Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 37

Jeremiah 37


-At the point and time of this chapter being narrated, Zedekiah had been named king in Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in place of Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim. “But, neither he (Zedekiah) nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 37:1-2).” Yet, Zedekiah asked Jeremiah to pray for the people of Judah and Jeremiah had freedom at this point to go in and out among the people. Meanwhile, the plot thickened as Pharaoh’s army from Egypt set out to confront the Chaldeans who had been besieging Jerusalem. When the Chaldeans heard of this, they temporarily lifted the siege of Jerusalem to pay military attention to their foe. However, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Jeremiah at this time warning that the Chaldeans of Babylon would be back as the Egyptian army would return to its own land in Egypt (Jeremiah 37:3-7). God’s word was stark, “The Chaldeans will also return and fight against this city, and they will capture it and burn it with fire. Do not deceive yourselves, saying, ‘The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,’ for they will not go. For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire (Jeremiah 37:8-10).”

-As the Babylonian siege was indeed lifted at this time because of Pharaoh’s army, Jeremiah went to the land of Benjamin in order to take possession of some property there among the people (more than likely this is a prequel occurrence of the narrative in Jeremiah 32:6-44). When he came to the gate of the city a captain of the guard whose name was Irijah arrested the prophet accusing him of going over to the Chaldeans as a treasonous act. Jeremiah vehemently denied the accusation as a lie, yet the authorities were angry with him with demonic fury and beat him and put him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe in a dungeon, which was a vaulted cell (probably cut out of rock). Jeremiah, the Bible says, stayed there in confinement many days (Jeremiah 37:11-16). He was eventually rescued by King Zedekiah when he sent for him and brought him back to Jerusalem to secretly ask if there was a prophetic word from the LORD. Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he proclaimed emphatically, “You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 37:17)!” He then questioned the king as to what way he had personally sinned against him, his servants, and his people to be treated with disdain and thrown into prison like he indeed was. He then mocked the false prophets with derision saying, “Where then are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land?’” After this he pleaded with the king to allow him to stay in Jerusalem and not have to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe because he feared they would kill him there with a slow and torturous death. To his credit, Zedekiah gave commandment and Jeremiah was committed to the court of the guardhouse being given a loaf of bread daily from the baker’s street until all the bread was gone under the Babylonian siege. So Jeremiah remained in confinement in the court of the guardhouse (Jeremiah 37:18-21). Jeremiah had a tough ministry assignment. *Application* God directs our steps and actions as we surrender our will to His in every dimension. Often, as we see here in this passage, there is pain in the offering. But let us examine the attitude and courage of the man of God. He never backed down from what he knew the LORD was telling him, and God eventually provided and took care of His servant. Here is an example of a surrendered life that has complete faith and dependence on what God is doing even in dire circumstances. Brothers and sisters, keep faith and the charge of the Living God in all you are called to during this life. Notice too how even those who do not listen to God will eventually come around and ask your opinion and advice on important matters and benefit you like King Zedekiah did. O stay strong my fellow soldier in Christ, stay strong and be blessed!

Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 37:8-9, 19

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 36

Jeremiah 36


-Jeremiah, during the reign of Jehoikiam in his fourth year, was commanded by God to take a scroll and write all the words which He spoke on it concerning Israel and Judah and all the nations from the day He first spoke to His prophet up until the present day (Jeremiah 36:1-2). The LORD is absolutely clear as to the reason for this. It was to perhaps give His chosen people another chance to turn from their evil ways so that He could forgive them and restore them and not bring calamity (Jeremiah 36:3). Jeremiah called Baruch to transcribe the material as God had ordered and deliver it to the house of the LORD (the Temple) since he was not allowed to do that by the authorities. Baruch was told to do this on a fast day before all the people for the purpose of allowing them the chance to make supplication before the LORD in a solemn occasion reducing the LORD’s wrath and anger towards them for their wicked deeds (Jeremiah 36:4-7). Baruch obeyed the prophet and did it in the fifth year of Jehoikiam in the ninth month when the people came for a fast before the LORD. When the people heard the message from the prophet of God, they went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber, to have the higher officials hear the word. After these men heard the word, they had Baruch, along with Jeremiah, go and hide so that they could present the material to the king in earnest (Jeremiah 36:8-19). The scribes brought the message before the king’s court to the scribe Elishama. As a part of an official delegation, the scribe Jehudi read the prophetic word in the king’s presence with all his officials around. The king, who was in his winter house in the ninth month, was sitting by a fire burning in the brazier. Only three or four columns into the word the king took the scroll, cut it, and threw it into the fire until it was totally consumed by the blaze. “Yet the king and all his servants who heard these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments (a sign of lamentation and repentance, Jeremiah 36:20-24).” There were men pleading with the king not to burn the scroll, but he would not listen to them. The king commanded that Baruch and Jeremiah be seized, but the LORD hid them (Jeremiah 36:25-26).

-After this the LORD came to Jeremiah again with words to write down, the former words plus some additional words for Jehoiakim because of his disobedience and rebellious response. “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will also punish him and his descendants and his servants for their iniquity… (Jeremiah 36:27-31a). All the calamity that God had declared would come upon them because they simply would not listen and heed the prophetic message so as to turn from their sin, idolatry, and depravity. So Jeremiah rewrote the Word of God and the added words, which the LORD gave him (Jeremiah 36:31b-32). *Application* Defiance is not a quality God desires from anyone, much less His own people. What message have you gotten from Him and choose to disbelieve and disobey? This is a serious matter with the Sovereign. Listen and take heed to the things He is trying to straighten you out on. Rebellion will only cost you everything in the end. Don’t metaphorically toss the Word of God into the fire.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 36:23-24


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 35

Jeremiah 35


-In the days of Johoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, God sent Jeremiah to the Rechabites with a message to bring into the house of the LORD and to give them wine to drink. The issue here was a family command that they have received from their forefathers, namely a man of God, Igdaliah. They had been commanded in their family not to drink wine forever as to their sons, wives, or daughters. They were nomads dwelling in tents, and they did not build houses or plant crops or vineyards. This was done for dwelling long in the land and for mobility and agility (ability to move with quick easy grace, resourceful, adaptable, Jeremiah 35:6-7). The Rechabites had persisted in obedience to this familial order all their days and were now being used as an example to contrast with the disobedience, spiritually speaking, in Israel and Judah in particular. God had spoken to His people again and again through His servants the prophets, but they would not amend their evil ways and deeds to turn back to Him in repentance. They went after other gods in rebellion and distrust, which would now bring disaster upon them all because they refused to listen and answer when God called them for potential blessing (Jeremiah 35:8-17). For the obedient Rechabites, the reward would be great as they would have a man of theirs before the LORD forever for their obedience (Jeremiah 35:18-19). *Application* We see here the importance of being compliant for the favor and blessing of God Almighty. Listen to the voice of your authorities and heed their commands. The ultimate obviously is the LORD, which has eternal value. Do not turn unto your own systems and situational values. Follow the ancient Godly paths (Jeremiah 6:16; 18:15).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 35:15

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jermiah- Chapter 34

Jeremiah 34


-God’s promised judgment arrives now in this chapter as the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, are fighting against Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah. God tells Jeremiah to go and proclaim His word to King Zedekiah that he will be taken alive and face Nebuchadnezzar eye to eye and speak to him personally. The prophet predicts the king’s dying in peace in a foreign land under captivity with some honor and dignity from his own countrymen (Jeremiah 34:1-5). Jeremiah spoke all these words to the king in Jerusalem as the army of Babylon was attacking the last two fortified cities of Lachish and Azekah in Judah (Jeremiah 34:6-7).

