1 Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel: 2 This is what the Lord says, Do not learn the way of the heathen, and do not be terrified at the signs of heaven; the heathen are terrifies at them. 3 For the customs of the people are vain: one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, so that it does not move. 5 They are upright as the palm tree, but do not speak: they have to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.
- Don’t listen to horoscopes or dire predictions based on signs in the heavens.
- God is still in charge.
- He’s written all truth down in His book in simple terms.
The Lord is king of the nations
6 There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name/person is great in power. 7 Who will not fear you, O King of nations? For to you it is fitting: because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like you. 8 For they are all foolish and animal-like: their tree/idol is a doctrine of vanities: 9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of skillful men.
- Psalm 33:6, 9 By the word of the LORD were the heavens formed…For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
- Psalm 24:1-2 The earth is the LORD's, and the fullness of it; the world, and they that dwell in it. For he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods.
- I John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
He is the only true God
10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and the King of Eternity; at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation. 11 You will say this to them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, they will perish from the earth, and from under the heavens. 12 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his discretion. 13 When he utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasures.
- We can’t make a blade of grass or a breath of air. He made the earth by His power, established the world by His wisdom, stretched out the heavens…
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the carved image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they will perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name. 17 Gather up your bundle from the ground, O inhabitant of the fortress. 18 For this is what the LORD says, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at once, and will distress them, so that they will find me.
- Billions of dollars are spent each year on research of physical knowledge in an effort to control the physical things.
- God calls that ‘brutish in knowledge’ because man is more than the physical.
- Acts 17:26 He made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times appointed, and the boundaries of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us:
God grieves over the loss
19 Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear. 20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone from me, and they are not: there is none to stretch out my tent anymore, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the pastors have become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they will not prosper, and all their flocks will be scattered.
- God wants man to seek Him (Acts 17:27). He is found by those who seek Him.
- Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened unto you.
- Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will feast with him, and he with me.
22 Behold, the noise of the rumor has come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons. 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment. Not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out your fury on the heathen that do not know you, and on the families that do not call on your name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
- Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 And say to them, This is what the LORD God of Israel says; Cursed is the man that does not know the words of this covenant, 4 that I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all that I command you: by this you be my people, and I will be your God:
The Lord wants to prosper us abundantly
5 That I may perform the oath that I have sworn to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD. 6 Then the LORD said to me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear the words of this covenant, and do them.
- It is our pride that makes us think we’re ok.
- James 3:2 tells us that we all stumble or err in much.
7 For I earnestly protested to your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but every one walked in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did not do them. 9 And the LORD said to me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers.
He refuses to listen when we refuse to listen
11 Therefore this is what the LORD says, Behold, I will bring evil on them, that they will not be able to escape; and though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem will go, and cry to the gods to whom they offer incense: but they will not save them at all in the time of their evil. 13 For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal. 14 Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry to me for their evil.
- This, and the testing of Job are the only reasons that God will not hear.
- The blame falls squarely on us, not Him.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
He exposed His wife’s unfaithfulness
15 What has my beloved to do in my house, since she has done lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from you? When you do evil, then you rejoice. 16 The LORD called your name, A green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he has kindled fire on it, and the branches of it are broken. 17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted you, has pronounced evil against you, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. 18 And the LORD has given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then you showed me their doings. 19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.
- They plotted to kill Isaiah.
He judges rightly
20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judges righteously, that tests/refines the reins and the heart, let me see your vengeance on them: for to you have I revealed my cause. 21 Therefore this is what the LORD says of the men of Anathoth that seek your life saying, Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, that you not die by our hand: 22 Therefore this is what the LORD of hosts says, Behold, I will punish them: the young men will die by the sword; their sons and their daughters will die by famine: 23 And there will be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
The Lord sees and knows us; He patiently answers our questions
1 You are righteous, O LORD, when I plead my case with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are they all happy that deal very treacherously? 2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root: they grow, yes, they bring forth fruit: you are near in their mouth, and far from their mind. 3 But you, O LORD, know me: you have seen me, and tried/refined my heart toward you: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
- Like the Pharisees of the Christ’s time, they knew the word of God but not the God of the word.
- They feed off of the flock instead of feeding the flock--wolves in s sheep’s clothing.
- Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; your judgments are a great deep: O LORD, you preserve man and beast.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
4 How long will the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither for the wickedness of those that dwell in it? The beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He will not see our last end. 5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if, in the land of peace that you trusted, they wearied you, then what will you do in the swelling of Jordan? 6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, they have dealt treacherously with you; yes, they have called a multitude after you: do not believe them, though they speak fair words to you.
