Here are five interesting scripture references in the book of Jeremiah from the NKJV where the word “time” is used: Continue reading
In Jeremiah’s condemnation of Moab, he mentions a number of its cities along the length of the nation, which lay to the east of the Dead Sea. Among them, this one:
City of Madmen, you will also be destroyed.
A destructive army will march against you.
Madmen is a Hebrew word, not English. It is not where mad men live. Continue reading
Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation-oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.”
After Jacob had worked 14 years to “earn” his wife, his father-in-law, Laban, said, “I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (Genesis 30:27). “Experience” is a great teacher, and often, a hard teacher. It has been truly said, “Happiness will never come to those who do not appreciate what they already have.” “A generation” without the experiences of life becomes (v.11) Loveless; (v.12) Hypocritical; (v.13) Arrogant; and (v.14) Cruel, and will need few enemies, for it will self-destruct. Children whose world consists of a video screen, whose mind is filled with make-believe, and whose heart seldom connects with real people, have no experiences to help them grow, and become slaves who serve without conscience! It is a lost generation that never sees “the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied” (Ecclesiastes 3:10).
Verse 11: Those who disrespect the two who gave them life will not appreciate The God, His plan, and the life they have been given, “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). Although the prevalence of divorce and single-parenthood has shattered the “DNA” of marriage, and taught successive generations this disrespect, those who turn to God’s Way will start a new generation of parental respect. It is when sin abounds that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Verse 12: It is difficult, almost impossible, for one to see one’s own sins. To such a generation, God send Jeremiah to say: “’For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord God. How can you say, ‘I am not polluted’” (Jeremiah 2:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). Any generation that is known for major problems with drunkenness, irresponsibility, sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuses, recklessness, and hatefulness (Titus 3:3) has its hands full and should not be pointing fingers at the previous generation(s)! Jesus Christ condemned those who “outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).
Verse 13: Jesus Christ described this attitude when He said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33) While a generation may protest against their parents sins, it becomes guilty of its own sins, many of which are even worse than before (1 Kings 16:25)!
Verse 14: The cruelty is seen because they don’t care about the “poor” and “needy.” Selfishness is so narrow-minded that it cannot admit, nor allow, others to benefit who have greater needs. Jesus Christ said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14)!
A generation may be changed if enough of them “are converted and become as little children…Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Obeying the command to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” will let a soul “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
False teachers (or prophets) are a continual problem for any and all of God’s people. What makes them doubly dangerous is that many of those identified as God’s people are uninformed concerning the Lord’s many warnings; because they are uninformed they fall for the trap set and then sprung by Satan’s minions (servants). Jeremiah preached and preached, but still the people fell into the trap set by Satan. They fell for Satan’s ploy because of two primary reasons. First, they wanted to believe the Lord would not forsake them (even though they abandoned the Lord and His way). Second, they failed to see that they were guilty of any actual wrongdoing (16:10). This uninformed understanding about their circumstances was not because the Lord did not tell them, but because they did not want to hear. Third, they gained prosperity as they joined themselves to the people of the lands around them. This gave them a false security because they thought that surely their prosperity was the result of the Lord being pleased with tem and giving them bountiful blessings (cf. 17:7-11).
There is an application for us in this. Just because we have prospered financially does not mean—at all—that we have the Lord’s favor. Satan is a mighty powerful being in this world; he can deceive man into thinking any number of things, like the Lord is blessing him when it is factually not the case (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Not only does this apply to one’s financial standing, it can very much apply to a congregation’s standing also. In Revelation 2 and 3 there are five warnings concerning the various churches hearing what the Lord had to say. We need to do the same; it may be that our numerical standing in the community will not be large, but does that matter? To a great many it does, and it is easy to fall into this way of thinking because we measure our successful we are (or not) in relationship to numbers. To the Lord, however, what does matter is the faithfulness of one’s life to His way in behavior and thinking and one’s faithfulness to the Lord’s mission (Luke 19:10). It is OUR job to teach the gospel to a world lost in sin; we can do this where we live. RT
This chapter can be broken into three parts. First, Zedekiah imprisoned Jeremiah because of Jeremiah’s continual warning concerning Jerusalem’s fall. This imprisonment did not stop the Lord from telling Jeremiah that he needs to make a land purchase (32:1-15). Second, Jeremiah did not understand why the Lord would have him purchase land that was on the verge of being taken by the Babylonians, thus he expressed himself to the Lord in regard to this (32:16-25). Third, the Lord told Jeremiah that He is not controlled by the affairs of man and, in fact, the execution of the deed transfer is indicative of what the Lord prepared for those who will eventually return (32:26-44).
