Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 14

Jeremiah 14


-The true prophet of doom continues to speak to Word of the LORD now concerning a severe drought that is coming upon the land due to God’s wrath over their unrepentant sin. They are put to shame and cover their heads in disgrace because their iniquities testify against them (Jeremiah 14:1-7a). There is a plea for mercy by the prophet and an acknowledgment of the nation’s sins and apostasies. The cry is that He will not forsake them (Jeremiah 14:7b-9). God’s reply indicates that He is totally fed up with their wandering away from Him and their behavior is absolutely unacceptable. Therefore, He will now remember their iniquity and call their sins into account. The LORD tells Jeremiah not to even pray for their welfare. He will listen to their cry in fasting nor accept their burnt or grain offerings. Rather, He is going to make an end of them by the 1. Sword, 2. Famine, and 3. Pestilence (Jeremiah 14:10-12). *Application* The Father will not be mocked. We do not have the license to do anything we want as His children and expect to get away with it unconcerned about His corrective wrath. This was the tragic mistake in Judah and unfortunately it can be for us as well. There are always consequences to our sin, and sometimes, when God has had enough, it can get very ugly. Like the old saying goes, “If you can’t pay the time, don’t commit the crime.” God sees into the depths of our heart and knows the difference between worldly guilt and Godly sorrow. If we really are to turn to Him, everything must change from the heart extending out to our words and actions.

-The false prophets are dealt with in the next phase of this chapter. Jeremiah gives what he is hearing to the LORD as these false prophets are expressing appeasement and comforting words to the people concerning lasting peace and the famine (Jeremiah 14:13).  The LORD’s reply is haunting, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My Name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds (Jeremiah 14:14).” God extends His wrath upon them for their deliberate misinformation and assures the true prophet that His Word is accurate and will be fulfilled (Jeremiah 14:15-18).

-In the last section of Scripture in this chapter, Jeremiah cries out again for God’s mercy as he sees the rejection of the LORD and horror of a people who have forgotten their true King. He appeals to God’s covenant promises and in true prophetic fashion he acknowledges the greatness of the Living God as the only hope (Jeremiah 14:19-22). Although no assurance is given at this point, God will keep His covenant and all will certainly NOT be lost. *Application* Standing up for righteousness can be a heartbreaking occupation in an evil society. When we acknowledge the true essence of the intercessory activity of God’s faithful prophets, it should be a solid reminder to us that Jesus Christ is our great go between as the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King (2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:14). Meditate on His intercession for us and all its benefits (Hebrews 7:25).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 14:14

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 13

Jeremiah 13


-Jeremiah is instructed by God to by himself a linen waistband (a type of under garment much like our underwear today) and put it around his waist where it would cling to him. He was told not to put it into water. Jeremiah followed through as a faithful servant to the LORD’s command and then the Word of the LORD came to him a second time telling him to take the waistband to the Euphrates to hide it in the crevice of the rocks there. Jeremiah again obeyed and went. After many days God told him to go back and take the hidden waistband back from where it was hidden. Jeremiah did this to find the waistband ruined and totally worthless. Then the Word of the LORD came to him saying, “Just so will I (the LORD) destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless. For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me…that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen (Jeremiah 13:1-11).” *Application* We too, like Israel and Judah, can trade God’s blessings and glory for renown and turn it into rubbish by going our own way. Listen to His Voice and be ever careful to follow His path in your life walk. It is so easy to get sidetracked and settle for less than God’s best. His ways are the most fruitful even when there may be pain and displeasure in the offering. Cling to God as a waistband of worth. He will richly reward.

-Next the picture of jugs filled with wine represent the drunkenness of the wayward children of God to be intoxicated with their own ways and means rather than reliance on the LORD. God says He will “dash them against each other” and not show any pity nor be sorry nor have compassion so as not to destroy them (Jeremiah 13:12-14). There is then a thirteen verse stanza of the LORD’s vindication pronounced upon the disobedient people. He tells them not to be haughty but to turn in humility and repentance with bitter sorrow for what they had done. Exile was their plight as the army from the north is again reiterated. Their authority will be vanquished because of the magnitude of their iniquity before their King. They have been exposed and will not change their evil ways. Therefore, there will be a scattering, like drifting straw to the desert wind. They had forgotten their God and now He had to remind them of His authority and sovereignty in the matter. God has seen all their abominations and would now hold them accountable for their misdeeds and lack of sincere heart in their uncleanness (Jeremiah 13:15-27). *Application* We cannot hide anything from God. He sees and knows all. So it is wise to remember this fact before you try to live heinously before Him. He is just and will hold you accountable.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 13:11

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 12

Jeremiah 12


-Jeremiah pleads his case with the LORD counting on His righteousness and justice (Jeremiah 12:1). This prophetic ministry was so difficult and grieving to Jeremiah, and we see his despair in this chapter as the weariness of the task breaks him in several ways. It is much like what we see in the prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:1-4), Job (Job 21:4-21), and King David (Psalms 37). Jeremiah has questions as to why it seems, at least temporally, the way of the wicked prospers, the treacherous are at ease, the evil ones take root, grow and even produce fruit even though the LORD is far from their mind (Jeremiah 12:2). The prophet appeals to his King because he knows that the LORD knows him and his sincerity of heart towards God. He prays an imprecatory prayer for vengeance because of the injustice he sees and has experienced (Jeremiah 12:3-4). *Application* Any of us who have worked in prophetic ministry understand exactly the challenges and frustrations that Jeremiah speaks of in this passage. We must always see the big picture and understand God’s perspective on things. Don’t get bogged down in the temporary. See the end result of your faithfulness and keep trusting in the goodness of God in these times of sadness and desperation when all seems so negative. God eventually turns all things around, vindicates, restores, and makes it all worth it in the end (Revelation 21:1-8).

