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Tag Archives: Jeremiah

The “Jail Treatment”

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; (Lamentations 3:6-8)

Let me get this straight, God stuck Israel – The author is referring himself to Israel here – in darkness, made his chains heavy, and then stopped listening to there prayers. Now, to a certain extent I for one can understand this, after all, the Israelites forsook him. But don’t you think our God would be a little more kind; a little more sparing then that? After all, people today “forsake” God for modern idols, so why is it all those people didn’t get thrown in jail with an extra-large size ball ‘n chain? – Well God did in fact make a way for the Israelites, just as he made a way for us not to get the “jail treatment”.

Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. (Jeremiah 26:13)

That’s all the Israelites had to do, just reform their ways, actions and obey the Lord. Simple, right? Well as anyone who has tried (and inevitably, failed) can tell you, it’s impossible for us in of our-self to do. By our self we simply, no matter how hard we try, make so much as a dent in our “self”. Hence the ball and chain for the Israelites; but even then, God “called off his wrath” and left (a small) remnant of Israel. But aside from that, what is the difference between now, and back then?

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

The difference between now and then is “the way” has changed. “The way” to God has changed from we do, to he did. That is how we “come to the Father”; Through the son!

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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The Power of the Reademer

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

“Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has proudly defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (Jeremiah 50:29)

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. (Jeremiah 50:33)

Wait a minute, didn’t God want to Babylonians to come in and capture the Israelites? So why would God suddenly turn on the Babylonians in favor of his people? That just doesn’t make sense. Well let’s look at the next verse:

Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon. (Jeremiah 50:34)

Ah, so God wanted to show the power of the Redeemer. So, first he uses a sinful nation (Babylon), to capture Israel, to show them there faults, and then saves them by way of a redeemer. Well, we all have faults too, right? (The correct answer is Yes, by the way), so do we need a redeemer?

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, theforgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8)

We too have a redeemer, Christ himself! Who died for us on the cross to buy us back to himself. And unlike with the Israelites, we don’t have to earn that redemption.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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All Consuming Fire – All Consuming Love

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

Behold, I will bring terror upon you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts, from all who are around you, and you shall be driven out, every man straight before him, with none to gather the fugitives. “But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 49:5-6)

If you look one chapter back, you’ll find pretty much the same story with Moab; destruction followed by restoration… The reason for the destruction bit was because they were worshiping false God’s. Yet God promised to restore them, despite their false worship, I wonder if perhaps we today have any Idol’s, (and since we all do), will we get the same destroy-rebuild treatment? I’ll be honest with you; yes.

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Romans 6:6-7)

We must first die (to self) before we can live (in Christ). Like the Ammonites we (formerly) had and worshiped our “false gods”. And each of those “false gods” sprang up out of and took root out of one thing; self. And until, also like the Ammonites and Moabites, we are destroyed, until all of our selfishness and false gods are done away with, can we worship the one true God. But now the question arises, how is it that we can die to our self? What must we do in order to crucify our flesh so that we can serve God?

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

 22 “He committed no sin, 
   and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[e]

 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Through Christ’s death and only through his death can our flesh (self) be crucified.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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An Execration; a Horror; a Curse; and a Taunt.

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

“For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: As my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. You shall see this place no more. (Jeremiah 42:18)

In what circumstances though would this happen I wonder? – If they returned to Egypt, God said the above (they’re becoming a: execration, etc), would happen. So how are we to apply this today? If someone goes back to “Egypt” or in today’s words Drugs or Alcoholism, should we do all of those things to them? Well of course not. But why? Let’s think about this for a moment: why is it today, that we don’t do the same thing God did back then (or more accurately; was going to do)? Why is it that everyone that turns to drug’s isn’t promptly put out of the church (you will see this place no more) and beaten (all the rest). Well aside from that being extremely illegal, the reason we don’t do what God did today, is because there has been a change in the way we do things.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3:21-22)

From the above passage (the one in Galatians) we can see that things have in fact changed; we’re no longer under the law… We’re not stoned to death any longer for doing something wrong. Why? Because of what he, Jesus, did for us. Namely, dying on the cross for us.

