, Ezekiel’s Call

I. As Ezekiel saw the vision, he fell on his face and heard the voice of one speaking: “And he said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.’ And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.” And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.” (2:1-7)

A. Inference: “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.” (2:8-10)

1. FINDINGS: God spoke to Ezekiel.

2. CRITERIA: Ezekiel got a “call” from God.

3. CONDITION: God needed Ezekiel to give his people, a stubborn people, a message of lamentation, mourning, and woe.

4. CAUSE: God was ready to move on the hearts of his people.

5. EFFECT: The Spirit entered into Ezekiel and he was given a book (scroll).

6. RECOMMENDATION: Ezekiel found a need to not be like the rebellious house of Israel and do what the Lord commanded.

Ezekiel 3, Ezekiel’s Call (cont.)

I. “And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.” (3:1-3)

A. Inference: “And he said to me, ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel–not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.” . . . “Moreover, he said to me, ‘Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, whether they hear or refuse to hear.'” (3:4-7; 10-11)

1. FINDINGS: God sent Ezekiel to the exiles to speak to them his word regardless if they were willing to hear or not.

2. CRITERIA: God needed a connection to his people; Ezekiel was it.

3. CONDITION: Ezekiel went to the exiles being lifted up by the Spirit.

4. CAUSE: God had a message for his people, the exiles.

5. EFFECT: Ezekiel went and dwelt with the exiles for seven days.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Ezekiel needs to accept the strong arm of the Lord.

II. “Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: ‘Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!’ It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels bedside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.” (3:12-15)

A. Inference: “And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die, and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.” (3:16-21)

1. FINDINGS: Delivery of God’s word carries a heavy price that must be exacted by Ezekiel himself upon the wicked for not turning from his wickedness

2. CRITERIA: The wicked must turn from their wickedness.

3. CONDITION: Ezekiel was appointed as a watchman over his people.

4. CAUSE: God needed to execute justice on his people.

5. EFFECT: The righteous shall live if they do not sin.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Ezekiel must tell his people that they are under the watch of God and he will require the blood of the unrighteous.

B. Inference: “And the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, ‘Arise, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you.’ So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, ‘Go, shut yourself within your house. And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God. He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.'” (3:22-27)

1. FINDINGS: The Spirit of the Lord restrained Ezekiel from reproving the people.

2. CRITERIA: The Spirit of the Lord led Ezekiel to act at his own timing.

3. CONDITION: Ezekiel was secured in his house and his tongue was mute until the Spirit of the Lord set him free and he was made to talk.

4. CAUSE: Some of the people were willing to hear the Lord, but others were not.

5. EFFECT: The Spirit of the Lord controlled when Ezekiel was intended to speak to his people.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Be patient and wait on the Spirit of the Lord.

Ezekiel 4, The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

I. Food was in limited supply during the siege of Jerusalem because of their punishment. Ezekiel had to bear their punishment by lying on his sides for 430 days (a day for each year of their punishment; 390 for Israel and 40 days for Judah) eating only what the Lord commanded. “And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it. And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from day to day you shall eat it. And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin; from day to day you shall drink. And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.” (4:9-12)

A. Inference: “Then he said to me, ‘See I assign to you cow’s dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.’ Moreover, he said to me, ‘Son of man, behold, I will break the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment.” (4:15-17)

1. FINDINGS: Conditions in Jerusalem were gruesome during the siege by the Chaldeans.

2. CRITERIA: Exile of the inhabitants was needed as punishment of the people for their sins.

3. CONDITION: The Spirit of the Lord leads Ezekiel to symbolize through reminder to the exiles what failed.

4. CAUSE: Sins of the people.

5. EFFECT: Exile.

6. RECOMMENDATION: The wicked must turn from their wickedness.

Ezekiel 5, Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed

I. More symbolism portrays the siege and destruction of Jerusalem using locks of hair to illustrate that done by fire, sword, scattering, pestilence, and wild beasts. “Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes.” (5:1-6)

A. Inference: “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in my statutes or obeyed my rules, and have not even acted according to the rules of the nations that are all around you, therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, am against you. And I will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again.” (5:7-9)

1. FINDINGS: Jerusalem has not walked in God’s statutes or obeyed his rules, and has not even acted according to the rules of the nations that are around them.

2. CRITERIA: God will execute judgments for all of their abominations.

3. CONDITION: God will do with them what he has never yet done.

4. CAUSE: The people committed abominations against God, rebelling against his rules and doing wickedness.

5. EFFECT: God is against them; he will destroy them in true fashion without symbology.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Turn back to the Lord or burn, suffer the sword, or be scattered.

Ezekiel 6, Judgment Against Idolatry

I. “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols. And I will lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before the idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you dwell, the cities shall be waste and the high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down and your works wiped out. And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” (6:1-7)

A. Inference: “Yet I will leave some of you alive (some must be preserved so God’s master plan can be fulfilled). When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries, then those of you who escape the sword, will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols.” (6:8-14)

1. FINDINGS: His people conducted idol worship on the mountains of Israel.

2. CRITERIA: Worship the one true God in his temple in Jerusalem according to his rules and procedures.

3. CONDITION: His people turned to the gods of the people in the land versus the one and only God.

4. CAUSE: Failure to obey God’s commands when they entered the Holy Land after escaping Egypt.

5. EFFECT: God’s judgment against idolatry in Jerusalem and in the mountains of Israel.

6. RECOMMENDATION: All hearts need to be softened to permit God’s Spirit to enter and take control so they will know that he is the Lord.

Ezekiel 7, The Days of the Wrath of the Lord

I. “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon  you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all you abominations. And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity, but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (7:1-4)

A. Inference: “Thus says the Lord God: Disaster after disaster! Behold, it comes. An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes. Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains. Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord who strikes.” (7:5-9)

1. FINDINGS: Wrath is coming on the people of the Lord.

2. CRITERIA: Wrath is dispensed on those who do abominations.

3. CONDITION: Abominations of the people of the Lord.

4. CAUSE: The people turned to false gods and abandoned the one true God.

5. EFFECT: Wrath on those who do abominations against the Lord; then they will know that he is the Lord, who strikes.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Turn or burn.

Ezekiel 8, Abominations in the Temple

I.  Ezekiel felt the hand of the Lord with the elders of Judah sitting before him and he saw the same vision of the glory of the God of Israel there, like the vision he saw in the valley. ” (8:4)

A. Inference: “Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, dig in the wall.’ So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, ‘Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.’ So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’ He said also to me, ‘You will see still greater abominations that they commit.'” (8:8:13)

1. FINDINGS: Blasphemy by the people.

2. CRITERIA: Worship the one and true God of Israel only.

3. CONDITION: The people turned away to worship other gods.

4. CAUSE: Stubbornness and hardness of heart by the people of Israel.

5. EFFECT: God’s wrath is immanent.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Turn or burn.

II. “And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty five men, with their backs to the temple of the Lord, and their face toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it to light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose.” (8:16-17)

A. Inference: “Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” (8:18)

1. FINDINGS: Abominations by the people of God.

2. CRITERIA: Worship the one and true God of Israel only.

3. CONDITION: God’s people turned away to worship other gods.

4. CAUSE: Stubbornness and hardness of heart by the people of Israel.

5. EFFECT: God’s wrath is immanent.

6. RECOMMENDATION: Turn or burn.

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