Study of Jeremiah – Chapters 5-6

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Jeremiah

As a parent, how patient are you with your child?  How many chances do you give your child to do what you instruct them before you institute a discipline?
God was very patient with the people of Israel back in Jeremiah’s day…but even now, God is so very patient with each of us!  Let’s look at Jeremiah, Chapter 5 and see just what God was looking for within this city.

Jeremiah 5:1-2Jeremiah 5:1-2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

5 1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. 2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.  

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1 “Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,’ says the Lord.
“Look high and low; search throughout the city!
If you can find even one just and honest person,
I will not destroy the city.
2 But even when they are under oath,
saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
they are still telling lies!”

Jeremiah- Jerusalem

Jerusalem was the capital city and was the center site for worship for Judah.  Can you even begin to imagine going through a city of that size, looking for just one ‘just and honest person’?  How evil must have prevailed!  As I look around in our world today, I see more and more evil and Christians compromising just so that they will be accepted.

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

3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.  

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3 Lord, you are searching for honesty.
You struck your people,
but they paid no attention.
You crushed them,
but they refused to be corrected.
They are determined, with faces set like stone;
they have refused to repent.

Jeremiah

God does not accept dishonesty from anyone.  As we pray, or speak to God, there is nothing that will close that door of communication any faster than lying, pretending, or being hypocritical.  When you think about it, God already knows our heart; He knows every thought and action…even before we do!  Why would anyone jeopardize their relationship with God with pretense?  God did everything to wake the people up, but they still refused to listen and repent.  What a sorrow awaits them.

Jeremiah 5:4-9Jeremiah 5:4-9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. 5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. evenings: or, deserts are increased: Heb. are strong 7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. 8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. 9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?  

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4 Then I said, “But what can we expect from the poor?
They are ignorant.
They don’t know the ways of the Lord.
They don’t understand God’s laws.
5 So I will go and speak to their leaders.
Surely they know the ways of the Lord
and understand God’s laws.”
But the leaders, too, as one man,
had thrown off God’s yoke
and broken his chains.
6 So now a lion from the forest will attack them;
a wolf from the desert will pounce on them.
A leopard will lurk near their towns,
tearing apart any who dare to venture out.
For their rebellion is great,
and their sins are many.
7 “How can I pardon you?
For even your children have turned from me.
They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all!
I fed my people until they were full.
But they thanked me by committing adultery
and lining up at the brothels.
8 They are well-fee, lusty stallions,
each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
9 Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?

At first, Jeremiah thought that the only reason he couldn’t find anyone for God was because he was searching among the poor, who he called ignorant.  He began to search among the leaders, sure that he would find just one!  But, he soon found that the leaders had turned their back on God and were not leading the people towards God, but instead, towards sin.  He realized that the poor could not learn because the leaders were not teaching.  Therefore, God’s search was complete.  Jeremiah could not find one true follower in any level of society.
In verse 7, we see that God held the people responsible for their children’s sins because the children followed the example of their parents.  What kind of example are we setting for our children?  Do we encourage them towards God?  Or, do we close our eyes to the activities of our child?  God will hold us accountable for our children!  The sin of leading others, especially our children, astray by our example is one God doesn’t look upon lightly.

Jeremiah 5:10-13Jeremiah 5:10-13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD. 12 They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: 13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.  

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10 “Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines,
leaving a scattered few alive.
Strip the branches from the vines,
for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and Judah
are full of treachery against me,”
says the Lord.
12 “They have lied about the Lord
and said, ‘He won’t bother us!
No disasters will come upon us.
There will be no war or famine.
13 God’s prophets are all windbags
who don’t really speak for him.
Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!”

How sad and disappointing this must have been for our Lord.  His chosen people had not only turned their face away from Him, but they spread lies to others, turning them away also.  They truly believed that God would not discipline them for their sinful ways.

Jeremiah 5:14-19Jeremiah 5:14-19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. 16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. 17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword. 18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you. 19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.  

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14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Because the people are talking like this,
my messages will flame out of your mouth
and burn the people like kindling wood.
15 O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,”
says the Lord.
“It is a might nation,
an ancient nation,
a people whose language you do not know,
whose speech you cannot understand.
16 Their weapons are deadly;
their warriors are mighty.
17 They will devour the food of your harvest;
they will devour your sons and daughters.
They will devour your flocks and herds;
they will devour your grapes and figs.
And they will destroy your fortified towns,
which you think are so safe.
18 “Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely,” says the Lord. 19 “And when your people ask, ‘Why did the Lord our God do all this to us?’ you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.'”

