Monday, June 30, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 8

Isaiah 8


-Still in the context of God’s destructive pronouncement upon Damascus and Samaria, Isaiah is told to take a large tablet to write in ordinary letters, “Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey (Isaiah 8:1).” God will take to Himself faithful witnesses from the prophets and prophetesses to fulfill His commands and words (Isaiah 8:2-3). The wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will indeed be carried away before the terrifying army of the king of Assyria, and their power will sweep into Judah to fill the breadth of Immanuel’s land (Isaiah 8:4-8). This flood analogy was a poetic way of describing the powerful and overwhelming force of the Assyrian army at this time prophesied in history. They would indeed take control of Damascus and the Northern Kingdom of Israel by 722 B.C. and almost overtake even Jerusalem in Judah (2 Kings 17-19, 2 Chronicles 28-32).

-For the believing remnant who are broken before the LORD, He is with them. They will be spoken to by God with mighty power and they will not walk in the way of evil people. They are not to fear people, but “it is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He (Messiah) shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a Stone to strike and a Rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Isaiah 8:9-14).” The prophecy states that many will stumble over the righteousness of God and His people. These will fall and be broken, snared and caught. For future generations these words were told to be bound up as a testimony, and the law of it was to be sealed among His disciples (followers, Isaiah 8:15-16). These words become intensely profound with the coming of Christ Jesus (Luke 20:18, Romans 9:32). For Isaiah, he states that he will wait for the LORD who is currently hiding His face from the house of Jacob. Isaiah will even look eagerly for Him along with the children whom the LORD has given him for signs and wonders from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion (Isaiah 8:17-18). The final verses give a comparison to those who turn away from God to their own darkened devices for understanding. These look to the earth, not God, and find distress, darkness, the gloom of anguish, and eternal separation rather than healing in their time of need (Isaiah 8:19-22). *Application* It is the LORD we all should regard as holy to be feared and dreaded like a fierce champion (Jeremiah 20:11). He is with His faithful and knows the difference between the sincere and liars. Don’t stumble over the trap of self-help to rescue you from disaster. God is the only One who can truly save. Let Him become your sanctuary (consecrated holy place, refuge, protection). Bind and seal up His testimony and law of love upon your heart as His believing disciple.


Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 8:13

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 7

Isaiah 7


-In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, who succeeded Jotham, when Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel went up to Jerusalem to wage war on it, the LORD spoke to Isaiah to give a word that the city of Judah take care, be calm, and have no fear or faintheartedness. He was against these “two stubs of smoldering firebrands” who were angry and terrorizing. God says through His prophet that their plans simply will not stand up or come to pass. God tells them to believe, or they themselves will not last. In other words, He, the LORD, is with them so trust in Him completely without fretting (Isaiah 7:1-9).

-Then, the LORD again spoke to Ahaz telling him to ask for a sign from the LORD that was deep as Sheol and as high as Heaven. Ahaz, knowing the law of God, but denying the LORD’s direct request, makes an excuse declaring that he will not ask or test the LORD in this matter. The LORD responds that this king of the house of David is trying the patience of men and God as well. “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His Name Immanuel (God is with us). This Messiah will refuse evil and choose good, and before this ever happens the land of these two troublesome kings that Judah dreads will be forsaken (Isaiah 7:10-16). While there will be times of trial, tribulation, and occupation ahead for Judah, the LORD will prevail with His plan for salvation that is coming to the earth through His Messiah, Jesus Christ incarnate (Isaiah 7:17-25). *Application* Our great need in times of trouble is security without fear or trepidation. God gives us His peace in these times through His Word by His Holy Spirit. Trust in Him to take care of you. Believe in Him to release you from fear and keep you calm in dangerous times and situations. Don’t let your heart ever become fainthearted. Instead, cling to the promises that are on the way, even if they may seem soooo far off. Messiah would come, born of a virgin, called “God with us” to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Hang on, help is always on the way, and God WILL take care of you!


Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 7:14

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 6

Isaiah 6


-The call and commission of Isaiah is given and received in this extravagant passage of the LORD’s glory. The prophet sees the LORD high and lifted up in the year that King Uzziah (also known as Azariah, 2 Kings 14:21-15:7, 2 Chronicles 26) died (around 740 B.C.). With elegant language God is described as filling the whole earth and His Temple with His seraphim angels around Him (Isaiah 6:1-4). Isaiah quickly realizes he is a man of unclean lips, a mere sinful mortal, and weakens in His presence as one who is ruined by the presence of His holiness. In mercy one of the seraphim angels flew to Isaiah with a burning coal in his hand from the altar with tongs and touched the prophet’s mouth with it saying, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven (Isaiah 6:5-7).” This painful submission process was a necessary part of God’s call on Isaiah’s life. It was not the fiery coal that purified Isaiah, but God’s grace from Himself that made this repentant and called man clean. The coal was simply a symbol of the Lord’s sanitizing and refining power. The Trinity together ask the question, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” There seems to be no hesitation at this point as Isaiah responds, “Here am I, send me!” The LORD then tells him to “Go, and tell this people…” The prophetic message is hard and harsh, but it is complete truth. God tells His messenger to inform the people that they will keep on listening, but not perceive; keep on looking, but not understand. Their hearts will be rendered insensitive, their ears dull, their eyes dim. Otherwise, they would return with their good senses and be healed (Isaiah 6:8-10). Isaiah asks the question as to how long this will be that God’s people will remain in their stupor and spiritual ignorance. God replies that it won’t be until the cities are devastated and without habitation (exile) leaving the land utterly desolate. Yet He does leave a tenth of the portion in the land, called “the holy seed” as its living stump (Isaiah 6:11-13). In other words there will be a rebirth of the nation and God’s chosen people. They will never be utterly destroyed. There is always a glimmer of hope and restoration, which will be realized in Messiah, who is the Holy One of Israel. *Application* Have we realized that we too are people with unclean lips and lives? Have we received Christ’s righteousness through His payment for redemption? Do we sometimes argue with the call God has placed on our lives? Or, are we being like Isaiah, who was willing once cleaned up and forgiven, to enthusiastically answer the purpose and plan of God for His cause no matter how difficult the message was that had to be delivered? The insight here is in seeing God’s glory. If we abide in His presence and see His radiance, we will have no qualms about fulfilling His mission for us here on this fallen earth. Let us all as His faithful believers bow before Him, realize His awesomeness, and say, “Here are we, send us!”


Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 6:8

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 5

Isaiah 5


-A denunciation of the vineyard of the LORD, the house of Israel, is given in this splendid authoritative revelation by the Holy Spirit through Isaiah. God’s love for His people gave them everything they needed for success and well-being, but they produced worthless grapes in their iniquity, violence, and pride (Isaiah 5:1-7). Woes are pronounced in God’s anger over the situation. A woe is given to those who expand their houses and fields. They will become desolate and without occupants (Isaiah 5:8-10). A woe is propounded to those who rise early to drink alcohol and pursue drunkenness late into the evening as people who party without giving attention to the deeds of the LORD or considering the work of His hands (Isaiah 5:11-12, 22). Lack of knowledge is their destroyer, which sends them into exile and makes them famished and thirsty. They enlarge Sheol (death, abode of the dead, the underworld, hell) without measure in their den of revelry and self-indulging jubilation (Isaiah 5:13-14). The common man will be humbled, the important man abased (lowered, demeaned), and the proud will also be put down, but the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment and will be shown holy in righteousness. Lambs will eat in the pastures of their choosing, and strangers will eat in the waste places of the wealthy (Isaiah 5:15-17). A woe is given to those who are liars (Isaiah 5:18-19). A woe is enunciated to those who call evil good, and good evil substituting darkness for light and bitter for sweet (Isaiah 5:20). A woe is pronounced on the ones wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight (Isaiah 5:21). A woe is proclaimed on those who justify the wicked for a bribe and take away the rights of those who are correct (Isaiah 5:23). Because of this wide ranging list of sins, God is going to consume His worthless grapes in His vineyard and blow them away in His righteous indignation. He will stretch out His hand against them by lifting up a foreign nation against them, who will be swift and destructive in every way (Isaiah 5:24-30). *Application* Our God is a consuming fire no matter what testament or dispensation you explore Him in (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). He is jealous for His people, which includes us if we have trusted in Him. There is no other. Our greatest need is to get rid of the sinful-selfish ways that tempt to destroy us and to turn to the One who can save us and give us real joy and purpose in shalom.


Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 5:7

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 4

Isaiah 4


-The remnant of the LORD’s people is succinctly explained in this short stanza of writing. The phrase “in that day” leaves some ambiguity, but is certainly a future prophecy of a time coming when evil will be eradicated and the people of God will live in peace. It will be a day when “the Branch (Messianic reference, Jesus) will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel (Isaiah 4:1-2).” This will be a time of complete holiness by His people, the righteous remnant. These saved ones are recorded for life in Jerusalem (Isaiah 4:3, Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5; 20:11-15, 21:27). Note that it is the LORD who washes away the filth and purges the bloodshed by His Spirit of judgment and burning (Isaiah 4:4). He creates over the whole area of Mt. Zion a covering of cloud by day with even smoke, and the brightest of a flaming fire by night with His glory underneath. This will be His shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain (Isaiah 4:5-6). Cloud by by night - To the Jewish readers these allusions would bring to mind the days of wilderness wandering when the cloud and fire were tangible reminders that Jehovah was "personally" guiding and protecting His people (Exodus 13:21-22; 14:19, 24). Today we have His indwelling Spirit to guide believers.

Allan Harman comments regarding the canopy that...

The exodus experience of a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud will be repeated. Just as Israel had the LORD’s protection when they came out of Egypt, so will a renewed and cleansed Israel/Zion. The word for ‘canopy’ or ‘covering’ (Heb. chuppâh) is only used three times in the Old Testament (Isaiah 4:5; Joel 2:16; Psalm 19:5), but it has come into modern usage as the term to describe the canopy over a couple during the Jewish marriage service. The conjunction here with the terms ‘shelter’, ‘shade’, ‘refuge’ and ‘hiding place’ make it plain that the idea is of a protective canopy that will provide shade and a shield to Mount Zion. The use of the verb ‘create’ (Heb. bârâ’) is significant because it is reserved for when God is the subject. The great Creator will act in His sovereignty to protect Zion and all the remnant who gather there. 

I tend to agree with Thomas Constable's summation of this section...

This oracle (Isaiah 2:1-4:6) reveals events that would happen in a “day” yet future from Isaiah’s perspective. History has shown that some of the predictions of judgment found partial fulfillment in the exiles of Israel that preceded Messiah’s appearing. However most of the judgment, and all of the blessing connected to Messiah, lies in the future from our perspective (Matt. 24:4-30). It is mainly the Tribulation and Messiah’s blessing of Israel in the Millennium to follow that is in view here.

-*Application* Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life? If there is any question, ask the Savior, Jesus Christ, to redeem you from all sin and filth by simple faith. He can do it through His propitiatory sacrifice on the cross of Calvary and His resurrection. Jesus saves! Call upon Him and gain eternal life under God’s ultimate protection (Psalm 116:13, Acts 2:21).


Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 4:2

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 3

Isaiah 3


-In the first section of this chapter God is promising a removal of water and bread from Jerusalem and Judah and the prominent men of the society (listed are mighty men, warriors, judges, prophets, diviner, elders, captains, the honorable men, the counselor, artist experts, skillful enchanters). The young will at that time take over and the inferior will rule in the chaos and confusion of God’s judgment. “For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the LORD, to rebel against His glorious presence.” They wear their sin outwardly from an inward depraved heart. They do not even conceal their junk. Woe is pronounced upon them by the LORD and His prophet for the pain they are bringing upon themselves (Isaiah 3:1-9, 12).

-God clarifies His justice in verse 10 by stating that for the righteous it will go well for them. What a comfort this verse is for those who follow the Savior and His ways. These will “eat the fruit of their actions.” On the other side, the wicked will have a difficult time and will get exactly what they deserve (Isaiah 3:10-11). *Application* The principle of sowing and reaping applies just as much to today as it did when Isaiah wrote this word from the LORD. Be sure your sins will find you out (Numbers 32:23), and rest assured that your labor in the LORD by faith is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

-God’s judgment language continues in the second half of the chapter as He arises to contend for His prestige with His people. He has a big problem with their crushing of their insubordinates in the vineyards and in the houses of the poor. Moreover, He rails on the pride of the daughters of Zion who lead with seductive eyes, mincing steps, and elaborate exterior ornamentation. The LORD guarantees to afflict their looks and take away their beauty through various methods, and their mighty men will fall by the sword in battle. These haughty and sexually promiscuous daughters of Zion will lament and mourn for their woe is great (Isaiah 3:13-26). *Application* Nothing is hidden from God. If you are a woman, be modest in your apparel and your Godly attitudes (1 Timothy 2:9-10). If you are a man, look upon women as if they were your sisters in reverence and honor, not in lust (Proverbs 6:23-29, Matthew 5:28, 1 Timothy 5:2). If you are a father, pay attention to your daughter, or daughters, to lovingly discipline and let them know that purity is what you and their Maker desire (Song of Solomon 6:9-10, Philippians 4:8, Titus 2:3-5).


