May 24


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Jeremiah 11-14
We are in the Prophetic Stream reading from the New International Version.

 

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Jesus, we feel pressed to pray for Jeremiah and provide hospitality or give him a break somehow. Let us take that same sentiment and provide it as support to those who serve you today. Increase our faith and service Lord.  Amen
Come this chapter, Josiah has recently died and the reforms he instituted are reverting fast as the people are diving back into idolatry.  It’s not good.  The first wave of the Babylonian invasion is less than five years out and the false prophets are crooning about security and riches and that all is well while they are hypocritical and two-faced as a hyena wearing three halloween costumes.

11 – The title of this chapter -from any angle you view it- is basically, “The Covenant is Broken”.  To put it in today’s terms. Your daddy has given you a vehicle, it has a lifetime warranty, bumper to bumper 100% insurance coverage ‘forever’. You’ve been granted a gas card to swipe at any station in the world. Maintenance is also “on the house”. It’s the most beautiful car you ever saw. It is far beyond better than what you were hoping to get. All that’s required is that you drive sensibly, safely, share rides with those who need it as time affords and go to church on Sunday.  Easy enough? Well in chapter 11 of Jeremiah, you’ve been pulled over for driving 85 is a 35 mph zone [AGAIN!], you are inebriated, it’s a 7 passenger car and you have 12 people in it -no one has a seatbelt on, music is blaring and you can’t even hear the policeman trying to ask for your license and registration. You think you should be let off because your daddeo is mayor and you insist you be allowed to drive on and instead you are forced to get out for a DUI test. The others in the car start plotting that they should burn the police car because their “fun” has been interrupted. btw, this is the 60th time you have been pulled over in similar fashion.

[Jeremiah is the policeman here and the people in the car are the residents of Jerusalem about 610-609 B.C.  Make sense?!]
12 – Jeremiah’s prophetic heart for ministry is being tested here as he notes the disparaging difference between his situation [as he is loathed for speaking while he serves God] against the way the wicked are thriving and prospering.  It’s a legitimate question. These same people who are smack-mouthed about God since they don’t mean their vows and their hearts are far gone astray,–> these same people are also wanting to kill Jeremiah for exhorting them. God’s reply is sobering and … well, it is what it is.  No one is going to get away for their turning away from God in a cavalier manner.
13 – The story is told straight-forward and it is easy to interpret. The linen belt is Jerusalem and Judah. They were beautiful, decorative and helpful – but are now soiled, ugly and useless.  Also,
Judah is going to be smashed the way a loud-mouthed drunk late on a weekend night gets pummeled for shooting off his mouth.   Captivity is coming for these people.  It’s like the whole nation is going to jail !  Apparently they are virtually impossible to “scare straight” so they will be “doing time” in the Babylonian Big House.

14 – There is a drought. The famine is going to get worse. The enemy is armed and is coming.  It is awful and it will be more awful before Jerusalem falls silent!  Still Jeremiah prays for this people.  He cares for them in this manner and in the continuing prayer (that goes into ch. 15).  Jeremiah is sounding sort of like Jesus languishing that he would like to gather Jerusalem in his arms but they wouldn’t.  Jeremiah’s prayer here is spot-on accurate theology.  He has the wherewithall to utter, “Oh Lord Our God … our hope is in you.  He may have been the only one in the city praying this but Jeremiah is stallwart in heart to articulate his prayer as he does.

Jeremiah is committed beyond what most all Christians today understand commitment.

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