Jeremiah 3-5

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 6, 2005

Introduction

Jeremiah was around twenty years old when he began his ministry.

His ministry would be a difficult one. He would not have a lot of success.

He would oversee the death of his nation.

Stages of growth in the Lord

First coming to Jesus, the “first love”.

Sometimes we go through times where we get dull in our walk.

Sometimes we fall away from the Lord and dabble with other things.

This is very similar to what the nation of Judah was facing.

Jeremiah 3

:1-5 First Message: Spiritual adultery

:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

In the laws concerning divorce, when a man divorces a woman, then she remarries and divorces a second time, she can’t go back to the first husband:

(Deu 24:4 KJV) Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Yet God has in a sense broken His own law by taking the Jews back over and over again.

Lesson

God’s jealousy

There is a sense in which jealousy is very appropriate.
If a husband says something like, “Well, I’m not a jealous man”, there is a sense in which that isn’t a good thing for the wife. I think that a wife ought to know that her husband wants her for himself, and vice versa …

Illustration

A Second Wife

One Father writes, “When our second child was on the way, my wife and I attended a pre-birth class aimed at couples who had already had at least one child. The instructor raised the issue of breaking the news to the older child. It went like this: “Some parents,” she said, “tell the older child, ‘We love you so much we decided to bring another child into this family.’ But think about that. Ladies, what if your husband came home one day and said, ‘Honey, I love you so much I decided to bring home another wife.’” One of the women spoke up immediately. “Does she cook???””

There is such a thing as an unhealthy jealousy – where a husband won’t let his wife out of the house unless she has a bag over her head – but that’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s okay for a husband not to want to share his wife with another man.
That’s the way God feels about us.

:2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

the Arabian – the robbers lying in wait in the desert.

:3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

latter rainIsrael had two rainy seasons, an “early” rain and a “latter” rain.  Both were needed for the crops to be fully grown at harvest time.

God’s judgment by withholding needed rain.

This was part of God’s “early warning system”, letting the people know that they had fallen away from Him:

(Lev 26:18-19 KJV) And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. {19} And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

:4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?

:5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.

:6-10 Second Message: Judah hasn’t learned from Israel’s judgment

:6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

Israel – talking about the northern kingdom, which has already been destroyed and taken into captivity by the Assyrians.

The places of worship were set up on the mountains and hills.

The worship of Ashtaroth, goddess of fertility, sexual immorality involved.

:7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

Judah – the existing southern kingdom to whom Jeremiah is speaking to.

:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

Lesson

Learn from history

Judah saw what happened to the northern kingdom, but didn’t learn any lessons from it.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to re-live it”
I remember growing up and watching my oldest sister go down the wrong path of life.
I knew that I didn’t want to go down that path.
Paul wrote,
(1 Cor 10:11-12 NLT)  All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close. {12} If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin.

That’s one reason why we study all of the Bible.  We want to learn from those before us.

But Judah didn’t learn it’s lessons.

:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.

It was only a surface revival that was happening in Josiah’s day.

Illustration

A little push

A man is in bed with his wife when there is a rat-a-tat-tat on the door. He rolls over and looks at his clock, and its half past three in the morning. “I’m not getting out of bed at this time,” he thinks, and rolls over. Then, a louder knock follows. “Aren’t you going to answer that?” says his wife. So he drags himself out of bed and goes down stairs. He opens the door and there is man standing at the door. It didn’t take the homeowner long to realize the man was drunk. “Hi there,” slurs the stranger. “Can you give me a push??” “No, get lost. It’s half past three. I was in bed,” says the man and slams the door. He goes back up to bed and tells his wife what happened and she says, “Dave, that wasn’t very nice of you. Remember that night we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick the kids up from the babysitter and you had to knock on that man’s house to get us started again? What would have happened if he’d told us to get lost??” “But the guy was drunk,” says the husband. “It doesn’t matter,” says the wife. “He needs our help and it would be the Christian thing to help him.” So the husband gets out of bed again, gets dressed, and goes downstairs. He opens the door, and not being able to see the stranger anywhere he shouts, “Hey, do you still want a push??” And he hears a voice cry out, “Yeah please.” So, still being unable to see the stranger he shouts, “Where are you?” And the stranger replies, “I’m over here, on your swing.”

God is looking for sincere repentance, not just playing around.

:11-20 Return and restored

:11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

Judah is in a more precarious state than Israel because she should have known better.

:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

Even though the northern kingdom had been wiped out, there was still a remnant living in the land.

Josiah had even gone into the northern kingdom and removed the altars that Jeroboam had set up years before.

(2 Ki 23:15 KJV) Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove.

(2 Chr 34:33 KJV) And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.

God’s mercy

If you turn around, He will be merciful.

:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

Confession of sin

(Prov 28:13 KJV)  He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

(1 John 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

God loves His people.  He wants a marriage built on love.

Illustration

Thelma

Even at the age of 75, Thelma was very vivacious and full of life. When her husband passed away, her children suggested that she move to a “senior living community.” A gregarious and life-loving person, Thelma decided to do so. Shortly after moving in, Thelma became a self-appointed activities director, coordinating all sorts of things for the people in the community to do and quickly became very popular and made many friends. When Thelma turned 80, her newfound friends showed their appreciation by throwing a surprise birthday party for her. When Thelma entered the dining room for dinner that night, she was greeted by a standing ovation and one of the coordinators led her to the head table. The night was filled with laughter and entertainment, but throughout the evening, Thelma could not take her eyes off a gentleman sitting at the other end of the table. When the festivities ended, Thelma quickly rose from her seat and rushed over to the man. “Pardon me,” Thelma said. “Please forgive me if I made you feel uncomfortable by staring at you all night. I just couldn’t help myself from looking your way. You see, you look just like my fifth husband.” “Your fifth husband!” replied the gentleman. “Forgive me for asking, but how many times have you been married?” With that, a smile came across Thelma’s face as she responded, “Four.” They were married shortly after.

By Shari Smith from A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Hanoch McCarty & Meladee McCarty

God has His eye on you.  He wants to be married to you.

God doesn’t want us to relate to Him out of outward religious duty.  He wants a relationship with us built on love.

:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

pastors – leaders like the kings and priests

A pastor after God’s heart is one that feeds the people with knowledge and understanding.

:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.

When God gives these pastors after His heart …

(Jer 3:16 NLT) "And when your land is once more filled with people," says the LORD, "you will no longer wish for 'the good old days' when you possessed the Ark of the Lord's covenant. Those days will not be missed or even thought about…

You won’t be talking about the Ark of the Covenant because you’ll have the New Covenant, you’ll have Jesus Christ.

Lesson

Good old days

Has there ever been a more exciting time in your walk with the Lord than now?
(Rev 2:4-5 NASB)  'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. {5} 'Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent.
Jesus tells the church to do three things:
Remember – think back to when you were closer to the Lord.
Repent – Turn from the things that have taken you away from the Lord.
Re-do – do the kinds of things that you used to do – read the Word, pray, talk about Jesus, serve others.

17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

:18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Restoration of the nation

This could be a prophecy about the restoration of the nation after the Babylonian captivity. 

It could be a reference to modern Israel.

It’s most likely a reference to the kingdom that Jesus is going to one day set up.

:19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

My Father

In the Old Testament, the famous saints were called “servants” of God.  Abraham was called God’s friend.  But none of them called God their “Father”, and He didn’t call them His sons.

Yet when Jesus came, things changed.  Over 70 times Jesus refers to God as “Father”.

God called Jesus His “Son”.
(Mat 3:17 KJV)  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And Jesus has taught us to call God our “Father”
(Mat 6:9 KJV)  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

This comes because we have been “born again” through Jesus Christ.  We now have an intimate relationship with God.

:20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

:21-25 High places

:21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

high places – places of idolatry

The people are weeping and crying out to their false gods at the high places.

:22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

:23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.

The people had been turning to the idols and “gods” of the hills, the high places.

:24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

:25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

Jeremiah 4

:1-18 Coming judgment, dry winds

:1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.

:2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.

The people had been saying, “The Lord liveth”, but it was just used as a slang phrase. The day would come when they would mean it.

Today we fall into the trap of saying things like, “O, praise the Lord”, or, “I swear to God …”, and sometimes we don’t really think about what we’re saying.

:3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

fallow ground – a field that hasn’t been planted, but has had a chance to rest.  When the land lies fallow, it gets hard, and the seeds have a difficult time to penetrate and grow.

sow … thorns – Jesus talked about the “thorns” (Mat. 13) being the “cares” of the world.  When we get too worldly, our “stuff” chokes out the growth of the Word in our life.

Lesson

New growth

Our heart needs to be broken from time to time.  We can get too complacent and the things of God don’t penetrate very far.
Let God break your heart.  True repentance over sin, grief over you sin, turning from sin.
Stay away from worldliness.
Plant God’s Word.

:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Circumcision was a ritual that every boy went through as a baby.

It was meant to be a symbol of the “cutting away” of the flesh.

Yet rather than becoming something that caused them to think – they just trusted the ritual rather than trusting in the Lord.  Some of the Rabbis taught that if you were circumcised, you wouldn’t go to hell.

Deal with the heart, the flesh

(1 John 2:15-17 KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

:5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.

:6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

evilra‘– evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity

Babylon is coming

:7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.

The picture of a wild lion coming out of it’s den to hunt

:8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.

:9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.

