1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 The Lord said this to me: Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, 3 and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 And command them to say to their masters, The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this, Say this to your masters: 5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed right in my eyes.
- Daniel 5:21 the most high God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whoever he will.
- Matthew 11:29 His yoke is easy; His burden is light.
6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations will serve him and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings will make him serve them.
- God says who is in charge in this world.
- This verse even tells us the length of Nebuchadnezzar’s dynasty.
- One son and one grandson would rule in his place before they would be overtaken by another nation.
God preserves and blesses those who listen to Him
8 And it will be, that the nation and kingdom who will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and who will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation, says the LORD, with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreams, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, you will not serve the king of Babylon. 10 For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11 But the nations that bring their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let them remain in their own land, says the LORD, and they will till it and dwell in it. 12 I also spoke to Zedekiah, king of Judah, according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live!
- This was God’s instruction and warning.
- God always gives instruction, warning, and opportunity to make the blessed choices.
- John 17:17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
- James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.
God pleads with us; He exposes liars
13 Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 So do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, You will not serve the king of Babylon, for they prophesy a lie to you; 15 for I have not sent them, says the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you."
- There are many false voices today and only one true voice.
- The word of God has been available to many of us all our lives.
16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, The Lord says, Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste?
- God sent these words to Israel and the surrounding nations.
- No matter what nation you live in, the eternal voice calls to earth – serve the King of Kings and live.
- Psalm 50:1 The mighty God, even the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto its going down.
18 But if they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts so that the articles that are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon. 19 For the Lord of hosts says this concerning the pillars, concerning the sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem: 21 Yes, the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel says, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem: 22 They will be carried to Babylon, and there they will remain until the day that I visit them, says the LORD. Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.
- Jeremiah offered a test to expose the false prophets.
- God promised to bless and restore.
- We build our lives on God’s truth or on lies. God wants only to bless.
- 1Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12.Now if any man builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13.Every man's work will be shown: for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will try every man's work of what sort it is. 14.If any man's work remains that he has built on, he will receive a reward. 15.If any man's work is burned, he will suffer loss: but he himself will be saved; yet so as by fire.
1 And it happened the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two full years I will return into this place all the articles of the Lord's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: 4 And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, says the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
- God had sent the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity in Babylon because they wouldn’t turn from their idolatry.
- Worshipping the false gods stole much blessing from them and their children.
- It stole eternal life from them.
- It brought much suffering and death.
- God’s warnings against idolatry began when the nation began in Leviticus 26.
- Notice that the main concern of the remaining people is about the items of temple worship, not God or His people.
- This prophecy is a lie. It never happened.
- These bronze pillars and bronze sea will never be mentioned again.
- When God returns Israel to her homeland with the articles for the house of God, these two items are not among the vessels that are returned.
God doesn’t make mistakes; the sign of God’s true prophet was 100% accuracy
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD, 6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform your words that you have prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord's house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. 7 Now hear this word that I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people; 8 The prophets that have been before me and before you of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet that prophesied of peace, when the word of the prophet come to pass, then the prophet will be known, that the LORD has truly sent him.
- Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not follow or come to pass, that is the thing that the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you are not to be afraid of him.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and broke it. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, This is what the Lord says; Like this, I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. 12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, This is what the Lord says; You have broken yokes of wood; but you have made in place of them yokes of iron.
- They refused God’s easy way, listening to Him.
God put a yoke of iron on the nations that refused His easy yoke
14 For the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says; I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they will serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. 15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, Now listen, Hananiah; The LORD has not sent you; you make this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore the LORD says this; Behold, I will cast you off the face of the earth: this year you will die, because you have taught revolt against the LORD. 17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
- God gave Hananiah two months to repent (verse 1 was the fifth month).
- Every person who teaches things other than the Word of God are doing the same thing as Hananiah.
- Exodus 19:5 …all the earth is mine.
- Daniel 5:21 the most high God rules in the kingdom of men, and he appoints over it whoever he will.
- Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book: 19.And if any man takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book.
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Lord continues His blessing regardless of circumstances
1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders that were carried away captive, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; 2 (After Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were gone from Jerusalem;) 3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying, 4 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says to all that were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
- After repeated warnings and many longsuffering, merciful years of chances to return to their Maker, the Almighty allowed the wickedness of His people to correct them.
- The word ‘hosts’ means armies and speaks of all the countless angels of heaven.
- This was a comforting truth to those who had been captured by these fierce people.
- Their God leads all the fiery billions of angels. Therefore He is able to protect them in this captivity.
- 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.
5 Build yourselves houses, and live in them; and plant gardens, and eat their fruit; 6 Take wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it: for in its peace you will have peace.
- God could answer this prayer for peace in their captivity because He controls all things.
- This is the peace of the one who has all the power.
- Matthew 28:18 All power in heaven and earth is given unto me.
- John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, do not let it be afraid.
8 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Do not let your prophets and your diviners that are among you, deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: I have not sent them, says the LORD. 10 For thus says the LORD, After seventy years are accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
- God says they caused their own dreams.
- God provides truth through His word and wants none to be deceived.
- A true prophet of God made no errors.
- A person who spoke something that didn’t come true was not a true prophet of God.
- Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not follow or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you are not to be afraid of him.
God’s thoughts toward us are for peace and not evil for those who listen to Him
11 For I know the plans that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on me, and you will go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found by you, says the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive. 15 Because you have said, The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon; 16 Know that the LORD of the king that sits on the throne of David says, and of all the people that dwell in this city, and of your brothers that have not gone with you into captivity; 17 The Lord of hosts says this; Behold, I am sending on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations where I have driven them: 19 Because they have not listened to my words, says the LORD, which I sent to them by my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but you would not hear, says the LORD.
- The title ‘LORD’ means controller.
- Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations: and he will rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
20 So hear the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he will kill them before your eyes; 22 And a curse will be taken up about them by all the captivity of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire.
- God’s judgments fit the crime—They were roasted in physical fire who led others into the eternal fire.
God is a witness
23 Because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; I know, and am a witness, says the LORD.
- Imagine the terror of being on trial, and the witness called in to speak against you is Almighty God.
24 Speak this to Shemaiah the dreamer, saying, 25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says, Because you have sent letters in your name to all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 The LORD has made you priest in the place of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is insane, and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in prison, and in the stocks. 27 Now therefore why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself a prophet to you? 28 He sent to us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
- To be on this planet and not acknowledge God is like a person in a mental institution that does not see you when you are with him.
- The evidence of God abounds around each of us each day.
- Imagine a child coming in from play to find warm cookies and milk on the table but Mom not in the room. The child would be insane to say, I have no mother, these cookies just happened. Yet that is what man does.
- Or man acknowledges a divine being, and then makes it like himself or an animal or the sun or moon or some thing that God has made.
- Truth is the basis for sanity.
- John 17:17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
God is going to do good to His people
30 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 31 Send to all those of the captivity, saying, The LORD says this concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I did not send him, and he caused you to trust in a lie: 32 The LORD says this; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the dreamer, and his seed: he will not have a man to dwell among this people; neither will he see the good that I will do for my people, says the LORD; because he has taught revolt against the LORD.
SUMMARY: Jeremiah 27-29
- God preserves and blesses those who listen to Him
- God pleads with us; He exposes liars
- God doesn’t make mistakes; the sign of God’s true prophet was 100% accuracy
- God put a yoke of iron on the nations that refused His easy yoke
- God’s thoughts toward us are for peace and not evil for those who listen to Him
- God is a witness
- God is going to do good to His people