-God’s reply begins in verse five with an unexpected answer to the beleaguered prophet. He indicates in figurative language that times will go from bad to worse in the near future, so buckle up and get ready for more strenuous and intense hardship (Jeremiah 12:5). God informs him that even his brothers (countrymen, those who should share the same faith) and the household of his father (relatives) have dealt treacherously (done him wrong) with him as they speak favorable to him, and that they should not be believed because of their deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 12:6).  Because of these travesties, God is forsaking His house, abandoning His inheritance, and raging against His people in hatred. His shepherds have ruined His vineyard (God’s productive field in Israel for faith) by trampling it down and making it a pagan wilderness of idolatry (Jeremiah 12:7-10). The land becomes desolate before Him as punishment for their transgression with destroyers due to the anger of the LORD (Jeremiah 12:11-13). They will be uprooted (Jeremiah 12:14), but God does, in the end, give that reoccurring glimmer of hope in verses 15 & 16. “And it will come about after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My Name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal (false gods), they will be built up in the midst of My people.” However, there is a caveat if they still refuse to listen they will be again uprooted and destroyed (Jeremiah 12:17). *Application* God’s plan is wrapped strangely up in His foreknowledge and sovereignty. His will is going to be done despite the mess ups of His people. His corrective actions are always for our good and we need to understand this. His compassion never ending and His restoration Divine. Stay true to the King and realize His nature is both jealous and ever-loving.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 12:15

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 11

Jeremiah 11


-Jeremiah’s rebuke of Judah and Israel in general takes a turn to focus on God’s covenant that has been broken by His people in this section beginning in chapter 11 and extending through Jeremiah 13:27. God speaks wanting His people to hear the words of His covenant because He had been clear with them that if and when they broke it, they would be cursed (Deuteronomy 27:26, Jeremiah 11:3; 17:5, Galatians 3:10). There were solemn warnings from the time of Egypt up to their present day, but they refused to turn to their God and repent. They walked according to the stubbornness of their own evil heart and broke covenant continually without regard for the LORD (Jeremiah 11:8, 10). Therefore, the LORD is bringing disaster upon them, which they would not be able to escape. Even their cries before Him would not be heard because of their rebellious hearts and actions in defiance of His commands (Jeremiah 11:11-17). *Application* There comes a time when God has had enough of our placating ways. He genuinely knows when we are sincere in Godly sorrow and when we simply have a worldly guilt that wants to escape punishment because we seek only pleasure. God is just and will not listen when the heart is corrupt to the point of bringing His righteous disaster to show who really is King. Go God’s way and you will never have to fear His deaf ear when you pray. Humble yourself before Him and He will always listen and respond.

-Jeremiah finds himself discerning from the LORD the evil plots against him from the men of his own hometown in the last section of this chapter. He, like the coming Messiah (Isaiah 53), was a gentle lamb being led to the slaughter with devious plots for destruction by the wayward enemy of God. The prophet calls out to the LORD, who judges righteously and tries the feelings and the heart, for His vengeance since his cause is committed to Him (Jeremiah 11:20). God promises annihilating punishment on them (Jeremiah 11:22-23). *Application* God does nothing without revealing it first to His prophets and those with spiritual discernment (Amos 3:7, 2 Peter 1:20-21). Listen to these men, and women sometimes, of God who get His download. Don’t ever refuse the true prophetic Word of God. He is always trying to warn us and bring us into His good way if we will comply.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 11:20

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 10

Jeremiah 10


-Chapter 10 is a satire by the prophet Jeremiah using the Word he is given from the LORD to denounce and refute idolatry as stupidity and foolishness (Jeremiah 10:8, 14, 21). The nation of Israel (God’s chosen people) were warned not to learn and follow the ways of the unbelieving nations who are deluded by false religions and practices that take them from the true knowledge of the Living, True, and Everlasting God (Jeremiah 10:2-5, 10). The LORD is the One who is incomparable and great. He is the only One to be feared out of reverence and glory (Jeremiah 10:6-7). All else is a shame and mockery of the only real way, and they will perish (Jeremiah 10:15). This is the primary point of the chapter.

-God’s creative power is extolled in verses 11-16. His power made the earth, established the world in wisdom, stretched out the heavens, caused the tumults of waters both in sky and on earth, and produce the wind. In other words, He and only He is the breath of life (Jeremiah 10:14). *Application* Our God is alive and all others will be destroyed by His awesome power in the final analysis. It is best for us to gravitate to that fact and follow Him with all our heart. In this world there is a pull towards the temporary satisfactions and pleasures of false gods, but “don’t be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, the he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).” Keep the faith and know that He is true and will endure after all else perishes.