(Jer 4:9 NLT) "In that day," says the LORD, "the king and the officials will tremble in fear. The priests and the prophets will be struck with horror."

:10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

:11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,

Does God deceive us?

God hadn’t deceived the people. But the prophets had been prophesying peace falsely.

windruwach – wind, breath, mind, spirit

dry wind – false prophets – only drying things out, not helpful at all.

(Jer 6:14 KJV) They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

(Jer 6:14 NLT) They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when all is war.

:12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.

:13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.

:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

:15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.

Dan – the tribe at the far north

Ephraim – the main tribe of the northern kingdom, at the south of the northern kingdom.

:16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.

Babylon is coming.

:17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

:18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

:19-31 Vision of coming judgment

:19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

Jeremiah has this sense in him of the coming judgment. He knows what’s going to happen.

He’s pained at what he sees.

:20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.

:21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

How long until it happens?

:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

sottishcakal – fool

They are great when it comes to doing the wrong thing. They’re clueless when it comes to doing the right thing.

Paul wrote,

(Rom 16:19 KJV) For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

We don’t need to be involved in evil things. We ought to be ignorant and dumb about them.

When people tell dirty jokes, we should be happy when we don’t “get it”.

:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

without form, and void

In the beginning …

(Gen 1:1-2 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. {2} And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Is Jeremiah saying that in his vision everything looked like the chaos of the early creation?

:24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

:25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

:26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

:27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

:29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.

:30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.

rentestqara‘– to tear, tear in pieces

paintingpuwk – antimony, stibium, black paint; eye cosmetic

(Jer 4:30 NLT) …Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara?

Though Judah is dressed up like a prostitute, her lovers won’t help her, they’ll only kill her.

:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

Jeremiah 5

1-9 God is looking for a reason to be merciful, but the people reject Him

:1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

God will give a pardon to the city of Jerusalem if one person of justice can be found.

Genesis 19 – the angels destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham’s negotiations with God. God said that He would spare Sodom and Gomorrah if he could find ten righteous people in the city. There weren’t ten. The city was destroyed.

:2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.

The LORD liveth – a “spiritual” phrase, like swearing an oath, the phrase is found 37 times in the Old Testament.

Gehazi used spiritual terms, though he was a greedy man:

(2 Ki 5:20 KJV) But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.

They say the right things, the religious things, but they don’t mean it.

:3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

Even though God has given them some strong forms of persuasion, they’ve refused to change.

:4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

Perhaps they are just poor, ignorant people. Perhaps this is why the people don’t change.

:5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.

But even the great men who should know better have walked away from God.

:6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.

:7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.

:8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.

:9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

:10-19 Judgment coming

:10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S.

battlements[email protected] – twig, tendril, tendrils of a vine (as spread out)

(Jer 5:10 NLT) "Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy them, but leave a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vine, for they do not belong to the LORD.

:11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.

:12 They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:

:13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.

:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

When Jeremiah speaks, it will be like a fire on dry wood, consuming the people.

:15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.

Babylon is coming

:16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.

The quivers that hold their arrows are going to send you to the grave.

:17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.

fenced cities – The people trusted in their homeland security. But it wasn’t going to help.

:18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you.

God won’t totally wipe out the nation.

:19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.

Here’s how Jeremiah was to answer the people when they wondered why this was going to happen:

If you serve foreign gods, then you’ll live in a foreign land.

:20-24 It’s foolish not to fear God

:20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,

:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

They’ve become like their idols, their “gods”.

(Psa 115:4-8 KJV) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {5} They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: {6} They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: {7} They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. {8} They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

God setting up the beach as a boundary for the ocean.

Makes me wonder about the tsunami – people who used to be comfortable with the ocean are now terrified of it.

Fear God.

:23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.

:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

The witness of creation – a good God.

:25-29 The nation has lots of sin that hasn’t been dealt with

:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.

God has brought punishment on the nation through drought.

Illustration

STAND BY YOUR MAN

The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he finally came out of it, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times: When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side... You know what?” “What dear?” She gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth. “I think you’re bad luck.”

God was saying to the people that it wasn’t “bad luck”.  God was trying to get their attention and cause them to turn from their sins.

God wants to do good things for us, but our sin can keep us from them.

(Isa 59:1-2 KJV) Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: {2} But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Keep yourself in the place where you are able to receive all the good things that God has for you.

Stay under the spout where the glory comes out.

:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.

:27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

:28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

:29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

:30-31 Bad leaders, yet the people love it

:30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;

:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

meansyad – hand; strength, power (fig.)

(Jer 5:30-31 NLT) "A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land-- {31} the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. And worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?

There is corruption in the rulers, and the people love it that way. They’ll vote for them at the next election.

 

Pray for God to help us live in that first love.