This time shall we turn in our Bibles to Jeremiah 31.
Now there are those who say that God has cast off Israel as a nation forever, and that all of the blessings, all of the covenants and all of the promises that God made to this nation are now fulfilled in the church. That we have become Israel after the Spirit and being spiritual Israel, God has forsaken the nation itself and is now pouring out all of the blessings that He had promised through His covenant upon the church. Now this teaching creates all kinds of problems as far as your views of eschatology, because immediately it places the church in the Great Tribulation.
Now as we were in the thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah we found out where God speaks of the nation Israel going to be in the Great Tribulation and experiencing that time of Jacob’s trouble. But it is our view and strong conviction that the church will not be in the Great Tribulation, inasmuch as the Great Tribulation is the time of God’s wrath being poured out upon the church, I mean, upon the world, and the Lord said that we have not been appointed—that is, the church—unto wrath.
So as we get into chapter 31, it is more or less a continuation of chapter 30. For he said,
At the same time (31:1),
At what time? As you go back to verse 24 of chapter 30, he declares, “The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until He has done it, and has performed the intents of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it” (Jeremiah 30:24). “At that same time,” that would be, then, the latter days.
saith the LORD (31:1),
When God again restores the nation Israel to a place of divine favor and love. “At that same time, saith the Lord.”
will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people (31:1).
Now, in the ninth chapter of Daniel, Daniel was seeking the Lord concerning the repatriation of the Jews back to their land after the seventy years of Babylonian captivity. The whole ninth chapter of Daniel begins with the fact that Daniel had been reading the prophecies of Jeremiah and he discovered by the words of Jeremiah that the time that God had ordained the Babylonian captivity was seventy years. And realizing that these seventy years were about over, Daniel began to pray unto the Lord confessing his sins and the sins of the nation and the righteousness of God and the judgment and in this period of seventy years that they have been in exile in Babylon.
And as Daniel was in prayer, the angel of the Lord came unto him and declared unto him that he was highly blessed and favored of the Lord. And that the Lord had said unto Daniel to give to him wisdom and understanding as regards to the nation Israel and its future. And He said, “Know and understand that from the time the commandment that there are seventy sevens that are determined upon the nation Israel, to finish the transgressions, to make an end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to complete the prophetic picture, to anoint the most holy One, or the most holy place, and to bring in the everlasting kingdom,” seventy sevens. “But know and understand that from the time the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the coming of the Messiah the prince will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens, or sixty-nine seven-year periods or 483 years” (Daniel 9:25). And of course, it was 483 years from the time the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of Jesus Christ in His triumphant entry. He came 483 years to the day from the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
Now that takes care of sixty-nine of the sevens. But we have one seven-year period unaccounted for. He said, “After the Messiah is revealed, He will be cut off without receiving the kingdom or without receiving anything for Himself” (Daniel 9:26) And the Jews will be dispersed, and that is exactly what happened. Christ came at the appointed time, but rather than being anointed, and rather than ushering in at that moment the everlasting kingdom, and rather than completing all of the prophecies, the Messiah was cut off. He did bring reconciliation for our iniquities by His death upon the cross. He has reconciled us to God. And He did make an end of sin. He did finish sin as far as we are concerned, making that reconciliation for us. But the latter three prophecies were not fulfilled and wait a yet future date for fulfillment. The Messiah was cut off. And then He went on to say, “And the prince of the people that shall come will make a covenant with the nation Israel. But in the midst of that seven-year period, he will break the covenant and establish the abomination which causes desolation. And until the end desolation is determined” (Daniel 9:26).
Daniel then went on, told about the seventieth week, but he did make a definite break between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth week. And there has been a definite break. When Jesus was cut off, not for Himself but for the people, and when He was cut off without receiving the kingdom, the Jews were dispersed and have been dispersed into all of the world until in the past generation the Zionist movement as they’ve gone back and are going back to their homeland and have established as of May 1948 a homeland.
Now Jesus having made reference to Daniel’s prophecy in Matthew 24 in response to the question of the disciples, “What will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?” He said, “Now when you see the abomination of desolation that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness” (Matthew 24:15-16). What is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet? Is when the antichrist, this prince of the people that shall come, will come into the temple and stand in that holy place of the temple and creates the abomination of desolation by declaring that he is God, stopping the daily prayers and sacrifices, and demanding that he be worshipped as God. Paul the apostle speaks of this in the second chapter of Thessalonians, how that he will stand in the temple of God declaring himself to be God and demanding to be worshipped as God.