-The siege is discussed some more as the chapter proceeds toward completion beginning in verse 17. God’s purpose in punishment is seen in verse 18. He will cause them distress so that they can be found. In other words, God is attempting to draw them back into proper relationship with Him so that they will know the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). The despair is great in verses 19-22 as the prophet understands the severity of God indignation and cries out against wayward shepherds who have become stupid and have not sought the LORD as to lead His people in the righteous way. Therefore, their flock is scattered. *Application* This is a convicting passage for all who are in spiritual leadership. For us, it may apply to our home, our community, or our ministry in the house of God. Let this be a warning that God takes our responsibilities seriously and will hold us all accountable as to whether we gather or scatter our own flock. Seek the LORD and prosper (Jeremiah 10:21)!

-God’s sovereign direction is dealt with as the chapter ends. “…A man’s way in not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23).” The prophet begs for justice with a strong dose of mercy in God’s correction, else he and his people will be brought to nothing. He pleads for God to remember His people by calling for the destruction of those nations who don’t know the LORD at all (Jeremiah 10:24-25). This is God’s prerogative, but the prophet knows the responsiveness of the Sovereign in all cases. *Application* Man’s paths are directed ultimately by the LORD (Proverbs 16:9). Our yieldedness is what He desires and expects more than anything else. We can rebel against His ways, but it will be to our own demise. God knows the end from the beginning, so comply with all your heart. Let Him guide your life willingly (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 10:6, 10

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 9

Jeremiah 9


-God’s disgust continues to reign down on Judah, and in the greater context Israel, in this foreboding chapter of Holy Scripture. God is grieved and the prophet feels it as he writes of the impending doom and why it is all necessary. Jeremiah discusses his wish to leave his people and go from them because of their adulterous spirit and their assembly of treachery (Jeremiah 9:2). Deceit is the first reason the LORD gives, which is delineated in repeated expression throughout Jeremiah 9:3 through 9:9. Lies prevail in the land like a weapon, and they proceed from evil to more evil because they simply do not really know the LORD and His ways. The mistrust makes people on edge and on guard against his neighbor out of necessity because of the craftiness and scheming of the majority. Slander is commonplace and the wicked weary themselves with committing iniquity. They dwell in deceit and refuse to know God. They speak peace with their mouths, but their heart is setting a trap for their fellow man. It is a cunning spirit. Therefore, the LORD will refine them and assay (evaluate, test, try, prove) them because He has no other alternative. They have depleted their options and now God must punish the nation to avenge Himself. *Application* There is one thing about it. God will always receive His glory, one way or another. We cannot continually thumb our nose at God and expect to get away with it forever. He deserves the power, glory, honor, and respect, so give it to Him before He has to take it the hard way. He desires mercy and not judgment, but when necessary, He will evaluate all things justly. We must come before God on His terms, not our own.

-Jerusalem and all the land of Israel and Judah will become desolate from the judgment of God (Jeremiah 9:10-11). The next section answers the question “Why (Jeremiah 9:12)?” God again begins to answer the “Why?” as He continues with His indictment of His people. The Law has been forsaken and they have not obeyed the Voice of the LORD to walk according to His statutes (Jeremiah 9:13). Instead, they have walked after the stubbornness of their own hearts and after the false gods of the Baals as taught by their fathers (Jeremiah 9:14). The result of this will bring the LORD’s feeding of them with wormwood (bitterness) and poison. They will be scattered among the nations at the direction of the Almighty and become annihilated. Lamentations will be commonplace and shame the norm. Death has come up through their windows by their own choosing and there is none to gather them back in their season of judgment (Jeremiah 9:15-22).

-God continues to speak that the wise should never boast in his own wisdom, nor the mighty in his own might, nor the rich in his own riches (Jeremiah 9:23). On the other hand, the one who should boast in confidence is the one who understands and knows the LORD who is kind, just, and righteous as to His delight (Jeremiah 9:24). God will punish those who are outwardly and culturally circumcised, yet uncircumcised of heart (Jeremiah 9:25-26). *Application* It always has been about the heart with the One-True Living God. He knows us inside and out and understands our complete motivation. He wants all of us in heartfelt devotion, not just exterior compliance and ritualistic pageantry. For more insight from the New Testament on true wisdom see 1 Corinthians 1:18-4:21 and James 3:13-18. For more insight on might see Zechariah 4:6. For more insight on riches from the New Testament see James 5:1-5.

Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 9:8, 23-24

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 8

Jeremiah 8


-Judah’s treachery against the LORD God Almighty is displayed in paganistic rituals, which the prophet labels as choosing death over life (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Jeremiah 8:1-3). Judah has chosen death by continual apostasy, holding fast to deceit and refusing to return to their true King in a loving relationship (Jeremiah 8:4-7). They lie to themselves and tell themselves they are wise and abiding in the Law of God, but they will be shamed, dismayed, and caught, because in truth they rejected the Word of the LORD (Jeremiah 8:8-9). Therefore, the LORD will give their wives to others and their fields to new owners because these so called “children of God” were greedy for gain practicing dishonesty from the prophet even to the priest (Jeremiah 8:10). They heal superficially the brokenness of the daughter of God’s people (the younger generation) saying, “Peace, peace, but there is no peace (Jeremiah 8:11).” They knew no shame in their debauchery and corruption, and as a result they will be brought down by the Word of the LORD (Jeremiah 8:12).

-God is going to snatch them away like no grapes on a vine, barren and desolate. They will have no figs on the tree and their leaf will wither (Matthew 21:18-20, Mark 11:12-14, 19-22), and what God gave them will pass away. They are doomed for destruction because of their sin and they must now drink the poisoned water of His wrath. Instead of healing, there will be terror and no good news. The army of the north is coming with incredible horses quaking the earth and devouring power. Serpents will rage against them for which there is no charm, and they will bite the people (Jeremiah 8:13-17).

