He is our beloved, Holy God who loves us with a love like no other.

Judgment upon a sinful world has been a consistent topic for His blog. If we look at the world around us, it should not be a surprise.

He selected Jeremiah 15 once again. It begins with a severe sentence upon them:

Jeremiah 15(NKJV)

The Lord Will Not Relent

15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My [a]mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” ’

Since we know the Lord is merciful, and long-suffering the only conclusion we can make is that the Lord is not fully stating what they have done to warrant this punishment. He merely says they, “have forsaken Me” and “gone backward:”

6“‘You have forsaken Me,’ says the Lord, “You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am [b]weary of relenting! And I will winnow them with a winnowing fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children; I will destroy My people, Since they do not return from their ways. Their widows will be increased to Me more than the sand of the seas; I will bring against them, Against the mother of the young men, A plunderer at noonday; I will cause anguish and terror to fall on them suddenly.’”

Jeremiah is exhausted too:

10 “Woe is me, my mother, That you have borne me, A man of strife and a man of contention to the whole [c]earth! I have neither lent for interest, Nor have men lent to me for interest. Every one of them curses me.”

Jeremiah is the Lord’s servant, as such he is incurring the wrath of a sinful world that does not want to be reminded of its sins. But he is doing the Father’s will, so the one who He is serving is going to encourage Him:

The Lord Reassures Jeremiah

19 “Therefore thus says the Lord:

‘If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, But you must not return to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. 21 “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”

There will be moments of difficulty that are inherent and are to be expected. And that is what the Lord is telling Jeremiah. They “will fight against you,” but the “Lord is with him” with all of His servants so “they will not prevail.”

He must continue for the rewards of a servants work far exceed its challenges, both in the earthly realm and certainly in the heavenly one.

In the earthly sense, though we may be vilified by those under the influence of evil-satan, their fate has already been determined as they continue to choose him despite the Word of the Lord, that His servants speak as His “mouth.”

We are to “take out the precious from the vile.” Some will choose the Lord is they are told about Him and that is our focus. The fact that He words it the way He does assures His success:

“If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth.”

All that is required is that we show  up, the Lord and His Word does the rest. Jeremiah is understandably tired. He is witnessing His people at their worst, He loves the Lord and knows He is fair, as he obediently delivers message after message inviting them to return to Him. They continually refuse. At times it seems unrewarding. But the Lord’s Word is true:

Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

11 “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me [a]void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

We already know the path to hell is a wide one and many will choose it, but some will not. But they must not be caught unaware, for the Lord is fair. He will let them know there is a choice. He will use us to do it.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Our job as His servant is to cast a light on “the narrow the road that leads to life,” so that the “few find it.” There’s our reward, right there.

But we may never meet them until will all meet Him. But there’s the earthly reward: growing closer and closer to the Lord in an increasingly ungodly world. Through each trial, the Lord will use it to bring us closer, establish a deeper relationship with Him and all that results from it. Our faith, trust, love, devotion to Him deepens with each trial. And we become better servants because of it.

He added Jeremiah 38 where Jeremiah warns the people of Judah to surrender to the Chaldeans and their lives “shall be as a prize” to them. He reveals the Word of the Lord that despite what their leaders and priests prophesy to them their city, “‘shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.’” And of course it was.

But the princes did not want their army to be defeated by this info, so they suggested that Jeremiah be put to death. King Zedekiah had to agree for did not have the power to override their decision.

So they placed Jeremiah in the dungeon which was a death sentence, but the Lord was with Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 15 (NKJV)

“The Lord Will Not Relent

‘And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. 21 “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.’”

This is confirmation of the Lord’s promise to Jeremiah for He selected Jeremiah 15 and Jeremiah 38 together, in that order.

