Archive for the ‘Jeremiah’ Category


In one of the All in the Family episodes that aired some years ago, Edith and Archie are attending Edith’s high school class reunion. Edith encounters an old classmate by the name of Buck who, unlike his earlier days, had now become excessively obese. Edith and Buck have a delightful conversation about old times and the things that they did together, but remarkably, Edith does not seem to notice how extremely heavy Buck has become. Later, when Edith and Archie are talking, she says in her whiny voice, “Archie, ain’t Buck a beautiful person.” Archie looks at her with a disgusted expression and says: “You’re a pip, Edith. You know that. You and I look at the same guy, you see a beautiful person, and I see a blimp. Edith gets a puzzled expression on her face and says something unknowingly profound, “Yeah, ain’t it too bad.” Do you see Jesus Christ as the True Light? 

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world”. John 1:4,5,9

Jesus confirmed this truth: John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In His confrontation with the Pharisees over the woman taken in adultery, Jesus revealed how His light reveals the truth that He can free from sin, from satan, from the law and from judgment. In effect, through His light, God was able to write upon the dust of our sin-damaged lives, that there is now “No Condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1)

True Light of Hope

Matthew reveals another side of the True Light.

Matthew 12:18-21 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

In the True Light of Jesus Christ, we find Hope!

John the Baptist

In Matthew 11, we find John the Baptist imprisoned by King Herod. The man who shook the nation of Israel is now quiet, and despairing that he will die as a failure. After all, Jesus of Nazareth did not come to free him. Therefore, he sends some of his disciples to ask Jesus:

Matthew 11:2-6 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Jesus didn’t say yes, he merely told them to remind John of what he was doing. Blind, Lame, Lepers, deaf, dead, the poor. Then he added, “blessed are the ones who are not offended by me”. Jesus was saying: “John, do not despair, do not give up hope, look what I am doing in fulfillment of Scripture. Just because things do not happen the way you think they should, do not be offended. Never give up hope! I am He! But do not get offended if things do not go the way you think they should! I am Lord and you are not! Vaclav Havel before he became the democratically elected President of the Czech Republic was imprisoned by the communist regime. During one of those imprisonments, he wrote:

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well. However, the certainty that something makes sense. Regardless of how it turns out.

You may react to his definition of hope, because as Christians, we are taught that all things will work for good to those who love God. However, what we usually think is that it will work out for my good. It certainly did not work out for John the Baptist’s good to have his head cut off. It certainly did not work out for Stephen’s good when he was stoned to death. But we do know that everything that happens, regardless of how it works out, will make sense! Why? Because Jesus is Lord and He is in Control!! The only ones who lose hope are those who believe God is not in control!

Job

Job 17:11 My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken.

Job thought that God was treating him unjustly. He could not understand God doing this to him. He imagined that God was making a mistake, that He was not in control. He had all kinds of questions and arguments he would lay before God if he could only get the chance. Finally, God spoke to Job, and Job was silent. Job encountered the great I AM, and knew that He had been in control the whole time, and it all made sense.

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:5-6

Does your life make sense? Have there been times when you were like John the Baptist, wondering what was going on, wondering where God was, wondering if He was in control? Or were like Job, thinking God was unfair, wanting to argue with him. Did you get offended at what was going on? Did you get angry, hurt, upset? Did you lose hope and give in to despair or depression? Did you moan with Job “My hopes have disappeared; my heart’s desires are broken?” Let us look into the Light of Jesus and discover why we should never lose hope, no matter how dark things get.

Matthew 12

Jesus finds himself at odds with the Scribes & Pharisees, because his disciples have picked & eaten corn on the Sabbath. He replies to them:

Matthew 12:3-8 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

1.Jesus is Lord, even of the Sabbath!

  • If we rest, we rest in Jesus, for He is Lord!

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • Do not get offended at Jesus. What He does is right, it is just, and He is Lord!

2. He desires a heart that is yielded to Him rather than ‘outward conformance’ or even performance.

  • Only yielded hearts will survive the trials and tribulations of this life!
  • Fake people always wilt under pressure.

Just because you put on a good show of being a Christian does not mean that inwardly you are struggling with doubt, with fears, with despair and with depression, with sins. You can put on a good show, but Jesus knows your heart, He knows whether you are real or fake. Peter presents the heart of a true Christian in six simple verses. This Christian has a new heart, with a new hope, a hope that endures through the fire of trials!