Verses to Memorize: Isaiah 3:10-11

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 2

Isaiah 2


-God’s universal reign that will come about in consummation of His Kingdom is revealed to Isaiah in this amazing prophetic chapter. The importance of the literal and spiritual Jerusalem is held forth as a place where all the nations will gather to worship the One-True and Living God. At that time it will be a place for teaching in His ways, and the law will go forth from His throne in Zion. He, the King (Messiah) will judge between the nations and render every decision in His All-powerful wisdom. The peoples will live with peace finally as they hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. War will not be learned ever again (Isaiah 2:1-4). The house of Jacob is implored to walk in the light of the LORD and not be influenced by those idolaters from the east and the soothsayers like the Philistines from the west. These foreigners to God’s covenant trust in their wealth from silver and gold and horses and chariots. Their land is filled with worthless idols as they worship the work of their own hands. The terror of the LORD is coming against this mindset and way. They will hide in fear and panic as the day of reckoning comes against all those who are proud and lofty, not humble before the God of the Universe. The LORD alone will be exalted in that day. The idols will completely vanish as men realize the power of the LORD as the earth is made to tremble (Isaiah 2:5-22). Compare this prophetic expression to the words in Revelation 6:15-17 and the final analysis in Revelation 21. *Application* We must realize that in our lives we have choices that will determine our destiny. Choose first His Kingdom and His glory and all these other things that you might desire will be added to you (Matthew 6:33). Choose other things first and you will fall under the judgment of Almighty God.


Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 2:2-4

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Isaiah- Chapter 1

Isaiah 1


-Isaiah is the first of the major prophetical books in the Old Testament Scriptures covering the period of time in Isaiah’s ministry from approximately 740 B.C. to 681 B.C. when tradition says that he was executed under the reign of Manasseh, king of Judah. Isaiah is the son of Amoz and more than likely raised in an aristocratic home. However, he was called to prophesy the LORD’s judgment upon a sinful people, which takes up the first 39 chapters or so in the text. This made him in many ways unpopular and rejected by the establishment in Judah. But he remained faithful to the call and commands of the LORD. The later half of the book is far more encouraging as Messianic prophecies give hope and comfort to the audience who would hear the redeeming message. Isaiah was a special representative of God during many kings’ reigns, and he has a special place in the biblical chronology of the salvation message. Think through the themes of return, repentance, renewal, redemption, and rejoicing as you study this wonderful material that has inspired so many of the righteous through millennia and millennia. Isaiah lives in the time of the Assyrian invasion that took captive the northern kingdom of Israel. Isaiah spends most of his days in the Holy City of Jerusalem where he gets most of his revelation from the LORD.

-In chapter one the prophet begins with the fact that Judah and Jerusalem have revolted against the LORD their God. They are described as a sinful nation, weighed down with iniquity, the offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly abandoning, despising, and turning away from the LORD (Isaiah 1:1-4). Their rebellion is described as making them sick in the head and heart, from the foot all the way up to their top with nothing sound in this body. “Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, nor softened with oil (Isaiah 1:5-6).” Judah is portrayed as a desolate land with cities burned with fire and strangers devouring much like Sodom and Gomarrah (Isaiah 1:7-9). The prophet wants them to hear the Word of the LORD and receive His instruction. Their sacrifices and festivals have been multiplied but are detestable in the sight of God because there is no heart for their true King. They only give a façade of worship. Their hearts are not right. Therefore, the in His wisdom will not listen to their prayers. His eyes are hidden from them because their hands are covered with blood (they are guilty, Isaiah 1:10-15).

-Key verses sixteen and seventeen. “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” God tells them to reason together (unity) for the purpose of cleansing from sin and depravity. If they will consent and obey, they will be revived and eat the best of the land. In other words, healing is promised. But, if they refuse and rebel, the sword will indeed devour them truly by the words of the LORD (Isaiah 1:18-20). A city, Jerusalem, who was once faithful and righteous, has turned as a harlot. Rulers who are rebels, companions of thieves, lovers of bribes, chasers of rewards, neglectors of orphans and widows are listed as the culprits in this travesty of a situation, which the prophet of God must address (Isaiah 1:21-23). God promises to fight for His cause in this situation. He will turn His hand against His foes and purge the evil of the land, even if it is within His own countrymen. He guarantees restoration of the judges and counselors as it was in the beginning of the nation’s heritage. He will make this city be called “the city of righteousness, a faithful city” once again. Zion will be redeemed with justice, and her repentant ones with righteousness. On the other side of the coin, transgressors and sinners will be crushed all together, and those who forsake the LORD their God will come to a complete end. Like an oak whose leaf fades away, they will gone with none to help them (Isaiah 1:24-31). *Application* The distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous should be so clear to us from this passage. Obey the LORD, be humbled by His grace and mercy to redeem and restore, and be blessed. His desire is to help you too. Don’t be rebellious against what God is trying to do to improve in your life. Get rid of the sin and corruption that holds you back from his favor. Care for people all around you and have regard for them. This is a delight in the LORD’s eyes, not your superficial church attendance and giving. Be transformed by the renewing of your heart and mind (Romans 12:1-2). 


Verses to Memorize: Isaiah 1:16-17

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 52

Jeremiah 52


-This chapter is basically a recap of chapter 39 when the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem, took it over, and took Zedekiah away as a blinded prisoner to Babylon. The chapter gives some more extensive details into the destruction of the holy city and who/what was taken and who was left. The house of the LORD, the king’s house, and all the major houses of Jerusalem were burned, and the walls were broken down which surrounded the city through the anger of the LORD because of Judah’s rebellion (Jeremiah 52:1-30).

