“Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease? You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. You are near to their lips But far from their mind. But You know me, O Lord; You see me; And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a day of carnage! How long is the land to mourn And the vegetation of the countryside to wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, Animals and birds have been snatched away, Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.” “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? For even your brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.”Jeremiah 12:1-6 NASB
Life for Jeremiah was extremely difficult despite his love for and obedience to God. Where is the justice we ask?Why do the wicked continue to thrive?Well, we are like Jeremiah in that we are impatient and want immediate justice. Never mind Lord about my previous lost and evil state of being. Then the Lord reminds us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
Is life sending you a flat tire on a hot Summer road in Texas —with no help in sight. Perhaps you are going through a season like (Job) in the Old Testament—illness, separation, loss of loved ones and bad advice. Praise God for what ever you are going through—good or bad. Never give up!
Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledging Him and He will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5,6
God’s Answer is In Jeremiah 12:7-17
Stay committed! Stay connected! Stay in His Word! PRAY!
The Ruined Waistband
“Thus the Lord said to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen waistband and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.” So I bought the waistband in accordance with the word of the Lord and put it around my waist. Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the waistband that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord had commanded me. After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the waistband from the place where I had hidden it; and lo, the waistband was ruined, it was totally worthless. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless. For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.”Jeremiah 13:1-11 NASB
A linen waistband was one of the more intimate pieces of clothing, clinging close to the body. It was like underwear. Jeremiah’s action showed how God would ruin Judah just as Jeremiah had ruined the linen belt. Actions speak louder than words! Jeremiah often used vivid lessons to arouse the people’s curiosity and get his point across. Although the people had once been close to God, their pride had made them useless. Pride rots our hearts until we lose our usefulness to God. ( Life Application Study Bible)
Let God cleans you from all sin and uselessness
Drought and Prayer for Mercy
“That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah in regard to the drought: “Judah mourns And her gates languish; They sit on the ground in mourning, And the cry of Jerusalem has ascended. Their nobles have sent their servants for water; They have come to the cisterns and found no water. They have returned with their vessels empty; They have been put to shame and humiliated, And they cover their heads. Because the ground is cracked, For there has been no rain on the land; The farmers have been put to shame, They have covered their heads. For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young, Because there is no grass. The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; They pant for air like jackals, Their eyes fail For there is no vegetation. Although our iniquities testify against us, O Lord, act for Your name’s sake! Truly our apostasies have been many, We have sinned against You. O Hope of Israel, Its Savior in time of distress, Why are You like a stranger in the land Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night? Why are You like a man dismayed, Like a mighty man who cannot save? Yet You are in our midst, O Lord, And we are called by Your name; Do not forsake us!”Jeremiah 14:1-9 NASB
“Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.” So the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”Jeremiah 14:10-12 NASB
Drought was a judgment with devastating consequences. As a last resort the people cried out to God. But God rejected their plea because they did not repent, they merely waited for His rescue. Just as in the days of Jeremiah our only hope is to repent and return to God! (Life Application Study Bible.)
REPENT AND PRAISE HIM! PRAY TO HIM!
“But, “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.’
” Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying, ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters—for I will pour out their own wickedness on them. You will say this word to them, ‘Let my eyes flow down with tears night and day, And let them not cease; For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow, With a sorely infected wound. If I go out to the country, Behold, those slain with the sword! Or if I enter the city, Behold, diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest Have gone roving about in the land that they do not know.’ ” Have You completely rejected Judah? Or have You loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that we are beyond healing? We waited for peace, but nothing good came; And for a time of healing, but behold, terror! We know our wickedness, O Lord, The iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You. Do not despise us, for Your own name’s sake; Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory; Remember and do not annul Your covenant with us.
Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain?
Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not You, O Lord our God?
Therefore we hope in You, For You are the one who has done all these things.”Jeremiah 14:13-22 NASB
Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer
“You who know, O Lord, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable?
Therefore, thus says the Lord, “If you return, then I will restore you— Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them. Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” declares the Lord. “So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”Jeremiah 15:15-21 NASB
In prayer we can reveal our deepest thoughts to God. God expects us to trust Him, no matter what. We are here to influence others for God’s glory.
The Deceitful Heart
“The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart And on the horns of their altars, As they remember their children, So they remember their altars and their Asherim By green trees on the high hills. O mountain of Mine in the countryside, I will give over your wealth and all your treasures for booty, Your high places for sin throughout your borders. And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance That I gave you; And I will make you serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger Which will burn forever. Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord.”Jeremiah 17:1-7
“ For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.”Jeremiah 17:8
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.”Jeremiah 17:9,10 NASB
May God speak to your heart!
Baskets of Figs and the Returnees
“After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the officials of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me: behold, two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord! One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten due to rottenness. Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad figs, very bad, which cannot be eaten due to rottenness.” Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. ‘But like the bad figs which cannot be eaten due to rottenness—indeed, thus says the Lord—so I will abandon Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land and the ones who dwell in the land of Egypt. I will make them a terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, as a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all places where I will scatter them. I will send the sword, the famine and the pestilence upon them until they are destroyed from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers.”Jeremiah 24:1-10 NASB
Regardless of the peoples response, Jeremiah never gave up. Day after day he preached the same message of “turn now everyone from his evil way and deeds.” Thank God that He never gives up on us .
He walks with us and talks with us all along the way. Stay faithful and remain to the end— a witness for Christ Jesus! AMEN!!!