Scripture and history give very few details about Yeshua’s early development other than the fact that his parents “did everything according to the Law of Moses,” including initiating him into the Abrahamic covenant through circumcision when he was eight days old. The obvious parental diligence for the Torah was to establish a lifestyle of faith and obedience wherein Yeshua could later say, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” From his infancy, then, this son of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was dutifully Torah observant and supportive of his Jewish family and community. It was said that the child “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” – John Garr, Christian Fruit–Jewish Root: Theology of Hebraic Restoration
Chapter Two of the Book of Jeremiah is long and intense… And I’m not going to cover every verse… I’ve never heard anyone preach or teach on this Passage of Scripture… People care so little about the Oracles of God given through the Prophets, preferring oracles of man from their imaginations … They encourage people to “go off the map,” which is code for “don’t study the Word for yourself. Just blindly follow me and what I say.” These men will lead you from the Path of Righteousness, all the while claiming they are doing you a service… They don’t care about you, nor are they true shepherds who would protect you from such destruction, instead of leading you right into it… They are deceived themselves and have an insatiable diet for deceiving others to their own gain… They do not care about you, or they would stop trafficking in demons under the guise of ministry… And they would not deride Scriptural warnings…
There is nothing more destructive to spiritual life or deceptive than false prophecy. The Holy Spirit throughout Scripture goes to great length describing how the LORD hates false prophecy and mixing pagan occultism with the true worship of God. The two go hand in hand– false prophecy and occultism because they are from the same source. As well, mind-altering drug abuse is rampant where there false prophecy and occultism is allowed to run amuck… And always remember, people who prophesy falsely in God’s Name absolutely do not care about you. They will only impart demons to torment your life– drawing you away from the True Written Word of God into their delusion with smooth words and that “Why can’t we all get a bong?” attitude– spiritually speaking, of course… They are demagogues who will manipulate you into worshipping them and defending their “word” instead of worshipping God and standing on His Word…
They do not care about you.
Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! 5 This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. 6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ (Jer 2:4-6 NLT).
This is a litany of grievances against Judah from the Heart of Jehovah God. In the Wilderness, the Israelites had walked after Him, but in Canaan, they walked after the pagan deity Moloch—a worthless idol. Even though the LORD had done so many great things for them, they were little interested in recounting His mighty Exploits. They did not want Him anymore, preferring the pagan spirituality of the Canaanites.
“And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. 8 The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols. 9 Therefore, I will bring my case against you,” says the Lord. “I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come (Jer 2:7-9 NLT).
The Priests, who were supposed to be the keepers of the Law, the Magistrates, who were supposed to administer justice according to the Law, and the prophets who were supposed to declare the Law, instead embraced apostasy and occultism. They exchanged pure worship of Jehovah God on His Terms for sensual idolatry.
“Go west and look in the land of Cyprus; go east and search through the land of Kedar. Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this? 11 Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! 12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord. 13 “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! (Jer 2:10-13 NLT).
The LORD challenges them to find, if possible, to the east or the west of Jerusalem, a nation that had changed its gods. Such a quest would be fruitless. Remarkably, the only people who had the One True God wandered after false gods, while the people who served and worshipped false gods were loyal to their chosen false deity.
Judah never ceased worshipping Jehovah altogether, but rather incorporated pagan religions in with their worship of the True God. Neither did they wholly forsake the Law, but rather added their own man-made laws to the Law of God. The Pharisees of Jesus’ Day would follow this same pattern.
“Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder? 15 Strong lions have roared against him, and the land has been destroyed. The towns are now in ruins, and no one lives in them anymore. 16 Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes, have destroyed Israel’s glory and power. 17 And you have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the Lord your God, even though he was leading you on the way! 18 “What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River? 19 Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him. I, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken! (Jer 2:14-19 NLT).
Israel had enslaved herself spiritually to pagan gods and now she was about to become a physical slave to a foreign power. The result of their rebellious choices was not justly chargeable to God. They had chosen this “bitter thing” for themselves.
“Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you said, ‘I will not serve you.’ On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols. 21 But I was the one who planted you, choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best. How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine? 22 No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken! (Jer 2:20-22 NLT).
The LORD had miraculously delivered them from the bondage of Egypt, but they had prostituted themselves—“played the harlot” in the KJV—when they incorporated pagan occultism into their worship. Even as the LORD Himself had served as their Gardener, this “vine of the purest stock” had turned into a “corrupt wild vine.”
“You say, ‘That’s not true! I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!’ But how can you say that? Go and look in any valley in the land! Face the awful sins you have done. You are like a restless female camel desperately searching for a mate. 24 You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain her lust? Those who desire her don’t need to search, for she goes running to them! 25 When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’ (Jer 2:23-25 NLT).
The LORD points to the valley of Hinnom, which was filled with idolatrous altars, as proof of their spiritual prostitution. Judah had not neglected a public show of worship for Jehovah in His appointed Temple, but had continued it and added pagan occult practices across the land. This was an anathema against the Word of God, compared here quite crassly to a “female camel desperately searching for a mate.”
“Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets— all are alike in this. 27 To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ 28 But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can! For you have as many gods as there are towns in Judah (Jer 2:26-28 NLT).
The spotlight is directly placed on the spiritual leaders of Judah. They were responsible for directing the people in the way of spiritual prostitution.
Why do you accuse me of doing wrong? You are the ones who have rebelled,” says the Lord. 30 “I have punished your children, but they did not respond to my discipline. You yourselves have killed your prophets as a lion kills its prey. 31 “O my people, listen to the words of the Lord! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’ (Jer 2:29-31 NLT).
The LORD declares that Judah was audacious for attempting to justify her rebellious self, bringing accusations against Him. Like a child, she refused correction from the LORD. In fact, she murdered the prophets instead of heeding their Word from the LORD.
“How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you! 34 Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor, though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses! 35 And yet you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong. Surely God isn’t angry with me!’ But now I will punish you severely because you claim you have not sinned. 36 First here, then there— you flit from one ally to another asking for help. But your new friends in Egypt will let you down, just as Assyria did before. 37 In despair, you will be led into exile with your hands on your heads, for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust. They will not help you at all (Jer 2:33-37 NLT).
The pagan nations are compared to decadent women having Judah as their teacher in spiritual prostitution. Having rejected the Truth of God, Judah had fallen to a lower moral level than those who had never heard the Truth. This is a stunning indictment!
And yet, Judah continued to claim their innocence. They hadn’t sinned! They still worshipped in the Temple!
The Elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an Elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock (I Peter 5:1-3 KJV).