Now Jesus gave this as part of the sign of the end of the age and His coming. And He is talking again to the Jews and He said, “When you see this happen, and let him who reads understand, then flee to the wilderness. Pray that your flight will not be on the Sabbath day or the new moon. Don’t bother to go home to get your clothes, just get out of there as quickly as you can” (Matthew 24:15-20). Of course in Revelation, we are told that God will give them wings of the angel to bear them to the wilderness place where they will be nourished for three-and-a-half years. So there is one seven-year period in which God is going to be dealing with the nation Israel once again. Seventy sevens were determined on the nation; sixty-nine of them have been fulfilled. We are still waiting for the seventieth seven to be determined, or that seventieth seven to be fulfilled. It will not be fulfilled until the church is taken out of here.
Right now God’s Spirit is resting upon the church and the church is God’s instrument upon the earth. But the Lord is going to take His church out and when He does, then He will put His Spirit again upon the nation Israel and He’ll begin to deal with them once more nationally. God has not cast off Israel forever. God is going to deal with them yet and they shall yet become the covenant people of God. The seven years that God is dealing with them will be a time, as Jeremiah writes here in the thirtieth chapter, of Jacob’s trouble. It’s not going to be an easy period. It’s going to be very difficult. They are going to be driven from their land once again. And there’s going to be another holocaust, unfortunately, as Satan vents his anger against these people who were God’s instrument of bringing the Messiah into the world. And through the antichrist will seek to make war against Israel to destroy these people completely. So at the end of that seven-year period, then Jesus will return again and they will receive, recognize and honor Him as their Savior, as their Messiah, as their Lord, and we will be united with them in the kingdom as we serve the Lord.
So, “At that same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel and they shall be My people.”
Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (31:2-3).
So God speaks of His love for Israel, an everlasting love. And with lovingkindness He has drawn them.
Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria (31:4-5):
Now that’s the West Bank. So notwithstanding all of the political hassle that’s being made over it, now it’s still going to be Israel’s. And they’re going to plant vines there in Samaria in the West Bank.
the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God (31:5-6).
When Christ comes and establishes the kingdom and sits there upon His throne on mount Zion.
For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country [Russia], and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travails with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn (31:7-9).
That’s an interesting statement for God to declare that Ephraim was His firstborn, because we remember from the story that Manasseh was actually the firstborn. They were twins and Manasseh…or no, they were brothers, Joseph’s sons. And Manasseh was the older and yet God said Ephraim is My firstborn. So firstborn does not mean the first to be born as far as a space of time, but it means first in prominence or has the pre-eminence of those that were born. And that causes us to understand other Scriptures which are used by the Jehovah Witnesses to try to prove that Jesus is not the Son of God or is not God manifested in the flesh.
Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock (31:10).
Now this is God’s promise. He says, “Proclaim it! I scatter them, but I’m going to gather them again.”
For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, there’ll be wheat, and wine, and oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all (31:11-12).
That glorious day when they are received again and joined unto God and to His Son Jesus Christ.
Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children and refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not (31:13-15).
Now Matthew in the New Testament takes this as a prophecy of Herod killing all of the children two years old and under at the time of the birth of Christ, in order that he might destroy the king that was born that the wise men from the east came looking for him. “And Joseph being warned by the angel in a dream to flee to Egypt with the child had left Bethlehem and Herod had ordered all of the children two years and under to be slain in Bethlehem, that,” Matthew said, “the prophecy might be fulfilled which declared, ‘Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are not’” (Matthew 2:13,17-18). And so he sees that as a prophecy of this period in which Herod ordered the slaying of the children.
Now I would not in reading through this see that this was a prediction of that event. But I accept that it is, because Matthew by the Holy Spirit declares that it is. And the New Testament is really the best commentary we have on the Old Testament. And it is interesting to me in the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ how these things are just sort of hid here and yet those enlightened by the Holy Spirit suddenly see them and they see their fulfillment in the Lord. And just in reading this in its context we are really talking about a yet future event, and yet, by the Holy Spirit Matthew says this was fulfilled and was a prediction of Herod’s slaying of the innocent children.
Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy (31:16).
So God promises the restoration, coming out from the land of the enemy.
And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border (31:17).
So you’ve got hope. You’re going to be coming back again into the borders of the country.
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself declaring; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely will have mercy upon him, saith the LORD (31:18-20).
Now listen how God speaks about a wayward son Ephraim. Not as this, “I cast him off forever. I’m through with him. I disinherit him. I disown him.” But God did speak of the judgment that was going to come upon him. “I spoke against him, but I earnestly remember him still.” And actually, “I inwardly am groaning for him. And I will surely have mercy upon him.”
Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness (31:21-23).
This will be again declared, “Oh, the Lord bless thee.” And He says, “I will use this speech in the land of Judah in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity, as they declare, ‘The Lord bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.’”