1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

A heart that is yielded totally to Christ is a heart in Love with Jesus, it is a born again heart with a living hope! A fake Christian is putting on a display because of what he thinks he will get-favor from God. A yielded heart is confident that Jesus is Lord of whatever situation you go through! Next, we see a man who is lame in his right hand.

The Man with a withered hand

Matthew 12:9-14 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. In addition, a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”— so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand”. And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

The Lesson here is the Lord of the Sabbath will always be mindful of your needs. His mercy is to be trusted.

DAVID

Psalms 13:1-6 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

David endured hardship after hardship, near death experiences one after another, yet rather than lose hope and get offended at what was happening to him, he strengthened his heart in the Lord. He trusted in the Sovereignty of God, therefore he could rejoice in His salvation.

Apostle Paul

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”

He wrote this three chapters after stating 1:8-9: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself…” Paul had those moments when things were so dark, so desperate that he despaired for his very life. How did Paul go from one who despairing of life itself to one who is hard pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, struck down, but not destroyed, never feeling that God had abandoned him.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
  • 2 Corinthians 4:11 … so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Paul’s Hope was in God, Paul’s Purpose was that the life of Jesus would be manifested through his life-regardless of what he went through.

The Nation of Israel

God brought horrible judgment upon his own people because of their continual sins against Him. First the Northern and then the Southern kingdoms fell to foreign Kings. Jeremiah was there to witness the fall of Jerusalem and Judea. Here are his own words about his experience:

Lamentations 3:19-24 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

His heart was in God’s hands, and therefore He trusted in Him! He trusted in God’s tender mercies!

Ezekiel and the Valley of Bones

I love the vision of the dried bones God gave Ezekiel out in the valley:

Ezekiel 37:11-14 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Matthew quotes the Old Testament when he declared: “and in his name the Gentiles will hope”. We share in the Hope of Israel!

Before Jesus we were without hope

Ephesians 2:12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.

  • Jesus is the True Light that brings the Light of Hope to the Gentiles!

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

THE HOPE OF THE BRUISED AND SUFFERING CHRISTIAN.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

Bruised Reed: People used reeds to make into pens in ancient times. The reed is hollow and would hold the ink. If the reed was bruised or bent, the ink would leak and become useless. The writer would break the bruised reed and throw it away. Like a pen, the reed was an instrument of expression. Therefore, I like to think of the reed as representing our voice and ability of expression. Only a dead person does not voice his opinions or share his feelings. The first thing Satan wants to do is to stop us from sharing and expressing our ideas, especially when we speak for the kingdom of God. He will make every effort to cut off our network of friends and isolate us so that we will be discouraged. SMOKING FLAX: A smoking flax or a smoldering wick symbolizes our usefulness and the ability to shine for the Lord. It is no doubt that we have been created to shine for Jesus but when we fall into sins, our wick would become smoldered. We would not shine that brightly anymore. That is when the enemy of our souls seeks to terminate that light. He does that by encouraging people around us to say disparaging words or spread malicious rumors about us. When we allow all these words and rumors to enter our hearts, we would become bitter and angry. Please take note that it is not those gossips or criticisms that smolder our wicks but how we react to them that would terminate our light.

Jesus Christ is the True Light of Hope for Mankind.

By his death for us, he has ‘faithfully brought forth justice’ (Isaiah 42:3) by suffering the justice of God in our place once and for all. Look now to Jesus and find mercy for your bruised and weakened soul. Receive his tender comfort, cleansing, healing and all-sufficient grace. God’s great mercy in Christ is for us ‘bruised reeds’ and ‘smoldering wicks’.

This Hope is the Anchor of Christianity

Hebrews 6:17-20 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Gods Promise to Us

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

The Despair of Mary

After answering the angels, Mary turned around. Suddenly she saw Jesus standing there, but she failed to recognize him. Like the angels, Jesus asked Mary, “Why are you crying?” He then asked her, “Whom are you seeking?” Assuming he might be the gardener, who cared for the tomb, she again poured out her heart’s despair. “Sir, if you indeed have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him away” (literally carry him). Her desire to find Jesus’ body and her loving concern to give him a proper burial in a good resting place so consumed her that she never considered that she herself could not possibly carry Jesus’ body to a final resting place. Then Jesus turned her night of gloom into the light of joy. He spoke her name, “Mary”; in such a way, that she knew instantly who he was. From despair, her heart rose to soar in the clouds. “Rabboni!” she exclaimed, which is an Aramaic term of special respect that means, “My Master”. The experience of seeing Jesus alive, risen from the dead, lifted her spirits to a profound joy. Grieving and despairing, she had searched for her dead Jesus, but with joy, she discovered instead her living Savior. He had risen! He was alive! Nothing else mattered to her. Nothing would take away her newfound joy. She threw her arms around him to cling to him, she was so happy to see him and to have him back. Jesus rose! He lives! Our faith clings to, not a dead man who was crucified and buried, but a living Lord and Savior who rose from the dead. We rejoice that he who died to save us lives. Our hearts hold the joyful hope that with our very own eyes we will rise from the dead to see him and hold him who loves us and gives us eternal life. We can rejoice with Job:

