The Book of JEREMIAH
James J. Barker
THE BROKEN COVENANT - Part 1
- The key word in
Jeremiah chapter 11 is "covenant" (cf. 11:2, 3, 6, 8,
- The word
"covenant" is an important Bible word.
God's relationship with men are based on His covenants with
- We see the
first mention of a covenant in Genesis 6:18, before the flood, when God said to
Noah, "But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou
shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives
- Here we see an
important principle: When God establishes a covenant, He expects complete
obedience (Genesis 6:18, 22; cf. Jer. 11:4, 6, 7, 8;
- After the
flood, God again established a covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:9-17).
- In Genesis
15:18 we read, "The LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy
seed have I given this land."
There are certain Jews (especially in Israel) that may not know much
about the Bible, but they are familiar with this
- We read in Genesis 12:2 and 3 that the LORD said to
Abraham, "And I will
make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and
thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him
that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be
- This covenant promise ("The Abrahamic Covenant") was
repeated many times throughout the Bible, and it was also established with
Abraham's son Isaac, and Isaac's son Jacob, and Jacob's
- We saw that the
first covenant, the one God established with Noah, was based on obedience (Gen.
6:22). The original Abrahamic covenant was also based upon
- Abraham was told by the LORD to leave his homeland and
go to the promised land. Abraham
obeyed the LORD, and upon entering Canaan, the LORD enlarged and reiterated the
- John Walvoord says, "The one condition, having been met,
no further conditions are laid upon Abraham; the covenant having been solemnly
established is now dependent upon divine veracity for its
- This is why the Abrahamic Covenant is referred to as an
Subsequently, all of Israelís covenants are unconditional except the
- Israel and Judah were punished for breaking the
covenant, but nevertheless their covenant with the LORD is everlasting (cf. Ezek
THEY BROKE THE COVENANT
people in Jeremiah's day were cursed.
They were so wicked, God told Jeremiah to stop praying for them (Jer.
11:14; cf. 7:16; 14:11).
delivered their forefathers from "the iron furnace" of Egypt (Jer.11:4), but
these wicked, idol-worshipping backsliders were heading toward the
fiery furnace of hell.
- The LORD told
Jeremiah to, "Hear ye
the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem; And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of
Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant"
- There is a
curse attached to the law (Jer. 11:3; cf. Deut. 27:15-26; 28:15ff).
- Those who claim
to be obeying the law (e.g., Orthodox Jews, Seventh-Day Adventists) overlook the
fact that they are cursed.
27:26 says, "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to
do them. And all the people shall say, Amen."
- Galatians 3:10 says, "For as many as are of the works of
the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that
continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do
- James 2:10 says, "For
whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
THEY CONSPIRED AGAINST THE LORD
- In Jeremiah 1:2
we read that the word of the LORD came to the prophet
Jeremiah "in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of
Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign."
- In II Kings
23:1-3, we read that King Josiah "sent,
and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the
king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the
inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all
the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the
book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. And the king
stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD,
and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their
heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were
written in this book. And all the people stood to the
- However, while all the people claimed to obey the
covenant, some conspirators were quietly working against King Josiah and against
the prophet Jeremiah (cf. Jer. 11:9-14).
conspirators did not like King Josiah's reformation, and they resented
was gracious in raising up a godly king like Josiah, and a bold prophet like
Jeremiah, but the people deliberately turned their back on God and returned to
devilish Baal worship (11:13, 17).
- Therefore, nothing remained but judgment (11:11,
people were shameless hypocrites (11:15).
"Holy flesh" means meat set apart for holy worship in the temple. The Scofield margin says, "Its
efficacy is 'passed from thee' who rejoicest in evil."
wasn't supposed to turn out this way.
God raised up Israel and Judah like "a green olive tree, fair, and of
goodly fruit" (11:16), but they provoked Him to anger by worshipping Baal
THEY TRIED TO KILL JEREMIAH
- Jesus said in
Matthew 5:11 and 12, "Blessed
are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner
of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for
so persecuted they the prophets which were before
- Our Lord said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:31, 34
"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves,
that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets... Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise
men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them
shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to
- And He said in Matthew 23:37 and 38, "O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are
sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a
hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you
- Jeremiah himself was a type of Christ, and many people
thought our Lord was Jeremiah. His
disciples told Him, "Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and
others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets" (Matthew 16:14).
- The plot to kill Jeremiah was hatched in his hometown of
Anathoth (Jer. 11:21-23).
- The LORD
revealed the plot to Jeremiah (11:18, 19), and Jeremiah prayed to God for help
- Jeremiah was
misunderstood, falsely accused, and hated by his countrymen. Even the people from his hometown tried
to kill him (11:21).
- But Jeremiah
found joy and comfort in the Word of God (cf. 15:15,
- And so must we.