kjv@Jeremiah:3:1@ 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].
kjv@Jeremiah:3:2@ 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.
kjv@Jeremiah:3:3@ 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.
kjv@Jeremiah:3:16@ 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.
Signs of sin of the nation Israel here are refusing to be ashamed, adulterous idolatry, dealing treacherously, seeking salvation from hills and mountains, perverting ways, not obeying voice of Lord. In their division with Judah, which may have been rightful in and of its self, they had moved the their center of worship from Jerusalem to the two high places within their own borders to avoid having to go into Judah to worship. Which was a massive transgression. They were also fighting apparently over the possession of the Ark of the Covenant. The cure? Return from backsliding, acknowledge your transgression against the Lord and the scattering of your ways to strangers.
Interesting that Jacob is mentioned here with all he was put in subjection to. We know how Jacob was finally made to prevail; not against his masters but with and for his masters to the miraculous deliverance of his own people. When is this to come? Has this all ready come about? Or is this something yet in the making?
I find it hard to believe the claims of some cults that the Jews are apostate beyond repair and that they themselves are now the true Jews. What has the Lord drawn them through? When were they scattered? When did their fathers do only wrong? They may be saved in the knowledge of Jesus Christ but, undoubtedly, they are not the Israel/Judah spoken of here. The Lord will put His fear into their (the Jews) heart that they will not leave Him anymore.
The Branch of Righteousness (Christians take to mean Jesus) grows unto David (comes down dwells among us in the flesh) executes judgment/righteousness in the land (some would take to mean an earthly rule but could mean a spiritual rule as well) Judah will be saved (again could mean spiritually) and Jerusalem dwell safely (spiritually secure in the knowledge and spirit of the risen Christ) David shall never want a man on his throne (because Jesus has moved the Davidic throne to the eternal kingdom, the right hand side of God the father, the God/Man rightfully sits on it forever more) neither shall there be needed any sacrifice or offering (for the God/Man on the throne has become unto us our final sacrifice, the complete atonement that the Father provides for us all). If this is not so, I see no other way that this covenant has not been broken or ceased for over two thousand years. Do you?
We are given an example of proof that it is within the heart of man to keep some form of covenant, that it is a matter of choice. This example was a very difficult and sacrificial choice. The right choice is always rewarded. Judah long ago had made their choice. God could have carried out their chastisement long ago, but, He has been careful to let us know that He has gone more than the extra mile towards them before executing this. It has given us plenty of opportunity to realize that this is not only the way it must be, it is also done for their ultimate good. We should see the certainty of our own depravity and the need for the Lordship of His Son and the redemption provided by the gracious gift of His Son's own blood.
One might ask "why does the Word of God need to be written"? "Can't He just speak it into our hearts"? Jehoiakim knew the things written in Baruch's scroll. It testified against him recording a long history of the king's rebellion and transgression. The king's advisers knew well how he would react for they had the scribe and prophet to hide away. The Lord undoubtedly knew as well, just as He knows today. The heart hears what the heart wants to hear, it reasons as would serve it's own desires the best. Nothing is beyond the scope of the deceitful heart. The written word is as much to testify against the fleshly heart as it is to convince it. Today we have the testimony of several thousands of years and several other Jeremiahs in written form. Is the heart then any different today?
Have you ever had someone do everything they could against you only to later come back to you for advice? Jeremiah asks the obvious "why do you come to me, where are all your prophets, why not ask them"? Did Zedekiah really think that Jeremiah for the sake of some possible friendship or for the chance of being released would have anything other to say than what had already been said?
We can sense how others perceived Jeremiah. He was a traitor bent on the surrender of Jerusalem to the Chaldeans. He was causing division within the ranks and was using religious sounding speech to dishearten the masses. Left at liberty, he would use highly visual grandstanding techniques such as wooden yokes and ancient vessels to invoke dissent. The word was out on him. Imprisoned, Jeremiah would of course not be stopped, but, at least perhaps contained; his where-abouts known.
In the end, the Lord has still given the king a choice. He can surrender himself without a fight and live or he can fight and die and his household be mercilessly brutalized. We like to think that freedom of choice always involves something more than that. Look at Jeremiah the prophet of God. What choices did he have remaining? He had done just as God had said; where is his safe out? What makes us think that somewhere there is a better outcome? That we can negotiate or force our way into some dreamy personal victory or acceptable compromise? Most often, the only choices we have are the choices left to us.
What do all these men of Judah think now? Was Jeremiah the source of their downfall? Or were they? Or was he the lone prophet willing to stand forth and warn the peoples? Did Jeremiah hoot and howler and brashly reply I told you so? Many of these men did not live to be able to hear nor think at all. The ones that did live had too many problems of their own to be thinking of such. And as for Jeremiah, perhaps the saddest and most broken of them all... a call out to the far distant king of Ethiopia next on Nebuchadrezzar's list.
Quoted is kjv@Jeremiah:31:31-34. Elsewhere in Jeremiah kjv@Jeremiah:24:7 it is written that the heart to know after God will be given by Him and that this will cause us to return to Him with our whole hearts. It is precisely what the Law could not do.
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