Jeremiah 21-23

Thursday Evening Bible Study

February 24, 2005


Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC).  When Josiah was killed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco, the people put his son Jehoahaz (609 BC) on the throne.  He lasted three months.  When Neco found out who had been made king, he took Jehoahaz prisoner to Egypt and made his older brother Jehoiakim (another son of Josiah, 609-598 BC) king.  When he died, his son Jehoiachin became king (598-597 BC) but he only lasted three months until Nebuchadnezzar came and seized Jerusalem and took Jehoiachin to Babylon as his prisoner.  Nebuchadnezzar then made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king.  Zedekiah was another son of Josiah.  He ruled from 597-586 BC.  He was the last king until Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed Jerusalem.                 

Jeremiah 21

Jeremiah’s messages will now change.  Instead of being general messages, he is given specific messages for various kings, for the people, and for the prophets.  The messages are NOT in chronological order.

:1-7 Message for Zedekiah:  You’ll lose to Babylon

:1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,

Pashur – this is a different Pashur than the one mentioned in 20:1.

Zephaniah – he was the second in rank to the High Priest Seraiah (Jer. 52:24)

:2 Inquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.

:3 Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:

It is thought that this message came in the ninth year of Zedekiah (589 BC) which was the year Nebuchadnezzar began his two year siege of Jerusalem (2Ki. 25:1).

:4 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.

:5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

:6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.

:7 And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.

This prediction was fulfilled in 586 B.C. when Zedekiah was blinded and taken to Babylon and other leaders were executed (Jer. 39:5-7; 52:24-27).

:8-10 Message to the people to leave

:8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.

:9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.

:10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

Jeremiah is telling the people that the only way to survive is to surrender to the king of Babylon.  For most people, how would that come across?  It would seem like Jeremiah was a traitor.

:11-14 Message for king to be just

:11 And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;

:12 O house of David, thus saith the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

:13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the LORD; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?

(Jer 21:13 NLT)  I will fight against this city of Jerusalem that boasts, "We are safe on our mountain! No one can touch us here."

Jerusalem thought it was impregnable.

:14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.

Jeremiah 22

:1-9 To the king:  Do justice and dynasty continues

:1 Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,

king of Judah – Probably still referring to Zedekiah

:2 And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:

:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

:4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

We keep seeing the message go back and forth.

One message is about the surety of the judgment that is coming.

The next message is that there is still a chance to stop it.

God’s mercy.  It’s not too late to turn around.

:5 But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.

:6 For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.

You are like a rich, fertile, well-watered land, but you’ll become like a desert.

:7 And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.

:8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city?

:9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

:10-12 For Jehoahaz:  You’ll die

:10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.

for the dead – don’t weep for Josiah (who had died recently)

him that goeth away – referring to Jehoahaz, who was made king by the people after Josiah was killed.  Pharoah Neco didn’t like Jehoahaz being king, and since he had in a sense conquered Judah by killing Josiah, he decided to choose who he wanted to be king.

(2 Ki 23:33 KJV)  And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.

:11 For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:

:12 But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.

Jehoahaz was not seen again.

:13-19 For Jehoiakim: Lack of justice; poor burial

:13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;

This is a message for Jehoiakim.  He ruled Judah for eleven years.

The writer of 2Kings tells us one thing of note about Jehoiakim.  When Pharaoh Neco conquered Josiah, one of the things he did was demand that the nation of Judah pay him tribute money – 100 talents of silver and one talent of gold.  We’re told how the money was collected.

(2 Ki 23:34-35 KJV)  And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. {35} And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.

Jehoiakim was known for his taxes.  He kept his kingdom going by increasing the taxes and giving the money to Pharoah.

:14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.

(Jer 22:14 NLT)  He says, 'I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows, paneled throughout with fragrant cedar and painted a lovely red.'

:15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?

Jehoiakim’s father was Josiah.

:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.

:17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.

:18 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!

:19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

The idea is that when Jehoiakim died, he wouldn’t be buried, but would be thrown out on the garbage heap.  The writer of 2Kings records his death:

(2 Ki 24:6 KJV)  So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

Usually a mention is made of a king’s burial.  No mention for Jehoiakim.

:20-30 For Jehoiachin: You’ll be childless

:20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.

Even though Lebanon is a country to the north of Israel and Bashan is to the northeast of Israel, the message is to the people of Jerusalem.

:21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.

Prosperity isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.  We are convinced that if we had “more” everything would be okay.

For Jerusalem, their prosperity plugged up their ears.

:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.

:23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!

The suggestion has been made that Jeremiah is really talking about the inhabitants of Jerusalem because they lived in luxurious houses paneled with cedar from Lebanon.

:24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;

Coniah – also known as Jehoiachin or Jeconiah.

