Jeremiah – Chapter 9

Late night Bible Study

STUDY THE WORD for yourself!

In Jeremiah 1:1 we find him in such agony for his people he wishes he could cry away the pain of watching Judah and its people dissolve into nothingness; to personally disappear into the wilderness. Somewhat similar to the Ostrich hiding its’ head in the sand. But, he can’t as he is called of God to point out these evils and foretell of the impending captivity by the Babylonians. The punishment is coming and Jeremiah agonizes over it. He knows, but his people deny. Jeremiah suggests there is more peace and safety living among the wild beast of the forests and wilderness.

The Tribe of Judah and its entire leadership from the king down to the head of each family clan is in total denial. As we discussed in the Jeremiah 8 website article, they are in such denial they don’t even realize it. To the people of Judah, from the highest officials to the local neighborhoods, people have come to believe that s/he is a better deceiver-liar therefore it is to her or his advantage to continue living such lives.

JIV NOTE: Remove the v from lives, as in victory, one ends up living lives [lies]. Hosea 4 is the brutal truth of what God sees in his people, especially with their priestly leadership. It is only 19 verses but well worth the quick read. It paints a vivid picture of what Jeremiah is discussing in Jeremiah 9. http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Hos%204.1-19

The reader should be reminded or note that the prophet Hosea lived during the time when the Northern Kingdom still existed, but…. What he said about the Kingdom of Israel to the north was about to happen to the Kingdom of Judah in the south but now through the prophecies of Jeremiah.

God warns through Jeremiah that neighbors should beware of each other; brothers should not trust the tongue of their own kindred; no one should trust the leadership of Judah. 9:1-8… http://www.biblestudytools.com/jeremiah/passage/?q=jeremiah+9:1-8

In Jeremiah 9:9 he gets very specific. He tells the evil priestly clans that God will not only punish the people of Judah, but He reserves a punishment for the priests. They have used the name of religion (not God) to commit all sorts of evils [v14].

9:16 is a reminder to those of Judah that the Lord has provided many times over for them, even when they were a nation and not a divided kingdom north and south. Even though Israel to the north is no more, Jeremiah combines their sinful ways with that of all 12 tribes. In a sense, this may be the same path Israel of today will follow in their denial of the true Messiah (Christ) and their God Jehovah.

Jeremiah 9:14 and 19 pretty much sums up the entire chapter: [ESV]

V14…My people are asking pieces of wood for advice. They think those sticks will answer them! They have chased after those false gods like prostitutes and have left their own God.

V19…They went to those gods for safety, and they have lost their ability to think. Their altars will bring them shame.

There is more news today about political leaders and businesses using deceptive advertising, politicians lying, cheating, living personal agenda driven lives, and calling wrong a political correctness okay or right of the individual than in previous history.  This does not excuse the clergy either. Remember that Jeremiah points out that even the Levite priestly clans were doing the same thing. It is getting very difficult for a person to know who or what to trust.

Do not become overly concerned my friends. God can be trusted to keep His word and covenants.  Fact is, He will fulfill each one with or without man doing his part. Israel and Judah had made gods to their liking. After all, if one can say that stone or stick idol told me it was okay, do this, do that, then the person is no longer to blame. It is that stick idol, right? It is amazing how the reader of this article probably gets it but the people of Israel and Judah did not.

There is an old saying, perhaps a proverb, that if one hangs around a fire too long, eventually s/he will get burned or become fuel for the fire. This is what is dreadfully wrong with the compromising church today. In order to “get along” with others, standards are compromised; doctrine is shallow; hope is in the masses not God; sin is only a perception of right and wrong; what counts is Political Correctness.

WRONG!

Rev. Dr. JstarkDr. jStark

December, 2017

Advertisements

Jeremiah – Chapter 8

time.jpgThis is a very unusual chapter in almost all of scripture. Jeremiah is telling his countrymen what to expect in the immediate and end time future in and around Jerusalem and Judah. The Babylonians are coming! Not just this, but the almost cannibalistic marauding they will do in this Kingdom of Judah.

The Babylonians will be grave robbers!!! As did happen 1,500 years later when the Spanish conquistadors invaded and conquered the Inca, Aztec and other South American Indian cultures and civilizations, their [Babylonians’] thirst for treasures and gold simply could not be satisfied. Jeremiah is telling the people of Judah that the Babylonians will even defile the graves of the average citizen of this  kingdom. Why? A two-fold reason.