-Because of this, lamentation is given by Jeremiah in deep grief and pain, which is beyond healing. His heart is faint within him as the Spirit of God is taken away from the land. “Harvest is past, summer is ended and we are not saved. For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken; I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored (Jeremiah 8:18-22)?”

-*Application* Again we see from Scripture God’s desire to have all of us in complete faithfulness and dependency. He wants to give generous grace, but our sinfulness will undoubtedly separate us from His blessings and prosperity in the land of His favor. Don’t ever separate yourself from His goodness by seeking your own false way. Take heed to the historical prophecies and follow the LORD in relationship guided by His grace, mercy, and compassion. Choose life!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 8:20

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 7

Jeremiah 7


-Jeremiah delivers a condemning message directly from the Temple Gate in this chapter. The theme is essentially the same regarding the rebellious nature of the sons of Judah and their idolatry before the LORD God of Israel. The plea goes out to amend their ways and deeds so that they could be able to remain in the land, but the prophetic prediction is that it will be to no avail (Jeremiah 7:3-7, 34). These ways and deeds include the consistent biblical themes of practicing justice before all people, not oppressing the alien, the orphan, and the widow, shedding no innocent blood, and having no idolatry. These evil practices have become their ruin. They have trusted in deceptive words and not the LORD’s voice and have stolen, lied, murdered, and committed adultery in their disgusting agitation towards God. They have become an abomination and den of robbers in His House because of the wickedness of their hearts (Jeremiah 7:8-11).

-The Lord declares to them to go to Shiloh, where His Name first dwelt, in the north to see what becomes of a people that transgress and turn from the truth of the Living God. They will be cast out of His sight with no hope for intercession because the LORD will refuse to hear (Jeremiah 7:12-16). They spite the King of the Universe with their idolatry and unrepentant spirit before Him, which is bringing on His wrath and purging-refining fire of judgment (Jeremiah 7:17-22, 30-31). What God commands is obedience to His voice alone and a walk with Him (Jeremiah 7:23, 28). “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward (Jeremiah 7:24).” God repeatedly warned them through His prophets daily rising early and sending them, but they would not listen and stiffened their necks in revolt (Jeremiah 7:25-27). This is the reason for God’s rejection and forsaking of them at this time. It was now time to take up a lamentation (Jeremiah 7:29, 32-34).

-*Application* The evil intents of our heart is what we must constantly guard (Proverbs 4:23). If our wellspring of life is going to overflow with Christ, we must guard it against the invasion of the enemy and his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 John 2:15-17).

Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 7:24

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 6

Jeremiah 6


-This chapter deals with the impending doom coming upon Judah and Jerusalem and why it is all happening. It is a pouring out of the LORD’s wrath as He gets to the point of taking action after being patient and longsuffering with His people for too long (Jeremiah 6:9, 11-12, 19, 21, 30). Their waywardness destroys them with a great destruction from the north (Jeremiah 6:1, 22-26). Zion will be cut off and woe is declared on her, the comely and dainty one (Jeremiah 6:2-5). She is cut down for many reasons that the prophet lists. In her midst is only oppression (def.- unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power, a weighing down in body or mind, related to depression, Jeremiah 6:6). She keeps wickedness fresh like a well-spring. Violence and destruction are heard in her, sickness and wounds ever before the LORD (Jeremiah 6:7). She is unresponsive to the LORD’s corrective action and has closed ears rejecting the word of the LORD (Jeremiah 6:10, 29). They are all greedy for gain and heal people superficially saying, “’Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:13-14).” She has no shame and doesn’t even know how to blush being brazen and bold in her sin (Jeremiah 6:15). She has abandoned the ancient path and ways of righteousness as to walk in its goodness abiding in its truth (Jeremiah 6:16). She offers unacceptable sacrifices and burnt offerings because her heart is not right (Jeremiah 6:20). She is altogether stubbornly rebellious and goes about gossiping in corruption (Jeremiah 6:28).

-*Application* It is a foolish thing to keep on rejecting the LORD warnings and corrections. Pay attention to the things He is showing you in goodness and righteousness. Don’t be consumed by a culture that is destined for hell and God’s wrath. Turn to Him before His patience and longsuffering runs out on you personally.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 6:13-14, 16

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 5

Jeremiah 5


-The prophet is told to go to and fro through the city of Jerusalem to observe and take note of anyone who does justice or seeks truth. If that person can be found, God promises to pardon them (Jeremiah 5:1). The fact of the matter is that they have gone completely corrupt and lies and deceit are all they are about as we read through the passage. Even in correction they have neglected the LORD and His righteous ways. They abused the rights of the poor (Jeremiah 5:4, 28), committed adultery (Jeremiah 5:7-9), pretended that God would bless their sin (Jeremiah 5:11-12), falsely prophesied (Jeremiah 5:13), have no fear of the LORD (Jeremiah 5:22, 24), have a stubborn and rebellious heart (Jeremiah 5:23) have become great and rich and fat excelling in deeds of wickedness (Jeremiah 5:26-28), and have priests that rule on their own authority (Jeremiah 5:31). For all these despicable things the LORD declares judgment from the foreign devourer who will be allowed to ravage their land, although not as to a complete destruction (Jeremiah 5:10, 14-19, 29-31). The people have loved iniquity and will reap the consequences of their actions (Jeremiah 5:31).

