The Book of JEREMIAH
James J. Barker


Lesson 17
THE POINT OF NO RETURN — Part 2

Text: JEREMIAH 15:1-21


INTRODUCTION:


  1. Jeremiah 15:4 says, "And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem."
  2. I mentioned last week that II Chronicles 33 tells us that though King Manasseh was the most wicked king that ever sat on the throne in Jerusalem, he did repent in his old age.
  3. However, the damage was done (33:10-25).
  4. We see this happen often.  Sinners get right with God but they cannot undo the past.
  5. For example, many parents get saved late in life but their children never get right with God (cf. II Kings 21:18-26).

 

I. SIN HAD TO BE JUDGED (15:4).

  1. The LORD, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, then asked, "For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?" (15:5).
  2. The answer is no one (cf. 15:6-8).
  3. God would use the Babylonian army to judge Judah, but He wanted them to know He was the one who sent them.
  • "Therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee..." (15:6).
  • "And I will fan them with a fan..." (15:7).
  • "I will bereave them of children" (15:7).
  • "I will destroy my people..." (15:7).
  • "I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday..." (15:8).
  • "I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city" (15:8).
  1. Widows would outnumber the sand of the seas (15:8).   Mothers of young men would see them destroyed at noonday.  Anguish and terror will fall upon them suddenly (15:8).
  2. In Scripture, the number seven represents perfection, so having seven children signifies receiving a great blessing from God (15:9; cf. Ruth 4:15; I Samuel 2:5).
  3. "She that hath borne seven languisheth..." (15:9a).  This means great  despair and dismay.  Those surviving famine and disease would die by the sword (15:9).
  4. Jeremiah is so upset that he cries out, "Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth!" (15:10a).
  5. Jeremiah is telling his mother that she bore a son who was "a man of strife and a man of contention" (15:10; cf. 20:14).  This reminds us of Job's words in Job 3:3, "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived."
  6. The latter part of verse 10 seems strange and out of place.  J. Vernon McGee says, "We still have an old adage today that says if we want to lose a friend, lend him money" (Thru the Bible).

 

II. ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE REMNANT (15:11).

  1. While the book of Jeremiah deals extensively with God's judgment upon Judah on account of their perpetual backsliding, the theme is Godís love and compassion.
  2. Irving L. Jensen says, "Lifting Jeremiah out of the slough of despond, God promised him that good would eventually come out of the seemingly hopeless situation of ever-present enemies, trials, tribulation (15:11) and a doomed nation, Judah (15:12-14).   Jeremiah began to revive his spirit again (15:15, 16), although he had not yet fully found an answer to the perpetual pain which he experienced as a prophet to his people (15:18)" (Jeremiah and Lamentations).
  3. The first "iron" in verse 12 refers to the hard stubborn hearts of his countrymen.  Because of their wickedness, God was going to allow the Babylonian army to take them away into captivity (15:13, 14).
  4. Jeremiah prayed again, this time for the punishment of his persecutors (15:15). The people of Judah gave Jeremiah nothing but trouble (15:15, 17), but the Word of God encouraged him and filled him with joy (15:16).
  5. Ezekiel 3:3 says, "And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness."
  6. Job 23:12 says, "I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."
  7. In Revelation 10:9, John says to the angel, "Give me the little book."  And then the angel said to John, "Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey."
  8. Psalm 119:103 says, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
  9. Being called by God's name is a frequent theme in the book of Jeremiah (15:16b; cf. 14:7, 9, 14, 15, 21; 16:21).

 

III. JEREMIAH WAS LIKE A BRASEN (BRASS) WALL TO THE WICKED (15:20).

  1. Jeremiah would not sit "in the assembly of the mockers" (15:17), and so he was misunderstood and persecuted.
  2. Psalm 1:1 says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
  3. The Bible teaches separation from evil (Jer. 15:17).
  4. Second Corinthians 6:17 says, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
  5. The message of the Bible is always "come out."   All the prophets were like Jeremiah.  They would not sit "in the assembly of the mockers"

 

CONCLUSION:

  1. The people were so backslidden, and Jeremiah's message was so heavy, he often got discouraged.
  2. J. Vernon McGee summarized this portion of Jeremiah's prophecy this way: "God says, 'You just stay on the firing line, and I will take care of you.'"


<< Back                                       Next >>