Babylon was certainly an ancient nation.  In Jeremiah’s day, Babylon would come to rebel against Assyrian domination, form its own army and conquer Assyria.  This would lead them into becoming the next dominant world power.

How far will we push God?  How much do we expect Him to tolerate of us before He begins to send down His wrath upon us?  If we refuse to listen, should we expect an easy ride?
Some feel that our God is a loving and forgiving God that allows us much latitude.  But, as any parent knows and understands, if you do not correct your child, they will grow up ignorant.  God WILL correct us if we ignore Him and refuse to listen!

Jeremiah

As I re-read the above passages, I can’t help to think how similar it sounds to me…comparing it to the Book of Revelation.  God wanted so much for the people to HEAR His message…do you feel that while reading?  He was left with no alternative but to implement a strong discipline on His people.  This is no different than how it will be in the end of times.  Christians everywhere share the Word of God, but so many people close their ears and eyes.  They don’t want to hear what God has to offer.  They don’t see what is happening around them and how we are quickly moving into a time of judgment.  History will repeat itself, just as it happened so long ago in Jeremiah’s time.  Science has already proved, time and time again, that the events in the Bible are accurate.  So, why would anyone choose NOT to give their life for Christ?  The bottom line is that you WILL have to make a choice between good (God) and evil (Satan)!  There is no ‘in-between’.

Let’s continue on in Jeremiah 5, the justice of God’s judgment.
Beginning with verse 20, we see God giving a warning to His people.

Jeremiah 5:20-21Jeremiah 5:20-21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: understanding: Heb. heart  

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20 “Make this announcement to Israel,
and say this to Judah:
21 Listen, you foolish and senseless people,
with eyes that do not see
and ears that do not hear.

How often have you talked with someone, only to find that they have not heard a word that you have said?  Or, you are trying to show someone something, and they pay no attention to you?  Imagine God’s frustration at His people when they ignore His words!  Jeremiah is telling the people of Judah that their eyes and ears were no good to them because they refused to see or hear God’s message.  Do you know someone that has their eyes and ears closed to God?  Keep them close in prayer.  If you have access to a prayer chain, add their name.  We must never give up on anyone and prayer is a powerful tool!  The people of Judah and Israel not only refused to listen to God’s promised blessings for obedience, but they also refused to listen to His promise of destruction for disobedience.  If we do not hear God’s message and heed His word, how do we expect to become a changed person?

Jeremiah 5:22-25Jeremiah 5:22-25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. 25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.  

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22 Have you no respect for me?
Why don’t you tremble in my presence?
I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline
as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross.
The waves may toss and roar,
but they can never pass the boundaries I set.
23 But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned away and abandoned me.
24 They do not say from the heart,
‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God,
for he gives us rain each spring and fall,
assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’
25 Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings.
Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.

What is your attitude when you come into Gold’s presence?  Do you come with respect and trembling?  God set the boundaries of all of His creation. Just take a moment and think about everything that is available to us.  For example, without the rain there would be no harvest, no food.  In Jeremiah’s time, God had to remove the blessings he had showered this nation with in an attempt to ‘wake them up’, expecting that they would turn back to Him.  Even today, God uses this method to get our attention.

Don’t wait until God removes your cherished resources before committing yourself to Him as you should!

Jeremiah 5:26-31Jeremiah 5:26-31
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. they lay...: or, they pry as fowlers lie in wait 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. cage: or, coop 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; A wonderful...: or, Astonishment and filthiness 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? bear...: or, take into their hands  

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26 “Among my people are wicked men
who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind.
They continually set traps
to catch people.
27 Like a cage filled with birds,
their homes are filled with evil plots.
And now they are great and rich.
28 They are fat and sleek,
and there is no limit to their wicked deeds.
They refuse to provide justice to orphans
and deny the rights of the poor.
29 Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?
30 A horrible and shocking thing
has happened in this land –
31 the prophets give false prophecies,
and the priests rule with an iron hand.
Worse yet, my people like it that way!
But what will you do when the end comes?