Now, of course, there is also another thing here and that is in this present-day re-gathering into Israel, the use again of the Hebrew language. After they returned from the Babylonian captivity, Hebrew was not the general language in Israel any longer. But they spoke Aramaic and they spoke Greek. But they did not really speak Hebrew. Only the scholars, the scribes and all, spoke Hebrew. All of the children growing up in Babylon in the two generations in Babylon the kids didn’t bother to learn the Hebrew language. And so they just were, of course, were in the Babylon schools and playing with their boyfriends and girlfriends and all there in Babylon, and they just picked up the Aramaic and of course that became the language when they returned, the common language. But it is interesting as a part of the modern Zionist movement was when in their return to the land they established again Hebrew as the national language of the land. Everybody learns Hebrew when they go back and they speak Hebrew there. And so they’re again using this speech of Hebrew and declaring, “The Lord bless thee,” in Hebrew, “O habitation of justice.”
And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in the cities thereof together, husbandmen, shepherds who will be going forth with their flocks. For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house (31:24-27)
As he thought about this, Jeremiah awoke as God was speaking to him these things, and it was just a beautiful thing to realize God’s restoration of the people. He was facing…they were facing, then, their destruction. And yet God took him beyond the dark period of history that was right upon them and out to the end really and the glorious restoration of God’s grace and love upon the people.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD (31:27-28).
Now if you go back to the first chapter of Jeremiah when God is calling Jeremiah to his prophetic ministry, the Lord said unto Jeremiah, verse 10 of chapter 1, “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” So he was to prophesy that destruction that was going to come upon these people. And now God declares, “I’ve watched over them to pluck them up, to break them down, to throw them down, to destroy and to afflict, but I will also watch over them to build and to plant.” So God’s restoration of His work with the nation Israel.
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be on edge (31:29-30).
Now they had this proverb, and basically the proverb was trying to blame the fathers for all of the calamities instead of accepting responsibility yourself.
When I was a kid it was all the responsibility for the bad things that went on were laid on the kids. We were held responsible for those things that we were doing. When I became an adult then they changed. They said it was all the parents’ fault. So I’ve got sort of got it both directions. Got it when I was a kid, and now I’m getting it when I’m an adult, as they blamed now the adults for all of the problems with the children. They say that personality equals heredity, environment, and time. And the formula that they use is P=HET. Personality equals heredity, environment, and time. And there’s quite a discussion now on how much is heredity, how much is environment, and how much making up your personality. But it always seems that there is that endeavor to throw the blame for my faults onto somebody else. Man does not like to take responsibility for his own actions. And if I can blame someone else for what I’ve done wrong, I’m always looking for a scapegoat. I’m always looking for someone to blame. For you see, I’m so perfect that if these other environmental things weren’t around me, I could be a perfect person. But it’s all of these annoyances and all that are around me that create this loss of temper and create these dumb things that I do. It’s not really my fault. It’s the kids have got the TV on too loud in the other room and that’s why I dropped the vase and broke it. It wasn’t really that I’m just a clumsy oaf; it was their fault, you know. And we’re always looking for someone to blame for our own weaknesses or our own failures.
And so this proverb became a very current, popular thing. And so they say, “Well, you know, my teeth are set on edge because my father ate sour grapes. And so my teeth are sharp and on edge, you know.” And blaming their fathers for their problems. He said, “That’s a proverb they’re not going to be using anymore. Every man’s going to be responsible for his own action.” And in truth, we are each of us when we stand before God, we’re responsible for our own actions. We can’t say, “Well, my dad was a mess. I couldn’t relate to you as a father because my dad was such a horrible father, you know.” That won’t go. You’re going to have to answer to God for what you’ve done. You are responsible for what you have done.
Now, there have been religious groups that have tried to take responsibility off of you. And they say, “Well, we’ll be your shepherd, you know, and we’ll be responsible for you.” People really gathered after them like everything because we like to escape responsibility for our own actions. People say, “Well, it’s the devil that made you do it, you know.” Oh, that’s great, make him responsible. No, I am responsible for what I do and I’m going to have to answer to God for what I have done. And when I come before God, I can’t say, “Well, my dad ate sour grapes. That’s why my teeth were on edge.” I’ll have to just answer to God for what I am, for what I’ve done, even as you are going to have to answer to God and you can’t find a scapegoat. You can’t lay the blame on anybody else. Every man will answer for himself.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD (31:31-32):
I’m going to make a new covenant. Not like the covenant that I made.
Now what was the covenant that He made with them? When they came out of Egypt, they came to mount Sinai and there God gave them the law and God said when He gave them the law, “He that doeth these, he that liveth by these things and doeth them shall be My people.” So the covenant that God made with them first was a covenant that was predicated upon their obedience to that law. Now they broke that covenant, God said. They didn’t obey the law. God gave to them the Ten Commandments; they broke them. They did not keep them. So God said, “I’m going to make a new covenant with them. In that day I’ll make a new covenant. Not like the old covenant that was predicated upon their obedience and their faithfulness to obey the law. And I will be their God and they will be My people, and so forth, if they live by these things and do these things.”
