Tag Archives: Judah
This blog will focus on the book of Joel. The book is a clarion call to the nation of Judah, but also to the believers today, especially in America. From the onset of the book we find that Joel speaks of the devastating condition of Judah. “Has anything like this happened in your days, or in your fathers days?” Already there has been captives taken to Babylon, the city is falling apart, the enemy is camped outside the walls. Jerusalem has not fallen yet, but it is only a matter of time. I know that many have ready Joel and relate a future prophetic message only,but scripture cannot mean something today that it did not mean then. The church is in trouble today, just as Judah was on the brink of total disaster. The wonderful Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey is now a waste land. The vines are broken down, the fields lay barren and wind worn. No crops to feed the people, no hope for a better day tomorrow. Yet with all the devastation clearly in eyesight, the people are sleeping or worse drunken with a stupider and oblivious to what is going on around them. This continuation of the message from Jeremiah, still falls on deaf ears.
When we think of the Baal cultic worship, this agrarian god that promise fertility of crops and vats of wine flowing from the wine presses, and all Judah has to show for their idolatry is a waste land. For a people so dependent on the Land, the absurdity that they will not turn back to Jehovah, who gave them the Land is ironic.
A repeated phrase “for the Day of the Lord is coming” declares that such a time is conducted at the hands of God. When I think of the apathy, apostasy and anarchy that pervades our country and world today I grieve for the Lord to heal us. But I also know that there must be a brokenness within us. We have to come to our senses, as the Prodigal son did before he returned to his loving father. What will it take for the people of Judah, even America to come to their senses? Is it too late for Judah in Joel? Is it too late for America today? The trumpet call that needs to be sounded in the assembly alarm, the calling together of the people. Like in the days as a child we had civil disaster sirens that caused us to assemble in a designated place, we must assemble at the clarion call of the Holy Spirit. We and Judah had to respond to the alarm, sadly Judah did not – will we go the same way in our stubbornness? In Joel 1:14-15 and Joel 2:15-17 declares the necessary actions for the people to avert disaster. But it cannot be just to avert punishment and calamity, there must be a humility and passion to return to the God who loves us, and to our blessed Savior.
Needed today is for the “trumpet to blow” for the people of God to come together for an out pouring of prayer and repentance – needed today is a “Holy Ghost revival!” Nothing short of a solemn assembly will do. A solemn assemble is a called meeting for a specific purpose. I recently called for a “solemn assembly for my church. It is time to drop what is in our hands and fall before the LORD. Call the elders, all the inhabitants to the House of the Lord your God and “Cry out to the LORD” – alas the day for the day of the Lord is near. God is drawing all things according to His plan. Judah is told to come and PRAY in the HOUSE of the LORD – come to the TEMPLE people!
Every great revival began with a small group of people who were broken for the Lord and over their sin – the Shantung revival in China occurred because the missionaries were broken before the Lord in prayer. Prayer is incense in the nostrils of God – let’s make is a sweet-smelling aroma.
With the call to come to the House of God, proclaim a fast and prayer; the end result “who knows whether He [God] will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him.” (2:14) Judah had the chance, but they refused – let us learn from their hard heart refusal and Call on the Lord.
Jeremiah 13-17;in this selection of chapters, Jeremiah is told to use a waistband as an illustration. The Linen waistband; practice is to soak the belt in water to make it supple and flexible. Like any new belt very stiff and uncomfortable. The point is God was “uncomfortable for Israel to “Wear”. They sought after other gods’ that were more easy to serve [actually] or serve their desires. This is still thought of today, that God is too restrictive. To get rid of the “stiffness” bury in the river, subject it to the elements. This is what God did to Judah, He allowed the unbelieving nations and idolatry to have its effect on them. Just like the belt being ruined, so had Judah. Because of Judah’s Pride and stiffnecked they would be ruined. The indictment of God against Judah/Israel, The people just won’t listen. The proverb – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall! Judah had become worthless, being saturated with all the “filth” of the pagan nations.In the waistband – we are to cling to the LORD, listen to His counsel and trust Him. God is going to subject Judah to the treatments of the nations like a bunch of “drunks.