:25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.

Jehoiachin would only reign for three months, then be taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.  He would live in prison for thirty years before Nebuchadnezzar’s son Evil-Merodach took him out of prison and allowed him to hang out in the palace of Babylon (Jer. 51:31-34).

:26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.

This is just what happened:

(2 Ki 24:15 KJV)  And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

This was the second invasion and captivity, taking place in 597 BC.

:27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.

:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?

:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

:30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

Ryrie:  Although Coniah had seven sons (perhaps adopted; cf. 1 Chron. 3:17), none occupied the throne. So, as far as a continuing dynasty was concerned, Coniah was to be considered "childless." Although his line of descendants retained the legal throne rights, no physical descendant (no man of his seed) would ever prosperously reign on the Davidic throne. The genealogy of Matthew traces the descent of Jesus through Solomon and Jeconiah (Heb., Coniah; Matt. 1:12); this is the genealogy of Jesus' legal father, Joseph. Luke traces Jesus' physical descent back through Mary and Nathan to David, bypassing Jeconiah's line and showing accurately the fulfillment of this prophecy of Jeremiah. If Jesus had been born only in the line of Joseph (and thus of Jeconiah), He would not have been qualified to reign on the throne of David in the Millennium.

Jeremiah 23

:1-8 Bad shepherds driven away, good shepherd coming

:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

pastors – the rulers over the people.  This would include kings, city officials, priests, and prophets.

:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

visitedpaqad – to attend to, look after, care for

The leaders “fed” their flock, but didn’t care for them.  It was the rulers who were to blame for the people being scattered in the various captivities.

:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

The people would be brought back to the land after the Babylonian captivity.

:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

This is a prophecy concerning the coming Messiah.  He would be a “branch” coming from David.  Isaiah wrote,

(Isa 11:1 KJV)  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Salvation came in the days of Jesus.  He saved us by dying for their sins.

On the cross God did a magnificent exchange:

(2 Cor 5:21 KJV)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When we open up our heart to Jesus, God takes our sins, puts them on Jesus, and gives us the righteousness of Jesus in exchange.

(1 Cor 1:30 KJV)  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
We are saved because we now have God’s righteousness.

:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

We’ve seen this before (Jer. 16:5).

The deliverance of the nation of Israel out of Egypt was such an incredible thing that it was the thing the people remembered when they wanted to think of God’s great power and love for His people.

Yet the return of Israel from the Babylonian captivity would be the new thing people would look to.

Even though there were terrible days up ahead, there would be a wonderful time coming.
Could the “good old days” still be ahead of us?

:9-32 False prophets

:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

Jeremiah is weeping because of these false prophets.

:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.

adulterers – it could be that Jeremiah is talking about spiritual adultery, the idea of leading people away from God.  It’s probably more likely that he’s talking about actual, real adultery.  The false prophets lived immoral lives.

because of swearing – better, “because of the curse that comes from adultery …”

:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.

profanechaneph – be defiled, be polluted, be corrupt

God had even found them committing sin in the Temple.

:12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

Probably talking about the northern kingdom of Israel, how in the days of Ahab and Jezebel they had prophets of Baal.

:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.

make you vain – they were giving the people false hope.

:17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.


Real messages can be hard

They were telling the people that everything was going to work out when God was going to bring judgment.

We all love to hear a great, uplifting, positive message.

But sometimes the things that God has to say to us are rough and difficult.
When a person is caught in their sin, God wants them to turn around.
The word that God may say to them might cause them to be offended.  It might cause them conviction.
But that’s God’s goal – to get a person to turn around.
When we share Christ with people, we might want to only talk about the wonderful positive things of the gospel.
We want people to know that God loves them.  We want them to know that eternal life is real.
But we also need to let people know that they have a huge problem when they don’t have Jesus.

Some folks will give people the impression that they don’t need to worry about their sin.

They say that God loves you anyway.  Though God loves me, He loves me so much that He wants me to get out of trouble – He wants me to turn from my sin.

Some will even try to say that things the Bible condemns are really okay.

People have a problem with sin.  Our sin cuts us off from God.  Our sin will one day be judged by God.

And that’s why we need a Savior.

Jesus didn’t just come to show us what heaven is like.

He came to die a horrible death, paying for our sins, so that we might be able to be forgiven.

:18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

This is what a prophet does – “stand in the counsel of the LORD”.

:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?

In reality, God is close to you no matter where you are.  But the people had the idea that they could be away from God, in a place where God wasn’t paying attention to them.

(Jer 23:23 NLT)  Am I a God who is only in one place?" asks the LORD. "Do they think I cannot see what they are doing?

He is close by.

:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.


