TODAY’S READING: JEREMIAH 27-30
OVERVIEW: Jeremiah’s cry to reject the false prophets and false prophecy concerning Babylon (27:1-22); Jeremiah’s cry to reject the false prophets and false prophecy concerning the Babylonian captivity (28:1-17); Jeremiah’s letter to those already taken into captivity urging them to reject the false prophets, and to seek the Lord (29:1-32); Jeremiah’s message about Israel’s future restoration (30:1-24).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
At the beginning of King Zedekiah’s reign the Lord prophesied that Babylon, under the leadership and rule of Nebuchadnezzar, would overthrow Judah. The Lord commanded that Judah serve the one that He had used to discipline them (27:8). The prophets of Judah told the people not to serve the king of Babylon, just as did the “diviners, dreamers, enchanters and sorcerers” (27:9). It is a definite sad state of affairs when those who stand in the place of speaking for God, are saying the same thing as those who are speaking for the Devil! Jeremiah passionately warns the people not to hearken to their lies (27:9, 14, 16). He tells them that God would ultimately restore them, but not before being brought into captivity (27:22). Chapter 27 teaches us that though a “positive” message from a stereotypical Laodicean “preacher” (II Tim. 4:3-4) feels a whole lot better on the ears than a “negative” message from a non-stereotypical Laodicean preacher (II Tim. 4:2), God’s “negative” me!
ssage will have a whole lot more positive ramifications in our lives than their supposed “positive” one! Don’t ever lose sight of Jesus’ words in Rev. 3:19 to those of us living in this “negative” Laodicean Church Period: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten”! In other words, the results of Jesus’ negativity through His preachers is very positive!
Chapter 28 lets us know that in the same year that the events of chapter 27 were taking place, that Jeremiah encountered what must have been one of the “well respected” and “big name” prophets of Judah: a man by the name of Hananiah. His message from “the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel” (28:2) was that God had broken Babylon’s power over Judah, and that within two years all of the vessels that had been taken out of the Temple would be returned, along with all of the exiles. Man, what a positive message that was! The only problem with it, is that it wasn’t true! God had said no such thing (28:15)! Jeremiah tells Hananiah that Babylon’s yoke was not a yoke of wood that would be easily broken, but was a yoke of iron, and that he was a liar. Jeremiah then prophesied Hananiah’s death for his sin of misleading the people, and he died, verifying which one of them was truly speaking for the Lord. Even so, the people refused to listen to the Words of the Lord through Jeremia!
In chapter 29, Jeremiah writes a letter to the Jewish people who had already been taken into captivity. He tells them not to listen to the false prophets who have been prophesying their soon release. He tells them that the captivity is actually going to last 70 years, and that they should go ahead and make the best of it by building houses, planting gardens, and strengthening their families, because this is where most of them would die. Our gracious God even wrote to them through Jeremiah saying that if they refused to listen to the false prophets and would seek Him, their lives in captivity in Babylon would be blessed, and actually be better than those who lived in the freedom of Judah, but refused to listen to Him.
In chapter 30, Jeremiah’s message actually turns in more of a positive direction. Though the positive nature of his message pertained to a future time, (actually, the time of the Great Tribulation and Second Coming of Christ when God will restore the nation of Israel not only to her homeland, but to her Messiah), the break from the negativity of Jeremiah’s message had to be refreshing to him. Do recognize that all of the events that are taking place in the Middle East today are simply setting the stage for what God was prophesying through Jeremiah in this chapter. It is an exciting time to be alive if for no other reason than that! Lift up your head, your redemption draweth nigh!
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
30:7a – “That day is great, so that none is like it.”
30:7b –“The time of Jacob’s trouble” (Specifically, the Tribulation Period).
30:8 – “In that day.”
30:24 – “In the latter days.”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the LORD WHO WILL BE RAISED UP AS DAVID THEIR KING – Jer. 30:9 (Matt. 2:2; 1:1; Luke 1:31-33).