The Book of JEREMIAH
James J. Barker
JEREMIAH'S SECOND MESSAGE
- Last week we
looked at Jeremiah's first recorded sermon (2:1--3:5).
We noted that Jeremiah's emphasis was on
returning from backsliding (cf. 2:19).
- Tonight we will
look at Jeremiah's second message. We will not look at the entire message because it starts here at Jeremiah
3:6 and continues all the way to 6:30. That's a long message, so tonight we will just deal with chapter
- The Scofield Study Bible says this about Jeremiah's second
The general character of the second
message to Judah is:
- of reproach
that the example of Jehovah's chastening of the northern kingdom (II Kings
17:1-18) had produced no effect upon Judah, e.g. Jeremiah
- of warning of a
like chastisement impending over Judah, e.g. Jeremiah
- of touching
appeals to return to Jehovah, e.g. Jeremiah 3:12-14.
- of promises of
final national restoration and blessing, e.g. Jeremiah 3:16-18.
THE EXAMPLE OF ISRAEL
- The Scofield
Study Bible says that Jehovah's chastening of the northern kingdom (II Kings
17:1-18) had produced no effect upon Judah (Jeremiah
- Israel started
backsliding first (3:6). Israel
"played the harlot" (3:6), a reference to spiritual adultery and to idolatry
(cf. 2:20; 3:1-3).
- When Assyria
conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC, the southern kingdom of
Judah saw the judgment of God upon their northern "sister"
- God "divorced"
Israel, and the northern tribes became amalgamated by the Assyrians and other
- This is
recorded in II Kings 17:5-41.
- When we come to
the New Testament we see that the Samaritans are a people thoroughly confused
and mixed-up. That is why our Lord
said to the Samaritan woman at the well, "Ye worship ye know not what: we know
what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews" (John
THE LORD WARNED THE SAME THING WOULD HAPPEN TO
- Notice in verse
6, the LORD said, "Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done?" The LORD wanted Judah to understand He
would judge Judah the same way He judged Israel.
- God told Israel
to repent, but Israel refused to repent. Verse 7 says, "And her treacherous sister Judah saw
- Judah is
referred to as Israel's "treacherous sister" in verses 7, 8, 10, and
- When the LORD
gave Israel "a bill of divorce," Judah should have taken notice and repented,
but verse 8 says, "yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and
played the harlot also."
- "Yet her
treacherous sister Judah feared not" (3:8). There was no fear of God, and so the
backslidden people continued to "play the harlot."
- Judah thought
backsliding was a "light" thing" -- "And it came to pass through the
lightness of her whoredom..." (3:9).
- The New King
James Version says, "So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she
defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and
- It was a
"light" thing to Judah, so she continued with her "casual harlotry," defiling
the land with her spiritual adultery, and worshipping stones and
- Tree worship is
very popular today. I googled these
two words: "tree worship" and there were 38,200,000
- Dan Halloran is a Republican member of the NYC Council,
and he represents the 19th District, in Queens. Mr. Halloran was raised Roman
Catholic, but now he describes himself as a "pagan" and a "heathen," and admits
he worships "the gods and goddesses and spirits of the
- In other words, he is worshipping demons.
- God says this behaviour is "treacherous" (3:7, 8, 10,
11, 20), i.e., deceitful and faithless and perfidious.
- God calls this false and idolatrous worship an
- Ironically, many modern-day "tree worshippers" call them
themselves "environmentalists," but they themselves are polluted because
idolatry is a vile and disgusting form of pollution (cf. 2:23).
GOD WANTED BOTH ISRAEL AND JUDAH TO
- We saw this
back in Jeremiah's first message (cf. 2:9; 3:1b, 4). "Return" is a key word in Jeremiah's
preaching (3:12, 22; 4:1; 5:3; 8:4, 5, etc.).
- This theme is
continued into Jeremiah's second message. "And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto
me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it" (3:7; cf.
- Two words go
together -- return and repent (cf. 3:13). Judah needed to "acknowledge" their sin.