-The LORD then instructed Jeremiah to speak after Zedekiah had made a covenant with the people to let their male and female servants go free, which the people accepted but then rescinded that covenant. God related it to His bondage breaking act of release from Egypt, and His command to let servants go at the end of seven years of service. The rebellion in not letting servants go free is in the LORD’s eyes a turning from Him and it profanes His Name. Their disobedience causes the LORD to release the sword of the enemy, pestilence, and famine upon them making them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. God promises to give the men who have transgressed His covenant and not fulfilled the words of it into the hand of the enemy and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies will feed the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. The cities of Judah will be attacked ruthlessly, taken, and burned with fire leaving it a desolation without inhabitant (Jeremiah 34:8-22). *Application* We in the same way cannot rescind our covenant with the LORD without disastrous consequences (Hebrews 10). The security of the believer is the perseverance of the believer. Stay devoted to the LORD and don’t forsake any of the promises you make unto Him. He is always faithful, and God expects our faith to be true too. Keep your promises. In the end, you really can’t fool God. Don’t trample on His grace.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 34:3

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 33

Jeremiah 33


-Restoration is again promised to the prophet Jeremiah a second time as he was still confined in the court of the guard during the siege of Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion. The LORD, who made the earth, will answer His people when they call to Him. He will tell them great and mighty things, which they do not know (Jeremiah 33:1-3). While God hid His face because of their wickedness at this time, He will heal them and bring them back to health revealing His abundance of peace and truth (Jeremiah 33:4-6). He promises to restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel to rebuild them as they were at first (Jeremiah 33:7, 11). They will again experience cleansing, pardon, joy, praise, and glory before God and all the nations of the earth. God guarantees that He will again do good exceedingly to them as joy, gladness, and wedding sounds in thanksgiving will occur in the restoration (Jeremiah 33:8-11). All the places that were laid low will be inhabited once again in the land (Jeremiah 33:12-13). *Application* The LORD’s everlasting love for His children should help us walk in security and joy all the days of our lives. Call out to God, and He will answer you too, showing you great and mighty things, which you don’t yet know! Trust in His goodness!

-The Davidic Kingdom is once again assured in the remaining verses of this chapter as the Word of the LORD (Jeremiah 33:14-26). God promises to fulfill His Word even though the circumstances look really bleak in the nation at this time. The restoration will one day come in the Righteous Branch of David, who will spring forth and execute justice and righteousness on the earth (Jeremiah 33:15). David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and they will dwell in safety (2 Samuel 7:8-17, Jeremiah 33:16-17). The Levitical priests will also never lack a man before the LORD to offer burnt and grain offerings and prepare sacrifices continually (Jeremiah 33:18). His covenant will be established forever and His people will multiply (Jeremiah 33:19-22). God will restore their fortunes and have mercy on His people (Jeremiah 33:26). This has partially been fulfilled in the first incarnation of Christ Jesus as He established righteousness by faith in Him alone for salvation for the Jews and Gentiles alike. He is coming again to secure His nation Israel and rule with absolute authority over His Kingdom. This is when we will see the complete consummation of these prophecies given by Jeremiah. *Application* Accept the Davidic King Jesus who is the righteous Branch. He executes justice and righteousness as the Son of Man and the Son of God, only begotten from the Father (John 1:1-18; 3:16). All who trust in Him will have His peace and truth and will reign with Him forever securely.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 33:3, 15

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 32

Jeremiah 32


-In the tenth year of Zedekiah and the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar Jerusalem was besieged by the Chaldeans and Jeremiah was imprisoned in the court of the guard by Zedekiah for his prophecies of their doom (Jeremiah 32:1-5). Jeremiah, at this time, gets another word from the LORD to buy some property at Anathoth from Hanamel the son of Shallum, who was his uncle. The reason for this commanded purchase, as God revealed, was because they would be back in the land to own houses and fields and vineyards at some point (Jeremiah 32:6-15). After Jeremiah makes his purchase and had given the deed to Baruch to be put in the earthenware jar, the prophet prayed to the LORD with a massive praise to the Creator for His power and ableness and lovingkindness and justice and counsel and signs and wonders to make a Name for Himself (Jeremiah 32:16-20). He went on to tell the historical accomplishments of the saving God and the work He accomplished in bringing His children out of Egypt. Then he describes the disobedience of the unthankful and ungrateful children, which has brought on all this calamity. He reiterates the fact that the sword, the famine, and the pestilence that he predicted is now coming to pass for all to see (Jeremiah 32:21-24, 36). The vengeance of the LORD is upon His children for correction after a long time of rebellion. Nothing is too difficult for Him because He is the God of all flesh (Jeremiah 32:27). He was provoked to anger by the idolatry and rejection (Jeremiah 32:28-36), but He hints at future restoration just when all seems lost.

-He will gather His children back from where He has driven them in His anger, wrath, and indignation to dwell in safety. They will always be His people, and He will be their God with one heart and one way, fearing only Him always for their own good and their children’s good after them. God at that time will make an everlasting covenant with them to do them good and will never turn away from them. The LORD will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all His heart and with all His soul. For just as the LORD brought all this great disaster upon His people, so will He bring on them all the good that He is promising them. Fields will again be bought in this land, signing and sealing deeds and calling in witnesses according to the law in the land of Benjamin, Jerusalem, Judah, the hill country, the coastal lowland, and the cities of the Negev (south country). God will restore their fortunes by His own declaration (Jeremiah 32:37-44).