Have you ever asked why people who are so wicked and sinful seem to have everything they could ever want?  Long ago, I questioned this very thing.  How could someone who served the Lord each and every day of their life seem to have so little, but people who were involved in sin continuously have so much.  Over the years, God has showed me that ‘what’ they have are not of God.  The cars, boats, nice houses, etc. are all of this world.  They are things which one claims a status to.  Would they be willing to give any of it away? Probably not.  They validate their claim to status by saying ‘they’ worked for it.  As a Christian, I have learned that we live in this world, but we are not of’ this world.  We need very little to survive until our true life in eternity!  I have the Word of God and that’s all that I need.  God takes care of everything else.  He showers me with blessings that others may never see as a blessing.  Living as a Christian is living to share God’s love with others, no matter who they are or what their background is.  Just as in Jeremiah’s time when the people of Judah and Israel were unjust to the defenseless people of the nation, we see it prevalent today.  Just thinking about homeless people, how many do you observe standing around shelters seeking a place to stay for the night?  How often do you hear about children that go without food?  This is something that we see all over the world!  Do you help any of these people?  Can you help just one?
As we move through the Book of Jeremiah, we will see how God feels about what we do, and who we do it to.  If we are not sharing God’s Word and His love, we are off-track and need to re-evaluate our purpose as a Christian.

If you knew there was impending doom headed your way, what would you do?

Chapter 6 in Jeremiah is Jerusalem’s last warning:

Jeremiah 6:1Jeremiah 6:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.  

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1 “Run for you lives, you people of Benjamin!
Get out of Jerusalem!
Sound the alarm in Tekoa!
Send up a signal at Beth-hakkerem!
A powerful army is coming from the north,
coming with disaster and destruction.

Tekoa was approximately 12 miles south of Jerusalem. That is where God told Jeremiah’s own tribe of Benjamin to escape to, instead of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was soon to be under siege.

Jeremiah 6:2-3Jeremiah 6:2-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. comely: or, dwelling at home 3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.  

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2 O Jerusalem, you are my beautiful and delicate daughter-
but I will destroy you!
3 Enemies will surround you, like shepherds camped around the city.
Each chooses a place for his troops to devour.

The city of Jerusalem was soon to be surrounded by ‘shepherds’, the leaders of the Babylon’s armies.  Their justice is coming from the north.

Jeremiah 6:4-8Jeremiah 6:4-8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces. 6 For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. cast...: or, pour out the engine of shot 7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds. 8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. depart: Heb. be loosed, or, disjointed  

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4 They shout, ‘Prepare for battle!
Attack at noon!’
‘No, it’s too late; the day is fading,
and the evening shadows are falling.’
5 ‘Well then, let’s attack at night
and destroy her palaces!'”
6 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Cut down the trees for battering rams.
Build siege ramps against the walls of Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished,
for she is wicked through and through.
7 She spouts evil like a fountain.
Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction.
I always see her sickness and sores.
8 Listen to this warning, Jerusalem,
or I will turn from you in disgust.
Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins,
a land where no one lives.”

We can see that this attack against Jerusalem appears to be coming in the form of a well-planned, premeditated attack.  This attack, all because a nation continually defied God.  How long do we make God wait?  How long do we expect God’s patience to last?

Jeremiah 6:9Jeremiah 6:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.  

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9 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Even the few who remain in Israel
will be picked over again,
as when a harvester checks each vine a second time
to pick the grapes that were missed.”

Do not confuse the ‘few who remain in Israel’ to the ‘righteous remnant’.  In this verse, God likens His power and ability to completely destroy the people to those of a good harvester who picks all the grapes off of a vine.  Babylon wouldn’t be satisfied until every person was taken.  They invaded Judah three times until they destroyed the nation and its Temple completely.  To read about this destruction in more detail, see 2 Kings 24,252 Kings 24,25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

 

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Jeremiah 6:1Jeremiah 6:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.  

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10 To whom can I give warning?
Who will listen when I speak?
Their ears are closed,
and they cannot hear.
They scorn the word of the Lord.
They don’t want to listen at all.

