Study of Jeremiah – Chapters 3-4 Judah Follows Isreal; Hope for Isreal

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Jeremiah

As we move into Chapter 3 in Jeremiah, we see many lessons that are applicable to life today!

Jeremiah 3:1-5 1Jeremiah 3:1-5 1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. They say: Heb. Saying 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. 3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. 4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? 5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.  

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“If a man divorces a woman and she goes and marries someone else, he will not take her back again, for that would surely corrupt the land. But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, so why are you trying to come back to me?” says the Lord. 2 “Look at the shrines on every hilltop. Is there any place you have not been defiled by your adultery with other gods? You sit like a prostitute beside the road waiting for a customer. You sit alone like a nomad in the desert. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and your wickedness. 3 That’s why even the spring rains have failed. For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless. 4 Yet you say to me, ‘Father, you have been my guide since my youth. 5 Surely you won’t be angry forever! Surely you can forget about it!’ So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can.”

The law mentioned in verse 1 regarding a man divorcing a woman can be found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4Deuteronomy 24:1-4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. some...: Heb. matter of nakedness divorcement: Heb. cutting off 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.  

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. This law was not meant to convey the approval of divorce, but rather to encourage a man and woman to think long and hard about their choice of divorce.

Many of us have ‘divorced’ God, and have ‘married’ other Gods of many shapes and sizes. This gives God every right to permanently disown us, but as back then, in God’s mercy He is willing to take us back to Him.

How many times does Jesus have to die on the cross before you accept Him as your Lord and Savior? Do you have anything in your life that you place in front of God? Sometimes, we go through life unrepentant, expecting God to overlook everything that we do. We are taught that our God is a good and forgiving God. But as with any parent, there comes a time that God will have to put His foot down and say “No more!”

We talk the talk, but do we walk the walk? Do we say we are a Christian, but then minimize our sin? Do we truly walk the walk of God? Do your fruits reflect a true follower of Christ?

When we minimize our sin, we begin to shy away from making changes in our life, and we continue to sin. It’s only when we view each and every wrong attitude or action as a serious offense to God that we will begin to understand what living for God is actually all about!

If there was someone, or a group of people, doing something against you…how long do you think you would have patience with them?

In reading Jeremiah 3:6-15Jeremiah 3:6-15
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. lightness: or, fame 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. feignedly: Heb. in falsehood 11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. 14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.  

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, I can feel God’s frustration, disappointment, unfailing love, and hope for His people. Do we display these same characteristics with others who are against us? Let’s see what God shares with us in these 10 verses.

Jeremiah 3:6-10 6Jeremiah 3:6-10 6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. lightness: or, fame 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. feignedly: Heb. in falsehood  

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During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. 7 I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. 8 She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution. 9 Israel treated it all so lightly – she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted. 10 But despite all of this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Israel had fallen so far away from God, but He continued to be patient with them, even in His frustration with their actions. To make matters worse, Judah followed in Israel’s footsteps, even after seeing what God had done to Israel. Do you ever find yourself following someone else’s lead, even though you know in your heart that it is wrong? Have you ever ‘pretended’ to be sorry for your thoughts and/or actions, but continued on doing the same things over and over? I see us as individual flowers growing in a meadow. As we are absorbing the sunshine, we are growing into a mature and strong flower. But, there are times of storms and strong winds, that blow over the flowers who do not have a strong stem. Is your stem strong? Can it withhold you during difficult times of temptation in your life? Jeremiah 3:11-15 11Jeremiah 3:11-15 11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. 14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.  

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Then the Lord said to me, “Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah! 12 Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the Lord says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 14 “Return home, you wayward children,” says the Lord, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel – from wherever you are scattered. 15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.”

Are you hearing the right doctrines in your church? Is your preacher/pastor/minister delivering the Word of God to you each week? It is our responsibility to seek out a place of worship who offers the true Gospel of Christ. So many churches offer a ‘watered-down’ version of the Word, or offer a ‘feel-good’ sermon, saying what YOU want to hear, not what God has to say. Believing the right doctrine begins with your study of the Bible, but reinforce it with a church who preaches and teaches the scripture. Believing the right doctrine without making a true commitment to God is and empty effort. Being sorry for our sins is not enough. We must repent, and this requires a change of mind and heart that results in changed thoughts and behavior.

God saw the lack of true leadership in Israel, and in verse 15, God promises to send the right kind of leadership to His people. If we are under the wrong kind of leadership, we can be led astray. We must keep the leaders in our schools, government, communities, and churches in our daily prayers, that they will be God-fearing and God-honoring leaders, bringing us God’s great wisdom.

We are really no different than the people back in Jeremiah’s time. They were easily deceived by the excitement of wealth, winning, and sexual pleasures, just as we see today. Most do not see the sin that goes hand in hand with those pleasures. Deception=Sin

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 3:16-18 16Jeremiah 3:16-18 16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. come to mind: Heb. come upon the heart that...: or, it be magnified 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. imagination: or, stubbornness 18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. with: or, to given...: or, caused your fathers to possess  

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“And when your land is once more filled with people, ” says the Lord, “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. 17 In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord.’ All nations will come there to honor the Lord. They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires. 18 In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave their ancestors as an inheritance forever.

