Bible In One Year-Day 143 (Friday, May 23, 2014)
Commentary: Jer16-18. Jeremiah was told not to marry in that land because God’s grace, which is very important for man’s existence, had been withdrawn. The elements of God’s grace are peace, loving-kindness, mercy and divine favor. Without them the land was void of real life; the curse of untimely death was in the land, Jer16:3-4.
Jeremiah 16:3-5 “For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land;They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.”
Jeremiah was further instructed not to participate in any funeral and social celebrations or parties because it was of no use; the dead crying for the dead.
Jeremiah 16:9 “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.”
The people of the land had taken after another god and abandoned the true God of the universe. Relationship between them and God was broken and people began to treacherously relate with one another. They got involved in sexual sacrifices to worship Asherah, the Canaanites’ gods (Jer17:2/ Judg3:7). Gradually, their heritage, which was the Promised Land, was slipping away from their grip into the hands of their enemies. Their trust was no longer in the God of Abraham but in men. God made them to weigh where they put their trust and choose; in man or in God, Jer17:5-8. If in man, the reward is ‘curse’ and if in God, the reward is ‘blessing’. Many things turned upside down in the land which God couldn’t tolerate anymore sinfulness. For Jeremiah to know what God wanted to do as a result, he was given instruction to go to the Potter’s house to observe another prophetic action. He saw how the potter made vessels from clay and how he destroyed some that are displeasing to him.
Jeremiah 18:6 “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”
However God made him to know that there was room for repentance.
Jeremiah 18:11 “Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”
Funny enough, they refused to heed to God’s option, rather they ridiculed God’s word and regarded it as hopeless. Jeremiah told them the consequence of their decision;
Jeremiah 18:17 “I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.”
God turned His back against them because they had forsaken Him and rejected His merciful option. They then planned to attack the ministry of Jeremiah and, of course, to kill him. The prayer of Jeremiah changed;
Jeremiah 18:19-23 “… Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.”
He realized that his ministry was his destiny and he was not ready to take it kindly with whoever had decided to terminate his destiny. This is the actions we ought to take against the enemies of our destiny. Matters that have to do with destiny must not be taken lightly but serious. Attacks against destiny are in two basic forms; external and internal. External attack is when the enemy wages war against your destiny and internal attack is when you go into sin. For the external attack, when you call unto God in truth and righteousness, he will defend you as He promised Jeremiah in Jer1:19. But of that internal attack, you need repentance.
The state of the Israelites and the Judeans are the state of the church today. Things that should not be heard among the gentiles are the doctrine of the pulpits;
Jeremiah 18:13 “Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.”
On today’s pulpits are many ‘Pastor Pashhurs’ who tell the people what they want to hear and not what God has for them. People read the Bible because they have to preach and not to feed their own soul; more of entertainments than inspirations. The preaching of the truth becomes a taboo in the hearing of the people and philosophy has taken over.
Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Motivational messages, and not inspirational (of the Holy Spirit) are the order of the day. The word is no more from God but from the deceitful hearts of men. People trust in men and not in God.
1 Corinthians 2:5 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
The government of the church is no more on the shoulder of Christ but on the shoulders of “men of God” (Isa9:6-7). The children are growing in the philosophies of men and not in God and grace. Jeremiah who had the word of the true God was seriously confronted and his life became miserable. The mere fact that you are a genuine Christian does not mean you will not face some challenges, the difference is that your own challenges are different; a just course that leads to eternal life. Conspiracies could be against you, people might reject your side of the version and powerful people might pervert justice in their favor, remember Joseph and Jeremiah;
Jeremiah 15:20 “And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD.”
Let us ask for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. May the good God give us the grace to remain in His word. Reading for today is Jer19-21. Keep the fire burning and alive. ALL ABOUT JESUS