NOTES ON CHAPTER 31
This chapter is well-known because of 31:31-34 (repeated in Hebrews 8), but the interpretation of this chapter, apart from what the Holy Spirit said in Hebrews 8, is not as clear as one might hope. For instance, in the JSB (Jewish Study Bible), the chapter refers exclusively to the return of those in Babylonian exile. This is to be expected, however; if they gave room for a Messianic application, then the only fulfillment is seen in Jesus. Coffman comments regarding this chapter (31:2-26): “It is impossible to construe these verses literally, because nothing even remotely resembling these predictions ever occurred I the historical racial Israel” (p. 341). This is complemented by Jewish scholar Michael Brown when he dealt with an objection that would be offered by orthodox Judaism concerning Jeremiah having lied (or being a false prophet); the words clearly apply to physical Israel. Brown remarks, in a rather long sentence, that they did happen, but not with what was expected by those interpret this as a physical application (Objections, volume 4, p. 289).
When the Lord commissioned Jeremiah to preach, Jeremiah was told that he would tear down, but also build up (1:10). The building up and rejoicing is what we can see occurring in this portion of the chapter (31:1-9). To who does these verses apply? In 31:1, it is to “all the families of Israel,” and in 31:7, it is to the remnant of Israel. With that being said, it is also inclusive of those who return from exiled lands (31:2, 8, 16-17). Though Israel (both the northern and southern nations) had to experience a painful captivity, the Lord will bring them back (31:18-22). As God’s covenant nation (as both the northern and southern nations were under one king at one time), the Lord dealt with them as nations, and not individuals. Thus, when the Lord punished, when the Lord spoke, it was to nations. The days are coming, the Lord said (31:27-34), when it will be the individual that will experience the pain of one’s individual (negative) response to the Lord. The days are coming, moreover, that God’s covenant with the nation will be on an individual basis, rather than corporately. Under the old covenant, a male was circumcised (not the female) at a time when there was no personal response, but under the new covenant the response by both male and female will be their own. The remainder of the chapter speaks to God’s fidelity in keeping this promise (31:35-40).
As you remember the substance of C-29, it is easy to see somewhat of a transition to this chapter, often considered a portion of what is known as the “Book of Consolation” with Jeremiah (chapter 30-33). In C-29, Jeremiah writes and exhorts the people in captivity to stay put and not fret. In this chapter there is a reminder concerning why they went into captivity (30:12-15), but a word of encouragement concerning what the Lord has planned for them in the coming days (3:18-22). Within this chapter there is a promise of a ruler (governor) that will come of the Davidic line (30:21, 9). Exactly who is in view is unstated. Many think Zerubbabel is view (see Haggai), but while others may see this to include him, there is something greater in view: “The immediate reference is to Zerubbabel and the elders who returned from the Captivity; but there is a larger significance than any merely human personage could exhaust or satisfactorily correspond to. There can be no doubt as to the Messianic character of this promise” (Pulpit Commentary). The Jewish Targum identifies this as Messianic also. “The Targum interprets these words of him; ‘their King shall be anointed from them, and their Messiah shall be revealed from the midst of them.’ And so it is applied to him in the Talmud (e), and in other writings of the Jews (f). Kimchi on the place says, ‘it is known that the King Messiah shall be of Israel’” (cited by John Gill, E-Sword).