-*Application* God’s plan includes not only the Jewish people, to whom He will never forget and keep every promise, but He also includes us as believing Gentiles because of the work and New Covenant promises in Christ Jesus. No matter what God takes us through in His corrective discipline, He will restore and give back out of His love and compassion. Our choices as His children are what make things difficult or easy. If we will simply fear the LORD and keep faith with Him in every decision, we will cultivate His favor and complete goodness. Consequences are real as we can see in this chapter. Even though God will bring His children back in the end, the chastising of a curative God is difficult to go through, so it is best to obey Him and go His way from the get-go.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 32:17-20, 40, 42

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 31

Jeremiah 31


-Israel’s mourning will be turned into joy as God becomes their Lord again, and He makes them His people. God has loved them with an everlasting love and appeared to them from afar, building them up again from their deportation and giving them cause to celebrate extravagantly back in the Promised Land (Jeremiah 31:1-6). The LORD tells them to praise Him with gladness and shouts for His saving work in the regathering. Even the blind and lame will return, the woman with child, a great company will again be present in the land. With weeping they will come with the overflowing emotion of the ingathering, and by supplication God will lead them. They will have all the resources they need to sustain themselves again on a straight path with no stumbling because God is their Father (Jeremiah 31:7-9). “He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock (Jeremiah 31:10).” The LORD, Himself, has ransomed and redeemed His people from a strong enemy, and the people will return with joy on the height of Zion, radiant over the bounty of the LORD. New grain, wine, and oil will flow, the herds will be young and plentiful, and their life will again be like a watered garden with no languishing forevermore (Jeremiah 31:11-12). There will be dancing of marriage festivities with young and old together as their time of mourning will be over and joy indeed will reign. The priests will have souls filled with abundance, and God’s people will be satisfied with His goodness (Jeremiah 31:13-14). The rendering of lamentation and woe, which Matthew picks up on with the slaying of the young at the time of Christ (Matthew 2:18), at this point and time in the prophecy will be forgotten. For the LORD tells them to restrain their voice from weeping now and their eyes from tears. Their work will be rewarded as they return from the land of the enemy into the hope and destiny of God’s chosen people. Repentance is a big part of this transformation as we see in Jeremiah 31:19. God’s instruction caused them grief, shame, and humiliation as they bore His reproach, but God has not forgotten His children and will always yearn for them with His heart and give them mercy by His very own declaration (Jeremiah 31:15-20). God does not want them drifting forever in the futility of their own deceptions and false ways of their own mind. He desires faith and dependence on Him, which will bring the comeback (Jeremiah 31:21-22). God’s refreshing Word continues with restoration of the people’s fortunes as they bless the LORD of righteousness on His Holy Hill (Jerusalem). They will dwell in unity and be generous with pleasant-sweet sleep and rest (Jeremiah 31:23-26).

-Jeremiah describes the New Covenant in Old Testament prophetic form in the remaining verses of the chapter. These are future events, partially fulfilled in Christ’s first incarnation and the sending of the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer. God is watching over His people to discipline them with plucking up, breaking down, overthrowing, destroying, and bringing disaster, but He will also oversee their building back up and the planting work in the rebirth of their nation. In this time, they will take on their own responsibility for iniquity. The days are coming when the LORD will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel (which will be opened up to all the nations) and the house of Judah. This covenant (promise, testament), inaugurated in the work of the Messiah will not be like the one which He made with the ancient fathers in the days of Moses when they came out of Egypt. This covenant was broken even though God had been a faithful husband to them. In the New Covenant, God will put His law within believers and on their heart (not stone tablets like the Mosaic Covenant). He promises in this dispensation to always be their God and they His people. They will have Him as their teacher because of a true and lasting relationship in which they will “know” Him. From the greatest to the least their iniquities will be forgiven by faith in the righteous One of Israel, and He will remember their sin no more! This is a guaranteed promise of the Creator to His nation and people. He will NOT cast them off even though they have transgressed His ways. The city (Jerusalem) will be rebuilt, and “it will not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever (Jeremiah 31:27-40).” *Application* Jeremiah’s prophecy is reassuring and accurate as we see the rebirth of Israel in our modern times. The best is yet to come! The fact that one day, God’s people will return to Him and their true Messiah, Jesus Christ, is exciting news (Zechariah 8; 12:10)! While Christ has already made atonement and initiated the New Covenant in His blood (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20), there remains a time of restoration that will show that God is indeed good and compassionate towards His people and all who receive Him as their Savior.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 31:16, 33

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 30

Jeremiah 30


-There is a distinct turn in the tone of Jeremiah’s Words from the LORD as we get to chapter 30. Restoration, while it had been hinted at in previous prophecies, is now the central theme of God’s message to His people for hope and redemption. God promises to bring the fortunes of His people back and to replant them in the land that He gave to their forefathers for a possession (Jeremiah 30:3). Although there will be the time of Jacob’s distress with nothing to compare to it, Israel and Judah will be saved from it. It will come about on that day that the LORD will break off the yoke from their neck and tear off their bonds, and strangers will no longer make them their slaves (Jeremiah 30:7-8). At that time they will serve the LORD God and David their king (probably a Messianic reference), whom the LORD will raise up for them (Jeremiah 30:9). God promises to save them from afar from the land of their captivity so that they can return and be quiet at ease once again with no one to make them afraid any longer. God assures that He is with them to save them and that He will completely destroy all the nations where He scattered them (Jeremiah 30:10). Even though His punishment has been severe and just, He will not completely destroy them. He is merciful in wrath. Their incurable wound and serious injury, which no one would help in their lack of care because of their great iniquity as a people, will be restored to health by declaration of the Almighty. The outcasts will have a Helper (Jeremiah 30:11-17).

-Restoration is reiterated with compassion in the remaining verses of the chapter (Jeremiah 30:18-24). The city will be rebuilt on its ruin, and the palace will stand on its rightful place. The people will come back to Jerusalem with thanksgiving, celebration, multiplication, honor, and significance with an established congregation before the LORD. They will again have leadership that can approach the King of kings. They will remain His people and He will remain their God. His tempest and wrath will burst on the head of the wicked, and His fierce anger will not be turned back until He has performed and accomplished the intent of His heart. “In the latter days you will understand this (Jeremiah 30:24).” This prophecy had partial fulfillment with the rebuilding work of men like Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel, but the final restoration will occur when all believers are gathered in Christ’s coming Kingdom. *Application* While God’s corrective discipline can be severe and daunting in our lives, we must remember His mercy and deliverance is assured and promised when we have taken Him as our Savior. He will take you through refining and conforming as a part of the sanctification process. You can count on that. You, like Israel, will experience times of chastisement, rejection from people, and hardships, but remember His restoration is always before you, and He does care when no else will. Remain devoted to God and stay steadfast in His grace. In the later days, you too will understand this. LORD, let us bow to Your will and every intention of Your heart in subjection to Your authority over our lives. You are good and will deliver in the end!


