Jeremiah 11

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As Jesus scholarship matures, and as more scholars recognize that Jesus was a practicing Jewish rabbi with practicing Jewish disciples, our faith actually finds firmer footing—that is, if we ready to stake our entire destiny on Yeshua, the Rabbi from Nazareth.

If not, if we cannot accept the Jewish Jesus, if we choose the Jesus of church tradition instead, then the world of archaeology and research threatens to swallow us up. As our culture becomes better educated in these areas, our evangelistic efforts will stop bearing fruit. – Jacob Fronczak, Yeshua Matters

The New Age, Cosmic Christ is not the Historical Jesus. That guy is embraced by many, but he is a fraud.  He is an absolute fraud.  But I tell you, people who have made this guy their savior will absolutely close their ears to anything that even subtly urges them to rethink his authenticity.   It really is a similar situation to what Jeremiah faced in his day…

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3 You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant 4 that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5 that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, Lord” (Jer 11:1-5 ESV).

Under King Josiah, the Book of the Law had been rediscovered and read to the people, and Temple worship had been reinstated. But, even after hearing the Law for themselves, the people did not want to give up their pagan worship.  And after the death of the good king, they went full-fledged back into occultism.

Egypt is likened unto an “iron furnace” from which the people were delivered, but yet, they seemed determined to go back into this “iron furnace.” They loved bondage to the world more than covenant with Jehovah God.  And they loved to pretend that they were worshipping and operating in the Spirit of God much more than stopping to consider the Word of God from the Prophets.

And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not” (Jer 11:6-8 ESV).

In effect, the LORD was instructing Jeremiah to be a street preacher in Jerusalem and other cities of Judah. He would carry the Book of Law in his hand and urge the people to believe and obey.  The urgency of this action by the Holy Spirit portrays the near catastrophe.

Jeremiah contrasted the teachings of the Bible with those of the human imagination. He declared the latter to be evil and that the wrath predicted in the Bible would certainly strike those who accepted this religion of the imagination.

Again the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to make offerings to Baal (Jer 11:9-13 ESV).

King Josiah’s subjects decided to return to occultism, to set aside the clear intent and instruction of the Book of Law at the first favorable opportunity. Once again, they loved their paganism.  It brought them great satisfaction.

“Their forefathers” refers back to the sins of the Israelites in the wilderness and in Canaan under the Judges. The Prophets were constantly pointing their hearers back to those early times, either for warning, as here, or for encouragement.  “They have gone after other gods to serve them” refers, however, to the present.  They broke the covenant which the LORD had made with them.

“They cannot escape” refers to the idea in the minds of the people of Judah that if the Prophecies of Jeremiah were somehow right—on the off chance—they would find a way of escape, namely Egypt.

“Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16 The Lord once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17 The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal” (Jer 11:14-17 ESV).

There was no use in interceding for these people. They were stubbornly ingrained in their occultism.  They believed they could practice their own man-made hybrid religion of paganism one day and Temple worship the next.  They had no conscience to their actions.  They loved their witchcraft and revelries under the guidance of their priest and prophets who prophesied falsely.

The LORD of Hosts had “planted” these people as His peculiar people. But they were conducting their lives as if they were pagans.  They were acting to their own harm, and yet they would not—or could not acknowledge it.

The Lord made it known to me and I knew; then you showed me their deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” 20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause (Jer 11:18-20 ESV).

In some way, the LORD had made known to Jeremiah the plot against his life. “Their deeds” refers to murderous intent against him because they could not stand the strength and power of his preaching.  They absolutely hated the Truth being spoken in great simplicity and with great fortitude.  They could not refute the Message, so they sought to destroy the messenger.

Jeremiah came unto his own and his own received him not. They resolved to kill him though he was to them as a gentle lamb, and his only crime was that he prophesied to them in the Name of the LORD.  Anathoth was his native village, and it belonged to the Priests, who along with the member of his own family, joined in the plot to destroy him.

And so, Jeremiah was a Type of the Messiah.

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine, 23 and none of them shall be left. For I will bring disaster upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment” (Jer 11:21-23 ESV).

The prayer concerns the conflict between Truth and Justice versus falsehood and evil. Corresponding language was used by David before Jeremiah and the Apostle Paul after him.

If any man love not the LORD Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (I Cor 16:22 KJV).

As Anathoth was where many Priests resided, this was a special Judgment on the Priesthood, who had been so instrumental in steering Judah and Jerusalem into paths of occultism and witchcraft. Therefore, God’s Anger against them regarded two things: leading Judah and Jerusalem astray and plotting against the Message of Jeremiah going forth.