The Book of JEREMIAH
James J. Barker
THE BROKEN COVENANT - Part 2
- 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"
"they obeyed not" (11:8). They
broke the covenant and so God judged them (11:11).
- The message of
the broken covenant continues on into chapter 12.
WHY DO THE WICKED PROSPER?
- This question
is frequently asked. Job is considered the oldest book in the Bible.
Job said in Job 12:6, "The
tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose
hand God bringeth abundantly" (cf. Job 21:7-15).
73 also deals with this subject.
prophet Malachi said in Malachi 2:17, "Ye have wearied the LORD with your
people responded by saying, "Wherein have we wearied
- Malachi said, "When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is
good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God
GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR
- Jeremiah 12:2 says God is like a gardener planting a
garden. But the hypocrites in
Jeremiah's day were far from God -- "thou art near in their mouth, and far from
their reins" (12:2b).
- Our Lord,
quoting Isaiah 29:13, said, "This people honoureth me with
their lips, but their heart is far from me" (Mark 7:6).
- In contrast,
Jeremiah said to the LORD, "But
thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward
latter part of verse 3 is an imprecatory prayer, found often in the Old
Testament, especially in some of the Psalms.
wicked sinners wanted to kill the prophet Jeremiah. They said, "He shall not see our last
end" (12:4b; cf. 11:18-23).
- Jeremiah 12:5 says, "If thou hast run with the footmen,
and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in
the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou
do in the swelling of Jordan?"
The LORD was preparing Jeremiah for more trials and troubles. The Bible
teaches the Christian life gets more difficult, not easier. But as we grow in grace we learn how to
depend on the Lord to get us through these trials.
Wiersbe says, "The easy life is ultimately the hard life, because the easy life
stifles maturity, but the difficult life challenges us to develop our 'spiritual
muscles' and accomplish more for the Lord" (The Bible Exposition
fact, things were so bad that Jeremiah's own family was part of the conspiracy
to kill him (12:6; cf. 11:9).
His covenant had been broken, the LORD declared judgment (12:7-13).
- "Mine house" (12:7) refers to the temple, and "mine
heritage" (12:7, 8, 9) and "the dearly beloved of my soul" (12:7) refers to
- Israel was like a lion roaring against her Maker
- Israel was like a speckled bird which would be attacked
by other birds of prey (12:9).
- Merrill Unger says the "speckled bird" represents a
blending together of worship of the true God of heaven with pagan idolatry, so
the neighboring nations "were ready to pounce upon her in her sinful
assimilation to their idolatry" (Unger's Commentary on the Old
- Israel is compared to a vineyard destroyed by the
trampling feet of "pastors" who have turned the pleasant promised land
into a "desolate wilderness"
- Jeremiah usually uses the word "pastors"
(shepherds) to refer to Israel's religious leaders, but the context
here indicates foreign soldiers (12:10).
- Nebuchadnezzar and his army destroyed Jerusalem, and
turned Judah into a desolate wilderness. The word "desolate" is used four
times in verses 10 and 11.
- Nebuchadnezzar and his army destroyed Judah, but they
were just instruments in God's hand.
It was the sword of the LORD that devoured them (12:12).
- It was "the
fierce anger of the LORD" (12:13b).
GOD WILL JUDGE ISRAEL AND HER ENEMIES
"evil neighbours" (12:14) were used by the LORD to judge Israel and Judah, but
they were still responsible for their own sin and would therefore be punished
would "pluck them out of their land" but would eventually restore them if they
- Referring to Romans 11:15 -- "For if the casting away of
them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but
life from the dead?" -- Irving Jensen says, "The casting away of Israel thus
would become the reconciling of the world.
God's covenant with Israel was destined by divine design to bless the
whole world!" (Jeremiah and Lamentations).
- Jeremiah 12:16 speaks of the future millennial kingdom
when the Gentiles will come to Jerusalem to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob (cf. Isaiah 2:1-5; 66:23; Zech. 8:20-23;
- Jeremiah 12:17 speaks of God's judgment upon the nations
that will not obey Him.
Irving Jensen says, "The world today needs more
Jeremiahs who, in the midst of opposition, are true to the standards of the
Bible, patient in the proclamation of the gospel, gentle in the hands of
persecutors, committed to the protective care of the Chief Shepherd, and
burdened for the souls of lost men and women. Satan and the world may conspire against
a servant of God, but the conspiracy is really against God, and God is
invincible!" (Jeremiah and