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 30:7, 9, 22, 24

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 29

Jeremiah 29


-A message from God to the exiles in Babylon: “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare (Jeremiah 29:1-7).” God tells them not to listen to the false prophets who deceive and dream lying dreams. He has not sent them (Jeremiah 29:8-9). When 70 years are completed for their captivity in Babylon, God will visit and fulfill His good Word to bring them back. He knows the plans for them for welfare and not for calamity to give a hope and a future. At that time they will call upon the LORD and come and pray to Him, and He will certainly listen to their cries. They will seek for God and find Him when, and only when, they search for the LORD with ALL their heart. He will be found and will restore their fortunes and will gather them back from all the nations and places to where they had been driven (Jeremiah 29:10-14). *Application* This is an incredible prophecy with much significance for us in the here and now. Notice that the complete surrender of the heart is the prerequisite. God promises to restore us when we seek and call upon Him exclusively with an undivided heart. While this can be difficult, it is possible through His Holy Spirit’s power, Christ’s sacrifice, and our free-will choice to obey. Come to God, He has a hope and a plan for your bright future!

-A rebuke of the king who sits in Judah on the throne of David is given in the next section. He embraced the false word of the false prophets, and God assures that He is against the arrogant with sword, famine, and pestilence once again (Jeremiah 14:12-18; 20:4; 21:7-9; 24:10; 27:13; 28:8 to name a few) . They will be a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse, a horror, a hissing, and a reproach everywhere they go because they did not listen to God’s Words declared by His true prophets for repentance (Jeremiah 29:15-19). God further promises that Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and the false prophet Ahab will be delivered into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar to be slayed. The Word of the LORD is that these have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have falsely presented the words of God (Jeremiah 29:20-23). Also and finally, a rebuke is given for Shemaiah for denouncing the Word of the LORD through Jeremiah and making up his own word. He made the people trust in a lie and will be punished with annihilation along with his descendants because he preached rebellion against the LORD (Jeremiah 29:24-32). *Application* If we want to see the goodness of God, we cannot walk in pretense and lies. This is the major application of this section. A false vision, not from the LORD, destroys. Realize the actual Word of the LORD and live. He will eventually bring peace and goodness as His reward for steadfast perseverance in the truth. While there may be pain in the offering, walk with righteousness in the coming favor of the true King! Repent and return to Him in faith with fullness of heart!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 29:11-13

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 28

Jeremiah 28


-In the same forth year of Zedekiah, Hananiah of Gibeon spoke falsely in the House of the LORD concerning the breaking of the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon with a returning of all the vessels, which were taken from the Temple (Jeremiah 28:1-3). Hananiah also proclaimed that he was speaking the word of the LORD in a return of Jeconiah and all the exiles. Jeremiah wanted to affirm and agree with his words, but he made a speech about how a true prophet is confirmed as his predictions come to pass. Upon hearing this, Hananiah bolstered his position by taking the yoke off of Jeremiah that the LORD had commanded him to carry (Jeremiah 27:2) and broke it (Jeremiah 28:4-11). However, sometime later after Jeremiah had gone his way the actual Word of the LORD came to him saying to Hananiah, “You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made instead of them yokes of iron. I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they will serve him. And I have also given him the beasts of the field (Jeremiah 28:12-14).” Jeremiah then boldly called out the false prophet Hananiah and accused him of making the people trust in a lie. His crime was clear, which was counseling rebellion against the LORD. For this the LORD would remove him from the face of the earth, which actually happened two months later (Jeremiah 28:15-17). *Application* To distinguish from the true prophet and the false takes discernment and observation to see if what they are saying is actually accurate as things play out. If a person is truly speaking the Word of the LORD, what they say will come to pass since God does not let one word of His real prophets fall to the ground (Deuteronomy 18:20, 1 Samuel 3:19).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 28:14

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 27

Jeremiah 27


-The Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah once again in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, who was the last Davidic king in the sovereign kingdom of Israel (Christ is in the Davidic line and will be the Eternal King promised by God). The message is simple at this time. Bow to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon whom the LORD has given power and authority if you want any semblance of the way things were in the land. All the nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson and then many nations and great kings will make him their servant (Medes/Persians, Greece, Rome). The prophets of Jerusalem are speaking lies if they predict anything else, which is reiterated over and over and over again by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 27:1-18). The last thing the LORD reveals is that if they want to preserve the vessels of the house of the LORD or the king, He needs to be entreated and come in repentance before Him and His Word. Else these vessels of worship will be carried away to Babylon as well. However, the LORD promises to bring them back on a day of visitation for the purpose of restoration (Jeremiah 27:18-22). *Application* The LORD is serious about true prophecy and is dead serious about not listening to false prophecy in the futility of human minds and people pleasing attitudes. Get the real deal from the actual Word of God. The LORD never lies.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 27:5

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 26

Jeremiah 26


-In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, when there apparently was still time for repentance, the LORD sent Jeremiah, His prophet, to the court of the Temple (The LORD’s House) with an important message that no word was to omitted (Jeremiah 26:1-2). God told His servant that there was a chance they would listen and turn, which would allow Him to repent (relent, take pity, change His mind, to be sorry, grieve) of the calamity, which He was planning to do to them because of their evil deeds (Jeremiah 26:3). This gives us a clear glimpse into the true heart of God, which is total compassion when people align with His righteous ways. On the flip side, His promise is to make them like Shiloh if they would not listen to His message as to walk in His law, which He set before them by the mouth of the prophets again and again (Jeremiah 26:4-6). Shiloh was where the tabernacle had been originally set up after the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 18:1). It was destroyed in approximately 1050 B.C. by the Philistines. This reality helps us make sense to the intense reaction by the priests and prophets to Jeremiah’s message in the next section. *Application* God is continually giving us chances to come into Divine alignment with Him and His purposes. Don’t reject the opportunities God has set before you to live a righteous life by the Holy Spirit He puts in you when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He makes an offer you should never refuse, but you do have a choice in the matter. Meditate on the consequences of destruction if you deny Christ and then be wise in accepting Him.

-The priests, prophets, and all the people seized Jeremiah upon hearing this threatening message given from God. He was in serious danger of being killed at this point as we see in the text. Jeremiah boldly defends his position as being directly from the LORD, every word of it. He reiterates they should amend their ways, their deeds, and obey the Voice of the LORD their God so that He would change His mind about their misfortune, which He pronounced (Jeremiah 26:7-13). The prophet tells them that indeed he is in their hands and they can do with him as they desire. But he warned, “Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing (Jeremiah 26:15).” This word gave the officials a pause, and they relented in his death sentence. Some of the elders, at this point, arose and remembered Micah’s prophecy (Micah 3:12) and the LORD’s relenting at that time to spare them (Jeremiah 26:17-19). Also, the incident of Uriah was recounted, who was tracked down and murdered by King Jehoiakim after fleeing to Egypt for delivering a harsh word from the LORD (Jeremiah 26:20-23). Sanity prevailed with regard to Jeremiah’s life primarily through a man by the name of Ahikam, and he was not given into the hands of the people who wanted to put him to death (Jeremiah 26:24). *Application* What if God asks you to do something that you know will bring ridicule, disfavor, and persecution? Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Do what God commands you to do and leave the consequences to Him like Jeremiah did. There may not be repentance from the people, just as we see in this historical narrative, but be a faithful servant of God in giving His warning of pending judgment if, and only if, the LORD speaks clearly to you on a matter.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 26:13