But what is the new covenant?
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people (31:33).
That is, I will give them a change of attitude within. I will give them a change of heart. It will not be an outward law that is forcing me obedience, but now it is a new covenant where God writes His law in my heart by creating in me a new nature. Now that’s, of course, exactly what God has done for us. That’s what Christianity is all about. Jesus said, “You’ve got to be born again. You were born of the flesh, but you’ve got to be born of the Spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Don’t marvel that I say you’ve got to be born again” (John 3:3,6-7). You need to have this new nature. And when you have this new nature, God then writes His law in your heart. You have a whole new desire, a whole new… You have such a change. It’s from within and the desire for the things of the Lord as He writes His law upon my heart. And this new covenant that God has established with us through Jesus Christ, it’s the same thing—the change of nature. Born again by the Spirit, a new nature after Christ Jesus.
And it is so important that we be born again, because we cannot keep that first covenant that God established. The law, we’ve all broken it. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So God has established this new covenant. The old covenant was established upon man’s faithfulness to obey the law. The new covenant is established upon God’s faithfulness to justify us by our faith in Jesus Christ. The old covenant failed because it was predicated upon man. The new covenant will stand because it is predicated upon God’s work.
And so we have this new covenant that God has established with us and also will establish with the house of Israel in that day. They are still trying to relate to God under the old covenant, but not completely. They no longer have any sacrifice, which was required of God to put away their sins. And so they’re still seeking to relate to God outside of the covenant through Jesus Christ whereby our sins are taken away.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (31:34).
What a glorious covenant. God having forgiven our iniquities, not remembering our sins.
Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever (31:35-36).
If you will stop the day and the night, the ordinances of the moon and the stars and all, then Israel will cease from being a nation before the Lord.
Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel even to the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall encircle it to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever (31:37-40).
It is interesting these hills and so forth that are described here as being a part of the city of Jerusalem are indeed all within the city of Jerusalem today. The city has been expanded out to these areas that are referred to here in Jeremiah.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar (32:1).
Now in the eleventh year of Zedekiah is when Jerusalem fell. So this is right at the end.
For then [even at this time, the tenth year] the king of Babylon's army had besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, Why do you prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; and Zedekiah the king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper (32:2-5).
So because of this prophecy of Jeremiah saying, “Zedekiah’s going to be taken, the king is going to look at him eye to eye and all and going to carry him away captive,” it got the king upset and threw him in jail. Now this particular prophecy that he is referring to, to show you that we’re not in chronological order, is a prophecy that you find in the thirty-fourth chapter of Jeremiah here. And so this particular prophecy of him looking at him eye to eye and so forth is further on. So you see that we’re not in a chronological order as far as the prophecies are given here in Jeremiah. So you can’t really look at this in a chronological order, but these are just prophecies that have come down and we’ll get that this evening as we get into the thirty-fourth chapter the first part there, this particular prophecy that got Jeremiah thrown in jail. Now he is in the prison, in the king’s court in prison.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is yours to buy it. So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD (32:6-8).
Now the incongruous part of this is that already Benjamin had fallen to Babylon. And so this field that was in question is already under Babylonian control. And they are going to be captives in Babylon for seventy years. Why would he want to redeem a field that is already under Babylon control? So when the Lord spoke to him and said, “Now buy the field. Tomorrow Hanameel your cousin is going to come and ask you to buy his father’s field for the right of redemption is yours, go ahead and buy it.” He thought, “Man, is this me? Surely this can’t be the Lord telling me this.” Until when Hanameel came in and said, “Hey, my father wants you to redeem the field, the right of redemption is yours.” “Then I knew it was the Lord saying it.” But he still didn’t know, he still was troubled by the thing. “Why in the world does God want me to do it?” But he went ahead in obedience.
And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. And I subscribed the evidence, and I sealed it, and I took two witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances (32:9-10).
In the scales there, he weighed out the money.
And I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and customs, and that which was open: And I gave the evidence of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel my uncle's son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison. And I charged Baruch before them, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in a clay pot, that they may continue many days (32:11-14).
In other words, preserve them because it’s going to be a long time before I’m going to be able to take this field. So seal these things and preserve them.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in the land (32:15).
So it was a sign of his faith that God was going to bring them back from captivity. Though it’s already under enemy control, God’s going to bring us back. The land’s going to be ours again and so we’re going to possess this land again.
Now under Jewish law, when you had sold or forfeited property, they would always draw up these legal instruments and they would seal them. And there came the time of redemption, usually in the seventh year, so that the thing that you had sold remains in the new ownership for six years and in the seventh year you had the right to redeem it providing you could fulfill the requirements that were in the sealed scroll. So at the time of redemption, you would come forth, you would bring these scrolls, and you would break the seal, you’d open the scroll. You would prove that you had the right to redeem it, and then you would pay the price or whatever was required within the scroll and you could redeem it. And it became your property again so that you never really sold your property permanently unless you could not redeem it in the year of redemption.