Job 19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby probably wrote more hymns than anyone else in history. She wrote over 8000 hymns, and many are in our hymnal today. Fanny gave the Christian world such songs as:

  • A Shelter In The Time Of Storm,
  • All The Way My Saviour Leads Me,
  • Blessed Assurance,
  • Close To Thee,
  • He Hideth My Soul,
  • I Am Thine 0 Lord,
  • Jesus Is Calling,
  • My Saviour First Of All,
  • Near The Cross,
  • Pass Me Not,
  • Praise Him Praise Him,
  • Redeemed,
  • Rescue The Perishing,
  • Safe In The Arms Of Jesus,
  • Saved By Grace,
  • Saviour More Than Life To Me,
  • Take The World But Give Me Jesus,
  • Tell Me The Story Of Jesus,
  • The Lights Of Home,
  • Thou Mighty To Save,
  • To God Be The Glory,

When Fanny was six weeks old, she caught a slight cold in her eyes. The family physician was away. Another country doctor was called in to treat her. He prescribed hot mustard poultices to be applied to her eyes, which destroyed her sight! It was later learned that the man was not qualified to practice medicine, but he had left town and was never heard of again. Fanny never felt any resentment against him, but believed it was permitted by the Lord to fulfill His plan for her life. Though blind, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blindness, she said:

It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow, I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.

After a visit to the most renowned eye doctor in the world determined her blindness was incurable, she said:

“Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind … for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”

“And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story – Saved by grace.”

Whose face do you see in times of darkness and despair? Whose hand do you see reaching for you when things look hopeless? When you see a difficult situation do you see the Beauty of Christ, or do you just see an Ugly Blimp on your back? Let me assure you that Jesus is still Lord! He is the one who can be trusted completely! He is the anchor of our HOPE that this life does make sense to the source of life!

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.
When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; Robed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.

Jesus Christ TRUE LIGHT of HOPE!


Washington DC is ablaze with activity. We have a new President getting ready to assume power. We have the Big Three auto executives begging for money, we have Bernanke and Paulson trying to stem the financial crisis that has settled over America like the Black Plague. The Mudpreacher is not normally pessimistic. People would say he is an optimist. But God keeps telling me that HE IS TRYING TO GET OUR ATTENTION! What is happening today is merely the tip of the iceberg. By spring time it will be very clear that our Nation is in dire trouble. Unless Repentance and Revival comes to America the emotional and economic pain and suffering will surpass anything this generation has experienced. God is serious about us heeding the message of Jeremiah. The headlines are growing more ominous:

Economy rescue: Adding up the Dollars: The government is engaged in an unprecedented – and expensive – effort to rescue the economy. CNN details the 7.2 TRILLION Dollars the Government has ALREADY committed since December 2007.

Bernanke: ‘Work It Out. Now. Bernanke is Worried“Federal Reserve chairman wants to see distressed mortgages modified quickly, and in large numbers.”Bernanke’s support for debt relief is a departure from February, when he told a U.S. Senate Banking Committee meeting that a bill allowing bankrupcty judges to modify mortgages to save people’s homes would be more of a cost to the US economy than a benefit.”

Pent up Anger Greets Return of Auto Chiefs to Capitol Hill Auto Executives on Capitol Hill“Confirming the fears that taxpayers could lose out, the economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com said automakers probably needed much more than their requested $34 billion and perhaps as much as $125 billion. He predicted that the automakers would ask for more money by next fall.”

Dour Reports Show Cracks in ETFs, Economy: “Through the turmoil of the economic downturn, factory orders are getting buried, leaving an underlying weakness on Wall Street and exchange traded funds (ETFs). The deepening recession has left factory orders at their lowest point in eight years, with demand in steel, cars, computers and heavy machinery sinking.”

