June 28


Jeremiah 28-30

We are in the Prophetic Stream and Jeremiah is experiencing some run-ins with other “prophets.” We are reading from the New King James Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord, you intend to restore after you cleanse. Thank you for stating is here and for promising this for us as well.  Amen.

28 – The year is 597 B.C. The Babylonians have just hauled the first captives to Babylon to be slaves in a foreign land.  Judah has not been ransacked with finality yet. That would happen in 11 years. This stretch of time; 597-586 B.C. are the exact years of Zedekiah’s reign in Judah. You remember Jeremiah being told to wear a yoke in ch. 27 and to prophesy in Jerusalem that “this yoke you see me wearing is what Babylon is going to do to all of you.” remember?  A self-proclaimed prophet Hananiah, who was a huckster and a false prophet actually countered Jeremiah and declared that all would be restored and returned in a matter of weeks and that Jeremiah was wrong here.  Hananiah then brazenly broke the yoke off of Jeremiah declaring that Babylon was going to fall shortly [not Jerusalem].  For this, Hananiah was killed just two months later.  It’s not too terribly smart to contradict a prophet of God in any sense, but to do so publicly is double-non-sense and reckless.

29 – Jeremiah then wrote a letter to the Exiles in Babylon.  Using some of today’s wording as I explain this, –the Judeans are basically in “time out” for 70 years.  They had been disobedient and it was a punitive decision to send them to Babylon for a couple of generations. Jeremiah sends a rather pastoral letter in this chapter urging them to just settle in and live as normally as possible. Plant vineyards, set up your residences, marry, build lives and then God will come for them.  Jer. 29:11ff is a most encouraging passage reminding them [and all of us] that God has good plans and affection toward His own.  We all need reminding that “whipping the kids” is not God’s idea of a good time.  He so would rather bless and build. And at the same time, when blessings are wasted and what we are building is warped and destined to topple, God takes the liberty to step in and knock it all down so we can join Him in rebuilding it rightly this time.  And yet there were false prophets even in Babylon, Jews who were denouncing Jeremiah. They would get their due for this and suffer greatly. These final 11 verses of ch. 29 were rather less comforting than the 29:11-14 passage we have all come to know and love so much.

30 – God commands that Jeremiah write down all that he has been told including and especially God’s plan to restore Judah [and Israel].  God wanted a messianic message for the people to have so that when the restoration did happen they would realize that God did just what He said He would do.  He kept His Word last time. He kept it this time.  He will keep it next time.  He will keep it in the future many times again. He always will.  Israel AND Judah shall return and they shall be blessed of God in every way.  We just read all the numerous ways God is going to bless and it is marvelous. Some of this even speaks into the era of when Jesus walks the earth in the flesh.  The tribes, and each region will know they are living is wonderful days.  The joy shall return.  And remember they are told this while in Babylon. The return to the Promised Land that they had themselves expelled from several centuries after walking into in God’s full blessing with Joshua – would be where they would return to.  It would have a tone or theme, if you will, of “ok, let’s try this again, people!”  And God is joyful to bring them back.  He wants this all along.  Ephraim will be blessed again.<— They had been such a center of wrongdoing.  Judah will be blessed again. There is talk of a new covenant coming and Judah will experience this. We know who brought the New Covenant in His own blood, don’t we? That would be nearly 600 years coming. But time does not diminish nor weaken nor dilute what God has said.  God will do it.

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