  1. The graves being defiled will be the graves of those of the Tribe of Judah who worshiped, as it states in verse two, the sun, moon, stars and unseen and imaginary heavenly hosts (not God however).
  2. All this in the quest for hidden or buried treasures in these graves.

Contemporary English Version (CEV): These bones will be scattered and left lying on the ground like trash, where the sun and moon and stars can shine on them.

A side note gives additional insight. This passage is probably from where we get the statement, make no bones about it.”

The God of Israel is allowing this to happen because of his disgust with the very people he has rescued over and over again. He took them from the edge of defeat many times. He blessed them when they didn’t deserve it. He called them HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE. We should note that God also promises in Isaiah 13 and *Habakkuk 2 that he will punish the Babylonians for what we would call today – overkill; brutal actuality. The bones of these Judeans were NOT reburied but left to sit under the false gods they worshiped; that is the sun, heavenly beings such as stars, and moon.  In a sense one might deduce that God is saying “their false gods won’t even care about this grave robbing and after-death abuse.”

* Habakkuk pleaded with God, asking Him to save Judah from her own wickedness. God answers, but not in the way Habakkuk expected.

To judge Judah’s wickedness, God says He will hand them over to the Chaldeans [Babylonians]: a nation even more wicked, violent, and corrupt.

Again, the CEV reads: Jeremiah 8:4, 5 The LORD said: People of Jerusalem, when you stumble and fall, you get back up, and if you take a wrong road, you turn around and go back.  v5 So why do you refuse to come back to me? Why do you hold so tightly to your *false gods? (of wood, stone, sun, moon stars…)

Deuteronomy 4:24 says that God is a jealous god. He will not have other gods put before him. Translation? Anything that comes before God in worship or importance is not acceptable in His eyes. Israel, Judah, today’s church, and its quasi-Christian membership, are guilty of this.

As powerful and descriptive as Jeremiah 8 is, verse 7 adds to it. God points out through Jeremiah that even the birds of the air know when to fly away from the impending winter. God’s chosen people hide behind things in their vain attempts to justify their ungodly actions and staying put in their ways. Remember back in Jeremiah 7:4 we have the Judeans pleading and hiding behind the fact that “we have the temple.”

To God this is not a safeguard. It is another obstacle to worshiping Him.  Later he promises to let the TEMPLE be destroyed in order to make this point. The Romans destroyed it for the final time in 72 A.D. What so many do not understand per Syria, the huge city of Aleppo and how the Levites treasure things more than God; Jews hid the “Aleppo Codex” in Aleppo for 6 centuries. Yes, the same Aleppo Muslims have conquered and destroyed in their attempt to wipe off the face of the map. They know things we Americans haven’t a clue.

Sarina Roff’e of JewishGen.org writes: “Few cities can match the glory of Aleppo, Syria, a city that spans Jewish history from the days of King David over 3,000 years ago. Aristocratic and noble, Aleppo was the crown of Jewish splendor in the Sephardic [Jewish] world.” 

The Book of Psalm [30:] and Samuel call Aleppo, Aram Soba. The New Testament sometimes identifies the same Aleppo of today as Ber[o]ea. The original settlement was called “Halab” which in Arabic (ﺣﻠﺐ) means: “where Abraham milked his cows.” Arab (Muslims) and Jewish tradition both state that Abraham first stopped in Halab (Aleppo) after leaving Ur, his home town.

SPECIAL BLOG NOTE: The Aleppo codex is the ONLY COPY of the entire text of the Bible. It is written on animal skins using a black iron ink. Hid and secretly protected for centuries by Levite priests.  Paul E. Kahle, when revising the text of the Biblia Hebraica in the 1920s, tried and failed to obtain a photographic copy of the Aleppo Codex. This forced him to use, believe it or not, the Leningrad [like in Russia] Codex instead for the [his] third edition, which appeared in 1937. This tells us something about where large dispersed communities of Jews, Levites and other Israelis from the Northern Kingdom must have lived for hundreds of years after the Assyrian and Babylonian dispersions; Aleppo and Leningrad. MY, my, my, how (secular) history IS [actually] all about God.