The Ark of the Covenant was housed in the beautiful temple in Israel, and was a symbol of God’s presence with the people. The reason the Ark of the Covenant wouldn’t be missed is that God will replace the Ark with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the future kingdom.

Jeremiah 3:19-25 19Jeremiah 3:19-25 19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. pleasant...: Heb. land of desire from me: Heb. from after me a goodly...: Heb. an heritage of glory, or, beauty 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. husband: Heb. friend 21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. 22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. 23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.  

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“I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land – the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from me. 20 But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel! You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband. I, the lord, have spoken.” 21 Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains, the weeping and pleading of Israel’s people. For they have chosen crooked paths and have forgotten the Lord their God. 22 “My wayward children,” says the Lord, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” 23 Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the Lord our God will Israel ever find salvation. 24 From childhood we have watched as everything our ancestors worked for – their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters- was squandered on a delusion. 25 Let us now lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor, for we and our ancestors have sinned against the Lord our God. From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed him.”

John 14:6John 14:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  

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tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ. This was true back in Jeremiah’s day as it is today. Jesus continues to be our only way to Salvation. John 3:3John 3:3
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3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. again: or, from above  

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Jesus tells us that unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God.

We cannot beat this world by our own doing. The people of Israel put their faith and hope in idols instead of God, and they paid the price. Are you trying to keep your head above water each day by yourself? Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior? Will you be one of the many who ‘lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor’? Are you obeying God’s command?

Our time on this earth, I believe, is so very short. We see prophecies being fulfilled right before our very eyes each day! If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, I encourage you to ask God to search your heart and seek Him. If you are here reading this, God is already drawing you near to Him. Will you be one who ‘never obeyed Him’? Or will you become one of His blessed children and inherit the Kingdom He has promised us?

But as we move into Chapter 4, we can see how Israel risked being used by God as a vessel to reach ALL nations with His message. [Anything in parenthesis is a comment.]

Jeremiah 4:1-2 1Jeremiah 4:1-2 1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. 2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.  

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“O Israel,” says the Lord, “if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. 2 Then when you swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise my name.”

God had the vision to use Israel as His vessel to pour out blessings on all the nations. But, as long as they continued worshiping idols and disobeying God, this privilege as the chosen people was at great risk.

We see in the following verses that judgement was coming against Judah:

Jeremiah 4:3-6 3Jeremiah 4:3-6 3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. 6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. retire: or, strengthen destruction: Heb. breaking  

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This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. 4 O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord [Hebrew: circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart] or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins”.

5 “Shout to Judah, and broadcast to Jerusalem! Tell them to sound the alarm throughout the land: ‘Run for your lives! Flee to the fortified cities!’ 6 Raise a signal flag as a warning for Jerusalem; ‘Flee now! Do not delay!’ For I am bringing terrible destruction upon you from the north.”

King Josiah had attempted to turn the people back to God, but they continued to worship their idols in secret. Their hearts had been hardened by God. Unless their hearts, like hard ground, were broken up and cleaned, the seed of God’s commands would never take root. It is no different for us today. If we choose to continue to live in sin, eventually God will harden our hearts to His will. We must ‘plow up’ our hearts, opening our heart to God to receive His Word so that it will take root and grow in our life. In verse 5 and 6, we see the warning of an imminent invasion from the North. If we look at 2 Chronicles 36, we see the destruction came from Babylon when Nabopolassar and his son, Nebuchadnezzar II attacked.

Jeremiah 4:7-18 7Jeremiah 4:7-18 7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. 8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us. 9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. 11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse, 12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them. a full...: or, a fuller wind than those give...: Heb. utter judgments 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. 14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.  

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A lion stalks from its den, a destroyer of nations. It has left its lair and is headed your way. It’s going to devastate your land! Your towns will lie in ruins, with no one living in them anymore. 8 So put on clothes of mourning and weep with broken hearts, for the fierce anger of the Lord is still upon us.

If we take a look at 2 Kings 24:1-42 Kings 24:1-4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 1 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. by: Heb. by the hand of 3 Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; 4 And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.  

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, Nebuchadnezzar was establishing his rule by force. These disasters were happening to Judah because of the Lord’s command. These were the promises God made to the people through the prophets.

Jeremiah 4:9-10 9Jeremiah 4:9-10 9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.  

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“In that day,” says the Lord, “the king and the officials will tremble in fear. The priests will be struck with horror, and the prohpets will be appalled.” 10 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, the people have been deceived by what you said, for you promised peace for Jerusalem. But the sword is held at their throats!”