So the Lord provided Ebed-Melech, a eunuch in the king’s house. He went to the king and let him know the princes had done “evil” by placing Jeremiah in the dungeon for he would die from hunger for the food supply was depleted in that city. King Zedekiah instructed Ebed-Melech to rescue Jeremiah from the dungeon and place him in the court of the palace’s prison. This was also part of the Lord’s plan for Zedekiah summoned Jeremiah and asked him privately to pray to the Lord for him. Jeremiah revealed the Lord’s Word:

Jeremiah 38 (NKJV)

Jeremiah in the Dungeon

“If you surely surrender[f] to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not [g]surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.’ ”

19 And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they abuse me.”

20 But Jeremiah said, “They shall not deliver you. Please, obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you. So it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live. 21 But if you refuse to [h]surrender, this is the word that the Lord has shown me: 22 ‘Now behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be surrendered to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say:

“Your close friends have [i]set upon you And prevailed against you; Your feet have sunk in the mire, And they have [j]turned away again.”

23 ‘So they shall surrender all your wives and children to the Chaldeans. You shall not escape from their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. And you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.’ ”

If you read on you will see that Zedekiah attempted to flee but was discovered and captured by the Chaldean army, witnessed his sons’ death at their hands before they blinded him. The Word of the Lord is always true and meant for our good.

He added Jeremiah 39 apparently He wants you to read on to the chapter that confirms His selections this evening:

Jeremiah 39 (NKJV)

The Fall of Jerusalem

39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem, and besieged it. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the [a]city was penetrated.

Then all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer, Samgar-Nebo, Sarsechim, [b]Rabsaris, Nergal-Sarezer, [c]Rabmag, with the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.

So it was, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them that they fled and went out of the city by night, by way of the king’s garden, by the gate between the two walls. And he went out by way of the [d]plain. But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had captured him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgment on him. Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah; the king of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with bronze [e]fetters to carry him off to Babylon. And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive to Babylon the remnant of the people who remained in the city and those who defected to him, with the rest of the people who remained. 10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah the poor people, who had nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields [f]at the same time.

He also wanted to emphasize His assurance that He watches over and takes care of His servants, and those who help them:

Jeremiah Goes Free

11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, 12 “Take him and look after him, and do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent Nebushasban, Rabsaris, Nergal-Sharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon’s chief officers; 14 then they sent someone to take Jeremiah from the court of the prison, and committed him to to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should take him home. So he dwelt among the people.

15 Meanwhile the word of Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should take him home. So he dwelt among the people.the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 16 “Go and speak to Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring My words upon this city for adversity and not for good, and they shall be performed in that day before you. 17 But I will deliver you in that day,” says the Lord, “and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the Lord.’ ”

Jeremiah was taken out of the court of the palace prison and given a home.

The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was also a servant of the Lord. He was given the city for the Lord determined he would rule over it. As the Lord’s servant, Nebuchadnezzar gave his officials the instruction to release Jeremiah and:

“Take him and look after him, and do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you.” that he be released from prison.”  

Jeremiah was given a home within the home of Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. “So he dwelt among the people.”

The Lord also took care of Ebed-Melech:

“‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring My words upon this city for adversity and not for good, and they shall be performed in that day before you. 17 But I will deliver you in that day,” says the Lord, “and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the Lord.’”

He is our beloved, Holy God who loves us with a love like no other.

Jeremiah 38 (NKJV)

Jeremiah in the Dungeon

38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, Jucal[a] the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.’ ”

Therefore the princes said to the king, “Please, let this man be put to death, for thus he [b]weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man does not seek the [c]welfare of this people, but their harm.”

Then Zedekiah the king said, “Look, he is in your hand. For the king can do nothing against you.” So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah [d]the king’s son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.

Now Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, one of the [e]eunuchs, who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon. When the king was sitting at the Gate of Benjamin, Ebed-Melech went out of the king’s house and spoke to the king, saying: “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take from here thirty men with you, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies.” 11 So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took from there old clothes and old rags, and let them down by ropes into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 Then Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Please put these old clothes and rags under your armpits, under the ropes.” And Jeremiah did so. 13 So they pulled Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

Zedekiah’s Fears and Jeremiah’s Advice

14 Then Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance of the house of the Lord. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something. Hide nothing from me.”

15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.”