- If we can’t solve the little problems of life, how will we survive the disasters?
- Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation.
The Lord forsook those that cried against Him
7 I have forsaken my house, I have left my heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8 My heritage is like a lion in the forest to me; it roars against me: therefore I have hated it. 9 My heritage is like a speckled bird to me, the surrounding birds are against her; come, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. 10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trampled my portion under foot; they have made my desirable inheritance a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourns to me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man lays it to heart. 12 The plunderers have come on all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD will devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh will have peace. 13 They have sown wheat, but will reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but will not profit: and they will be ashamed of your harvest because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
- The Lord blamed the pastors and political leaders for the ruin of His people.
- Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will reprove you: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and that my fear is not in you, says the Lord GOD of hosts.
- Hebrews10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The Lord will return and have compassion
14 This is what the Lord says against all my evil neighbors that touch the inheritance that I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it will come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it will come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD lives; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then they will be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, says the LORD.
- Notice that God’s rules sovereign over all nations.
- His offer stands for whoever will listen and obey Him.
- He has an awesome inheritance for all who will follow and obey Him.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
1 This what the LORD said to me, Go and get a linen band, and put it on your loins, and do not put it in water. 2 So I got a waistband according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. 3 And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, 4 Take the band that you got, which is on your loins, and get up, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. 5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And after many days, that the LORD said to me, Get up, go to Euphrates, and take the waistband from there, that I commanded you to hide there. 7 Then I went to Euphrates, and dug, and took the linen band from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the band was ruined, it was profitable for nothing. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 This is what the LORD says, In this way I will ruin the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the imagination/stubbornness of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, will be like this waistband, which is good for nothing.
- Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
The Lord causes us to cling to Him
11 For as the waistband clings to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cling to me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, says the LORD; that they might be my people for renown and praise, and for glory: but they would not hear. 12 So you speak to them this word; This is what the LORD God of Israel says, Every bottle will be filled with wine: and they will say to you, Do we not know that every bottle will be filled with wine? 13 Then you say to them, This is what says the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit on David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
- God’s people were dulling the pain of their lives with alcohol instead of the comfort from God’s love (Isaiah 28:3, Joel 1:5).
- Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will reprove you: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the LORD you God, and that my fear is not in you, says the Lord GOD of hosts.
- Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cling to the Lord.
14 And I will dash a man against his brother, the fathers and the sons together, says the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them. 15 Hear, and give ear; do not be proud: for the LORD has spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, while you look for light, he turns it into the shadow of death, and makes it gross darkness.
- ‘God is only honored by believing in Him and resting in Him.’ Lewis Sperry Chafer
His soul weeps in secret places
17 But if you will not hear it, my soul will weep in secret places for your pride; and my eye will weep greatly, and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock is carried away captive. 18 Say to the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit in low places: for your rule will collapse, the crown of your glory. 19 The cities of the south will be shut up, and no one will open them: Judah will be carried away captive, all of it; it will be wholly carried away captive. 20 Lift up your eyes, and behold those that come from the north: where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock? 21 What will you say when he punishes you? For you have taught them to be captains, and as chief over you: will not sorrows take you, as a woman in travail? 22 And if you say in your heart, Why have these things come upon me? For the greatness of your iniquity your skirts are uncovered, and your heels made bare.
- ‘heels made bare’ is correctly translated ‘violently taken away.’
23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? You may also do good, that are taught to do evil. 24 Therefore I will scatter them as the straw that passes away by the wind of the wilderness. 25 This is your lot, the portion measured to you from me, says the LORD: because you have forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. 26 Therefore I will uncover your skirts on your face so that your shame may appear. 27 I have seen your adulteries, and your neighings, the lewdness of your whoredom, and your abominations on the hills in the fields. Cries of grief to you, O Jerusalem! Will you still not be made clean?
- The picture here is a jealous lover uncovering the deeds of his unfaithful wife. God’s people cling to false things because they do not know or do not accept the truth.
- Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, says the LORD; for I am married unto you.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
- I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
SUMMARY: Jeremiah 10-13
- The Lord is king of the nations
- He is the only true God
- God grieves over the loss
- The Lord wants to prosper us abundantly
- He refuses to listen when we refuse to listen
- He exposed His wife’s unfaithfulness
- He judges rightly
- The Lord sees and knows us; He patiently answers our questions
- The Lord forsook those that cried against Him
- The Lord will return and have compassion
- The Lord causes us to cling to Him
- His soul weeps in secret places