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 25

Jeremiah 25

-In the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign and the first year of the Babylonian invasion Jeremiah received yet more words from the LORD concerning the nation’s fate and that of the world in general. He had been prophesying for some 23 years to no avail in the land, which is reiterated over and over and over again in the text. The people simply would not listen to the LORD’s servants, the true prophets, and turn back to Him from their evil way and deeds. God could have saved them, but they were stubborn in their rebellion and got God’s just punishment making the land a desolation, a horror, a destruction, and a hissing. The voice of joy, gladness, brides, bridegrooms, and the sound of work will be taken away. It was, for Judah, captivity for 70 years to which they went (Jeremiah 25:1-11). *Application* Imagine preaching the same message for 23 years being continually and completely rejected like the prophet Jeremiah. He remained faithful to the LORD’s cause and Word with the message of repentance and turning back in faith to the LORD. Though it was shunned, he did not give up. In the same way God continues to stand by us in His faithfulness and love. Therefore, we should continue to fight the good fight of faith and persevere in the troubling times of rejection and forsaking (2 Timothy 4:7). Complete God’s call on your life and continue to bear witness for Him by His grace and mercy. God will remain true to you and your reward will be great in the final analysis.

-The prophecy continues to expand as Jeremiah gives a glimpse, by the Word of the LORD, into what will transpire after the 70 years of captivity. Babylon (described also as Sheshach in Jeremiah 25:26) would deliver decisive blows to many other named nations in addition to Judah in a violent, by the sword, manner fulfilling the wrath of God in a distressing time of punishment. In the end Babylon too would be judged, an event further described in Daniel 5 in 539 B.C. (Jeremiah 25:12, 26). This is time of destruction and horror from one end of the earth to the other with no lamentations or burials, which may have future implications in prophecy (Jeremiah 25:12-38, especially verse 33). *Application* When God’s mighty power is fully displayed, there are terrifying results as we see in this passage. He is sovereign and there is a severe price to pay for rejecting His way. Don’t ever overemphasize the love of God to the point that you neglect His justice, which is righteous and well-meaning to cleanse this earth from corruption. The purifier will purify. It’s better to receive His mercy on the front end by faith before punishment is His only recourse. Turn to God!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 25:11

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 24

Jeremiah 24


-This short and very interesting chapter deals with the prophecy Jeremiah is given after the deportation of the first wave of captives from Judah, including Jeconiah the king, and the officials of Judah with craftsmen and smiths from Jerusalem. They were carried to Babylon, but not necessarily as slaves. The LORD showed Jeremiah that they would be the “good figs,” refined in a foreign land (Jeremiah 24:1-5). Among these was Daniel the prophet and government leader in Babylon, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-nego, Daniel 1:6-7). These captives the LORD would set His eyes on for good to bring them back one day into the land. He would build them up and not overthrow them. He would plant them and not pluck them up. He would give them a heart to know Him, the Almighty LORD, and they would be His people and Him their God because they would return to Him with a whole heart during their time of tribulation (Jeremiah 24:6-7). These are contrasted with the “bad figs” that Jeremiah saw, which were rotten to the point they could not be eaten (Jeremiah 24:3). These were the ones left behind in Judah, including King Zedekiah and his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remained in the land, and those who dwelt in Egypt to the south (Jeremiah 24:8). These would be abandoned by God, made a terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach, a proverb, a taunt, and a curse in all the places God would scatter them (Jeremiah 24:9). The LORD would send the sword, famine, and pestilence upon these rotten “bad figs” until they were destroyed from the land, which the LORD had entrusted to them and their forefathers (Jeremiah 24:10). *Application* The difference we can see here between the good and bad revolves around the heart issue. The exiles to Babylon opened up their hearts to respond to God in their captivity, and He healed them. Those who stayed behind arrogantly must have believed that they were still blessed in the land, or in Egypt, and did not turn their hearts back to the LORD. Don’t let circumstances indicate where you are at in your relationship to the LORD. Let the refining of difficulties and hardships refine you in God’s image. This is always our best hope when we go through the tests and trials of life. Sometimes we may falsely assume we are blessed when life goes well and on the other hand cursed when it doesn’t. However, trouble is a blessing when it makes us stronger in our faith and turns our hearts to the LORD. Prosperity on the flipside is a curse when it entices us away from dependence upon God. If you are facing trouble, ask the LORD to help you grow in Him. If things are going your way these days, beg the LORD to protect you from arrogance, complacency, and apathy. Amen!


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 24:6-7

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 23

Jeremiah 23


-Jeremiah predicts the coming Righteous Branch of David (the Messiah) amidst pronouncing woe unto the false shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of His pasture. God will attend (def.- pay attention to, visit, reckon with, punish, strike upon or against) to these evil overseers because of their unrighteous deeds. Then He will gather the remnant of His flock out of all the countries where He had driven them and bring them back to their pasture where they will again be fruitful and multiply. At that time He will raise up good shepherds over them and they will nurture to the point that there will no longer be any fear, terror, or missing (Jeremiah 23:1-4).

-The days are coming when the LORD Himself will raise up for David a Righteous Branch who will reign as King and act wisely doing justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and dwell securely, and His Name will be called, “The LORD our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).” He will be given credit for bringing the descendants back from the north and from all the countries where they had been driven, and they will again be back securely on their own soil (Jeremiah 23:7-8). This has been partially fulfilled, but has further consummation when the Christ comes back and sets up His millennial reign on earth. He is the Savior, King, and Security of Israel and all who believe in Him. *Application* What a glorious day we anticipate when the LORD comes back to restore and reestablish all that has gone wrong with His people. Christ is our redemption and our only hope for true justice and righteousness. He is all wise and will rule with grace and peace. Maranatha (Lord come quickly, 1 Corinthians 16:22)!

-Next, the false prophets are condemned and denounced by the man of God, Jeremiah. His heart is broken and all his bones tremble because of the LORD and His holy words. The land is full of adulterers and is cursed because of the vast sin in it. It is a dried up land with a course of evil. Its people’s might is not right. Both prophet and priest are polluted and in the House of God is wickedness declares the LORD. Therefore, their paths will be slippery, and they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it. Calamity will be upon them in the year of their punishment by the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:9-12). The prophets prophesy by false gods (Baal) and lead the people of the true God astray. The walk in adultery and falsehood strengthening the hands of evil doers. No one has turned back from his wickedness, and they have become like Sodom and Gomorrah in treachery against the LORD. Because of this, God is going to feed them wormwood (bitterness) and poisonous water. “Pollution has gone forth into all the land (Jeremiah 23:13-15).”