God wants our Nation to pay attention to the Message of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was dealing with leaders who were conspiring against God. They refused to hear God’s Words. They were going after other gods. Gods of money, greed, self-confidence. Listen to Jeremiah 11:9-12:

Again the LORD said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 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. 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. 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. (Jer 11:9-12 ESV)

imnotlisteningGod deliberately brought disaster upon Judah and its inhabitants. The warning from God was that “though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.” Then the leaders and people of Judah went and cried to their gods, but they would not save them in their time of trouble.

hallowed-be-thy-nameIf our leaders and if we as God-fearing Americans do not acknowledge God and plead with Him for mercy, wisdom and guidance, God will close His ears to our cries. We will be left to cry out to our gods of money and weapons, but sadly, they will not save us this time! America is bankrupt spiritually, and we will soon be bankrupt financially.

As God said in Jeremiah 11:7-8 “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. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart.”

The time has come to humble ourselves before El Gibbor, our Mighty God. He is the Mighty Warrior, the Mighty Hero that we need. Only He has an inexhaustable supply of mercy and grace and wisdom for the weary and lost, the broken and bankrupt. Only God is Jehovah Jireh, the God who supplies all our needs. Turn and be reconciled, for His mercy endures forever!


Barack Obama is wasting little time to assume control of the United States Executive Branch. From weekly messages from his semi-oval office, to appearances on “ 60 Minutes”, he is rapidly inserting himself into what is left of the political decisions of the Bush Administration. Change.gov: The Office of the President-elect

In summarizing Obama’s appearance on “60 Minutes” last night, the LA Times said:

teamofrivals1“Asked by CBS’ Steve Kroft whether he planned to put political enemies in his Cabinet, as Abraham Lincoln did, Obama responded by saying the first president from Illinois was a “very wise man.” With the economy struggling, the president-elect said the nation had little choice but to boost government spending, something he said conservative and liberal economists agreed on. “We have to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving again,” he said. “We’re going to have to spend money now to stimulate the economy.” Besides Lincoln, Obama said he had been reading about the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office. He said he hoped his team could emulate that administration’s confidence and willingness to experiment.“

The London Times Online had this take on the interview: “Mr Obama said he had spent “a lot of time” reading the writings of President Lincoln since the election, because “there is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, that I just find very helpful.” He and Mrs Clinton have both read and admired ‘Team of Rivals’, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about how President Lincoln bought old foes into government after winning the 1860 election. Reminded that the 16th president put many of his political enemies in his cabinet, Mr Obama was asked on CBS’s 60 Minutes whether he was considering the same approach. “Well, I’ll tell you what,” he replied. “I find him a very wise man.”

Baruch writing the words of Jeremiah

Baruch writing the words of Jeremiah

It would be interesting if Barack included an enemy or two on his cabinet, as President Lincoln did. However, most leaders do not like the idea of opposition. In another troublesome time many years ago, in the nation of Israel, the King of Judah listened as the writings of a man named Baruch were read. You can read what happened in Jeremiah chapter 36. The King’s advisors had heard Baruch reading from a scroll and were frightened by what they heard.

“When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?” So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.” “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened.” Jeremiah 36:16-20 (NLT)

King Jehoiakim had his trusted aide Jehudi read the scroll to him.cut_it_with_the_penknife

“It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen.” Jeremiah 36:22-25 (NLT)

Here was a King who was open and honest about his contempt for opposition to his government. In fact, after burning the scroll, he sent his son and some other men to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. Fortunately, God had hidden them, and they were spared. In those days opposition was often met with imprisonment and death.

Barack Obama Reads LincolnBarack is busy reading about Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D Roosevelt. Would that he had the courage to seek wisdom from God’s Word.Bible - Word of God

Judah was facing economic and political hardships that eventually resulted in the toppling of the government and their captivity by a foreign nation. Times of prosperity had suddenly (over a process of forty years) turned into military defeats and isolationism. All the while they continued to fast, worship and seek after Jehovah God. Yet all the while they practiced greed and honored other gods, especially the god ‘BAAL’. They would worship in the Temple on the Sabbath and through the week offer sacrifices to Baal and other gods. They wanted to cover all the spiritual bases. They were tolerant of all the religions. They were tolerant of people’s rights to worship whom they please in a manner they please. Child SacrificeThat tolerance led to the horrible practice of child sacrifice to Baal.

“They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” Jeremiah 7:31 (NLT)

Americans do not see abortion as child sacrifice, but I can’t help but think that God does.

aborted-baby

I can just see God saying “You allow your sons and daughters to be aborted in the womb, a practice that never even crossed my mind to command such a thing” Ibelieve we sacrifice them to the god of self-indulgence, and to the god of convenience.