Conclusion? Because Jesus was beaten, made to become an execration and a horror. Cursed for our transgressions and a taunted (spat at), we no longer have to become the afore-mentioned. However, this does not entitle us to freedom to do whatever it is our flesh want’s to do. Paul in Roman’s 6 makes that point quite clear.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Because of What You’ve Done

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in chains along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “The LORD your God pronounced this disaster against this place. The LORD has brought it about, and has done as he said. Because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you. (Jeremiah 40:1-3)

Because of what you’ve done this has come upon you. Because of what Jeremiah did, he was punished. Well let’s say I have a ton of debt, I suppose does that mean God’s punishing me? Now that I think about it, my car broke down, Is the resonable conclusion though that I must have disobeyed the Lord? … Careful; one false step could mean the dishwasher is next! – We don’t have to live that way, obviously (unlike Jeremiah). But think about it, why is it we don’t have to live in fear of doing something wrong in God’s eyes?

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that verse and I don’t see how it changes anything. Sure Christ became sin for us, but that only covers what happened before not what will happen.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

Ah, so God’s working in me now to will and to act according to his good purpose. That would explain the not-broken-state of the toaster I suppose… So just give me a minute here to get this all straight:

Because Christ became sin and died, God now lives in me, and now I’m free to do whatever I want. With no limits or bounds what so ever. Without there being a resulting earthquake, volcanic explosion, etc. I’m free, free, free! After all I can’t do anything God doesn’t want me to, so obviously I can do whatever I want to!

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Romans 6:1-7)

Ah, well let me revise my summary then:

Because of what he (Jesus) di(e)d for me and therefore I am free, yes, but that freedom is freedom from sin, and slavery to Christ.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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The Incurable Disease

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

“For thus says the LORD: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous. There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant. Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you. (Jeremiah 30:12-15)

I can never be cured, I’m going to be stuck with it for life. Our guilt is to great, our might to weak, our flesh to overpowering. There’s not even any use in crying over it, we’re stuck with this incurable disease of the flesh for life.

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)

I’m cured! The incurable disease has been cured, now I weep for joy; I’m stuck with this Spirit of Joy for life. – Now my flesh is dead, not by my hand, but by the might of God. My guilt has been washed away in the torrent of his love for me; Jesus himself, died to give me new life! No longer am I under the control of a merciless foe, but instead my life is lived anew in the shelter of the rock of my salvation.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Everlasting Reproach; Perpetual Shame; Perfect Memory

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'” (Jeremiah 23:40)

If you look a little further back you’ll find that the reason for this was that all the other prophets in Jeremiah’s time were prophesying falsely, “shepherds” were leading God’s “sheep” away, and people were stubbornly following ‘their own path.’ and God basically said ‘I’ve had enough.’ So in that light, does that mean everyone who is stubborn will always be remembered for that, have reproached for it continually, and end up with everlasting shame? Well let’s see how Paul addresses this:

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

A man commits incest, and then brags about it possibly leading to other’s falling astray, if that’s not following your own path instead of God’s I don’t know what is. Granted he did it out of ignorance, he didn’t know according to Paul’s letters up to this point that it was wrong. Even so, even if you’re an immoral wretch (pagan, etc) one would think you would know that was wrong. Anyway, Paul addresses this matter as God addressed it in Jeremiah, reproach him, put him to shame (by putting him out of the church), and remember it always. Right?

5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (2 Corinthians 2:5-8)

It seems to me like Paul is perhaps treating this case differently then God did, at first he said the man was to be reproached, and put out, but it seems he has forgotten the last step; to always remember and never forgive what has happened. Why would Paul, of all people, forget such a basic step as remembering the sin. For that matter, he broke the first two steps as well! He didn’t add the “everlasting” bit or the “perpetual” bit, what’s going on here? Could it be perhaps, that between Jeremiah’s time, and the time Paul wrote this letter that something drastic had changed in his life?

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

What reproach is left for us? What shame wasn’t put onto Jesus at the cross? Christ’s becoming sin (for us) will be remembered for all time, yet because of the same act, my sins have already been washed away in his blood. – I suggest you quickly read Romans 6 at this point – There is simply nothing left for us, but the everlasting, perpetual, and perfect love of God our heavenly father.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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