-Therefore, God says not to listen to the words of these prophets who are leading into futility by a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD (Jeremiah 23:16). They falsely predict peace and wellbeing. They have NOT walked in the counsel of the LORD and given heed to His message. God will swirl down like a tempest on these and His anger will not turn back until He has performed and carried out His Divine purposes from His heart (Jeremiah 23:17-20a). In the end, it will clearly be understood that He did not send these false prophets. They ran on their own and prophesied by a contrary spirit (Jeremiah 23:20b-22).

-God is near, not far off. No one can hide from Him where He does not see. He fills the heavens and the earth and knows all things. He hears the false visions and prophesies and defies them boldly with all power and authority. He is against the false prophets who prophesy falsehoods with reckless abandon erroneously declaring “thus says the LORD!” These charlatans furnish no benefit to the people, and because of their work, the LORD is abandoning the situation. Their words have perverted the words of the Living God and He did not send them. Because of their heresy, He will forget them and cast them away from His presence along with the holy city, which He had given to them and their fathers. He will put an everlasting reproach on them with everlasting humiliation that will not be forgotten (Jeremiah 23:23-40).

-*Application* We must always be on guard against false prophecy and the people who practice this insubordination to destroy the work of the LORD. The New Testament writers often warned of the exact same dilemma when the fake proclaimers give their lies and deceptions (Jude, 2 Peter, etc.). Stay in the Word and know the real from the counterfeit.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 23:5, 23

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 22

Jeremiah 22


-Jeremiah gives a message directly to the king of Judah, Shallum (Jehoiakim), who was the son of Josiah (Jeremiah 22:1, 11, 18). The command given by God is for the king to “do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place (Jeremiah 22:3).” This is a common biblical set of themes for blessing and favor. If the king will abide by these requirements he would be showing compassion, mercy, love, and grace, which is of the LORD. If not, the house would become a desolation because of the king’s disobedience and rebellion against the goodness of the Almighty (Jeremiah 22:4-5). Again the prophecy of destroyers and violence as a result with shame and disgrace as other nations pass by is given. The desolation will be a direct result of breaking covenant with their LORD and worshipping other gods by serving them (Jeremiah 22:6-9). God tells the prophet not to weep or mourn for him that is dead, but to weep continually for the one going away in captivity who will never see his native land again and die in a foreign place (Jeremiah 22:10-12).

-Jeremiah pronounces judgment on those kings who have built their house without righteousness and justice. The ones who doesn’t pay their workers fairly and build only for selfish pleasures. They did not do as Josiah in pleading the cause of the needy and afflicted, which is what it means to know God (Jeremiah 22:16). The unrighteous king’s eye and heart is intent on dishonest gain, shedding innocent blood, practicing oppression, and practicing extortion (Jeremiah 22:17). There is no lament for this man. He will be disgraced in burial and his people will be swept away because he did not listen in times of prosperity and goodness (Jeremiah 22:18-23). Jehoiachin (Coniah), son of Jehoiakim, will be pulled off God’s hand figuratively as a signet ring (power & authority) and given over to Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans. He will be hurled into captivity along with his mother where he will die childless and without descendants to rule on the throne of David in Judah (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Zedekiah reigned after Jehoiachin but died before him (Jeremiah 52:10-11). Jehoiachin was the last king of David’s line to sit on the throne in Judah (1 Chronicles 3:15-20). He had seven sons, but not one served as king. His grandson Zerubbabel was able to have some ruling authority upon return from exile, but it was only as governor, not a king (Ezra 2:2). *Application* God’s word is to be obeyed and applied. His call is for justice and righteousness in selfless service. Defend the rights of the afflicted, the poor, the needy, the widow, the oppressed, and the orphan. Do not shed innocent blood in violence and do not practice dishonesty in any of your dealings. This is what describes a person who truly knows the LORD.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 22:3

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 21

Jeremiah 21


-A word from the LORD is delivered to King Zedekiah through Jeremiah by way of the inquiring priest Pashhur, who was sent by the king. Zedekiah thought that perhaps the LORD would spare them from the enemy and deal with them according to all His wonderful acts (Jeremiah 21:1-2). However, Jeremiah, in telling them the direct declaration of the God of Heaven, relates the most fierce judgment language to date in the nation’s history. God says, “I Myself will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation. I will also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence (Jeremiah 21:5-6).” The sword and famine will be their plight for turning away constantly from the LORD and His ways. His patience had run out, and He would no longer at this point hear their pleas for help in frustrated distress and worldly sorrow. He sets before them life and death. If they stay in the city, they will die by sword and by famine and by pestilence. If they go out of the city and fall captive to the Chaldeans (Nebuchadnezzar’s army from Babylon), they will live and have their own life as booty (Jeremiah 21:7-9). God has set His face against this city for harm and not for good to be burned with fire. God had wanted justice, but the people would not comply. Their deeds had come full circle and now payment for their pride and turning away from the source of all that is good would be dealt with in severity. God’s devouring fire of wrath was now burning and Jeremiah had to deliver a harsh, but truthful, message (Jeremiah 21:10-14). *Application* We never want to hear bad news or bear the brunt of our disobedience and rebellion against a righteous God. Our view sometimes gets skewed from the reality of His justice and the inevitable consequences of our misdeeds. While God is merciful, gracious, loving, and kind, we must remember that these qualities only extend to the repentant and humble before His mighty presence. Turn to the LORD before there is no recourse for Him but to punish. He will eventually do it severely to get your attention as an attempt to draw you crawling back as a corrective action. And remember that God is always good in doing this.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 21:5

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 20

Jeremiah 20


-Pashhur, a priest in Jerusalem, after hearing Jeremiah’s broken jar prophecy, had the man of God beaten and put him in stocks at the upper Benjamin Gate for a day. After Jeremiah was released he called Pashhur by a new name, Magor-missabib (terror on every side) and prophesied further concerning the coming Babylonian invasion and destruction and captivity. He prophesied that Pashhur would die in captivity in Babylon along with all his friends to whom he had falsely prophesied (Jeremiah 20:1-6). *Application* Don’t ever listen to false prophets. Discern the actual word of God and test each revelation by the Word of God to escape deception.

-Jeremiah then pours out compliant in his distress before God due to the agony he was in as His prophet during a turbulent time period. He has become a laughingstock among the people and is mocked relentlessly. He is reproached and deriding all day long, but he knows in his heart that he must speak out what he knows to be true from the LORD’s own Spirit. His trusted friends even are watching for his fall and want revenge on him. But the LORD was with him like a “dread champion.” Jeremiah knows that his persecutors will stumble and not prevail in utter shame and failure with everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten. The true prophet will exalt the LORD who tests the righteous and sees the mind as well as the heart. Jeremiah wants to see God’s vengeance on these mockers because he had set forth his cause to the right and proclaimed the truth even though they did not want to hear of it. He will sing to the LORD and praise Him who has delivered the soul of the needy one from the hand of evildoers (Jeremiah 20:7-13). *Application* The wise righteous are always vindicated by their deeds (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:35). Stay strong in the LORD no matter what the false prophets say in a wicked and perverse generation.

