Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah’

Never Forsaken

For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

Jeremiah 51:5

The Bible tells us in the New Testament that, as far as Christians are concerned, the Old Testament was written for an example and for our learning (Romans 15:4 and others).  When I come across books like the book of Jeremiah, I can’t help but feel some fear.  The judgments that God pronounced on His people (because of their sin and refusal to return to Him) are terrible and frightening.  And, as Christians, the chastisement that God must sometimes bring upon us because of our sin can be a terrible thing.  But, even when reading a book of judgment, there is still comfort and encouragement for the people of God.

This verse tells us that, despite all of terrible things that God was going to allow to come on Israel, He had not forsaken them.  After fifty chapters of judgment, He tells them that, “though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel,” they had “not been forsaken.”  That is encouraging to me.  God chastened them and He chastened them severely, but He did not forsake them.  He did not forget them.  Despite all of their sin and wickedness against Him, He still did not forsake them.

When we fall, sometimes it may seem for a season that God has forsaken us.  It is true that when we sin, we will feel His chastening Hand.  But He has not forsaken us.  As the Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  That should be a comfort to all of us!

Written With Ink In The Book

Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.

Jeremiah 36:18

I would like to take a minute today and just say that I am thankful for my Bible.  In this verse, Baruch is explaining what He did in penning the words of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah.  He says that he “wrote them with ink in the book.”  I am so very glad that I have the very words of God “written with ink in the Book.” 

Can you imagine if we were dependent on our memory for what God had said?  I don’t know if any of you have this problem, but I would forget my own head if it weren’t attached.  I forget everything.  I have found myself looking for my keys while they were in my hand.  I have searched frantically for the hat that I was wearing.  Maybe I am alone in these things, but I suspect not.  I am thankful that I have God’s words written down with ink in the Book.  I can look at them as often as I want.  I can study them as much as I want.  If I forget something that the Book said, I can always look and find it again.  What a blessing!

Our church currently has a missionary to a small country that does not have a reliable Bible in its own language.  This missionary is working to get the “words written with ink in the book” in these peoples’ native language.  But what a privilege we have!  What a glorious thing that we hold in our hands- the Word of God.

It never ceases to amaze me just how easy it is to have a Bible.  There have been people throughout history who never saw a Bible.  There have been people who treasured a few pages or scraps of the Blessed Book.  I just saw a whole pile of complete Bibles and another pile of New Testaments at Dollar Tree for $1 each.  Imagine that- the precious Book that many have died for and have longed for could be had for pocket change.  We should be thankful every day that we have God’s words “written with ink in the Book!”

The Purpose of the Bible

Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.  It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which i purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from the evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

Jeremiah 36:2-3

In these verses, God is telling the prophet Jeremiah what He wants him to do.  As I was reading these verses, a thought struck me: these verses describe one of the main purposes of the entire Bible.  They specifically deal with the “house of Judah,” but we will make application to the entire Bible, and not just the immediate text of Jeremiah. 

Notice that God told Jeremiah to write these things in a book.  When things are written in a book, there is little room for debate.  When things are spoken, there is often room for exaggeration and error, as evidenced by any gossip you may come across.  But when something is written down, it is sure.  II Peter 1:19 tells us that we have a “more sure word of prophecy.”  That “more sure word” is the Bible.  The Bible is the only perfect book in the world because it is the only book in the world given by God Himself.  It is written down in a book.

Also, notice the purpose of this book: “It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from the evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”  It is the Bible that tells us how we can know Him.  It is the Bible that purifies us.  It keeps us walking with Him.  It keeps us from sin.  When we do sin, it keeps us from despair, as it tells us not only that He will forgive us, but it tells us how to obtain that forgiveness.  Everything that we need is in that Book!

I am so thankful that I have a Bible.  As the children’s song says: “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me!  I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!”

Call Unto Me

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Jeremiah 33:3

This verse is one of the most famous verses in the Bible on the subject of prayer.  It is one of the greatest promises on the subject.  Many sermons have been preached and many essays and books have been written on this subject from this verse, but we will take a simple look at it today to remind us of our need to pray and of the God to whom we pray.