Now another aspect was added to this law of redemption, and that is, if you were personally unable to redeem it, you didn’t have the money, you couldn’t redeem it yourself in the time of redemption, if you had a brother or an uncle or a cousin or someone who is a part of your family, a kin to you, he could step in and he could pay the money and he could redeem it so that it remains in the family and in the family’s name. He would be called the ga’al, the family redeemer. And that is, he keeps it in the family, the ga’al.
An interesting Jewish law that God no doubt established in order to give a broader picture. For the earth originally was God’s because He created it. But when God placed man upon the earth, God gave the earth to man. God placed Adam upon the earth and He said, “Hey, be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth. For I have given it to thee and I’ve given you dominion over the earth, over the fish of the sea, the fowls of the air, over every moving and creeping thing.” And God gave man dominion over the earth. Now when Satan came into the garden and tempted Eve and Eve gave to Adam and he also ate of that forbidden fruit, in their action of submitting themselves to Satan, they in reality turned the control of the earth over to Satan. So that Satan at that point and from that point began to be the owner of the earth in effect. It’s his. Man turned it over to him, forfeited it to Satan. And since that time, the earth has been under Satan’s control.
You do not see the world that God created, nor do you see the world that God intended. You see a world that is filled with suffering. God never intended the suffering. You see a world that is filled with prejudice. God never intended the prejudice. You see the world in which the poor are oppressed by the rich. God never intended it to be that way. You see a world where children are starving to death. God never intended that. You see a world that is filled with sickness. God never intended that. All of the calamities and the evils that we see in the world today have been created because of man’s rebellion against God. Because man will not obey God and obey the laws of God, you see the result in a world that is filled with corruption and violence and greed and inequality. God never intended it to be that way. He intended us to all live together as brothers in equality. And it is wrong to blame God for the troubles of the world today. It is wrong to blame God for the crimes, for the sicknesses, for the malformed babies, for all of these evil things that we see. It isn’t God’s world. Jesus twice in referring to Satan called him the prince of this world.
Now, man could not redeem the world back. When man forfeited the world over to Satan, that was it. There was no way that man could redeem it back. Man’s bankrupt spiritually. And so, “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). For what purpose? To redeem the world back to God. Now Jesus became a man in order that He might be next of kin or a kinsman. And He is our kinsman-redeemer. He became man in order that He might redeem the world back to God. And when Jesus came, Satan took Him up into a high mountain and showed to Him all of the kingdoms of the earth and he said, “All of these and the glory of them I will give to You if You’ll bow down and worship me, for they are mine and I can give them to whomever I will” (Luke 4:5-7). Satan is promising Him the kingdoms. Jesus didn’t say, “What do you mean? They’re not yours. You can’t give them.” Jesus recognized that Satan had this right. He was boasting. “They are mine, I can give them to whomever I will.” That was a true boast of Satan. It is still true, it’s still Satan’s world. Though Jesus paid the price of redemption by His death upon the cross, He redeemed us by His blood. He paid the price. Yet the world still is under satanic control, the world is still in subjection to Satan, under Satan’s rule. All creation is still groaning and travailing, waiting for this day of the manifestation of the sons of God. This day of redemption, we long, we look forward to it.
In the book of Revelation, chapter 4, as John is taken into the heavenly scene he sees the throne of God. He sees the elders on their lesser thrones around the throne of God. He sees the glassy sea before the throne of God. He sees the cherubim as they are there. He hears them as they worship God saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which is, which was and which is to come” (Revelation 4:8). And he watches the twenty-four elders at this point as they fall on their faces, take their golden crowns and cast them before this glassy sea which is before the throne of God and he hears them declare, “Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor for Thou hast created all things. And for your good pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Then as you move into chapter 5, he sees in the right hand of Him who is sitting upon the throne a scroll that is sealed with seven seals writing both within and without.
All right, now here you have the thing with Jeremiah here making these scrolls and sealing one and leaving another one open. The instruments, the title deeds for the property. And he has the scroll sealed with seven seals and the angel proclaims with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to take these scrolls and to loose the seals?” In other words, “Who can redeem the earth so that it again becomes God’s?” “And no man was found worthy in heaven, in earth, under the sea to take the scroll or to loose the seals. And I, John, began to sob convulsively because no one was found worthy to do this” (Revelation 5:2-4). Why is John so upset? Why is he sobbing like that? Because if no one redeems the earth at this point, it remains in Satan’s control forever. And the thought of that is more than John can bear. “But the elders said unto me, ‘Don’t weep, John. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed. He’s going to take the scroll and open the seal.’” And John said, “I turned and I saw Him as a Lamb that had been slaughtered. And He came forth and He took the scroll out of the right hand of Him that is sitting upon the throne. And when He did, the elders came forth with golden vials full of odors which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song saying, ‘Worthy is the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals thereof, for He was slain and has redeemed us by His blood out of all of the nations, people, tongues and tribes and hath made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign with Him on the earth’” (Revelation 5:6-10).