16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the Lord lives, who made our very souls, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you surely surrender[f] to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not [g]surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.’ ”

19 And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they abuse me.”

20 But Jeremiah said, “They shall not deliver you. Please, obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you. So it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live. 21 But if you refuse to [h]surrender, this is the word that the Lord has shown me: 22 ‘Now behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be surrendered to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say:

“Your close friends have [i]set upon you And prevailed against you; Your feet have sunk in the mire, And they have [j]turned away again.”

23 ‘So they shall surrender all your wives and children to the Chaldeans. You shall not escape from their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. And you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.’ ”

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die. 25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you and say to you, ‘Declare to us now what you have said to the king, and also what the king said to you; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death,’ 26 then you shall say to them, ‘I presented my request before the king, that he would not make me return to Jonathan’s house to die there.’ ”

27 Then all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him. And he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation had not been heard. 28 Now Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken. And he was there when Jerusalem was taken.

Jeremiah 15(NKJV)

The Lord Will Not Relent

15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My [a]mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” ’

“And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction,” says the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

“For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask how you are doing? You have forsaken Me,” says the Lord, “You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am [b]weary of relenting! And I will winnow them with a winnowing fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children; I will destroy My people, Since they do not return from their ways. Their widows will be increased to Me more than the sand of the seas; I will bring against them, Against the mother of the young men, A plunderer at noonday; I will cause anguish and terror to fall on them suddenly.

“She languishes who has borne seven; She has breathed her last; Her sun has gone down While it was yet day; She has been ashamed and confounded. And the remnant of them I will deliver to the sword Before their enemies,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah’s Dejection

10 Woe is me, my mother, That you have borne me, A man of strife and a man of contention to the whole [c]earth! I have neither lent for interest, Nor have men lent to me for interest. Every one of them curses me.

11 The Lord said:

“Surely it will be well with your remnant; Surely I will cause the enemy to intercede with you In the time of adversity and in the time of affliction. 12 Can anyone break iron, The northern iron and the bronze? 13 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, Because of all your sins, Throughout your territories. 14 And I will [d]make you cross over with your enemies Into a land which you do not know; For a fire is kindled in My anger, Which shall burn upon you.”

15 O Lord, You know; Remember me and [e]visit me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, For You have filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain perpetual And my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that [f]fail?

The Lord Reassures Jeremiah

19 Therefore thus says the Lord:

“If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, But you must not return to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” says the Lord. 21 “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”

Jeremiah 38 (NKJV)

Jeremiah in the Dungeon

38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, Jucal[a] the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.’ ”

Therefore the princes said to the king, “Please, let this man be put to death, for thus he [b]weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man does not seek the [c]welfare of this people, but their harm.”

Then Zedekiah the king said, “Look, he is in your hand. For the king can do nothing against you.” So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah [d]the king’s son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.

Now Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, one of the [e]eunuchs, who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon. When the king was sitting at the Gate of Benjamin, Ebed-Melech went out of the king’s house and spoke to the king, saying: “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take from here thirty men with you, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies.” 11 So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took from there old clothes and old rags, and let them down by ropes into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 Then Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Please put these old clothes and rags under your armpits, under the ropes.” And Jeremiah did so. 13 So they pulled Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

Zedekiah’s Fears and Jeremiah’s Advice

14 Then Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance of the house of the Lord. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something. Hide nothing from me.”

15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.”

16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the Lord lives, who made our very souls, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you surely surrender[f] to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not [g]surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.’ ”

19 And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they abuse me.”

20 But Jeremiah said, “They shall not deliver you. Please, obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you. So it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live. 21 But if you refuse to [h]surrender, this is the word that the Lord has shown me: 22 ‘Now behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be surrendered to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say:

“Your close friends have [i]set upon you And prevailed against you; Your feet have sunk in the mire, And they have [j]turned away again.”

23 ‘So they shall surrender all your wives and children to the Chaldeans. You shall not escape from their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. And you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.’ ”

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die. 25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you and say to you, ‘Declare to us now what you have said to the king, and also what the king said to you; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death,’ 26 then you shall say to them, ‘I presented my request before the king, that he would not make me return to Jonathan’s house to die there.’ ”

27 Then all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him. And he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation had not been heard. 28 Now Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken. And he was there when Jerusalem was taken.

 

 

 [DG1]