Series: Thru the Bible
Message – Do not pray for them Jeremiah
Do not pray for them Jeremiah
Jeremiah’s Complaint that builds to inappropriate thoughts
Jer. 12:1-4, “(1) You will be righteous, LORD, even if I bring a case against You. Yet, I wish to contend with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do the treacherous live at ease? (2) You planted them, and they have taken root. They have grown and produced fruit. You are ever on their lips, but far from their conscience. (3) As for You, You know me, LORD; You see me. You test whether my heart is with You. Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter, and set them apart for the day of killing. (4) How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? Because of the evil of its residents, animals and birds have been swept away, for the people have said, “He cannot see what our end will be.”
The Lord answers Jeremiah
Jer. 12:5-17, “(5) If you have raced with runners and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a peaceful land, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan? (6) Even your brothers–your own father’s household–even they were treacherous to you; even they have cried out loudly after you. Do not have confidence in them, though they speak well of you. (7) I have abandoned My house; I have deserted My inheritance. I have given the love of My life into the hand of her enemies. (8) My inheritance has acted toward Me like a lion in the forest. She has roared against Me. Therefore, I hate her. (9) Is My inheritance like a hyena to Me? Are birds of prey circling her? Go, gather all the wild animals; bring them to devour her. (10) Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard; they have trampled My plot of land. They have turned My desirable plot into a desolate wasteland. (11) They have made it a desolation. It mourns, desolate, before Me. All the land is desolate, but no one takes it to heart. (12) Over all the barren heights in the wilderness the destroyers have come, for the LORD has a sword that devours from one end of the earth to the other. No one has peace. (13) They have sown wheat but harvested thorns. They have exhausted themselves but have no profit. Be put to shame by your harvests because of the LORD’s burning anger. (14) This is what the LORD says: “Concerning all My evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to My people, Israel, I am about to uproot them from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them. (15) After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. (16) If they will diligently learn the ways of My people–to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ just as they taught My people to swear by Baal–they will be built up among My people. (17) However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.” This is the LORD’s declaration.”
Jer. 13:1-27, “(1) This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and buy yourself linen underwear and put it on, but don’t get it wet.” (2) So I bought underwear as the LORD instructed me and put it on. (3) Then the word of the LORD came to me a second time: (4) “Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates River and hide it in a rocky crevice.” (5) So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. (6) A long time later the LORD said to me, “Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there.” (7) So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined–of no use whatsoever. (8) Then the word of the LORD came to me: (9) “This is what the LORD says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. (10) These evil people, who refuse to listen to Me, who walk in the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and worship–they will be like this underwear, of no use whatsoever. (11) Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to Me”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“so that they might be My people for My fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey. (12) “Say this to them: This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Every jar should be filled with wine. Then they will respond to you: Don’t we know that every jar should be filled with wine? (13) And you will say to them, This is what the LORD says: I am about to fill all who live in this land–the kings who reign for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the residents of Jerusalem–with drunkenness. (14) I will smash them against each other, fathers and sons alike”–the LORD’s declaration. “I will allow no mercy, pity, or compassion to keep Me from destroying them.” (15) Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud, for the LORD has spoken. (16) Give glory to the LORD your God before He brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the mountains at dusk. You wait for light, but He brings darkest gloom and makes thick darkness. (17) But if you will not listen, my innermost being will weep in secret because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, for the LORD’s flock has been taken captive. (18) Say to the king and the queen mother: Take a humble seat, for your glorious crowns have fallen from your heads. (19) The cities of the Negev are under siege; no one can help them. All of Judah has been taken into exile, taken completely into exile. (20) Look up and see those coming from the north. Where is the flock entrusted to you, the sheep that were your pride? (21) What will you say when He appoints close friends as leaders over you, ones you yourself trained? Won’t labor pains seize you, as they do a woman in labor? (22) And when you ask yourself: Why have these things happened to me?–it is because of your great guilt that your skirts have been stripped off, your body ravished. (23) Can the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil. (24) I will scatter you like drifting chaff before the desert wind. (25) This is your lot, what I have decreed for you–this is the LORD’s declaration–because you have forgotten Me and trusted in Falsehood. (26) I will pull your skirts up over your face so that your shame might be seen. (27) Your adulteries and your lustful neighings, your heinous prostitution on the hills, in the fields–I have seen your detestable acts. Woe to you, Jerusalem! You are unclean–for how long yet?”
Jer. 14:1-22,“(1) The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: (2) Judah mourns; her gates languish. Her people are on the ground in mourning; Jerusalem’s cry rises up. (3) Their nobles send their servants for water. They go to the cisterns; they find no water; their containers return empty. They are ashamed and humiliated; they cover their heads. (4) The ground is cracked since no rain has fallen on the land. The farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads. (5) Even the doe in the field gives birth and abandons her fawn since there is no grass. (6) Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights panting for air like jackals. Their eyes fail because there are no green plants. (7) Though our guilt testifies against us, LORD, act for Your name’s sake. Indeed, our rebellions are many; we have sinned against You. (8) Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress, why are You like an alien in the land, like a traveler stopping only for the night? (9) Why are You like a helpless man, like a warrior unable to save? Yet You are among us, LORD, and we are called by Your name. Don’t leave us!
(10) This is what the LORD says concerning these people: Truly they love to wander; they never rest their feet. So the LORD does not accept them. Now He will remember their guilt and punish their sins. (11) Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people. (12) If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”
We spent a fair amount of time on the question of why God would ever tell anyone not to pray for someone…especially His Own people. It was in the post from Sept. 8th called A Pretentious Faith. If you want further information about this question follow that link.