-*Application* In the same light, who are we in America to continually thumb our nose at God and pretend that He is not righteous, holding us accountable for all the sin and deceit that we practice. Today the call is for national repentance and humbling before the LORD God Almighty. He will not tolerate our iniquity forever. Turn to Him and do not harden your heart, ears, and eyes (2 Chronicles 7:14).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 5:31

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 4

Jeremiah 4


-The Word of the LORD through His prophet and spokesman Jeremiah in this chapter begins with a positive tone. There is a conditional if, which gives some glimmer of hope in a desperate time and situation. “If you will return” and “if you will put away your detested things from My presence” without wavering (Jeremiah 4:1), then they and the nations will bless themselves in Him, and in Him they will glory in truth, justice, and righteousness (Jeremiah 4:2). God tells them to break up their hardened hearts (the fallow ground) and not be deceived by the enemy and his tactics (sowing among thorns) in order to renew their covenant with the LORD on their part. Or else, God’s wrath will come like fire with nothing to quench it because of their evil deeds (Jeremiah 4:3-4).

-After this warning, the righteous judgment upon the land begins from the LORD. He is bringing from the north (Babylon, Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar II) an evil destroyer as a lion to make their land a waste and ruin without inhabitant. This will be an appalling devastation to the hearts of the king, princes, priests, and prophets when they realize their own deceptive ways. Woe is decreed for this time (Jeremiah 4:5-13). Yet, this will not be a complete destruction because of the LORD’s faithfulness and His promise for ultimate redemption (Jeremiah 4:27). God’s desire is brilliantly laid out in verse fourteen: “Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?” So while the besiegers come and annihilate, there is purpose in the corrective actions of an Almighty and All Loving God.

-A lament is given by the prophet beginning in verse 19 as he foresees the coming calamity in his land. His soul is in anguish, his hearts hurts and pounds in him, as he proclaims what he must in preparation for the devastating war that is inevitable. This occurs because God’s people have become foolish, not knowing Him. They are declared stupid with no understanding, shrewd to do evil and devoid of even knowing how to do good (Jeremiah 4:19-22).

-Verses twenty three through twenty six display natural descriptions of the tumult that is coming. This demonstrates the fierce anger of the LORD that is felt in every place of the holy land as a result of breaking covenant with Him in idolatry. God’s purpose and spoken Word does not change and will not be mocked (Jeremiah 4:28). *Application* Sometimes God really does have to show us who the real boss is. He will receive His glory one way or another and He will not share it with detestable things. This should be the obvious conclusion from our study today. Stay true to His will, His plan, and His guidance in your life and you will never have to fear His corrective discipline. Remember that His discipline is ultimately for our good and is done out of love (Hebrews 12:4-13).

Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 4:2, 4, 14

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 3

Jeremiah 3


-The pollution of the harlotry image as an indication of idolatry dominates the theme of the verses in this chapter. Divorce and unfaithfulness is definitely NOT what the LORD desires from His people, yet they have turned away from His covenant of love and protection. God has attempted to bring them back with natural withholdings of rain, yet they refused to be ashamed and repent (Jeremiah 3:3). Judah has had its own way and not God’s plan (Jeremiah 3:5). Because of the rebellion in spite of her observation as to the punishment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel when they transgressed, the land of Judah is polluted with every despicable evil in the sight of God. God’s desire was for them to return to Him with all their heart, but they did it with deception (Jeremiah 3:6-10).

-Even faithless Israel in her idolatry has now proven to be more righteous than treacherous Judah (Jeremiah 3:11). The Father shows His compassion when a change of heart is made away from iniquity to believing in His redemption. He promises to the repentant in the north that He will not look upon them in anger, be gracious, be a Master to them, and bring them back to Zion if they will only turn to Him in faith (Jeremiah 3:12-14). God’s desire is shepherd them from His holy Temple and give them shepherds to lead them after His own heart to give them knowledge and understanding, increase and multiplication. This will be for all the nations “in those days” and “at that time” given as a futuristic prophecy of promise. This is when they will no longer “walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart (Jeremiah 3:15-18).” God cries out for His beloved in an effort to draw them to Himself and make things pure and right. His desire is to give them His best among His sons in a pleasant land as their Father, but alas they departed as a wayward whore dealing treacherously with their true Husband perverting their way and forgetting the LORD their God (Jeremiah 3:19-21). Still God reaches out and begs them to return in faith for healing and restoration. The righteous will come to the LORD not relying on the fortress hills, which are a deception. Only God is the true salvation of Israel (Jeremiah 3:22-23). The shameful rejection of their God has haunted this people since their earliest stages, which has now ultimately shamed them and humiliated them for they have sinned against LORD their God in disobedience to His Voice (Jeremiah 3:24-25). *Application* It is so easy to drift away from the goodness and righteousness of our Great God and Savior. He desperately wants our wholehearted devotion, yet we compromise and play the idolater in so many instances. Resolve to stay focused on what great things God has for you when you keep believing and trusting in Him alone! If we lose sight of this as His people we will be shamed and humiliated as a means of correction, count on it.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 3:15, 17