-There is a short narrative on what happened to King Jehoiachin at the end of this book (Jeremiah 52:31-34). In his 37th year of exile in the 12th month and on the 25th day, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, who was in the first year of his reign, showed favor to the former Judean king and brought him out of prison. He spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. Jehoiachin changed from his prison clothes and had his meals with the king of Babylon regularly until the day he passed away. He received a regular allowance and a daily portion out of Evil-merodach’s generosity. God continued to bless the line of David even in exile and in dire circumstances. His promises remained true and lasting through His prophetic word that He would never let fail (Jeremiah 33:14-26). *Application* God is never slow about His promises as some count slowness (2 Peter 3:9), but He is patient and always drawing us into repentance and a deeper walk with Him in His ways. Allow the LORD to do His mighty work in your life through the entire course of it. Take Jeremiah’s example. He was a man who was rejected over and over and over again by the world and its system. Even so, he faithfully carried out his mission and prophetic service for the LORD through thick and thin. God took care of him even though I’m sure some times he wandered as to what was going on. Although never really successful in the world’s eyes because of his unpopularity in speaking the truth, he was obedient to the LORD and very successful in God’s eyes and in posterity. God measures our success in terms of obedience, faithfulness, and righteousness. If you are completely doing these things in the work God gives you, you too are totally successful in His sight!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 52

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 51

Jeremiah 51


-The message concerning Babylon continues with its fire and fury that is coming from the LORD with essentially the same themes and points revealed in the previous words of Jeremiah 50. Babylon is used with some cryptic language that is interesting referring to the Chaldeans. The inhabitants are called Leb-kamai in verse one, which means “the heart of those who rise up against Me.” God is sending the spirit of a destroyer, which is detailed as nations from the north including the Medes (Jeremiah 51:11, 28), Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz (Jeremiah 51:27). God tells His people once again that He has in no way totally forsaken them, either Israel or Judah, even though their land was full of guilt before Him who is the Holy One (Jeremiah 51:5). Suddenly Babylon will be broken making the nations that have been made drunk on her intoxicating idolatries mad with insanity, but the LORD will bring about His people’s vindication as they recount in Zion the work of the Almighty (Jeremiah 51:7-10). The idols are railed on in verses 15 through 19 in comparison to the Living God who is Creator and All-powerful. Every man is stupid and devoid of knowledge who trusts in the works of his hands making shameful idols that are deceitful, have no breath in them, are worthless, and are a work of mockery. The portion of Jacob is not like these false gods who perish.

-Reference to Bel, which is one of the names of Marduk, the chief god of the city of Babylon, is made as to his capture and inability to rescue Babylon from becoming an object of horror and shame among the nations and without habitation. The nations will no longer stream to him who is a deceiver as he is punished in the spiritual realm by the Almighty. Babylon will sleep a perpetual sleep (Jeremiah 51:41-58).

-At the end of this chapter it is narrated that Jeremiah commanded Seraiah (probably Baruch’s brother who was a scribe and deliverer of the prophecies of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 32:12, 36, 43, 45) the son of Neriah, who would go with Zedekiah to Babylon, to read this scroll of the prophecy concerning Babylon when they got to the land of their captivity in Chaldea. He was then at that time to say, “You, O LORD, have promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.” And then he told him to tie the scroll up with a stone and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates and say, “Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I (God) am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted (Jeremiah 51:59-64).” *Application* The idols that we set up against the Almighty God will ruin us. Our heart needs to be completely devoted in the LORD and submissive to His will and plan for us. Trust only in Christ Jesus. Don’t be a Leb-kamai.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 51:5, 10, 61

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 50

Jeremiah 50


-The word of the LORD concerning Babylon is lengthy and condemning because of their haughtiness and idolatry. God had given them temporary power and authority, but it would end in disaster, horror, desolation, and shame coming from the north. Their idols would be shattered eventually by the Medes and the Persians, even though at the time of this prophecy they seemed immoveable and secure (Daniel 5:30-31). They would one day face God’s wrath, punishment, and crushing for mistreating His people, and would pay a horrible price for their insensitivity to the ways of the LORD. Israel, on the other hand, is given a positive message as they will one day turn their faces back to the land of covenant, which was guaranteed never to be forgotten, to join with the LORD their God (Jeremiah 50:1-5). God says that His people have become lost sheep because their shepherds led them astray to worship idols and false gods on the mountains and hills of their homeland, and they have forgotten their resting place. Those who have devoured them as adversaries said, “We are not guilty, inasmuch as they have sinned against the LORD who is the habitation of righteousness, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers,” did so to their detriment because they too are now found guilty of worshipping false deities in vanity (Jeremiah 50:6-7). God is arousing and bringing up against them a horde of great nations from the north to take them captive and plunder them by His Divine Word (Jeremiah 50:8-10). The reason is given in the next verses. Babylon pillaged His heritage (Israel and in particular Judah) in jubilation in the time of their strength and might. Therefore, they will be ashamed, humiliated, and least among the nations becoming a wilderness and a parched desert. God indignation and vengeance is upon the Chaldeans now by the prophetic word, and they will become completely desolate, running for their lives in fear and terror (Jeremiah 50:11-16).

-Israel’s history of being conquered is recounted with the first destroyer Assyria and then later by the Babylonians and King Nebuchadnezzar. The promise is that Babylon will be punished severely by scattering and driving away just like Assyria, and that the Israeli remnant would repopulate in satisfaction. At that time, God declares, a search for iniquity will be made with none found. The sins of Israel and Judah will be pardoned (Jeremiah 50:17-20). This is should be taken as a Messianic prophesy, which is still coming in the future.

-For Babylon, they were caught in a snare and unaware. The work of the LORD was designed to draw them to Him, but they resisted and continued to worship their own false deities in feigned ignorance. Now the repayment according to their work was to be held in account. There was no excuse for them to claim now, and they would pay the price for their disobedience. They oppressed the LORD’s people in their captivity holding them fast for their own selfish benefit refusing to let them go. The God of the Universe was not pleased with this. For the Jewish people’s “Redeemer is strong, the LORD of hosts (all spiritual powers) is His Name; He will vigorously plead their case so that He may bring rest to the earth, but turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:21-34).” The sword would come against the Chaldeans, their inhabitants, her officials, her wise men, her oracle priests (who will become fools), her mighty men, their horses, their chariots, the foreigners who are in the midst of her, and her treasures which would be plundered (Jeremiah 50:35-37). There would be drought and famine in this land of idols because the people were madly in love with them rather than their Creator God. Jackals and ostriches would inhabit this land rather than people from generation to generation just as Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors (Jeremiah 50:38-40). The enemy is coming against Babylon from the north as a great nation with many kings aroused from the remotest parts of the earth with cruelty and no mercy. They leave the king of Babylon with limp hands, distress, and agony like a woman in childbirth as he hears the report about them. In an instant they will make them run away in fear and panic because the LORD is ultimately in control and will preside over the affairs of all the nations’ raisings and fallings. No plan formed against Him will prosper. He is the One, the only One, who can shake the earth and make an outcry heard among the nations. *Application* Babylon is a biblical symbol of anything that sets itself up against God. The LORD has the ultimate authority and will rule no matter what. We see here in the passage that He will give opportunity to turn to Him repeatedly and with compassion He will heal and give rest. However, if we reject His superiority, the antithesis will happen. Babylon rejected the One-True God for their vain idols and paid the price historically as a nation and futuristically as symbolized as any opponent of God. Don’t let yourself be duped into thinking that you are loftier than God. He wins in the end and wants to bless as His faithful, fearful, and blessed servants.

Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 50:29, 34

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 49

Jeremiah 49


-The Word of the LORD on the coming judgments of His wrath continue with Ammon, Edom, Damascus (Aram), Kedar, Hazor, and Elam in this chapter. Ammon was the son of Lot by the incestuous relationship with his youngest daughter, just like the Moabites with his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:30-38). God was angry for their taking possession of some of the land of Gad against His will and now was coming the time of their destruction. A desolate heap along with the burning of her towns is predicted and a taking into exile. God accuses them of boastful activities in their valleys, backsliding against His will and destiny, and trusting in their own treasures rather than the security of the Almighty. Therefore, He will bring terror upon them from every direction, but afterward the LORD promises to restore the fortunes of the sons of Ammon (Jeremiah 49:1-6).

-Concerning Edom, who were the descendants of Esau who lost the birthright, blessing, and promise to Jacob in the patriarchal period (Genesis 25:19-28:9), God declares that there is no longer wisdom in Teman (a town in the northern part of Edom known for its wisdom and hometown of Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends, Job 2:11). The LORD tells them that their good counsel and prudence has been lost and their wisdom decayed. Disaster is coming upon them in punishment and they have nowhere to hide. God tells them to “leave your orphans behind, I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in Me (Jeremiah 49:11).” The rest of the nation will drink the cup of His wrath without acquittal, and Bozrah (a town in northern Edom) will become an object of horror, a reproach, a ruin, and a curse with all the cities laying in perpetual ruins as a promise by God. The reason as to why their ruin has come is given in verse sixteen by the LORD, “As for the terror of you, the arrogance of your heart has deceived you, O you who live in the clefts of the rock (false hope), who occupy the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as an eagle’s, I will bring you down from there.” God goes on to tell them that all who will pass by in the future will be horrified at their disaster and hiss at all its wounds like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah. No one will live there. “The earth quaked at the noise of their downfall. There is an outcry! The noise of it has been heard at the Red Sea (far to the south, Jeremiah 49:7-22).”

-Damascus, which is the capital city of Aram, north of Israel is next to be discussed. They were defeated by both the Assyrians and the Babylonians historically speaking. Nebuchadnezzar attacked and defeated them in 605 B.C. (Amos 1:4-5), which is the reason for the references to their cities being put to shame with bad news and much anxiety and disheartenment. Panic has gripped this people with distress and pangs taking hold. Her joy is gone and deserted as the young men fall in the streets silencing the men of war in that day by the word of the LORD. Damascus wall will be set on fire and the fortified towers of Ben-hadad will be devoured (Jeremiah 49:23-27).

-Kedar and Hazor were nomadic tribes east of Israel and to the south of Aram. They were desert peoples who were also destroyed by the attacks of Nebuchadnezzar around 600 B.C.. The prophecy says that they will be plundered as booty with their livestock, which was their sustenance, and that they would be scattered to the four winds leaving the land a haunt of jackals and a desolation forever with no one living there (Jeremiah 49:28-33).

-Finally, Elam, which lay east of even Babylon later becoming the center of the Persian empire in what today is Iran, is going to have its bow (resistance) and might broke by the LORD. They also will be scattered to the four winds with calamity in His fierce anger. He will send the sword after them until they are consumed. Then, when its kings and princes have been destroyed, the prophecy states God will set His throne in Elam, and it will come about in the last days that He will restore the fortunes of Elam (Jeremiah 49:34-39). *Application* All of these events describe in detail for us the representation of God’s judgment and sovereignty. It is He who presides over all the kingdoms of this earth in might and power establishing and cutting down whom He wills. Again we should see that pride is the big issue with God. Submit to His authority and you have an opportunity for success and blessing. Resist Him, and He will eventually cut you down to size and shame you. Count on it. He desires mercy and will give it, but only when we come to Him on His terms.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 49:16

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 48

Jeremiah 48

-God’s pronouncement upon Moab (The descendants of Lot through an incestuous relationship [Genesis 19:30-37] lived to the east of the land of Israel south of the Dead Sea region) was for woe and destruction. They will have praise no longer; captivity and calamity are predicted (Jeremiah 48:1-2a). The sword will follow after them and there will be a great devastation and brokenness (Jeremiah 48:2b-4). The issue the LORD has with this bunch is their arrogance in trusting in themselves for their own achievements and treasures (Jeremiah 48:7). They had done the LORD’s work negligently and were now being cursed (Jeremiah 48:10). They had taken ease and not been diligent in humble service to the One-True Living God. Therefore, disaster awaits them now as a destroyer will come against them to ruin their strongholds and security (Jeremiah 48:11-20). Judgment had now come to their cities making them like a drunk man in their arrogance toward the LORD God. They will become a laughingstock (Jeremiah 48:21-26). Their pride has now brought them low. Their idle boasts will accomplish nothing. Their joy and gladness is taken away along with their fruitful field. There will no longer be shouts of joy and victory in the land. “Moab will be destroyed from being a people because he has become arrogant toward the LORD (Jeremiah 48:27-42).” Terror, pit, and snare are coming upon them by declaration of the Almighty King of the Universe (Jeremiah 48:43-44). To captivity they will go, but then in the last verse God says to He will yet restore their fortunes in the latter days (Jeremiah 48:45-47). *Application* Here is an example of becoming too cocky in your view of yourself. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). Therefore, it is wise to humble ourselves before His mighty Hand so that in due season He may exalt us in His favor and perfect will (1 Peter 5:6).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 48:42

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 47

Jeremiah 47


-God gives a word to Jeremiah about the coming destruction of the Philistines (People of the coastal land from where Goliath came and constant foe of Israel in the Promised Land). This prophecy echoes some previous destructive foretellings for this people group (Isaiah 14:28-32, Ezekiel 25:15-17, Amos 1:6-8, and Zephaniah 2:4-7). All of Philistia will be destroyed and their allies cut off from them as a work of the LORD God of Heaven. God has given the order and assigned His will against this nation who had caused the chosen people so much grief and lead them into much idolatry. *Application* The end result apart from God’s mercy is death and doom. While His mercies are extended to all, only those who receive His gift by doing things His way in faith and total dependence on Him will escape final and lasting vengeance. This is a stark warning here to go God’s way or bear the price of being an outcast. God is opposed to the proud, but gives His grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 47:4

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 46

Jeremiah 46


-Beginning here in chapter 46 and going through the end of the book, the LORD gives His prophetic word to Jeremiah concerning the nations and what will become of them. He starts with Egypt, who receives a hopeless word from the LORD as to their quest to fight against the armies of the north at the Euphrates River. Nebuchadnezzar is given the power to overthrow and destroy. Egypt will draw back as their mighty men are defeated and they will take refuge in flight with terror on every side of them. Their cities and and its inhabitants will be destroyed in the day of God’s vengeance as the sword will devour (Jeremiah 46:1-12).