Why all this about Aleppo and Jeremiah? Jeremiah points out that Judaism of his time had become a religion of THINGS or religious items instead of God. We  need to know the significance of the bible being history, not a religious manuscript.

Judeans and the priestly Levites also hide behind the Laws of Moses but only when they are to their advantage. Jeremiah points this out in a backhanded way in Jeremiah 8:8 & 9. Again, the Israeli’s, in particular those of Judah (Jews), hide behind the teachings and laws of ‘the Lord’ rather than worshiping the God who created them.

Jeremiah 8:13 needs explanation. It reads as if God will wipe out the people of Israel and Judah. The translated Hebrew words “wipe out” are sûph in the Hebrew. It means to “snatch away” and be placed elsewhere but not as a country or kingdom. That reuniting of both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah will not again happen until Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives. He will call his people from the four corners of the earth to return to Israel under his kingship (see this website: Book of Revelation series).

Once again and in reference to the birds that know to leave when winter is approaching, those of Judah simply say in V14, Let’s run and hide in a fortressed wall of another city. They never consider returning to God and confessing their sins to him. He did promise to not disperse them if they would. THEY NEVER DID! This confession of the sins of Israel happened about 70 years later. Daniel prayed a confessional prayer for his people, all Israel, from captivity in Babylon (Daniel 9).Admission of Guilt - legal concept

Jeremiah 8:17 is another step backward in their history and a parallel prophecy. It says in the CEV: Our enemies (plural as in enemies; so it is more than Babylon alone) have reached the town of Dan in the north, and the snorting of their horses makes us tremble with fear. The enemy will destroy Jerusalem and our entire nation. The northern kingdom by the time of Jeremiah was long dispersed as was this abode of Dan. This is either a reference back 120 years when the Kingdom of Israel still existed or a prediction of Armageddon in a history yet to be played out. This is an Armageddon or Har Megeddo where 200,000,000 troops from all nations gather to invade Jerusalem. (revisit our study on Revelation in the website).

Micah 3:11 puts the wrap in this deserved punishment of Israel and Judah. He writes:

Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets [prophecy] for money. Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.”

The vipers and snakes mentioned in verse 17 are symbolic of the invading enemy(ies). They will not be charmed or bought off either then or in End Time Armageddon. Neither will negotiation be available. Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) uses the past tense (have been bitten) meaning they are already determined to conquer. The wonderful promise in this parallel prophecy with Revelation 16:12-14, Israel will finally realize Jesus Christ IS THEIR MESSIAH when he destroys these invading armies of the nations. First is the invasion of Babylon; 597 B.C. Then comes the return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives where He proclaims himself as King of kings and the armies of the world gathered in Har Magiddo attack Jerusalem.

CLOSING STUDY NOTE: Jeremiah is not written in a chronological order. This makes it a little bit tougher to sequence events. One might out line this book in a broad way: the early chapters preview what is going to happen. Then the middle chapters and the bulk of them describe in great detail these events and how they will happen. Concluding the Book of Jeremiah is a summary of these same events and the prophesied destruction of Babylon, Egypt, Moabites, Philistines (today’s Palestinians; Jordan), judgment of Edom and the Ammonites (Jordon, Damascus of Syria and Kedar, Hazor, Elam in present day Islamic Iran but in End Time.

miniJimRev Dr Jstark
December 2016

Why does Jesus call God “Father?”

In the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, this identity of Jesus addressing God as father is given well over 100 times. In the Book of John, also synoptic, it is used 60 plus times. We are taught in the Lord’s Prayer to use this identity of father in “Our Father…” But why? We often hear of the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If Jesus and the Holy Spirit is in fact a part of a triune God, meaning three-in-one, then how can Jesus become the son of God? How could God create himself? Why would Jesus consistently call him Abba-father?

Many people, including seminarians ever think upon these things. JIV Note: Don’t confuse assumption with faith or doctrine. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and we must worship him in spirit. In a previous post we discussed “Our Father” and the fact that God created man with body, mind, spirit and soul. Click here to read this article. If God is spirit and created mankind with spirit, he metaphorically or literally fathered all. (You decide if it is metaphor or literal; circle your choice)

Let’s take a brief look at this. If something is an unknown biblical factor, it cannot add to our confidence in Jesus Christ. Understanding is at the lower end of the human Learning Pyramid; i.e. Awareness – Understanding – Convinced – Conviction – Desire – Action. This is a study in and of itself but here is the very short version and explanation.

