God is merciful even in judgment
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, all his army, all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all its cities, saying, 2 The LORD, the God of Israel says this; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, This is what the Lord says; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire: 3 And you will not escape out of his hand, but will certainly be taken, and delivered into his hand; and your eyes will behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with you mouth to mouth, and you will go to Babylon. 4 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah, king of Judah; The Lord says this of you, You will not die by the sword: 5 But you will die in peace: and as the burnings of spices for your fathers, the former kings which were before you, so will they burn (spices) for you; and they will lament you, saying, Ah lord! For I have spoken the word, says the LORD.
- God doesn’t let us escape when we disregard His warnings but He continues to be merciful.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
God allows war for our good when we choose false gods
6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, 7 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 defended cities remained of the cities of Judah.
- God pinpointed the dates of His messages with compass points of historical events to avoid distortions by evil.
- Judged 5:8They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
- Mark 8:36For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
8 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people that were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them; 9 That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, that is, of a Jew, his brother. 10 Now when all the princes, and all the people who had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go. 11 But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. 12 Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 13 The LORD, the God of Israel says this; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, 14 At the end of seven years every man release his brother, a Hebrew, that has been sold to you; and when he has served you six years, you are to let him go free from you: but your fathers did not listen to me or incline their ear.
- God’s solution for debt was like indentured servitude.
- The one with money would pay the debt and in turn the indebted one would serve him for six years.
- When man doesn’t obey and show the true goodness and blessing of belonging to God, but becomes greedy, all suffer.
- They obeyed and then turned back when the Babylonian army left.
- John 8:34-36Jesus answered them, Truth, I tell you the truth, Who ever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant does not remain in the house forever: but the Son remains ever. 36 If the Son makes you free, you will be truly free.
15 And you turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and you had made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name: 16 But you turned back and polluted my name, and every man caused his servant, and his handmaid, whom you had released at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be your servants and handmaids.
- The Lords reputation is tarnished (polluted) when we misrepresent Him.
The Lord scatters the willfully disobedient to the ends of the earth
17 Therefore the LORD says this; You have not listened to me to proclaim liberty every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a freedom for you, says the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will remove you into all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant that they made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between its parts, 19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land that passed between the parts of the calf; 20 I will give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and their dead bodies will be for food to the birds of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.
- Passing between the parts was the ancient way of signing a legal contract.
- Israel had a contract with God to release those sold into servitude every seventh year (Exodus 21:2).
- They broke the contract.
- God takes away the things that keep us from Him who is life.
21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes I will 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, who are gone up from you. 22 Behold, I will command, says the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they will fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.
- Don’t ever think that God is harsh for this.
- If we could see the eternal ruin caused by leaders and people who don’t seek God we would see that God amazingly generous and kind.
- The suffering and misery that people endure today is the result of man’s willful disobedience to God.
- If we did things His way this earth would be Eden once again.
The Lord our Maker wants us to listen to Him
1 the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, 2 Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak to them. Bring them to the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. 3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, his brothers, all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; 4 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, who was by the chamber of the princes that was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door: 5 And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, Drink wine. 6 But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, You are to drink no wine, not you or your sons forever: 7 Neither are you to build houses or sow seed or plant vineyards or own one: but all your days you are to live in tents; so that you may live many days in the land where you are foreigners. 8 So we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons or our daughters; 9 Nor to build houses for us to live in: we have no vineyard or field or seed.
- The Bible is the word of our heavenly Father who is infinitely greater than Jonadab.
- 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
- Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, we said, Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we live at Jerusalem. 12 Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 13 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction to listen to my words? asks the Lord. 14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: but I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking; but you do not listen to me.
- Jeremiah 27:5 I have made the earth, man and beast that are on the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed fitting to me.
- Deuteronomy 4:1 Now therefore listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land that the LORD God of your fathers gives you.
15 I have also sent to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Turn now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and you will dwell in the land that I have given to you and to your fathers: but you have not inclined your ear or listened to me. 16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father that he commanded them; but these people have not listened to me: 17 Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have spoken against them: because I have spoken to them, but they have not heard; and I have called to them, but they have not answered.
- Psalm 50:1 The mighty God, even the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down of it.
18 And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according to all that he has commanded you: 19 Therefore the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Jonadab the son of Rechab will not lack a man to stand before me forever.
- God’s rewards are astounding.
- 1Samuel 2:30 … the LORD says, Be it far from me; for those that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me will be lightly esteemed.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
The Lord wants to forgive us
1 And it happened in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Take a roll of a book, and write in it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day. 3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil that I purpose to do to them; that they may turn every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
- Genesis 1 says God what God made was good, good, good, and very good.
- Micah 7:13 Notwithstanding the land will be desolate because of them that dwell in it, for the fruit of their doings.
4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD that he had spoken to him on a roll of a book. 5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD: 6 Therefore you go, and read in the roll, which you have written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD's house on the fasting day: and also you will read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. 7 It may be that they will present their supplication before the LORD, and every one will turn from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD has pronounced against this people.
- God’s fury is great when man’s evil is great.
- Man’s turning is necessary for God to turn from His fury.
- God is righteous and just. His holiness is infinite.
- His justice is also infinite. His justice cannot indiscriminately disregard the holiness of God and the rights of others.
- His great anger is being poured out against earth today against evil just as it was then.
8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD's house. 9 And in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem. 10 Then Baruch read in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entrance of the new gate of the LORD's house, in the ears of all the people.
- The temple was the capital of the nation, so this would be like going to Washington DC and reading the book of Jeremiah from the Senate floor on national TV.
11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD, 12 Then he went down into the king's house, into the scribe's chamber: and, behold, all the princes sat there: Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. 13 Then Michaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people. 14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch, saying, Take in your hand the roll that you have read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came to them. 15 And they said to him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears. 16 Now when they had heard all the words, they were all afraid, and said to Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.
- These men listened to the words of God’s warning and passed it on.
17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How did you write all these words at his mouth? 18 Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words to me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book. 19 Then said the princes to Baruch, Go, hide, you and Jeremiah; and let no man know where you are. 20 And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king. 21 So the king sent Jehudi to bring the scroll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes that stood beside the king. 22 Now the king sat in the winter house in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. 23 And when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
- Revelation 22:19 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 which are written in this book.
God hides us from the wrath of rulers
24 But they were not afraid, and did not tear their clothing, not the king or any of his servants that heard all these words. 25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah pleaded with the king not to burn the roll: but he would not listen to them. 26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to arrest/seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.
- Psalm 27:5 in the time of trouble he will hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle he will hide me; he will set me up upon a rock.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (refuge means hiding place—not only did God hide them where they could not be found, but He is their hiding place)
27 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after the king had burned the roll, and the words that Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, 28 Take again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, The Lord says this; You have burned this roll, saying, Why have you written in it, saying, The king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cause to cease from there man and beast? 30 Therefore the Lord says this of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He will have none to sit on the throne of David: and his dead body will be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. 31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they did not listen. 32 Then Jeremiah took another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote in it from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and many similar words were added to them.
- God’s judgments are fair against those that lead His people astray.
- 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.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
SUMMARY: Jeremiah 34-36
- God is merciful even in judgment
- God allows war for our good when we choose false gods
- The Lord scatters the willfully disobedient to the ends of the earth
- The Lord our Maker wants us to listen to Him
- The Lord wants to forgive us
- God hides us from the wrath of rulers