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 2

Jeremiah 2


-The Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah for the ears of those in Jerusalem. It is the heart cry of God to His wayward people. A people who were devoted in their youth, when He brought them out of slavery into the wilderness experience “through a land not sown (Jeremiah 2:1-2).” His people were the first of His harvest (Jeremiah 2:3). But, now it was the beginning time of the Gentiles, who would eventually come to Christ in great numbers as a future harvest. These chosen people of Israel were holy to the LORD, but transgressed greatly in their unfaithfulness becoming guilty resulting in evil coming upon them under the judgment of the Sovereign (Jeremiah 2:3, 9, 35). Their walk became empty and vain as they chased after other gods and bowed before them rather than the Living God (Jeremiah 2:5, 7-8, 11, 13, 17-25, 27, 37). They no longer feared the LORD and His ways with a rebellious spirit, which led to their discipline (Jeremiah 2:19). In their chastening though they still did not get it so as to turn back to the LORD (Jeremiah 2:29-36). Therefore, God rejected them by His Word for a season to teach them His true love and goodness by sending them out of the land (Jeremiah 2:37).

-*Application* What should stand to us here in this chapter is the primacy of faithfulness in our walk with the LORD our God. We should never change our ways for other things that we think will give us success or more pleasure in this world. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through His Son (2 Peter 1:3). He is the true knowledge and giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). To abandon Him and His love is the most foolish thing we could ever do. Stick close to Him as the only way (John 14:6)! Recognize these examples He gives us from the Old Testament and resolve to be faithfully devoted to Him forever. Jesus is your only Savior, persevere as a secured saint relying on His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30, 1 Timothy 4:16, Hebrews 6:1-9; 10:35-39).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 2:11

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 1

Jeremiah 1


-This prophetic, historical, poetic, and biographical book of Scripture details the 40 or so year ministry of the Prophet Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1). He prophesied during the reigns of the last five kings of Judah—Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah right before the deportation to Babylon in 586 B.C. (see 2 Kings 21-25). He spoke the word of the Lord fearlessly in times of distress and idolatry. Even though his message was never at the time embraced or obeyed, he remained faithful to his call by God from before he was even in the womb of his mother (Jeremiah 1:5). He was consecrated for the giving of the Word of the LORD and appointed as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5, 10). He went everywhere the LORD lead him and spoke as His mouthpiece to a rebellious house, unashamed and unafraid of man because the Lord was his deliverer (Jeremiah 1:7-10). 

-The first image God gives to His prophet is that of an almond tree. The LORD God was watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). He would let no words of His prophet fall to the ground. The almond tree symbol revealed the beginning of the LORD’s judgment. The almond tree was among the first trees of spring to blossom revealing a swift and sudden judgment on the Southern Kingdom for its rejection of the LORD their God (Jeremiah 1:11). The forces would come from the north as revealed by the boiling pot to the holy city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 1:13-16). Jeremiah was told to gird up his loins (make preparations to move and travel about) and speak out all God’s commands without fear or trepidation lest he be embarrassed before the people. God had made his prophet a fortified pillar and city of iron against the whole land including the highest of peoples. God makes His promise that they would fight against him, “but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you (Jeremiah 1:17-19).”

-*Application* Never fear man when God has revealed His good and perfect will to you. He will sustain you and protect even though there may be total rejection by your friends and people around you. Do the right thing in love!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 1:19

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bible Study Notes on Song of Solomon- Chapter 8

Song of Solomon 8


-The bride begins with wishing for an expression of love publicly as the last chapter of the exquisite book begins (Song of Solomon 8:1-2). Family affection was the only publicly accepted proper conduct in the ancient Near East, and the bride wishes to show her devoted love to the bridegroom in every way. She longs again for his support and embrace in tender language (Song of Solomon 2:6; 8:3). The bridegroom responds with poetic repetition to let his beloved rest until she pleases (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5; 8:4).

-The chorus responds with the question, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved (Song of Solomon 8:5)?” This denotes her common heritage coming into the greatness of the kingdom and the glory that is now becoming hers.

-The bride recognizes her beloved’s benefits and expresses her deepest and heartfelt love in an outpouring of emotion expressed through the phrase “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe (demanding) as Sheol (the grave). Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).” *Application* Love is the strongest force in the universe and it overcomes every obstacle (see also 1 Corinthians 13). It is as strong as death, cannot be killed by time or disaster, and it cannot be bought for any price because it is freely given. This love comes from God as a free gift to us out of His compassion, grace, and mercy. Accept the love of God and realize He is jealous for you to be His own prize and possession.

-After the chorus of Jerusalem’s daughters explain her chastity during her growing up years, the bride says because of her moral integrity (she was a wall protected, not an open door to fornication or immorality) she became in the eyes of her beloved “as one who finds peace (Song of Solomon 8:10).” *Application* We too will find peace and ultimate satisfaction when we do God’s things, God’s way. He gives complete joy in righteousness. Wait upon the LORD!

-The bridegroom, Solomon, had a vineyard at Baal-hamon (only mention of this biblically and in an unknown location) where he entrusted his resources to the caretakers, of which the Shulammite was one. She had been given the vineyard to be at her disposal, and her concern was to give the produce of fruit and its reward to her lord taking only what she needed back as payment. *Application* The King of king entrusts much to us in His Kingdom. Take His spiritual gifts and realize that they are to be used as tools to give back to Him in spiritual growth and multiplication. See the unity in the effort by the power of love.

