Monday, June 30, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 72 Wednesday

Jeremiah 23:9-40

No longer was there even worship in God's house! The priests were as vulgar as the people they were to be leading in worship. A whirlwind (perhaps literal, perhaps figurative: I'm not sure) was coming from the LORD.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God said that if a prophet had received a dream or a prophecy he should tell it truthfully. He said His Word is like a fire that burns the chaff and a hammer that breaks a rock to pieces. Therefore God said He was against those that stole His Word from the hearts of men. ("Rightly dividing the Word of Truth" [2 Tim. 2:15] is serious business!)
  • God told Jeremiah that when the people, or a prophet, or a priest came to him to ask, "What is the burden of the LORD?" Jeremiah was to answer, "What burden? I will even forsake you! said the LORD." Every man's word was to be his burden. There would be no more burden (or message) from the LORD except that of the coming captivity because they had perverted the burden of the LORD. 
  • God also told Jeremiah to turn the question back to any prophets who asked about the burden of the LORD by asking them what they had heard from God themselves.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised "slippery ways in the darkness" for the prophets and priests that were leading people into false worship. These slippery ways would lead to evil upon them.
  • God would feed the lying prophets with wormwood and give them gall to drink. 
  • God had told the false prophets to stop saying "The burden of the LORD" since they obviously had not received a burden from the LORD. Since they had not desisted, God said He would totally forget them, forsake them and the city that He had given their fathers. They would receive an everlasting reproach and a perpetual shame which would never be forgotten.

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jeremiah gave the people a weather warning as a sign of the times. Jesus told His disciples of weather events that would happen before His coming. He also told them that men could make certain weather predictions by watching the sky but they could not discern the times in spite of the many signs around them.

Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The references to a whirlwind are reminders that the "weather forecasts" that Jesus told His disciples to watch.
  • The warning to the false prophets who perverted the Word of God should strike fear into all who are careless with His Word today. In Jeremiah's day those lying preachers who misrepresented God were promised everlasting reproach and perpetual shame that would never be forgotten. Evidently their infamy will last throughout eternity. It's a fair warning to all of us not to misrepresent God and His Word.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)