No secrets from God

David wrote,
(Psa 139:1-10 KJV)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. {2} Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. {3} Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. {4} For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. {5} Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. {6} Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. {7} Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? {8} If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. {9} If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; {10} Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
God knows everything.  He sees everything.
That can be disturbing when you are doing things that displease God.

The Druggist

A young man went into the drug store and told the druggist he wanted to buy 3 boxes of candy; a one pound box, a 3 pound box, and a 5 pound box. The druggist brought the candy then asked, “I’m curious why you’re getting 3 different boxes.” The young man replied, “I have a date tonight with a girl I’ve been wanting to date for months. I’m going to her house for dinner and, afterwards, if she goes out to sit with me on the swing, I’ll give her the 1 pound box; if she lets me put my are around her, I’ll give her the 3 pound box, and if she lets me kiss her, I’ll give her the 5 pound box.” The druggist agreed that the plan was ingenious. That night the boy arrived for dinner and when they sat down to eat, the father asked the boy to say the blessing. Well, the boy prayed and prayed and prayed until the girl had to elbow him to stop. Afterwards as they sat on the porch swing, the girl said, “I didn’t know you were so religious.” To which the young man replied, “And I didn’t know your Daddy was the druggist.”

We can get uncomfortable when we realize that God knows all of our tricky, sneaky plans.

It can be comforting when you are going through difficulty and feel all alone.

:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

:27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

The dreams of the false prophets were leading people away from God.

:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

He’s saying that the dream of a false prophet is as nourishing as the chaff while God’s Word is like the kernel of wheat.

:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?


God’s Word

Wheat – it nourishes.
It’s the bread from heaven.
(Exo 16:1-31 KJV)  And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. {2} And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: {3} And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. {4} Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Part of the lesson of manna was to see if the people would learn to do what God asked them to do.  Would they learn to be fed the way that God wants to feed them?

The same thing happens with God’s Word.  Will you do what He says?  Will you let Him feed you with His Word?  Over time the people would complain about the manna – that it was getting too boring.  Yet it was the way that God chose to feed the people.  He provided for them through the manna.  God will provide for us through His Word.

{5} And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. {6} And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: {7} And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? {8} And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD. {9} And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. {10} And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. {11} And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {12} I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. {13} And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. {14} And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

The manna came in the morning.

{15} And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was.

The word “manna” means “what is it?”  They were to eat the “what is it?”

I wonder if we shouldn’t approach God’s Word each day with that questions, “what is it?”  “What do you want for me today Lord?”

And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. {16} This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. {17} And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. {18} And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. {19} And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. {20} Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Already God was testing them to see if they would do the simple things He asked them to do.

It’s important that we not just be “hearers” of God’s Word, but “doers”.

{21} And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. {22} And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. {23} And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. {24} And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

This was truly a “God” phenomena.  There was no other explanation other than that God was providing for the people.

{25} And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. {26} Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. {27} And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. {28} And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? {29} See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. {30} So the people rested on the seventh day. {31} And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

God wants to feed His people.  He feeds us in the Word.

Fire – burns, purifies
Fire burns up the chaff.
Fire purifies metal.
Hammer – pounds, shatters
Shatters the hard things, the stony heart.
Pounds pliable metal into useful shapes
Another person has described God’s Word as an anvil:
H.L. Hastings wrote, “Infidels for eighteen hundred years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock.  Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before.  Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt.  When the French monarch proposed the persecution of the Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”  So the hammers of the infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures.  If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago.  Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.”


Experience versus the Word

Another important distinction here is for us to compare “dreams” with God’s “Word”.
It’s like chaff and wheat.
Dreams, impressions, prophetic thoughts, are all important.  God can speak through these kinds of things.
But the thing that we can be sure of is His Word.

:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.


(Jer 23:30 NLT)  "Therefore," says the LORD, "I stand against these prophets who get their messages from each other--

:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

lightnesspachazuwth – recklessness, extravagance, frivolity (making jokes when you should be serious).

:33-40 False “burdens”

:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.

burden – a prophetic message was often called a “burden”.  It was a message that was considered “weighty”, “heavy”.

(Nahum 1:1 KJV)  The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

(Hab 1:1 KJV)  The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

The people would come to Jeremiah and ask him mockingly what the “burden” of the Lord was.  God’s response was that they were the real burden.

:34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.

God was tired of hearing this phrase, “the burden of the Lord”.

:35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?

God wanted them to change the way they said things.

:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.

People were abusing this phrase, “the burden of the Lord”.  People were making up their own things and saying, “The burden of the Lord is …”

:37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?

:38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;

:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

God is sick and tired of people abusing His Word.  He’s tired of people claiming to speak for Him when He hasn’t spoken.

For us, the important thing is to stay close to what we KNOW is His Word – the Scriptures.