-Almost inexplicably Jeremiah then turns negative again as his despair is written in the pages of Scripture. He curses the day he was born and the man who brought his father the news of his birth, which made his father happy. He wished he had been destroyed in the womb so that he did not have to go through the horrific life that he was now living. Trouble and sorrow and shame seemed to be indicative of his existence and he was deeply grieved at this point (Jeremiah 20:14-18). *Application* Here is an instance where honesty with God is depicted by a righteous individual. We can pour out to our Maker and realize He understands our heart completely. Take your frustrations honestly and openly before God. The healing you will receive afterwards is therapeutic. God will reveal His truth and forgive your negativity when times are difficult. Remember too that He will not put on you more than you can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 20:11

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 19

Jeremiah 19


-In the fifteen verses of this chapter God tells Jeremiah to go and buy an earthenware potter’s jar and bring some of the elders and senior priests to the valley of Ben-hinnom (Topheth, lamentation) to make His point to them (Jeremiah 19:1). God reveals He is about to bring a calamity upon the land that will make “the ears of everyone that hears of it tingle (Jeremiah 19:3).” The reason given for this calamity is six-fold:    1. Because they have forsaken their true God, 2. Because they have made the land an alien place (accepted other religious belief systems), 3. Because they have burned sacrifices to other gods who were unknown and worthless, 4. Because they filled the land with the blood of the innocent (including child sacrifices), 5. Because they stiffened their necks in rebellion against God, 6. Because they have not taken heed to His Words (Jeremiah 19:4-5, 15). *Application* This list as it pertains to us today includes erecting idols that take priority over serving our God, being tolerant of other world views to the point of capitulation, practicing paganism, violence, rebellion, and neglecting the Word of God (i.e.- the Bible). Sound like our current society at all? What do you think?

-Because of the atrocities, God declares that the days are coming when they will no longer call the deep and narrow valley located to the north of Mt. Zion and in the southwestern area of Jerusalem with the name of Ben-hinnom. It will be known rather as the valley of Slaughter (Jeremiah 19:6, see Joshua 15:8;18:16, 2 Kings 23:10, 2 Chronicles 23:8; 33:6 to understand the history and know why God was so disdained with this place). God will make their counsel void, set them to the sword, and give their carcasses to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. The city will become a desolation and an object of hissing that astonishes all who pass by it (Jeremiah 19:7-8). Further, there is the prediction of cannibalism during their time of disaster, which did come to pass (Jeremiah 19:9, Lamentations 4:10, Ezekiel 5:10).

-The clay jar is instructed by the LORD to be broken in the sight of the men who accompanied Jeremiah to relate the fact that God is breaking His people and the city of Jerusalem, “even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired (Jeremiah 19:10-11).” The LORD relates further that the valley will be their place of burial as an only place due to the vast carnage. Jeremiah goes back from Topheth (Ben-hinnom) where he had prophesied to the court of the LORD’s House and there proclaimed disaster upon them from the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel (Jeremiah 19:12-15). *Application* Before you are broken beyond repair it is wise to surrender wholeheartedly to God and His ways. Call upon Him while there is time. Who knows when that precious time that you’ve been given for making a righteous decision in faith for Christ Jesus will end. Behold, today is the day of salvation and life change. Don’t delay!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 19:15

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 18

Jeremiah 18


-Now God instructs Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s house where He will announce His words to the prophet. Jeremiah goes down to place God commanded and saw something being made on the wheel, but the vessel that was being made was spoiled in the hand of the potter. The potter remade it into another vessel as it pleased him, which was significant in God’s word to His prophet and people: “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does? Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it (Jeremiah 18:1-10).” God was telling Jeremiah that He was going to fashion calamity against Israel unless they turned back from their evil ways and reformed their ways and deeds (Jeremiah 18:11). God also predicated in His omniscience their response. They will say, “It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart (Jeremiah 18:12). In the LORD’s sight this is appalling because His people have forgotten Him and burned incense to worthless gods stumbling in their ways from the ancient paths of truth (Jeremiah 18:13-15). Therefore, the land will now become a desolation and object of disgrace. They will be scattered like the force of an east wind in the region. God will show them His back and not His face when they call for Him in their calamity (Jeremiah 18:16-17). *Application* God’s knowledge far exceeds ours. He knows the very essence of our heart and what our true agenda is. He cannot be fooled or outdone by anyone or anything. Allow your Maker to mold you as good clay into the vessel He desires and don’t resist (Isaiah 45:9; 64:8). He is good! Believe it and receive it. Don’t turn your own way.

-The horror of the people’s indignation now comes upon the prophet. They devise to strike at him with their tongue (talk negatively about him and denounce his word from God, rejection of his message). They decide that they will not take heed to what he says and actually dig a pit to put him in. They have deadly designs for the prophet of the LORD. Jeremiah cries out to the LORD because he had sought good on their behalf, but was truthful in what God gave him as a Word. As a result, Jeremiah now prays imprecatory prayers that they will be destroyed and overthrown by famine, the sword, and raiders (Jeremiah 18:19-23). Again we see the theme of the knowledge of God in each and every situation. He knows their every device and has given His wrath because of their corruption. *Application* Come clean before God because He knows you inside and out. Do you think evil of those who may be trying to correct you under the guidance of the Almighty? Be careful when you rebel against those who are prophetic and have heard from the LORD regarding you. This is pride and can cause God’s anger and wrath to be upon you just like He was against Israel during that time period. Repent and receive correction and Godly instruction. Have a humble heart.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 18:8

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 17

Jeremiah 17


-Jeremiah speaks God’s Word on the issues of the heart as his primary concern in this stanza. Israel has let go of her inheritance that the LORD gave. He was now kindling a fire that would burn forever in His anger over their apostasy (Jeremiah 17:4, 27). The LORD pronounces a curse over the man who trusts in mankind (the world system) and makes flesh (natural means) his strength with a heart that turns away from the Heavenly All-Powerful Father (Jeremiah 17:5). These will disappear and waste away, but the man who trusts in the LORD will be planted like a tree by water extending deep roots to weather the storms of this life by the One who is strong and secure (Jeremiah 17:6-8). An insightful message on the condition of man without God is given in Jeremiah 17:9. Corruption of the heart in its deception and desperate sickness is our natural state without a Redeemer. We cannot understand our heart, but God can, who searches it as well as tests the mind. He evaluates our deeds as coming from the heart and truly knows its condition (Matthew 15:16-20, Mark 7:18-23, Luke 6:45). He is the One with complete understanding. Jeremiah goes on to point out by the Holy Spirit that the LORD is the only hope of Israel (and also His people in general). If He is forsaken, they (and us) will be put to shame because only He is the Living Water (Jeremiah 17:13, John 4:10-15; 7:37-38). He is the Healer, the Savior, our Refuge, and our Praise (Jeremiah 17:14, 17). *Application* So many times we are tempted to attempt to solve all of life’s problems on our own intellect and wisdom. This proves to be demonic in the end (James 3:13-18). Only seeking the LORD will bring the peace and prosperity we truly seek. His way and His wisdom is the best in the long run, so count on that instead of your natural flesh. Turn your heart completely over to Him and His ways! He will guide and provide!