-The last interchange reflects the bridegroom’s desire to hear the voice of his bride and the receptivity of the bride to hurry to consummate this love. The wedding was just the beginning to a lifetime of intimacy and open communication. Their faithfulness would last and last. *Application* This represents in many ways the marriage between the bride of Christ, the Church, and Himself at the end of the age (Revelation 19:7-9). Trust in your Beloved. He will give you peace and rest forever!


Verses to Memorize: Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bible Study Notes on Song of Solomon- Chapter 7

Song of Solomon 7


-There is much descriptive admiration given by the bridegroom through the first verses of chapter 7 (Song of Solomon 7:1-8). The bride’s beauty is lavished in detail is poetic prose of the time. She is crowned like Mt. Carmel captivating the king (Song of Solomon 7:5). She is a delight to him in every conceivable way (Song of Solomon 7:6).

-As the bride responds again in the ecstasy of love, we see that again she is her beloved’s and his desire is for her (Song of Solomon 7:10). In wonderful, biblical language they explore the bearing of fruit and the spring’s fragrance in the vineyard and give each other their abiding love (Song of Solomon 7:12-13, John 15:1-17). *Application* Our union with Christ is described in many of the same ways these lovers express themselves. We have the biblical capacity to have intense and deep intimacy spiritually speaking with our LORD and that gives reason to feel His passion in every detail of our lives. Experience this living and loving God for yourself. Invite Him in to be your personal-spiritual bridegroom. Eternal life with Him is indescribable!


Verse to Memorize: Song of Solomon 7:10

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bible Study Notes on Song of Solomon- Chapter 6

Song of Solomon 6


-The chorus of Jerusalem’s daughters begins the chapter with the question as to where the bridegroom has gone. They desire to seek out the bridegroom with the bride (Song of Solomon 6:1). *Application* There are often times when others help us find truth on our spiritual journey. Thank the LORD today for those in your life that helped turn you toward the righteousness of the Savior. We are of those who seek the truth, and we are never alone!

-The bride speaks again in poetic language about where the bridegroom has gone. She is not worried or concerned at this point. She knows her man is at work in his garden and pastures. She repeats the refrain “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” which denotes union in perfection (Song of Solomon 2:16; 6:3).

-Now, in the bulk of the chapter, the bridegroom speaks again with praise, honor, and respect to his bride. She is as lovely as Jerusalem (the capital city and holy place), as awesome as an army with banners (majestic), perfect, unique, pure, blessed, beautiful, growing, and budding with brilliance (Song of Solomon 6:4-12). *Application* Amazingly, this is how Jesus views His church in all her glory. Reflect on these descriptions and realize how much the Lord loves and cares for you in His lofty and elevated thoughts.

-Now the chorus again speaks at the end of the chapter to make poetic bookends to the work. They want the Shulammite to “come back” that they may gaze at her beauty and celebrate. *Application* The work of the master is always beautiful and radiant. Appreciate His work to make all things new in us as believers in Him!


Verse to Memorize: Song of Solomon 6:3

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bible Study Notes on Song of Solomon- Chapter 5

Song of Solomon 5


-Solomon is speaking once again at the beginning of chapter 5. He is in his garden and gathered all for his bride. He is ready celebrate in complete and utter union. His words, “Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers,” reflects intimacy and being absorbed by total emersion (Song of Solomon 5:1). *Application* We must understand that God wants every part of our being. He doesn’t just want first place in our lives, He wants every part of our life to reflect His glory and fullness. Let God have complete control of you. This is what the Spirit-filled life is all about.

-Now the bride speaks again with a troubling dream. Her lover had come knocking and she open up to him, but he had turned away and had gone. She searched for him as her heart went out after him, but she could not find him and he did not answer. She is lovesick and disheartened by the seeming separation (Song of Solomon 5:2-8). *Application* There will be times of testing and trial in our walk with the Lord, when He seems to be distant and gone from our side. This time of searching only draws us closer to Him in the end. God’s desire is that we pursue Him as He has pursued us. Sometimes He will let us feel the agony of separation to draw us into a deeper fellowship with Him as a final and lasting result. All of God’s people go through these times of intense struggle. Allow these times of not “feeling” God’s presence grow your faith and dependence on Him. Realize the truth that He is always there (Matthew 28:20). He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is with us in the valley (Psalm 23:4).

-After the chorus exalts the bride for a verse (Song of Solomon 5:9), the Shulammite bride reigns down more admiration for her beloved in the final verses of the chapter (Song of Solomon 5:10-16). He is described as “dazzling and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand” with a head like “gold” and hair like the color of the raven with thick locks like clusters of dates [thickness]. His eyes, cheeks, lips, hands, legs, and mouth are all complimented with culturally relevant admirations. In the end, she sums it up by stating that he is “wholly desirable” and that he is “my friend” to all the daughters of Jerusalem. *Application* God in the same way should be praised with ceasing. He is wholly desirable (Psalms 117) and our closest friend (Proverbs 18:24).


Verse to Memorize: Song of Solomon 5:6

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Song of Solomon- Chapter 4

Song of Solomon 4


-Solomon expresses his love in the majority of this chapter in expressive language that yearns for His bride (Song of Solomon 4:1-15). Her beauty and perfections capture his heart (Song of Solomon 4:1, 7). He desperately desires her love and affection, which stirs up his deepest emotions and praise. She is sealed up only for him (Song of Solomon 4:12). *Application* This locked up state has parallel in Ephesians where Paul states they we as children of God are sealed up unto redemption through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). The point is this: We are His, and He never loses or forsakes His possessions. There is a guarantee, pledge, and promise! This is the love of our God manifested in complete security!