-For Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, he will strike down Egypt because of the authority God has given him to execute His divine plan. Israel will see that they had depended on the wrong deliverer in this day of destruction and exile. Memphis will become a desolation as the “horsefly” from the north comes and annihilates the “pretty heifer” of Egypt. The day of their punishment and calamity has come upon them. Their enemies are more numerous than locusts, and Egypt will be put to shame being given over to the power of the people from the north. God is going punish specifically Amon of Thebes, Pharaoah, Egypt along with her gods and her kings, and all those who trust in him (Pharaoh, Jeremiah 46:13-26).

-But, in the last couple of verses in the chapter God reveals that Jacob (Israel in general) should not fear or be dismayed. The LORD is going to save them from afar in the land of their captivity as to their descendants. Jacob it is prophesied will one day return and be undisturbed and totally secure with no one to make them tremble. Again, God tells them not to fear for He is with them and will one day make a full end to all the nations where He had driven them. He will never make a full end to them, but He will correct them properly and by no means leaving them unpunished. *Application* God will correctfully punish His chosen people (which includes all of us as believers in Him and His Son Jesus) in order to bring us back to Himself when we stray away. He disciplines us to purify us. While it is difficult to experience His chastising, it should be welcomed because of the righteous results of His jealous actions (Hebrews 12:4-13).


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 46:25, 28

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 45

Jeremiah 45


-The message to Baruch the son of Neriah, who helped Jeremiah write down his words from God and deliver them to important audiences, is recounted in this short, but powerful, chapter of Scripture. Baruch had had an unpopular ministry being the helper of the lamenting prophet and barrier of bad news from the Almighty almost constantly. His cries are apparent from the word of the LORD in verse three, “Ah woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest.” God told Jeremiah to tell the weary scribe that He was about to tear down what He had built up and uproot what He had planted, that is, the entire land (Jeremiah 45:4). In other words, this was not easy for God as well. He had been the designer for this Promised Land, and the rejection of His people leading to His discipline was indeed painful and gut-wrenching. Then the LORD in His wisdom points out the real heart issue here, “But you (Baruch), are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh, but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go (Jeremiah 45:5).” *Application* Baruch’s long and unpopular service with the prophet of the LORD had left him dissatisfied and upset. God told the frustrated one to take his eyes off of himself and whatever rewards he thought he deserved for his difficult service. God’s promise was to protect him even in tribulation. It is easy to lose our joy in serving our God when we take our eyes off of Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). The more we look away from God’s real purposes toward our own misery in sacrificial service, the more frustrated we will become in life. As you become a servant of the most high LORD, beware of setting your affections in the right direction. Don’t focus on what you are giving up; instead, look at Him who is the author and completer of your faith. When you find yourself frustrated and having a pity party for yourself, confess it to the Father, which means to agree with Him on the matter and receive His forgiveness. Then, move forward in unbridled joy even if there is pain in the offering.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 45:5

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremian- Chapter 44

Jeremiah 44


-God’s word comes to Jeremiah for all the Jews living in the land of Egypt following the conquest of Judah and the rebellion of the prophetic word by Johanan and Azariah and all the arrogant men, which led them to the Pharaoh and his vain protection. God’s word starts with the fact that they had already seen the futility of disobedience, which brought all their calamity for destruction in Jerusalem and all Judah. The primary crime committed against the LORD is listed as burning sacrifices to false gods and serving them even after He had sent His prophets over and over again to turn them from wickedness and vanity. They did not listen or incline their ears to repent from their sin and trust only in the way of the LORD. Therefore, their homeland has become a ruin and a desolation (Jeremiah 44:1-6). God then asks through the prophet Jeremiah why they are doing great harm to themselves in this manner by the whole community provoking Him to anger with the works of their hands in a foreign land, a place He never called them to go. He tells them they are simply cutting themselves off in their ignorance, arrogance, and pride to become a curse and a reproach to all the nations of the earth. They had forgotten the wickedness of their fathers and the kings of Judah, not even becoming contrite in the aftermath of the conquering enemy before their God to fear Him and walk in His law or statutes, which He set before them. Therefore, the LORD say that He is setting His face against them for woe, even to cut off all of Judah except for a very small remnant. They will die by the sword, famine, and pestilence in the land of Egypt becoming a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation (curse, execration, or swearword), and a reproach (Jeremiah 44:7-14).

-Then all the men who knew their wives were burning pagan sacrifices to false gods responded unfavorably to Jeremiah, and in reality, God. They flat out told him that they would not listen to him and his message that was given in the Name of the LORD. They cited their struggles and felt like the queen of heaven had helped them more than the Living Covenant God in terms of having plenty of food and being well off with no misfortune. They erroneously believed that since they had quit doing their idolatrous rituals that they were lacking everything and had been made an end of by the sword and by famine (Jeremiah 44:15-19). Jeremiah’s response to that indicted them with the truth of what really lead to their misfortune and disaster in Jerusalem and Judah. The LORD would not forget their treachery in idolatry and false worship to unknown gods. When He was no longer able to endure it (their evil deeds, abominations, burned false sacrifices, sin, disobedience, not walking with God in His law, statutes, or testimonies) in His great patience, the land at that point became a ruin, an object of horror, a curse, and without inhabitant (Jeremiah 44:20-23). Jeremiah once again pronounces their doom as he taunts them to go ahead and confirm their vows to perform abominations against the LORD of Heaven. God’s Name would not be invoked again in the land of Egypt by the Judeans as the Living God, and He was watching over them for harm and not for good to see them destroyed by the sword and famine until they were all gone except for a very few. Just as Zedekiah, king of Judah, was given over to his enemy Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, so too would Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, be given over to his enemies (Jeremiah 44:24-30). *Application* The arrogance and futility of turning away from God for vain idols should be our primary lesson from this chapter, and in a greater sense this whole prophetic book of Jeremiah and the entirety of the Word of God in the Bible. It is a constant theme that we cannot save ourselves and that false belief systems will never deliver in the end. Don’t get bogged down with short term struggles in the true faith or temporary victories in the fleshly-false world system. God is all-powerful and we should walk with Him no matter what the circumstances feel like. Don’t make the same mistakes as these remnant Judeans who turned away from the One who really could have saved them.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 44:10