-Choices are the next theme that the prophet instructs on from the mouth of God. He is told to go to the public gate where royalty traverses and proclaim Sabbath instructions for carrying loads. The Jewish people had neglected the commandments. Instead of conforming to the LORD, they had not listened (vital to the meaning of obedience) nor inclined their ears, which indicated their stiff-rebellious nature (Jeremiah 17:19-23). God promised that if they did incline their ears to listen there would be uninterrupted habitation forever, but on the other hand a curse if they did not listen (Jeremiah 17:24-27). *Application* God always gives us choices in the matter of following Him and His ways. Choose wisely my friends.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 17:5, 7-10

Friday, May 2, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 16

Jeremiah 16


-Distresses are foretold with future hope of restoration in the bulk of this chapter with great biblical themes including God’s plan for all the nations and His exclusive power and might to save (Jeremiah 16:19-21). The LORD’s first words in this passage reflect a command not to take a wife or have any children during these days of destruction and chaos, in which Jeremiah lived (Jeremiah 16:1-2). The reason given is clear, “They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be lamented or buried; they will be as dung on the surface on the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth (Jeremiah 16:4). God tells Jeremiah not to enter a house of mourning for these who will be destroyed because He has taken His peace from this people along with His lovingkindness and compassion (Jeremiah 16:5-7). Moreover, the Almighty instructs His prophet not go into a house of feasting to fellowship with these people. God is going eliminate from the Israelites in this place before the prophet’s eyes and in his time the voice of rejoicing and gladness (illustrated by the wedding occasion, Jeremiah 16:8-9). When the people will inevitably ask why all this is happening, Jeremiah is once again commanded to tell them the truth. He is to say to them, “It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me (the LORD) and have followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but (or I would take it a connective “and” here) Me (the LORD) they have forsaken and have not kept my law (Jeremiah 16:10-11).” God goes on to tell the prophet to report that this current generation has done even greater evil than their forefathers walking, each one, according to the stubbornness of their own evil hearts, without listening to their Savior (Jeremiah 16:12). Because of this He guarantees to “hurl” them out of this land into a place where they will be forced to serve other gods day and night without any of the LORD’s Divine favor (Jeremiah 16:13).

-However, after that time and in an unspecified future, the LORD promises in the next section to bring them back from the north from where He had banished them and restore them to their land, which He gave their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14-15). He will send for many fishermen (foreshadowing to Jesus and the disciples, Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17) and hunters to gather because His eyes are on all their ways (Jeremiah 16:16-17). For now, however, He will doubly repay their iniquity and sin because they have polluted His good land with detestable idols and abominations (Jeremiah 16:18). *Application* We have at least partial fulfillment of this prophetic revelation in our time. Millions have returned from places like Russia to the north of the Promised Land and Israel has been restored as a sovereign nation. There will be more gathering from other places, but it is really cool to see God’s Hand in all this fulfillment to His majestic promises!

Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 16:16

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 15

Jeremiah 15


-The LORD’s Word to His righteous prophet in this passage is an exhortation to stay strong and be uncompromising in following the LORD and declaring His message. The section starts out with the fact that God was absolutely done with putting up with and relenting from His judgment with this people (Jeremiah 15:6). He tells Jeremiah that even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before Him, He would not have a heart for His people at this point. They have been sent from His presence, and He has let them go (Jeremiah 15:1). There are four places they will go in judgment: 1) Death, 2) The Sword, 3) Famine, & 4) Captivity. The LORD also appoints over them four kinds of doom: 1) The sword to slay, 2) The dogs to drag off, 3) The birds of the sky to rip apart, & 4) The beasts of the earth to devour and destroy (Jeremiah 15:2-3). They will be made an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of the wicked-rebellious acts of Manasseh, king of Judah, and what he did against the LORD in His holy city of Jerusalem (2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, Jeremiah 15:4).

-By the end of this round of pronounced judgment we see the despair in the prophet because of his difficult ministry as the LORD’s spokesman. “Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me as a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me, yet everyone curses me (Jeremiah 15:10). The LORD’s reply is precious, “Surely I will set you free for purposes of good; surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you in a time of disaster and a time of distress (Jeremiah 15:11).” God goes on to speak of His fire that has been kindled in anger against His people that will burn upon Jeremiah as well (Jeremiah 15:14). *Application* Our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). His burning purifies us in the deepest degree and is a revealer of what we are made of. Jeremiah necessarily had to have the fire burn upon him as a man in a difficult time. He stood the LORD’s tests and trials and persevered through an arduous call upon his life. God was with him, but it certainly wasn’t easy. This can very easily be the same type of experience we will face when we venture into the prophetic ministry of standing up for what God is really telling us in a sinful and perverse generation. Buckle up prophet of God in this day and age. God’s fire will burn upon you, but you can come forth as purified gold, silver, and precious stones with your righteousness shining forth as the noon day in His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Matthew 13:43)!

-God’s Word were found and eaten by the prophet and they were a joy and delight to his heart for he is called by the Name of God, the LORD God of hosts (hosts of Heaven, All-powerful). Jeremiah pleas for his God, the One who knows, to take notice of him in view of His patience and take him away from the disaster and pain he is receiving in enduring reproach. He did not participate in the nation’s evil deeds. He sat alone filled with indignation for the wayward. His wounds have been incurable and he refused to be healed. He questions whether the LORD will come through at this time by some of his words (Jeremiah 15:15-18). The LORD answers that if he will return, he will be restored and before Him he will stand. He will be able to extract the precious from the worthless and become His spokesman. They have the possibility of turning to him by the Words of the LORD, but he is not to turn them in capitulation or cowardice. If he will be strong in adversity, the LORD says he will be made to his people a fortified wall of bronze which no one will prevail against. God is with His prophet to save him and deliver him. He will deliver him from the hand of the wicked and will redeem him from the grasp of the violent (Jeremiah 15:19-21). *Application* This is an encouraging Word from the LORD in our service for Him in this current generation. Stay in the fight and stand for what is right. God is with you to save and deliver in just the same way He was there for Jeremiah.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 15:11, 16