May 10



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Jeremiah 5-7

We are in the Prophetic Stream reading the judgments as written by the prophet Jeremiah. We are reading from the Easy-to-Read Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God, we ask that you would be a comfort to us; an ever present help in times of trouble. Guide us as we aim to live as Jeremiah did and speak up amid a culture that seems bent on disobedience. We trust you to guide us in our pilgrimage and ministry as we find ourselves living in similar times to what Jeremiah lived in.  Amen

5 – Jeremiah is appalled that there is not even one righteous/loving/God-fearing soul in Jerusalem.  The people talk of God but it is hollow. He then goes into a prayer for 15 verses straight.  Jeremiah vents to God about their wickedness, the punishment coming to them like a lion pouncing on its prey.  They’re about to be treated like animals -since they wander away from God. The children, the leaders, everyone is going to feel the punishment. They ignore His prophecy so the LORD must bring in a foreign nation.  They’ve brought foreign gods to worship from another land, so they are going to be taken to a foreign land (what do they THINK is going to happen?!)  They and everything they own is going to be devoured. These Babylonians may as well be six foot tall locusts – they will leave nothing. These people of Judah are not accidentally straying; their rebellion is deliberate. They are deaf and blind but think they are fine. They lie and are treacherous. It will require the Babylonian army to get their attention.

6 – The enemy of the people of God is coming, and they come to destroy. The people have stopped their ears long enough and God is going to use this foreign army to “cleanse” Judea. The chapter reads like God is even directing the Babylonians, telling them how to overtake the city. As believers we read this and may think, “God, what are you doing?!” Hey, what is God supposed to do? The Judeans have been up and down spiritually for almost 350 years. The north had fallen to Assyria (150 years before Judea did) and in the intermittent century and a half, Judea more or less has an ungodliness contest with itself to see how far they can press the matter in their disobedience. They had deluded themselves. Remember, later in Jer. 25:9 and 43:10 God refers to the Babylonian king as “His servant.” This king Nebuchadnezzar will be sent (by God!) to clean up Judea. If God is not allowed to, then a dark force will be put to work on them. Obedience to God would have been a much better plan. This is just like in Eden; When God’s people do not obey God or His plan, what is God to do?  When they (we) won’t obey, God just needs to clean house. We do the same with spiders and roaches in our houses, do we not? Judea refuses to repent. And they keep bringing offerings to God as if that would cover for their wickedness. The warnings for repentance are insistent, even pathetic. The awful punishment coming to them could be avoided through repentance. But Judah won’t.

7 –  Jeremiah is assigned to stand in the gateway to the city and prophesy to the people about the matter of obedience and repentance. Jeremiah is laying it all out here! The people have been treating the Temple like a kid playing “tag” or something like that. A kid will run all around a yard and then stop with a hand on a structure and declare, “Base!” meaning they can’t be caught or tagged because they are on a base.  Judah was breaking all the commandments all over the country in their ungodly behavior and then coming to the Temple and declaring to themselves that they would not be punished because they were in the Temple. It’s like they are yelling “base!” to God.  I mean God isn’t going to let His own Temple be smashed is He? Not with us in here with our offerings, right? Think again!  The reference in v. 18 “Queen of Heaven” was Ashtoreth. They were worshiping this female sex deity just like all the surrounding pagan nations were doing. All God wanted was their obedience. They are countering with, “we won’t obey, …but we will bring sacrifices! [durrr] The Judeans revered their ancestors (uh, they weren’t obedient either!).  And the more time passes, the worse people become. They have been as pagan as the pagan nations and worse. They’ve done infant sacrifice right in the city, the Temple is polluted by their deeds as they play both sides. They do this Satanic level wretchedness and then bring their offerings to the Temple (same people!) Well God is going to end all this and there will be so many dead that vultures will swarm in to clean up the bodies. Some Hebrews will be preserved in another land, but Jerusalem is going to fall silent.  A preview of this is in Lamentations 1 “…the city is deserted…”  This all- so- did- not- need to happen. But with Judah’s behavior – it did happen.