1. “Call unto me…”
-Before anything else happens, we have to call unto Him.  In order to get prayers answered, we must first pray.  That may seem overly elementary, but how often have our prayer lives been stopped cold right here?  We need to pray.

2. “… and I will answer thee.”
-That answer may not be the one that we are wanting or looking for, but it will come.  And the answer may not come on our terms or on our timetable, but it will come.  “I will answer thee.”

3. “…and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
-This is the meat of the verse.  God has promised not only to answer our prayers, but to overanswer our prayers.  We often think in simple terms.  We have a simple need and we would like to have that simple need met.  God does not think in simple terms.  God is in control of the entire world.  He runs the show.  God is not limited to answering our prayers by doing only the things that we would think of.  He can “open the windows of Heaven, and pour us out a blessing.”  He is capable of truly showing us great and mighty things.  And He is definitely capable of showing us things that we know nothing about. 

This verse shows us the perfect combination of a wonderful promise and a powerful God.  “Call unto me, and I will answer thee…”  Why aren’t we calling on Him more?

Too Hard?

Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?

Jeremiah 32:26-27

These are very simple verses which ask a very simple question: “Is there anything too hard for me?”  As Christians, it is easy to answer this question.  We would boldly say “No, there is nothing too hard for God.”  Period.  And we would strongly believe that.  But how often has our flesh reared its ugly head and questioned that simple statement?  How often have we been troubled with doubts about His ability to do “any thing?”  How often have we lived as though that truth were in question? 

God is God.  He can do anything.  He has the power to do anything and He has the prerogative to do anything.  He is God.  He created everything around me (including myself).  Not only did He create it, He formed it from nothing.  We applaud the genius of man when someone takes things that have been created (things such as paints and canvas, for example) and rearranges them in a pleasing manner.  God did not merely rearrange already existing things to make the world around us; He formed the world around us from nothing.  A God Who is capable of that surely knows nothing that is “too hard.”  Now for the point of this obvious assertion that God is God:

How little faith do we sometimes have in this infinite God!  If it is true that God can do anything (and He can), and He has told us to come to Him and to make our requests know to Him (and He has), then why do live with so little faith?  If we really believe that there is nothing “too hard” for God, why do we find ourselves living like don’t believe it so often?

We need to pray, like the disciples, “Lord, increase our faith.”  (Luke 17:5)

Ransomed From A Stronger Hand

For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

Jeremiah 31:11

Any time I see the words “redeemed” and “ransomed” in the Bible, I sit up and take notice.  As the old song says, “we are redeemed, the price is paid; what a wonderful Saviour!”  I love writing about my Redeemer and I am daily thankful for the ransom that He gave for me.  I love the picture this verse paints of the Lord’s ransoming and redeeming us.  I know that, doctrinally, this passage is dealing with “Jacob,” or the nation of Israel.  But I think that a wonderful application can be made for us as Christians.

I started out yesterday to write about the second half of this verse, which turned out to be a short study on the word “redeemed.”  Today, we will look at the phrase “ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.”  Think about that phrase for a minute as it pertains to our salvation.  Before we were saved, we were held captive by Satan.  He held us in bondage to sin.  We were the servants and slaves of sin.  Both the Devil and our own sin were both stronger than we were.  We had no power against either.  We were in his hand, and his hand was stronger than ours.  But Jesus Christ, through His blood, ransomed us and redeemed us from the hand of Satan and from the clutches of our sin.

We could not hope to save ourselves.  We were held by a stong hand.  But now, we are held by an even stronger hand!  Romans 5:6 tells us “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  We had no strength on our own to ransom ourselves.  But thanks be to God, He has, to paraphrase, “ransomed us from the hand of him that was stronger than us.”


For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

Jeremiah 31:11

Any time I see the words “redeemed” and “ransomed” in the Bible, I sit up and take notice.  As the old song says, “we are redeemed, the price is paid; what a wonderful Saviour!”  I love writing about my Redeemer and I am daily thankful for the ransom that He gave for me.  I love the picture this verse paints of the Lord’s ransoming and redeeming us.  I know that, doctrinally, this passage is dealing with “Jacob,” or the nation of Israel.  But I think that a wonderful application can be made for us as Christians.