And then there was a hundred million angels plus millions of others who joined in saying, “Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and honor and dominion and mights and authorities and thrones and powers” (Revelation 5:11-12), and so forth. That glorious day when the kingdoms of this world will again become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and the earth is restored and we see what God intended when He created the earth and placed man upon it. As we live together in peace and in love and in harmony and in righteousness. When all commercial systems are put away and man lives as God intended him to live. Every man ‘neath his vine and fig tree and me under my coconut.
So this little insight here into Jeremiah is interesting because it gives you an insight into this law. But one extra little facet here which I find quite interesting is that most generally under the Jewish law... Of course, Jesus then takes the scroll and He begins to open the seals. And the judgment comes and then He comes in chapter 10, the scroll is open. He puts one foot upon the sea, and one foot upon the earth and He says, “The kingdoms of this world have now become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He lays claim to that which He purchased with His blood.
The interesting thing to me is that generally the pattern was six years of servitude and the seventh year set free. And it was just about 6,000 years ago now that Adam went into the servitude of sin and Satan. We are coming very, very close to the seven thousandth year. The time of redemption is at hand. I mean, we’re…look at it. We’re coming out to the year 2000. Now just when it was that Adam fell, we do not know for sure. One chronology, Usher’s, Bishop Usher has it figured about 4,004 B.C. If that is so, then the seven thousandth year will begin about 1996. But we don’t want to really be date-setters as such, but just know that we’re getting close. The time and the seasons, we do know. And man has just about had it; 6,000 years is about all we can take. We’ve about done as much damage as we can possibly do without destroying now ourselves. And the Lord’s going to intervene. And He’s going to establish His kingdom, a kingdom that will never end.
So it’s fascinating to read Jeremiah here and to realize the significance of the scroll of the laws of redemption and of the kinsman-redeemer. Whereas Jeremiah became the kinsman-redeemer; Shallum could not redeem his own property. Jeremiah stepped in and redeemed it for him. Man can’t redeem himself. Jesus stepped in and redeemed us. Jesus redeemed the world and us as His children.
Now when I had delivered [Jeremiah says] this evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying (32:16),
Jeremiah’s still troubled with this. “Lord, it’s stupid for me to buy this. Why should I do it?”
Ah Lord GOD! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and your stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee (32:17):
Now I think it’s valuable to study the prayers in the Bible and this prayer of Jeremiah is a valuable one to study. Notice how he begins his prayer. “Oh Lord God, You’ve created everything, and there is nothing too hard for You.” Oh, what a glorious way to begin a prayer. “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name” (Matthew 6:9). The disciples followed this pretty much in their prayer in, “O Lord, Thou art God. Thou hast created the heaven and earth and everything that is in them” (Acts 4:24). It’s good when you start to pray to, in your addressing of God, to sort of remind yourself of Who you’re talking to. “Lord, there’s nothing too hard for You.” Remember that when you pray.
You show loving-kindness unto thousands, and you recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: You are The Great, The Mighty God, The LORD of hosts, is your name; You are great in counsel, and mighty in work: for your eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men, to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: And you have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and Israel, and among other men; and you have made thee a name, as at this day; And you have brought forth your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror; And you have given them this land, which you did swear to their fathers to give them, a land that is flowing with milk and honey; And they came in, and possessed it; but they did not obey your voice, nor did they walk in your law; they have done nothing of all that you have commanded them to do: therefore you have caused all this evil to come upon them: Behold [the Babylonians have these machines out there] the mounts, they are coming against the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: that you have spoken is come to pass; and, behold, we are seeing it (32:18-24).
You said there’d be the sword, the pestilence, famine, and God, we see it.
And now, Lord, you say to me to buy this field (32:25),
You’re so smart. You’ve done all of these things. But God, it’s stupid to buy that field because the Babylonians have it. And You said unto me, O Lord God, “Buy thee the field for money.”
and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans (32:25).
They already, why would I buy it when it’s all going to fail?
So it’s interesting he doesn’t get to his complaint until he goes through quite a long prayer. He doesn’t rush right in with the complaint, but he talks about the greatness and the power of God and all. And then he finally gets down to the real issue. “God, You’ve done all this and now You tell me to buy this field? When the Chaldeans have already taken the place?” And so the Lord spoke to him.