Jeremiah was deeply troubled and confused by what was occurring. He expressed this to God in verse 10. The people of Israel were blind to their own sin and had many false prophets who kept telling them that everything was alright. The past promises of blessings coupled with their sin, gave them false expectations. If we turn our backs on God, how long should we expect Him to continue His promises to us? How long do we, ourselves, go before we get frustrated at someone for not listening or paying attention to what we say?

Jeremiah 4:11-18 11Jeremiah 4:11-18 11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse, 12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them. a full...: or, a fuller wind than those give...: Heb. utter judgments 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. 14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.  

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The time is coming when the Lord will say to the people of Jerusalem, “My dear people, a burning wind is blowing in from the desert, and it’s not a gentle breeze useful for winnowing grain. 12 It is a roaring blast sent by me ! Now I will pronounce your destruction!” 13 Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds! His chariots are like whirlwinds. His horses are swifter than eagles. How terrible it will be, for we are doomed! 14 O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? 15 Your destruction has been announced from Dan and the hill country of Ephraim. 16 “Warn the surrounding nations and announce this to Jerusalem: The enemy is coming from a distant land, raising a battle cry against the towns of Judah. 17 They surround Jerusalem like watchmen around a field, for my people have rebelled against me,” says the Lord. 18 “Your own actions have brought this upon you. This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart!”

Dan was located in the northern part of Israel, therefore, the Danites would be the first to see the approaching armies as they invaded from the North. God told the people that ‘their own actions have brought this upon you’. The invasion was a punishment for the people’s sin and there was no one who could stop it from happening.  This will be the same for us. Our sin is spinning out of control in this world and at some point, God will put a stop to it and no one will be able to stop it from happening.  Are you ready, in your heart, to face God?

Jeremiah

How many family and friends do we know that are lost and without God in their life? Israel was in trouble, Jeremiah knew it, and was displayed great sorrow for the doomed nation.

Jeremiah 4:19-22Jeremiah 4:19-22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. my very...: Heb. the walls of my heart 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.  

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19 My heart, my heart- I write in pain!
My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still.
For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets
and the roar of their battle cries.
20 Waves of destruction roll over the land,
until it lies in complete desolation.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed;
in a moment my shelters are crushed.
21 How long must i see the battle flags
and hear the trumpets of war?
22 “My people are foolish
and do not know me,” says the Lord.
“They are stupid children
who have no understanding.
They are clever enough at doing wrong,
but they have no idea how to do right!”

Jeremiah was anguished by the sure devastation of the coming judgment. This judgment would continue until the people turned from their sin and began to listen to God.
Many times we watch others struggle with a sinful nature in their life. What is our responsibility as a child of God? We must continue to witness, and pray…no matter how bleak the situation looks to us. As Christians, we are naturally sad for our family members, friends, and neighbors who do not know Christ as their personal Savior. We know their fate without the Lord. They are doomed, just as Israel was.
Judah was very good at doing wrong, but had no idea how to do what was right. Living right is more than simply avoiding sin. This requires decision and discipline – skills that we must develop because our behavior attracts attention to our God. As we leave our home each day to go to job, do we not pursue excellence in the work-place? Then why do we not do the same in our life style? We should make every effort to pursue excellence in Christian living!

23 I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless.
I looked at the heavens, and there was no light.
24 I looked at the mountains and hills,
and they trembled and shook.
25 I looked, and all the people were gone.
All the birds of the sky had flown away.
26 I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness.
The towns lay in ruins,
crushed by the Lord’s fierce anger.
27 This is what the Lord says:
“The whole land will be ruined,
but I will not destroy it completely.
28 The earth will mourn
and the heavens will be draped in black
because of my decree against my people.
I have made up my mind and will not change it.”
29 At the noise of charioteers and archers,
the people flee in terror.
They hide in the bushes
and run for the mountains.
All the towns have been abandoned –
not a person remains!
30 What are you doing,
you who have been plundered?
Why do you dress up in beautiful clothing
and put on gold jewelry?
Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara?
Your primping will do you no good!
The allies who were your lovers
despise you and seek to kill you.

31 I hear a cry, like that of a woman in labor,

the groans of a woman giving birth to her first child.

It is beautiful Jerusalem

gasping for breath and crying out,

“Help!  I’m being murdered!”

As Jeremiah shares his vision of the coming disaster upon Judah, I can’t help recall the verses of the Book of Revelation that describe the coming tribulations many will suffer…all because they turned their back on God. In both books, God warns that destruction was [and is] certain, but He promises that the faithful remnant would be sparred. God commits to, and promises, that those who are faithful to Him will be preserved.

Verses 19-31 speak to us during a time of horrible things occurring in our world; about the overwhelming feelings of dread, and the importance of recognizing that God DOES have the ultimate control over the events in the course of history!

Study of Jeremiah Chapters 1-2

Study of Jeremiah, Chapter 5-6

Study of Jeremiah Chapters 7-8

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

2 thoughts on “Study of Jeremiah – Chapters 3-4 Judah Follows Isreal; Hope for Isreal

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  2. Pingback: Study of Jeremiah - Chapters 5-6 | Living The Scripture

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