-Solomon also talks of his bride in terms of being a garden spring, a well of fresh water with streams flowing as from the Lebanon (Song of Solomon 4:15). The northern sources of spring water were, and still are, the primary supply of fresh-clean drinking water and sustenance for the land of Israel. This cross referenced with Jesus’ remarks in John 4:10-15 and 7:37-40 gives us a beautiful picture for eternal washing and refreshing, which only comes from the loving Savior, Jesus Christ. *Application* When Christ comes into a person, seasons of refreshing and rejuvenation occur in a perpetual state (Acts 3:19). This is an inner reality, which springs forth into the spiritual fruits of our lives once we have been transformed and changed into the image of Christ as we unite with Him (John 15:8). Grow and keep growing in your walk with the Redeemer. Never stop improving (2 Peter 1:2-8; 3:18)!

-The last verse is a brief interlude by the Shulammite bride revolving around the source that makes her garden breathe out fragrance unto places abroad. In powerful language the lover invites the husband to come and unite with her in the delight of passion (Song of Solomon 4:16). *Application* Our unification with the King of kings gives us the source for all goods things including our ministry, which affects and infects our world around us. The power of love given through our Almighty God produces in us a fragrance that will change the world. You as a believer are the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)! Let your light so shine (Matthew 5:16)!


Verse to Memorize: Song of Solomon 4:7

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Song of Solomon- Chapter 3

Song of Solomon 3


-In the first section of this chapter the bride reports how hard she sought after her beloved when he could not be found (Song of Solomon 3:1-4). She searched immediately in every conceivable place, but could not find him. When she did find him, she held on to him and would not let him go. She brought him to her mother’s house, which has cultural relevance. *Application* Jesus also spoke in His parables about how important it is to seek out the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 6:33; 7:7-8; 13:44-46, Luke 11:9-10). This seeking with all our heart is an essential element in our love affair with the King of kings.

-The phrase, for poetic purposes, is repeated from Song of Solomon 2:7 again reiterating his care and affection (Song of Solomon 3:5). Her wellbeing and pleasure is his primary concern.

-Now the scene shifts to the grand entrance of the king in this magnificent moment of the wedding occasion (Song of Solomon 3:6-11). He comes up from the wilderness like columns of smoke perfumed and ready for his bride (Jesus will return on the wilderness side of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives also powerful and ready for His bride, the Church, Zechariah 14:4). Solomon is powerful with much anointing and array for the occasion with his armada with him. There is rejoicing and gladness of heart by those with great expectation for the event, which is to take place. *Application* This chapter reminds us that the King of kings is coming for His people in glorious array and power at the end of the age. Be alert and ready for His coming (Matthew 25).


Verse to Memorize: Song of Solomon 3:4

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Song of Solomon- Chapter 2

Song of Solomon 2


-The bride picks back her dialogue in the beginning phrase of chapter two (Song of Solomon 2:1). The rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys were considered common flowers found in Israel. The girl was probably saying something to the effect that she considered herself inadequate of special recognition or just plain ordinary. Solomon’s response shows us otherwise however. He considers her a lily among the harsh thorns and as a darling (wonderful, dear, precious, superior) among all the other maidens (Song of Solomon 2:2). The Shulammite’s response shows extreme gratitude and praise once again (Song of Solomon 2:3-6). Notice: he is the apple of her eye, she takes great delight in him, she can rest, he was sweet and not bitter, he provides and sustains, he refreshes, and he embraces, all in his unfailing love. *Application* This is a beautiful picture of not just a man and woman’s heartfelt love, but of a God who cares for His ultimate creation, mankind. Let the love of God saturate your life!

-As the dialogue moves forward, the king instructs the daughters of Jerusalem not to arouse or awaken his love until she pleases (Song of Solomon 2:7). This indicates his concern for her wellbeing and desire to make her content and totally nurtured. *Application* Our protection and security always comes from a higher source. God is showing us here that His ways are beneficial to our need, and that we can be at total rest in Him without interference.

-The bride now reflects back on their courtship and how the king captured her heart (Song of Solomon 2:8-17). He came as she listened making valiant efforts by climbing mountains and leaping hills. He searched her out and invaded with an everlasting love. He responded to her needs and asked her gently to come along with him. The winter season of stagnation and death were over along with the spring rains, and now it was time to have the flowers and fruit of fullness appear. The voice of the turtledove now is singing. The time for consummation had arrived! *Application* This presents a picture of what salvation is like for the believer. God pursued us and captured our heart with his tender-loving mercy and grace. Thank Him for His gift of eternal union!

-In the midst of this stanza, the bride reminds that even in great relationships there can be trouble. The “little foxes” of our relationships need to be caught so that they don’t ruin the fruit God desires in our lives. “Little foxes” are minor sin issues, which if left unchecked, can destroy what the Divine wants to accomplish in our homes and lives. They can sneak up at the most inopportune moments and catch us by surprise if we are not extremely careful. Pay attention to guard against the “little foxes” in your vineyard.


Verses to Memorize: Song of Solomon 2:4, 15