I’m wondering if Barack Obama will be a President who will cut out of the Bible the portions of Scripture that he disagrees with. Indeed, I’m wondering if he will believe in the Bible as the Word of God at all. True belief requires OBEDIENCE. As he considers the wisdom of Lincoln and the actions of Roosevelt, I pray he will consider the warnings of God’s Word, especially the warnings of Jeremiah.partialbirthabortion

Barack has claimed that his name has its root in the Arabic and Semitic word for “blessing”. He said it is similar to the Hebrew word “ ‏בָּרַךְ (bārak) <Strong’s: 1288> to kneel, bless, praise, salute”. Other linguists have said it is more akin to the Hebrew word “‏בָּרַק (baraq) <Strong’s: 1299> cast forth (lightning)”. The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament has this to say in reference to the meaning of ‘baraq’ (lightning):

“The association of lightning with the Lord also serves as a polemic against Baal, the principal Canaanite nature deity. The Ugaritic texts and artifacts portray Baal as the god of lightning, fire and rain. Thus one text reads: “Baal flashed his thunderbolts” (ʿnt, IV, 70), and another says: “He flashed lightning to the earth” (Text 51, V, 71). In a stele he is pictured as brandishing a club in one hand, and holding a stylized thunderbolt ending in a spearhead in the other (C. F. A. Schaeffer, The Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra-Ugarit (1936), plate XXXII, fig. 2). The stele indicates that Baal had power over fire and lightning. It is against this background that one must read Jeremiah’s warning: “Do not learn the ways of the nations, and do not be dismayed at the signs in the heavens…. But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, an everlasting King; at his wrath the earth trembles…. The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens…. When the Lord utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens . . . ; he makes lightning’s for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries” (Jeremiah 10:2-13; cf. Jeremiah 51:16).

blessing or curseI don’t know the true meaning of Barack Obama’s name. I do know that God said in His Word (Deuteronomy 28) that we can either have blessing or cursing and that choice is made by heeding and following the Word of God. In fact, God says in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT): “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

Followers of Christ must pray for Barack Obama. We must pray that he will be a “Blessed” leader, because he has decided to obey God’s Word.  We must pray that he does not follow the example of Jehoiakim, and burn the Word of God that he disagrees with. If that happens, his name will indeed be “Lightning”, for he will be following the ‘god of lightning-Baal’. And God says that the gods of this world will perish from the earth, along with all those who follow them.

Barack, I hope you include the writings of Jeremiah in your readings. Barack, you need to meet Baruch, and follow the Word of God. Then and only then will your name mean “Blessed of God”. If there is any hope for America, if there is any hope for the Blessing of God on our country, it will be because our leaders humble themselves before Almighty God and agree to follow Him! Our God still Reigns!


What will we do when the end comes?

30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:30-31 esv)

Jeremiah Laments the Destruction

Jeremiah Laments the Destruction

In the mind of Jeremiah, he could see that an appalling and horrible thing was happening to Judah. As a prophet of God, he could see what was to come upon Jerusalem. It had already happened to the 10 tribes of Israel (the Northern Kingdom).

Why did they continue to believe they were immune? Their religious leaders – prophets and priests, told the people that everything was OK. The prophets and priests were in a false alliance. The prophets told the Administration and the people that everything was great, that God was blessing their worship, that God was protecting His people. The priests ministered according to what they thought was best. They let the people slide when it came to following God’s Law. They tolerated and even condoned the worship of idols. They excused the sins of the people. They preached on the ‘tender mercies’ of a loving Jehovah. They probably preached sermons about “Becoming a Better You”; “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking through to the Blessed Life”; “Forty Days to Prosperity & Blessing”. The priests were only concerned about their influence with the people, as well as their own wealth and prosperity. Their self-seeking motives clouded their service to God and His Law. Both prophets and priests kept in good favor with the King and the people. They continued to grow wealthy. How could this be?

MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO

My People Love it So

My People Love it So

Jeremiah points out an amazing truth-“My people love to have it so!” The Jews were perfectly satisfied with the way things were. They could continue with their sins and idol worship without reproof or restraint. They did not want to obey God’s Law, so they allowed the prophets and priests to deliberately deceive and ruin them.

Laughing Stock

Laughing Stock

They would refuse to listen to any voice of warning, and made a laughingstock of any who would reprove them or point out their sins.