He said, Behold, I am the LORD (32:26-27),
And God picks up something from Jeremiah. He said,
[I’m] the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (32:27)
Jeremiah says, “Lord, You are God. There’s nothing too hard for You.” And God is saying, “Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it: and the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger (32:28-29).
Now, all of those houses over there are flat roofs and the people’s patios are all out on the roofs of their houses. You see ladies scrubbing the roofs of their houses. It’s very interesting thing. You go over there today and so many flat roofs and you see the ladies out there scrubbing the roofs as they are family areas. And in that day, people were offering sacrifices unto the false gods, pouring out the drinks to the false gods there in the roofs of their own houses. Lord says, “I’m going to burn them.”
For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD. For this city hath been to me as a provocation of my anger and my fury from the day that they built it even to this day; that I should remove it from before my face; Because of all of the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned unto me their backs, and not their face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. [They have even set up in the temple abominations.] And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom [Gehinnom there], to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech (32:30-35);
They burn their children in the fires to appease the god Molech.
which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in my anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath (32:35-37);
Now God is saying, “Yes, this is going to happen, but this is the future. Behold, I will in the future gather them out of all of the countries, whither I have driven them in Mine anger, and in My fury, and in My great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.”
And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon the people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe the evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD (32:38-44).
So God is saying, “All right now, don’t worry about it, Jeremiah. They’re going to come back and the land is going to be theirs. I’m going to fulfill also My promise to bring them back again.”
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the LORD the maker, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee (33:1-3),
Well now, he’s just been calling unto the Lord. But God says, “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee.”
and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (33:3).
So here is God’s invitation, challenge to Jeremiah, “Call unto Me.” The promise is, “If you will call unto Me, I will answer.” Now this is after he has been calling. You say, “Well, I’ve been praying about it.” He had been praying about it, but then God said, “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things, which you know not.” Glorious promise of God. A promise in prayer. If you just call upon the Lord, He will show you great and mighty things.
For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD (33:4-11).
So God’s promises now of restoration of the nation of Israel. It’s going to happen. God has said, “I’m going to do it. This land that you say is desolate is going to be filled with voices of joy and happiness, voices of the bridegroom and of the bride.” Voices of praise unto the Lord as they come into the temple again offering the sacrifices of praise.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land (33:12-15).
Who is that Branch of righteousness growing up out of David? Jesus Christ. So he’s talking about when Christ comes again and establishes the kingdom that God is going to cause the nation Israel to be again in the land and to be nurtured by the Lord.
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; Neither shall the priests and the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meal offerings, and to do sacrifice continually (33:16-18).
Wait a minute. Why are they having sacrifices after Christ has returned? Wasn’t Christ sacrificed once and for all? Yes, for our sins. Notice there’s no mention here of sin offerings. That has been fully taken care of. But the burnt offerings were offerings of consecration where you would bring a lamb unto the priest and they would butcher it. And then they would barbecue it and the priest would take that part for him and for the Lord and then you sit and feast on the rest of it. But the parts of it they would offer, the fat and all, they would offer and burn up to the Lord as a burnt offering unto God which was an offering of consecration. “God, I consecrate my life to You.” And it’s just an offering of fellowship with God as I just give my life to You, God, and the eating of it signifies that oneness with God and the fellowshipping with God. So the meal offering, the same thing. It was just an offering of fellowship. No more sin offerings--that has been complete. But during the Kingdom Age, there will be offerings in Jerusalem. We’ll be going there for big barbecues and having a great time as we offer the sacrifices and as we sit and eat with the Lord in that glorious fellowship with Him.
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD (33:19-20);
Now is God going to turn off Israel? Has God turned off Israel? Is God through with Israel? These guys who are telling you the church is going through the Tribulation have told you that He is, but listen to what God says about it.
Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, Consider thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? (33:20-24)
That’s what people are saying today. God chose, but He’s cast them off.
thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them (33:24-26).
So God declaring over and over His continued work upon Israel.
Now we come to a chronologically new set of prophecies, and this is one that Zedekiah threw him in jail for back in the thirty-first chapter, thirty-second chapter.
The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire (34:1-2):
It made the king mad. Threw Jeremiah in jail.
And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon (34:3).
And this is what Zedekiah referred to, that’s why he threw him in the prison.
Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah the king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword; But you will die in peace: and with the burnings for you, as they did to the former kings which were before you, they will burn incense for thee; for they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD. Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defensed cities remained in the cities of Judah. This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them; [so Zedekiah proclaimed] That all of them were to set their servants free, if he had a servant that was a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, that they were to set them free; that no one should have them for their servants, that is, a Jew who is his brother. Now when all the princes, and all the people, had entered into the covenant, they heard every one that they should let his manservant, and every maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more; then they obeyed, and let them go. But afterward they took them right back again. Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother who is a Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee for six years, you shall let him go free [in the seventh year]: but your fathers did not hearken to me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty (34:4-15)
This was right. They haven’t been obeying this, but you were right when you did it, proclaiming liberty.
every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: But you turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, which he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and you brought them back into slavery, to be your servants and your handmaids. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, and to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts thereof, The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf (34:15-19);
They did that in the covenant. They cut the calf and passed between it, which means we make the covenant. But they have broken it.