The people of Israel didn’t want to hear.  They were angry.  Living according to God’s commands did not appear very exciting.  So, how are we any different today?  With everything available to us in this world…technology, fast cars, big houses, nice clothes…why would we want to live a disciplined life?  Because, our eternity depends on what choice we make.  In the end, there will be only two choices to choose from…you will either be FOR God, or AGAINST Him.  I cannot impress enough that there will be no middle ground.  If you accept Christ as your Savior, and begin to know Him by reading His Word, the ‘things’ of this world will not seem so inviting anymore.   You begin to have less and less interest in material things and become more focused on your spiritual being.  This is becoming a born-again Christian.

Jeremiah

In today’s world, we see multitude of disasters occurring all over the world.  Sin is running a muck and is only going to get worse.  As Christians, we must continue to witness to others and share the love of Jesus Christ, no matter how unsettling their response may be, which I expect that to get worse in nature as well.  We need to keep in mind that our responsibility is to share God’s Word; their responsibility is to accept it.  Do not allow what people ‘want’ to hear dictate ‘what’ we say.  We must be strong and present the truth of the Gospel!

Jeremiah 6:1Jeremiah 6:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.  

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1-15
11 So now I am filled with the Lord’s fury.
Yes, I am tired of holding it in!
“I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets
and on gatherings of young men,
on husbands and wives
and on those who are old and gray.
12 Their homes will be turned over to their enemies,
as will their fields and their wives.
For I will raise my powerful fist
against the people of this land,”
says the Lord.
13 “From the least to the greatest,
their lives are ruled by greed.
From prophets to priests,
they are all frauds.
14 They offer superficial treatments
for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace
when there is no peace.
15 Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions?
Not at all – they don’t even know how to blush!
Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
They will be brought down when I punish them,”
says the Lord.

How often have you gotten so angry at someone because they just won’t listen to you?  What do you want to do?  Lash out!  Take them to their knees, so to speak, to make them pay attention.  God is has so much patience!  I wish I had a hundredth of the span of patience I have observed God having with people in the Bible, and with how I see people living today.  Even in our country, it seems as though people are more interested in living in sin and enjoying themselves, than the consequences to our nation.  Jeremiah prophesies the specific details of what can be expected from the Babylonian invasion, and again God blames each of the citizens of Judah for the nation’s collective sin.  But, Israel’s response was “ignore it and maybe it will go away”.  They didn’t want to listen because they didn’t like Jeremiah pointing out their sinful nature.
Are we not similar?  Is it not easier to pretend that what we are doing is acceptable to God than to admit that we are living sinfully?  Do we rationalize what we do, saying that God will understand our reasons?  Do not be misled, or deceived.  Denying the truth does not change the truth!  What God says will happen…will happen!  Sin will never be removed from your life by denying it.  The only way to remove the sin in your life is to accept Christ and confess your sins, then asking for forgiveness.  Jesus died on the cross for ALL of our sins…long before you or I committed them.  Wow!  That is a powerful thought, isn’t it?  Jesus loved us so much, without even knowing us yet, that He gave His life for us!  His blood washes our sin away when we accept Him, confess, and ask forgiveness.  How fortunate we are!  The people of Israel didn’t have the Bible to read about Jesus and what He did for us.  They depended on the prophets bringing messages directly from God.  But, even then, they didn’t listen and chose to live their own way, denying God.

Study of Jeremiah, Chapters 1-2

Study of Jeremiah, Chapters 3-4

Study of Jeremiah Chapters 7-8

 

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

4 thoughts on “Study of Jeremiah – Chapters 5-6

  1. Pingback: Study of Jeremiah - Chapters 3-4 Judah Follows Isreal; Hope for Isreal

  2. Martha Orlando

    What an amazing piece you have written here, Mary! I have to tell you that, at every turn, I saw our own nation committing the sins of ancient Jerusalem. We so need to repent and return to the Lord! I will continue to pray for that repentance and revival.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. mhudakcollins Post author

      Amen! Martha, I totally agree! Our nation alone, has pushed God so far away. Our citizens have embraced the fun and excitement of a sinful life, with open arms. A mighty revival is on the horizon! I can ‘feel’ the movement of God across our nation. Or, as I recently read…the Awakening before the Shakening!

  3. Pingback: Study of Jeremiah Chapters 1-2 - The call of Jeremiah; Judah is condemned

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