- Israel and
Judah were terribly backslidden, but the LORD in His grace and mercy and
longsuffering says to them in verse 22, "Return, ye backsliding children, and I
will heal your backslidings."
- "Behold, we
come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God" (3:22b).
Israel and Judah will repent when the
Lord returns (3:22-25; cf. Zech. 12:10).
- This brings us
to our last (and very important) point.
THE PROMISE OF THE FUTURE RESTORATION OF
- When we study
the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the other prophets, we notice that this
theme runs throughout their messages -- Israel will be restored and Jerusalem
will once again be their capitol (3:16-19).
- To get a
complete picture of the restoration of Israel, one must carefully study all of
the many prophecies in both the Old and New Testament.
- Quoting Isaiah
45:17 and 59:20, the apostle Paul says in Romans 11:26, "And so all Israel shall
be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and
shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
- It takes time
to study these amazing Old Testament prophecies, but tonight we will just
consider a few of them from Jeremiah 3:16-19. Jeremiah gives more details about
the future tribulation and millennium in chapters 30 and
- Jeremiah 3:16
says there will be no ark of the covenant in the temple during the millennial
- Hollywood made
a popular movie called, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but the ark is not lost -- it
is in the temple in heaven (Rev. 11:19).
- "At that time
they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be
gathered unto it" (3:17a). Isaiah 2 says the LORD's house shall be established in Jerusalem, and all nations shall
flow unto it.
- "In those days
the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel" (3:18a). Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones in
Ezekiel 37 is a fascinating prophecy describing the reunion of Judah and Israel.
- Ezekiel 37:22
says, "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel;
and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations,
neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at
- "Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away
from me" (3:19b). This is not
taught in the Old Testament, though it is in the New Testament.
- "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John
- J. Vernon McGee says, "No individual Israelite ever
called God his Father. He was a
Father to the nation of Israel, and He said 'Israel is my son' (Exodus
4:22). But, He never called David His son; He said, 'David my servant' (Ps. 89:3). He never called Moses His son;
He called him, 'Moses my servant' (Josh. 1:2). It is only in this day of grace that we
are called the sons of God. How privileged we are today!" (Thru the Bible).
- The Scofield Study Bible says, "Doubtless the
believing Israelite was born anew (cf. John 3:3, 5 with Luke 13:28), but the
O.T. Scriptures show no trace of the consciousness of personal sonship. The
explanation is given in Galatians 4:1-7. The Israelite, though a child,
'differed nothing from a servant.' The Spirit, as the 'Spirit of His Son,' could
not be given to impart the consciousness of sonship until redemption had been
accomplished (Gal. 4:4-6).
- During the millennial kingdom, restored, repentant,
redeemed, regenerate Israelites will call on the LORD and say, "My father," and
they shall not turn away from the LORD anymore.
- There is an
interesting statement in Jeremiah 3:10, "And yet for all this her treacherous
sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith
- This is the
only time we see the word feignedly in the Bible. It means "deceitfully" or
- It suggests
Judah turned back to God but only half-heartedly; not "with her whole heart"
- J. Vernon McGee
thinks this refers to the half-hearted reformation and revival during the reign
of King Josiah (cf. Jer. 1:2; II Kings 22 & 23).
- Dr. McGee says,
"The revival under King Josiah was a revival -- there is no question about
it. Many people turned to God. But it was so popular that for many it
was nothing but a surface return to God. By and large, as far as the nation was concerned,
it was a superficial experience with God" (Thru the Bible).
- H.A. Ironside
said, "The king, and many more associated with him in the revival that was then
beginning, were doubtless real; but there were not wanting those, as Ananias and
Sapphira in the early days of the Church, who sought a reputation for piety and
devotedness while never truly separated from the abounding iniquity. This is a great snare, and only too
common in our own day. It is, in fact, the very essence of Laodiceanism.
Lukewarmness in divine things is
treachery against Christ. Better to be cold than this."