WHAT WILL YOU DO WHEN THE END COMES?

God reigns from on High. God will have His Honor. God will only allow the mocking to go on for so long. Jeremiah asks: “What will you do when the end comes?”

We can only ignore God for so long. We can only pretend that all is OK for so long. The prophets and priests (Pastors) of America will have to answer for our service to God. Or have we only served the people and ourselves? What will we do when the end comes?


Jeremiah on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, by Michelangelo

Jeremiah on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, by Michelangelo

Jeremiah was a prophet who preached to a nation that was about to be overtaken by enemies. Their “favored-nation” status with Jehovah was no longer protecting them from the aggressions of their enemies. God had chosen Jeremiah to put His Words in his mouth and was now directing Jeremiah to speak those words. God told him “whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak”. There was some success during the reign of Josiah, but for the most part the people’s honoring the message from God continued to deteriorate until the capture of Jerusalem  in 586 BC. Jeremiah’s second message preached during the reign of Josiah was at minimum 20 years before the siege of Nebuchadnezzar II in 588 BC. Even at that time, during the reforms of Josiah and the renewed religiosity of the Jews, Jeremiah was calling Judah to acknowledge her iniquity and turn ‘O backsliding children’ to the Lord. (Jer 3:13-14).

Jeremiah confesses the sins of Judah: “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.” (Jer 3:23-24)

We Must Confess

We Must Confess

This shameful thing is the Hebrew word בֹּשֶׁת (bōshet) which means “to fall into disgrace, normally through failure, either of self or of an object of trust.” It is not an inward shame like we think, but means  “to come to shame” and stresses the sense of public disgrace, a physical state. Because of their toleration and even worship of other gods, the Israelites had been brought to shame to disgrace. That which they had trusted in, a Baal god, their government, their wealth, had done the opposite of what they wanted. They were now lying down in public shame and disgrace, the works of their hands, their wealth, their possessions, their children, their grandchildren, having been consumed and corrupted by that which they worshipped.

Our great country, the US of A has been headed down a slippery slope for years. We have worshiped the gods of our own making. We have worshiped our possessions, our rights. In the meantime we have sacrificed unborn babies to the god of governmental rights. We have relied on our gods of government and finance to provide for our needs and our retirement. America has turned away from the one True God, the source of our Blessings. We have swept him out of our classrooms and our court rooms. He is barely thought of as we pay homage to the gods of video games and entertainment.

As a result the wealth of America, the souls of our children and grandchildren, the works of our hands are all being stripped away. The enemy is upon us and we keep relying on our little handmade gods. Soon we will realize that they cannot save us. Our shame and disgrace will be evident to all.

Jeremiah Provides Advice for the Nation of Israel in Chapter Four.

I believe this applies to America as well

  1. Return to the Lord. Do away with those things which are an abomination to God. This means abortion. This means corruption in government and the court rooms. (4:1)
  2. Swear allegiance to the Lord, to walk in His truth, His judgment and in His righteousness. We must teach God’s truth to our children. His Word must be allowed back into the classroom. His word must be allowed back into our workplaces. (4:2)
  3. Break up the fallow ground. We must repent and mourn as a nation for our hardness toward God and His Word. (4:3)
  4. Circumcise our Hearts. We must take away that which causes the destruction and corruption of our hearts. Pornography, Drugs, Prostitution must be dealt with. We must no longer turn our heads and allow this corruption. (4:4)
  5. Blow the Trumpet of Assembly. Our leaders must stand and warn America of the coming judgment. They must encourage us to seek Him and return to Him. (4:5)

    Time to Blow the Trumpet & Raise the Standard

    Time to Blow the Trumpet & Raise the Standard

  6. Raise a Standard. No matter the enemy, we must raise the standard of God and His Word over our nation. Once more our leaders must live by the standards of God’s Word. (4:6)
  7. Realize that Judgment is coming. We must gird ourselves with a resolve to follow God. We must continue to seek Him with repentance. (4:7-8)
  8. Wash our hearts from wickedness, that we may be saved. (4:14)

Jeremiah was a broken-hearted prophet.

His words were ignored, and his message was treated with contempt and even imprisonment and torture. God’s judgment is already upon America, and there is no man to raise the Standard that God requires. True Believers must prepare themselves for the wrath of God on our nation. We must cry out to Him. Perhaps God will allow us more time to turn this nation back to Him, or at the very least, allow us to see our loved ones come to Jesus Christ.