The greater one’s understanding of something the more likely s/he will be convinced of its actuality instead on one’s perception or their personal reality. (This too is an article discussed in another article in this website) Once convinced of possibilities we have but three choices. Two of them are excuses, not reasons once there is a personal understanding. One can opt to Ignore, reject, or accept. It is at this point humans will DESIRE to either move on, the first two options, or take the third option desiring to do something with this gained knowledge. This takes us to the action level. We take a given learning situation and apply it to our life.

In the Old Testament the use of the word “father” is remarkably missing, Where it is found it is usually within a context or single scenario. This is how Robert Stein puts it:

“Throughout the Bible we find God portrayed as a Father. This portrayal, however, is surprisingly rare in the Old Testament. There God is specifically called the Father of the nation of Israel ( Deut 32:6 ; Isa 63:16 ; [twice] 64:8 ; Jeremiah 3:4 Jeremiah 3:19 ; 31:9 ; Mal 1:6 ; 2:10 ) or the (metaphorical) Father of certain individuals ( 2 Sam 7:14 ; 1 Chron 17:13 ; 22:10 ; 28:6 ; Psalm 68:5 ; 89:26 ) only fifteen times.” (emphasis mine)

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/fatherhood-of-god.html Robert H. Stein; Fatherhood of God

Other than in the Lord’s Prayer where Jesus answers a disciple’s question, “teach us how to pray,” Jesus identifies God as his FATHER, not our father. This is a very personal identity. So how, when or where did this identity originate? Go to the Bethlehem record found in Luke 1 and Matthew 1.

This article is not intended to tell the Christmas narrative. We are researching and discussing the term “father” in its relationship to God the “father.” We read in Matthew 11:18… (ESV)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

So much content is skipped in this verse. First, Matthew is looking back at the birth of Jesus; “when his (Jesus’) mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph.” Matthew is looking back at this event in history. He is actually explaining to the Jews that Jesus is within the bloodline and DNA of King David and that HE is the promised Messiah of Isaiah prophecy. Both Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, and Mary, his earthly mother, are from the Tribe of Judah and a blood-relative of King David. This is important to the Jewish leadership of that day as this is the birth-line from which they expect their Messiah. Matthew targets Jews.

In the Book of Luke, a book targeted to the Gentiles, he does not attempt to make this connection. He makes the connection with Adam, the first human. Luke begins with current names and genealogically lists names from current to back Adam; i.e. son to father DNA. Matthew does just the opposite, he begins with King David and shows that Jesus has a legal right to the throne of King David; i.e. father to son DNA. Matthew targets the message to the Jews and Luke targets his message to the Gentiles; same message but different beginning points.

Matthew 11:18 also points out that Joseph refrained from, as this verse states (ESV) “before they came together.” That means, before they consummated their marriage. Why? Mary was already pregnant via God the Holy Spirit… “…she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (ESV). This is the reason Jesus always identified himself as the Son of God. Mary conceived through God the Holy Spirit. This is why he always called God, ‘Father.’ He was actually his “only begotten son.” John 3:16.

Now that you know the rest of the Bible Story (history), and evidence has been provided not through an opinion but through the Bible itself, this puts all of us in the Learning Pyramid at “desire.” Each one of us is left with Ignore – Reject – Accept; our only three choices. If one ops for either of the first two, s/he puts destiny (not eternity however) in human hands. If one opts for the third choice, accept, then destiny and eternity is put into Gods hands. Are you in good hands?

Action is the top level of the Learning Pyramid. After learning facts we still have the options of ignore, reject, or accept, that is, to remain ignorant via denial; say it means nothing to you by rejection of facts; Accept Jesus Christ for who he is! Of course, this is a choice. Exactly the way God intended it to be. It is called a Free Will (Romans 9:16).

Using cellphone outdoors while crossing the street.As a friend once commented in a home Bible study, we can opt to ignore the oncoming traffic, reject the fact that crossing the street at this time is deadly, or, accept the facts and use one’s choice to act(ion) accordingly.

Merry Christmas.

jStark3Rev. Dr. Jstark
December, 2015