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 43

Jeremiah 43


-The powers that be in Judah (Azariah, Johanan, and all the arrogant men) refused to listen to Jeremiah’s revelation from the LORD so as to stay in the land for security and protection from the Almighty (see Jeremiah 42). They accused the prophet of speaking a lie about going Egypt, and they implicated Baruch for inciting Jeremiah against them for the result of having the Chaldeans putting them to death or taking them into exile. “So Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces, and all the people, did not obey the voice of the LORD to stay in the land of Judah (Jeremiah 43:1-4).” Instead, and against the will and prophecy of God, they took the entire remnant who had returned from the dispersion in other nations, including Jeremiah, who were then living in the land of Judah, and they entered Egypt going as far in as Tahpanhes (this city was located in the far north near the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, Jeremiah 43:5-7). Here, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah telling him to take some large stones and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which at the entrance of Pharaoh’s palace there in Tahpanhes in the sight of some of the Jews. Jeremiah was told by God to say to them, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them. He will also come and strike the land of Egypt; those who are meant for death will be given over to death, and those for captivity to captivity, and those for the sword to the sword (Jeremiah 43:8-11).” God continues, “And I shall set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt (who Israel ran to for help instead of Him), and he will burn them and take them captive. So he will wrap himself with the land of Egypt as a shepherd wraps himself with his garment, and he will depart from there safely. He (Nebuchadnezzar) will also shatter the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt; and the temples of the gods of Egypt he will burn with fire (Jeremiah 43:12-13).” Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt in history during 568-567 B.C. and quickly crushed them fulfilling the prophecy. So much for the great empire on which Judah had so adventurously placed its hopes against the Word of the LORD. *Application* How often do we ignore the red flags we get in discernment that is given as a warning from God for bad tidings? Wise up and respond to the promptings the Holy Spirit is giving you within your spirit as you pray and abide in Him for wisdom. He will lead you to dwell securely in His care because His nature is for your good.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 43:4

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 42

Jeremiah 42


-Johanan and all the commanders and all the remnant people, both small and great, approached Jeremiah for a word from the LORD at a time of decision. They initially seemed very sincere in their willingness to receive what God would say as they looked for direction in an anxious time as whether to stay in the land and potentially incur the wrath of the Chaldeans or flee for the perceived safety of Egypt. As Jeremiah said he would indeed go to the LORD and tell them the entire message he received, these are their words, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with the whole message with which the LORD your God will send to us. Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the LORD our God (Jeremiah 42:1-6).”

-At the end of ten days, God spoke to Jeremiah and the prophet relayed His message to the commanders, Johanan, and all the people both small and great. God told them that if they would stay in the land He would build them up again and not tear them down anymore. He promised to plant them and not uproot them. He told them NOT to fear the king of Babylon for He would protect them, deliver them, save them, and show them compassion and restoration. But, on the other hand, if they decided to flee down to Egypt and not stay in the land where God had placed them, they would experience the wrath of God in succumbing to the sword, famine, and pestilence as they reentered Egypt, the land of their former captivity (Exodus). He guaranteed that if they went back they would receive His just anger and wrath becoming a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation (curse, execration, or swearword), and a reproach resulting in no survivors or refugees with no opportunity of seeing the Promised Land again. What God was saying was that Egypt was a false sense of peace and that they should remain in the land where He would bless them despite the appearances of that reality. He was teaching them how to live by faith if they would only trust Him (Jeremiah 42:7-18). Therefore, they were commanded NOT to go into Egypt for God had testified against them if they did (Jeremiah 42:19). Sadly, the foreshadowing reality in the text by Jeremiah is that they were deceiving themselves in a delusion that they would not actually submit to the intercession and prayer on their behalf. Jeremiah, in his discernment, knew that they would disobey the words of the LORD and that the coming disaster was immanent (Jeremiah 42:20-22). *Application* God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Do we really want to know His opinion and direction on the matters of our lives, or are we too headstrong to obey when He gives us a clear word? God has our best interest at heart if we will submit and obey His plan for our lives, no matter how difficult the path appears from our perspective.


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 42:6

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 41

Jeremiah 41


-This chapter gives some interesting intrigue narrative during the time of exile as to the leadership and people left in the land of Israel. After Gedaliah had ignored the warning from Johanan concerning the evil intentions Ishmael of the royal family, Ishmael, along with ten men came to Mizpah (for geographical info see and slew the appointed leader of the land while he was eating bread with his companions (Jeremiah 41:1-2). Ishmael and his men also slew the Jews who were with Gedaliah and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war (Jeremiah 41:3). The next day, 80 men from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria came to Jerusalem with beards shaven and clothes torn and bodies gashed (sign of repentance and lamentation) to present grain offerings and incense before the LORD at His Temple. Ishmael deceived them and brought them into the city to kill them as well and throw all but ten of them into a cistern built by King Asa of Judah for King Baasha of Israel (1 Kings 15:17-22, 2 Chronicles 16:1-6). The ten begged for their lives and gave information on their stores of wheat, barley, oil, and honey hidden in a field somewhere. From this we can speculate that Ishmael’s intentions on the killing for financial reasons. Then Ishmael took captive all the remnant people in Mizpah and proceeded north to eventually join up with the sons of Ammon (Jeremiah 41:4-10).

-But Johanan and all the commanders of the forces that were with him heard of all the evil Ishmael had done and chase them down by the great pool that is in Gibeon (for geographical info see When the people taken captive by Ishmael saw Johanan and his forces that were with him, they were glad and turned around and came back with Johanan for safety and protection from their internment. Meanwhile, Ishmael and eight men with him escaped to the sons of Ammon. The remnant of Johanan ventured to Geruth Chimham, which is beside Bethlehem (for geographical info see, on their way to Egypt because they were now afraid that the Chaldeans would be coming on account of the disruptions and unsettled situation in the land on account of Gedaliah’s death (Jeremiah 41:11-18). *Application* What can we take from this twisted and somewhat random historical narrative for our lives today? The answer lies in waiting on the LORD and submitting to His timing. God had told the remnant people His intentions for blessing in the land while their brothers and sisters were away in exile just in the previous chapter (Jeremiah 40:9-12). Ishmael and his zealous companions tried to subvert the peace for their own agenda and nationalistic pride it certainly appears. Our best response in any situation is to be patient and let the LORD have His way with us. When we do, we will find that things will somehow work out in a beneficial manner. When we take matters into our own hands when God isn’t in it, we screw things up every time. Don’t be an Ishmael. Go God’s way!