“(13) And I replied, “Oh no, Lord GOD! The prophets are telling them, ‘You won’t see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you true peace in this place.'”
(14) But the LORD said to me, “These prophets are prophesying a lie in My name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds.”
(15) “Therefore, this is what the LORD says concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, though I did not send them, and who say: There will never be sword or famine in this land: By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end.
(16) The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury them–they, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them.”
(17) You are to speak this word to them:
“Let my eyes overflow with tears; day and night may they not stop, for the virgin daughter of my people has been destroyed by a great disaster, an extremely severe wound. (18) If I go out to the field, look–those slain by the sword! If I enter the city, look–those ill from famine!”
[A direct connection back to Deut. 28 – “IF you are diligent to keep My law blessed will you be in the city and blessed will you be in the field. If not, in the same ways you will be cursed.”]
“For both prophet and priest travel to a land they do not know.”
Jeremiah identifies with the people, and does what they will not do…repent
“(19) Have You completely rejected Judah? Do You detest Zion? Why do You strike us with no hope of healing for us? We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror. (20) We acknowledge our wickedness, LORD, the guilt of our fathers; indeed, we have sinned against You. (21) Because of Your name, don’t despise us. Don’t disdain Your glorious throne. Remember Your covenant with us; do not break it. (22) Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the skies alone give showers? Are You not the LORD our God? We therefore put our hope in You, for You have done all these things.”
“(1) Then the LORD said to me:
“Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My compassions would not reach out to these people. Send them from My presence, and let them go.”
You can see that at the end of the last chapter it was Jeremiah repenting for the nation in a type of intercession, since God’s reply was that even if Moses and Samuel themselves were to intercede it would make no difference.
One thing this implies is that what a man does in life creates the scope of audience he has with God. Jeremiah is a great and faithful prophet, but Moses and Samuel were great prophets AND leaders. God seems to be saying that even if two of the most heavy hitters in Israel’s past were to plead with Me, even with THEM, I would not listen.
“(2) If they ask you: Where will we go? you must tell them: This is what the LORD says: Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword. Those destined for famine, to famine; those destined for captivity, to captivity.
(3) “I will ordain four kinds of judgment for them”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land to devour and destroy. (4) I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.”
What did Manasseh son of Hezekiah do?
“(1) Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king; he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.
2) He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, imitating the abominations of the nations that the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites.
(3) He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed and reestablished the altars for Baal.
He made an Asherah, as King Ahab of Israel had done; he also worshiped the whole heavenly host and served them.
(4) He would build altars in the LORD’s temple, where the LORD had said, “Jerusalem is where I will put My name.”
(5) He built altars to the whole heavenly host in both courtyards of the LORD’s temple. (6) He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a great amount of evil in the LORD’s sight, provoking Him.
(7) Manasseh set up the carved image of Asherah he made in the temple that the LORD had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, “I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. (8) I will never again cause the feet of the Israelites to wander from the land I gave to their ancestors if only they will be careful to do all I have commanded them–the whole law that My servant Moses commanded them.”
(9) But they did not listen; Manasseh caused them to stray so that they did greater evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.
(10) The LORD spoke through His servants the prophets, saying,
(11) “Since Manasseh king of Judah has committed all these abominations–greater evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done–and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin, (12) this is what the LORD God of Israel says:
‘I am about to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will shudder. (13) I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line used on Samaria and the mason’s level used on the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a bowl–wiping it and turning it upside down.
(14) I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will become plunder and spoil to all their enemies, (15) because they have done what is evil in My sight and have provoked Me from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until today.’”
(16) Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin he caused Judah to commit so that they did what was evil in the LORD’s sight.”
“(5) Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem? Who will show sympathy toward you? Who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? (6) You have left Me. This is the LORD’s declaration.
You have turned your back, so I have stretched out My hand against you and destroyed you. I am tired of showing compassion. (7) I scattered them with a winnowing fork at the gates of the land. I made them childless; I destroyed My people. They would not turn from their ways. (8) I made their widows more numerous than the sand of the seas. I brought against the mother of young men a destroyer at noon. I suddenly released on her agitation and terrors. (9) The mother of seven grew faint; she breathed her last breath. Her sun set while it was still day; she was ashamed and humiliated. The rest of them I will give over to the sword in the presence of their enemies.”
“This is the LORD’s declaration.
(10) Woe is me, my mother, that you gave birth to me, a man who incites dispute and conflict in all the land. I did not lend or borrow, yet everyone curses me. (11) The LORD said: Assuredly, I will set you free and care for you. Assuredly, I will intercede for you in a time of trouble, in your time of distress, with the enemy. (12) Can anyone smash iron, iron from the north, or bronze? (13) Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without cost, for all your sins, and within all your borders. (14) Then I will make you serve your enemies in a land you do not know, for My anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you.”
Jeremiah speaks to God a little like Job
“(15) You know, LORD; remember me and take note of me. Avenge me against my persecutors. In Your patience, don’t take me away. Know that I suffer disgrace for Your honor. (16) Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I am called by Your name, LORD God of Hosts. (17) I never sat with the band of revelers, and I did not celebrate with them. Because Your hand was on me, I sat alone, for You filled me with indignation. (18) Why has my pain become unending, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You truly have become like a mirage to me–water that is not reliable.”
God’s reply is both understanding and to the point
“(19) Therefore, this is what the LORD says: If you return, I will restore you; you will stand in My presence. And if you speak noble words, rather than worthless ones, you will be My spokesman.
It is they who must return to you; you must not return to them.
(20) Then I will make you a fortified wall of bronze to this people. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you. This is the LORD’s declaration. (21) I will deliver you from the power of evil people and redeem you from the control of the ruthless.”
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.
If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.