“For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob…”  He has redeemed me.  Has He redeemed you?  I have a general knowledge of the meaning of the word “redeemed”, but I looked it up in the dictionary, and what I read was a tremendous blessing:

1. to buy back
2. to free from what distresses or harms
3. to free from captivity by payment of ransom
4. to release from blame or debt
5. to free from the consequence of sin
6. to change for the better
7. to repair or restore

Think on those things and I think you will find yourself thanking the Lord and praising Him for “redeeming” you!  As I read those definitions in the dictionary, I began to realize what a perfect word “redemption” is for what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.  Every one of those definitions is a part of what salvation entails. 

We have been “bought back” by the Lord.  We have been freed from those things that could distress or harm us.  He has freed us from captivity.  He has released us from the consequence of our sin and freed us from a heavy burden and debt of sin that we could never hope to pay.  He has given us a new heart and changed us for the better.  All of these things come together in the simple word “redeemed!” 

This is actually not what I had intended to write about, so I will write about the second part of the verse tomorrow.  I will leave you with one more line from another old song: “redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!  Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!”  Amen.

I Was Chastised

I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou has chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.

Jeremiah 31:18

How often has God had to “take us to the woodshed?”  The Bible is very clear about the fact that God will chasten and correct His children.  He is very clear that, if we do not judge ourselves and confess our sins, He will do what it takes to bring us back to Himself.  The question is: what do we do with His correction?

Here, Ephriam (representing the ten tribes of Israel) says “Thou hast chastened me, and I was chastened…”  That is a simple, yet deceptively deep statement.  How often have we been chastened and not learned anything from it?  Earlier in the book, God tells the Israelites that “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction…”  (Jeremiah 2:30)  I have seen times in my own life that I have been chastened (both physically and spiritually) and did not learn from it.  On the other hand, there have been times that I was chastened, and received that chastening and “straightened up.”  That is the goal of God in chastening us.  He doesn’t just randomly punish us.  He corrects us; if, of course, we will receive that correction.

I like the description of being like “a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke.”  That is like us.  Our nature is wild and does not like to be told what to do.  Our nature is to buck and resist the Lord’s yoke.  But in Matthew 11:30, He tells us that “…my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

When He chastens us, are we chastened?  Or do we stubbornly continue in our own way?  The next time we find ourselves under the chastening hand of God, let us make sure we learn our lesson!

Hope In The End

And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

Jeremiah 31:17

I have only a simple thought of encouragement for today.  I came across this verse, and can not stop thinking about this: “…there is hope in thine end…”  That is such a powerful, comforting and encouraging statement.  There is hope in our end.

Hope is a powerful thing.  Most people live their entire lives “hoping” for a better tomorrow.  But true hope is found only in Jesus Christ.  And that hope is a hope that “maketh not ashamed.”  (Romans 5:5)  No matter what we may be going through here and now, we have hope.  We have real hope. 

We should be thankful every day of our lives for that hope, and we should be praying every day of our lives and reaching out with the gospel to those who do not have this hope.  What a wonderful thing to know that we truly do have hope.

Thoughts of Peace

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Passages like this remind me of the fact that God is our Father.  So many people are hesitant to follow the Lord because they think that He will destroy their lives and “ruin their fun.”  I get this attitude from young people, but I think that there are quite a few “old” people out there who also tend to think like this. 

Just as a human father truly wants what is best for his children, so our Heavenly Father wants what is best for His children.  As children, we didn’t understand everything our earthly fathers did.  We sometimes didn’t understand why they wanted us to do certain things and why they would not allow us to do other things.  But, in the grand scheme of things, their decisions were for our good, whether we realized it or not.

God tells us here that He knows the thoughts He thinks toward us.  He tells us that they are thoughts of peace, and not of evil.  If we will follow Him, He will never lead us astray.  I have been often stung by the heartache of sin, but never when I was following Him. 

The Bible tells us that His ways our higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  We may think that we know what is best for ourselves, but do we really think that we know better than God?  These are good verses to remember when we do not understand everything that God is doing in our lives.  He thinks thoughts of peace, and not of evil toward us.  What a comfort!