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 41:2

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 40

Jeremiah 40


-God came and spoke with Jeremiah after he had been released from Ramah when he had been taken with the exiles from Jerusalem and Judah. He receives at this time some encouraging words from Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, because of prophecies, which had come against the people of Israel due to their sin against the LORD and not listening to the Voice of God (Jeremiah 40:1-3). Now Jeremiah was being freed from the chains, and the whole land was before if he wanted. Or, he could go to Babylon as he was invited to come with the promise that he would looked after. He was given the choice of what seemed right to him. So in the end, Jeremiah was given respect and endured in the Promised Land as a true and steadfast man of God who knew his King and was bold in his character and prophetic word. He choose to stay with his new freedom and was given a ration and a gift from the captain of the bodyguard (Jeremiah 40:4-5).

-Then Jeremiah went to Mizpah to Gedaliah, who became the leader under Nebuchadnezzar in the land of Israel. Gedaliah encouraged the people to stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon that it may go well with them. He told them to gather in wine, summer fruit, and oil for their storage vessels and live in the cities that had been taken over. All the Jews who were in Moab, Edom, and all the other countries returned from all the places they had been driven, and they gathered in wine and summer fruit in great abundance (Jeremiah 40:6-12).

-At this point, Gedaliah gets a warning from Johanan that the sons of Ammon lead by Baalis was sending a man named Ishmael to take his life, but Gedaliah did not believe them. Johanan wanted to protect the appointed leader of the land of Israel and go kill Ishmael, but Gedaliah thought it to be a lie and refrained him from doing violence (Jeremiah 40:13-16). *Application* Premonitions and intrigue are constant in biblical accounts and often in our lives. Listen to the warnings that people of God are giving you in matters. It could save your life. Gedaliah dies shortly after this unheeded warning (Jeremiah 41:1-2).


Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 40:4

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 39

Jeremiah 39


-By the 9th year in the 10th month of Zedekiah, the Babylonians (Chaldeans) under Nebuchadnezzar laid siege on Jerusalem to capture it according to the Word of the LORD. By the 11th year in the 4th month the city wall was breached and all the Babylonian officials came in and sat at the Middle Gate (Jeremiah 39:1-3). This was in 586 B.C.. When Zedekiah and all the men of war saw the enemy, they fled and went out of the city in the night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls towards the Arabah (the Jordan Valley area to the east). But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook them in the plains of Jericho (just north of the Dead Sea area). They were seized and brought up to Nebuchadnezzar in Riblah in the land of Hamath (far to the north past the Sea of Galilee in what would today be Lebanon). There sentence was passed on the rebellious king (Mattaniah, or Zedekiah) that Nebuchadnezzar had set up as his person to rule Judah after Jehoiachin was taken into exile. Zedekiah’s sons and nobles were killed before his eyes and then his own eyes were gauged out with him being put in fetters of bronze to take him to Babylon as a prisoner where he would later die (2 Kings 24; 25, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 39:4-7; 52). The Chaldeans also burned the city of Jerusalem with fire including the king’s palace and the houses of the people, and they broke down the walls of the city (Jeremiah 39:8). As for the people who remained behind and capitulated to the Chaldeans, they were carried off to Babylon, but some of the poorest people who had nothing were left behind in Judah and given vineyards and fields (Jeremiah 39:9-10).

-Nebuchadnezzar was somehow aware of Jeremiah and his prophecies for the Babylonian nation’s benefit and gave orders to protect him so that no harm would befall him. He commanded that his guards deal with the prophet of God just as he (Jeremiah) tells them. Here we see the respect for Jeremiah that was too often lacking from the Jewish people, which resulted in their calamity. Jeremiah was allowed to stay among the people of the land (Jeremiah 39:11-14). Before this time, while he was still in captivity in the court of the guardhouse, the word of the LORD came concerning Ebed-melech the Ethiopian (who had saved his life, Jeremiah 38:7-13). This prophecy was predicting the coming fall of Jerusalem, but Ebed-melech’s deliverance from the men he dreaded. “’For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,’ declares the LORD (Jeremiah 39:15-18).” *Application* We see the sovereignty of God to take care of matters that He declares through His prophetic Word here in this passage. What does it take in our life to avoid His judgment and certain calamity in our own lives? Trust in Him and His Word, that’s the simple message, yet so profound. Lean not unto your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your path just like He did with Jeremiah and Ebed-melech (Proverbs 3:5-6). He in the end will deliver and bless those who fear Him. For those who rebel, disaster will come as with Zedekiah and so many of the Judeans.


Verses to Memorize: Jeremiah 39:6-8, 18

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Jeremiah- Chapter 38

Jeremiah 38


-Jeremiah, because of the Word of the LORD given, finds himself at odds with raging men of influence in the city of Jerusalem who thought he was discouraging the men of war with his pessimistic prophecies and that giving up was the only way to survive (Jeremiah 38:1-4). They go to the king, Zedekiah, and want Jeremiah put to death for his prophecies. King Zedekiah tells them he can basically do nothing against them, which gives them opportunity to put him into a cistern of the king’s son, Malchijah, in the court of the guardhouse. Jeremiah is sinking in the mud of the cistern where there was fortunately no water, and it seemed he would die there. However, Ebed-melech the Ethiopian went to bat for the prophet of God and petitioned the king for a rescue effort, which was successfully made. He stayed from that time in the court of the guardhouse (Jeremiah 38:5-13). After these things, King Zedekiah came to Jeremiah wanting a word. Though hesitant (for good reason), the prophet told the king the truth about how to survive once again and the king hid the words and the prophet of God from further harm in the desperate situation that they faced with Babylonian siege and captivity inevitable (Jeremiah 38:14-28). *Application* People naturally do not like negative news. When God gives you a word that is negative in a situation, expect retaliation and hate just like Jeremiah experienced. But, also remember that God is with His people when He sends them on a mission with accurate and true prophetic words. He will rescue and use some random and sometimes even powerful sources for His deliverance, just like we see here in this passage. Do His will no matter how hard it may seem.

Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 38:15