The Concern for Judah, cont’d. Jeremiah 2-45
Jeremiah 21-38 Dated Prophecies, cont’d.
Jeremiah 23:1-8-God says that He is going to judge those "shepherds"…the unrighteous rulers of Judah who have led His people away from him. So far, Jeremiah’s message has largely been one of destruction. But now, he speaks of a future time when God will bring His people back to the Promised Land from all of the countries where they have been scattered (:3). There is a day coming when He will send a "righteous Branch" of David (a descendant of David) to rule wisely, with justice and righteousness (:5). Israel will once again be strong and secure (:6). This king will be called by the name, "The LORD our righteousness." In that day, the people will not see their history as being centered on their delivery from Egypt, but from their delivery from the country in the "north" (Babylon)...and all of the other countries where they have been scattered (:7-8). They will be brought back to the land of Israel.
Jeremiah 23:9-40-God condemns the false prophets...for not listening to Him and deciding for themselves what He would say. He says that He will bring judgment on them (:12,15). When they prophesied, they claimed to get their words from the false god, Baal (:13). Instead of turning people from evil…they actually encouraged them to be even more evil (:14). They claim to have had "dreams" (:25), to prophesy that God will not judge them (:16-17), and that there will be peace (:17). God says that they did not hear these words from Him (:18-22). God says that He is everywhere…so there is nowhere that these false prophets can “hide” (go to in secret) and receive a message that did not come from Him (:23-24). They claim to have had a “dream”…and that their dreams came from God. But God says that these dreams lead the people away from Him because they are not from Him and are not true (:25-27). God says that He is against these false prophets (:28-32). These false prophets claim to have received an “oracle” (an important message) from God. The people were mocking Jeremiah (:33) by asking him, “What important message do you have from God, today?” He says that the message from God is that He is going to abandon them (:34), and that from now on they won’t listen to what God has said, choosing instead to listen to their own ideas and opinions (:36). Anyone who claims to have a word from God will be punished (:37-40).
Jeremiah 24:1-10-This vision occurred after Jeconiah and others were taken to Babylon in 597. God gave Jeremiah a vision of two baskets filled with figs. One basket contained good figs and represented those taken into exile...that God would bless and return to the land. The other basket had bad figs and represented those who stayed in Israel, or went to Egypt...that God was going to judge.
Prayer: Father, help me to clearly distinguish Your voice from others. Help me to know Your truth. There are many people who claim to have interpretations and understanding of Your Word. Please give me the wisdom to know what You have said and what You mean by it.