I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you. Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah desolate [without a habitation] without any inhabitants (34:20-22).
So this is because of the broken covenant. They did the right thing setting the slaves free because that was under the law. You’re not to have a Hebrew as your slave. If you do have one, he serves for six years, the seventh year he goes free. And that’s what we referred to earlier. Man has been under the bondage of Satan for 6,000 years. We’re about ready to go free in the millennial reign of Christ. Satan will be bound for a thousand years.
The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim (35:1)
So we’re going back even further now, even before Zedekiah was the king. This prophecy came way back in the time of Jehoiakim.
the son of Josiah the king of Judah, saying, Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and set before them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; And I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door (35:1-4):
So a lot of names that don’t mean much to us. But what he’s saying is that God said, “Go to the Rechabites and bring them into this particular chamber in the temple and set wine before them.” So he did it.
And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups; and I said unto them, Drink some wine. But they said, We will not drink wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, You shall drink no wine, neither your sons for ever: Neither shall you build houses, nor are you to plant fields, or vineyards, nor have any: but all of your days you are to dwell in tents; that you may live many days in the land wherein you are strangers. So we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he charged us, not to drink wine all our days, we, nor our wives, nor our sons, nor our daughters; Nor have we built houses for us to dwell in: neither have we any vineyards, nor fields, nor seeds: But we have dwelt in tents, and obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has come into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem because we fear the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we are dwelling at Jerusalem (35:5-11).
So here is this Nomadic group of people. They are Bedouin types who are living in tents. They don’t drink wine. And you’ll find today around Jerusalem and around Israel still you’ll find these Bedouins living in tents. Now the Israeli government tried to build houses for them and a housing settlement. But the people just don’t like living in houses. And the houses that were built for them by the Israeli government are vacant. They won’t… They prefer their tents still. These Bedouins are still around the area. They’re interesting people to observe. They don’t drink wine or they don’t plant fields. They are, most of them, just shepherds. They don’t have vineyards. They just move from place to place living in tents. And so they’re interesting people indeed. The Bedouins are similar to these Rechabites who way back one of the fathers said, “Hey, don’t drink wine, don’t build houses, live in tents, don’t plant vineyards,” you know. And so here they’re keeping it. They’re obeying this guy of hundreds of years ago who gave the command to the family. So here they’re still following it.
So the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD. The words of Jonadab (35:12-14)
Just this ancestor of these people.
the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they don’t drink any wine, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but you did not hearkened unto me (35:14).
Now God is showing the incongruency of this whole thing. “Look, here are these people. I’m offering them wine, they won’t drink.” Why? Because way back in their ancestry, one of their dads says, “Now don’t drink wine, son, and don’t let your children drink wine.” And to this day they are obeying the voice of Jonadab. And God said, “I have spoken unto you but you haven’t listened to My voice. You haven’t hearkened to Me. Now here is a group of people hearkening unto one of their fathers. But here I have spoken and you won’t hearken to Me.”
I have also sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but you have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered (35:15-17).
So I’m going to bring upon them all of the evil.
And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and you have kept all of his precepts, and done all that he commanded you: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever (35:18-19).
So these people still exist. God says, “I won’t let them get wiped out. They’ll remain.” They do. The Rechabites who still obey Jonadab their ancestor and follow after his orders and refuse to live in houses but dwell in tents and don’t plant vineyards. An interesting class of people, and God says, “They’ll remain. My people they’re going to get wiped out. They’ll be scattered and all. But these Rechabites they can stay.”
Now these things were all written for our instruction. It’s not that we are to look at the people of Israel and say, “Oh, isn’t that horrible? The things that they did. How they refused to obey God and they turned their backs on God and not their face. Isn’t that awful that they broke the covenant of God? Isn’t that awful that they worshipped these false gods? Isn’t that terrible that God had to bring judgment on them?” It’s not so that we can criticize them. It’s so that we will learn not to follow after false idols ourselves. That we will learn to hearken to the voice of God and to obey His voice. That we will seek the Lord with all of our hearts. That we will live a life that is pleasing unto Him. That we will not follow their example of turning away from God, but will live unto God a life of righteousness before Him. So may God be with you and bless you and help you this week to live a life that is pleasing before the Lord. Doing the work of God. Obeying the commandment of His voice. Walking in fellowship with Him. God be with you and bless you and keep you and give you a beautiful week in Christ Jesus.