vs. 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us. vs. 9 He said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. vs. 14 and if you say, “No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread, …
There are some amazing promises here. Their entire nation has just been uprooted and taken captive, but God says to the remnant that He will build them up and plant them, not tear down and uproot them. They might hear the sounds of war around them or even go hungry sometimes, but they will be under the compassionate protection of God. Safe, safer, safest under God’s Mighty Hand of protection. This passage moved me to think of Christians living today in our nation, our world. The sounds of war are all around us, not only war between nations but the war against God, His biblical principles and His truth. It is exhausting, but God has planted us in this time of eternity for his purposes. Jesus is our Ark of Safety, sailing steadily toward our heavenly home.
The movies of today can’t hold a candle to some of the action in the Old Testament. This chapter reads like a modern action movie. When Johanen and his officers come to rescue the survivors left in Mizpah, they provided armed escort to a safe place far away from Ishmael and the Ammonites.
For the Christian, the promise of safety is not led by an armed escort. II Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to is heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
When all the army officers and their men who were still in the open country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon…
Here is a case for being poor. Since they were not wealthy and powerful, they had nothing to add to the Babylonian Empire. They were left behind. They were not taken as slaves. They had a ruler of their own kind, and they were left to harvest the fruits of their labor and to live in their own towns. They most likely were experiencing abundance that they had not known before this time. No matter the current state of our lives on this earth, the blessings of God are present. We just need to look for them, and be thankful.
“Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Cushite, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel says: I am about to fulfill my words against this city through disaster, not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD, you will not be handed over to those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD'”
The plan of salvation is throughout Scripture – Old and New Testaments. Here we see it again. These verses are like the Book of Revelation rolled into a few words. The LORD will bring his wrath upon the earth as promised, but those who belong to Christ will not be handed over to the enemy, for God has saved them from eternal destruction, and granted them eternal life in Christ.
Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die. If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, “Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you, then tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.'”
Throughout the Scripture we read of secret meetings between God’s messengers, and those who do not belong to God, but are in a position of authority, Rahab, the harlot, and the spies Joshua sent. Nicodemus and Jesus. King Zedekiah and Jeremiah. This tells us that God continues to do His will and carry out His kingdom plan for eternity, whether we are aware or not. What sort of secrets abound in our politics, in our nation’s dealings with other nations, in other parts of the world. It doesn’t matter. God knows them all.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet; “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of me, ‘Pharaoh’s army which has marched out to support you will go back to its own land, to Egypt. Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture it and burn it down.’
The Lord is not only the God of angel armies, He is also the controller of human armies and great nations. (Psalm 46:8 and 9). Nothing can obstruct His will or His plan for eternity. When the world seems out of control, we need to remember: The One Who is Creator, Redeemer, and Sovereign Lord, is also the One in control.
vs. 3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on then, each of them will turn from his wicked way, then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin. vs. 7 Perhaps they will bring their petition before the LORD, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the LORD are great.
Notice, this is not a corporate turning. This is not Israel repenting as a nation. This is individual responsibility for repentance of sin. If each one will turn from their wickedness, then the Lord will forgive. We have the same directive in the New Testament. I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The whole idea of this chapter is that men will keep a promise they made to a man, but they will disregard a promise they’ve made to God. We honor the traditions of our fathers, but fail to honor the commands of our God. God will honor the Recabites because they obeyed the commands of their forefathers. How much more will He bless His children who keep His commandments and honor Him.
Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.
Luke 10:27 Love your neighbor as you love yourself
John 13:34 A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
vs. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you , brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Wow! Wouldn’t you want to be known as the one who gives joy and encouragement because you have refreshed the hearts of the saints? If this act of refreshing brings joy and encouragement to other saints who observe it, then we should aspire to this refreshment of the hearts of our brothers and sisters. It is a two-way street and no one loses. How, then, are we to do this? In the Greek, this word is different than you might think. It means a rest from labor as in giving land rest by sowing light and easy crops for a season. It could be as simple as helping someone during a time of stress, lifting their burden by running errands, watching kids for a while, or visiting the sick. One time, I called and sang an old children’s Sunday School song to a friend who was having a few very bad days. She was blessed and lifted up. Ask God. He will be happy to show you how to refresh the hearts of His saints.
vs. 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient to be ready to do whatever is good. vs. 8 This is a trustworthy saying, And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. vs. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good…
vs. 1. …READY to do whatever is good. vs. 8b…be CAREFUL to devote themselves to doing what is good. vs. 14…LEARN to devote themselves to doing what is good.
Be ready, be careful, and learn to be devoted to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. The AMPLIFIED BIBLE says in vs. 1: upright and honorable work, honorable occupations and doing good deeds, honest labor and honorable employment. Doing good deeds isn’t limited to what we do for our brothers and sisters in Christ. It means being an honorable employee. It means being prepared at any time to do the good and the honorable for anyone. In other words, living daily as ambassadors and representatives of the One Who saved us.