Pity and compassion days are over for Judah, Yahweh has had enough. Warning after warning – but still the people will not listen. Even though captivity is coming, the kings and queens will be humble and taken as prisoners, the people won’t listen. So ask the question like most of us – WHY have these things happened? Verse 22. God gives them His answer. –Because of the magnitude of your iniquity! In a very vivid illustration of becoming naked, God is going to remove their skirt, Their heels will be exposed, which means that God is going to reveal what is under the surface. It would be different if Judah would change, but they won’t is fact God gives some examples of things that cannot change. –Verse 23 – somethings you can’t change. Judah takes great pleasure in their sins, adulteries, prostitution, and abominations.
Jeremiah 14, Judah likes it Agricultural gods in Baalism which is dominated with a procreation mentality. So for the land to be in famine state exposes the Baalism lack of power to produce. It is God of Heaven that cause the earth to produce, something Judah and Israel forgot. The coming conditions of the Land [a Lion King scenario]; –No rain/water, Animals languish in starvation,They recognize the “why” they still won’t repent. Rather they plead for God to act, so as not to bring shame on Himself. Confess apostates, confess sin, iniquities exposed – but Judah will not repent. It’s like they are telling God fix this, but we are going to continue to do. God’s answer [vs. 10-12] – why? –They love to wander, –Won’t keep their feet in check, –Rejected by the Lord, –He calls them to account. Then the Lord says – “Do Not pray for this people – Jeremiah, I will not listen. They may fast, They may offer burnt offerings, They may offer grain offerings, I will not going to accept them, –I will make an end of them by Sword, Famine and Pestilence.”
Jeremiah tries to defend the people vs. 13, it because of the , Conflicting message from false prophets, but they Speaking for God, but not His message.
Jeremiah 15- It’s too late Baby now! Yahweh says “even if Moses and Samuel interceded, No! By the time that Judah came to acknowledge God; it was way too late! But this isn’t any new news – the warning had been given 100’s of years earlier. Foretold Deut. 28:63-68; I told you before this would happen! No there are Four future possibilities for the people.
–Death by disease; –War, –Starvation, or –Captivity. Either way Bodies would be eaten and rot in the streets.
Jeremiah 16, When they ask WHY [ as if they didn’t know, but then again maybe Judah was clueless, surely not innocent or ignorant of God’s desires.
–What is our sin?
–What is our iniquity?
–Why has the Lord declared this calamity? Answer: verse 11; Your fathers idolatry and sin, Your idolatry and sin, you have done more than they have; your stubborn evil heart, don’t listen, You have forsaken Me! Forsaken My Law, You want to serve other gods – wish granted!!
The Hope of restoration
–God restored from Egypt when they were slaves
–God blessed them in the Wilderness of disobedience
–God rose up a great nation in David
–God delivered them to Babylon/Assyria
–God returned them to the Promised Land, Ezra
–God delivered them again to Roman armies; rejection of Jesus the Savior
–God restored them 1948, after 6 million slaughtered
–God will judge them again at End of the Age
–Final Restoration and deliverance
In all that has been said, God still gives the Hope of being Restored. Even when it is over, God still has compassion for restoration.
Reading Jeremiah 8-12; in 2 Chronicles 6 & 7 we find the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the New Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon prays for the dedication of the Temple, that it would be a place where God would be found. However, the problem wasn’t with God but with the people of Israel. Solomon knew how the people would be in the lust for things of this earth. He knew or better yet prophesied that Israel would wander and drift into idolatry and pagan worship. He foresaw that they would become enslaved again in sin, and as a result the blessing of God would turn into a disciplining situation. The drift of God’s people from Him has been an ongoing problem since the time of the first sin and Adam. Instead of listening and loving the LORD God, mankind seeks his own pleasures. Man doesn’t want to be without, or prevented from satisfying his sensual desires. Even today I still hear people complain that God is too strict, and that He [God] doesn’t want people to have any fun. In chapter 7, Look at what they are doing! 17-19. They had been breaking the Covenant with God since coming out of Egypt. Time after time, God wanted to destroy the stiff-necked people, but for intercessory prayer, He relented. Problems: –Won’t Listen, –Won’t obey –Stubbornness/evil heart –Backward not forward! Disobedient Prophets/People. What was God to do? Let it go? People count on grace/mercy of God. God chose Jeremiah, the task preach Jeremiah! But they won’t listen -27. Preach it anyway.
Jeremiah begins to outline all the abominations of Judah. A place called Topheth – Hinnom valley; is a place of child sacrifices. The Lower South wall, they just threw dead bodies into a refuse pit where the fire and worm did not die. In Chapter 8- Grave robbers.Worse insult to desecrate the graves of the dead. But the condition of Judah has so degraded spiritually, even though such turmoil and anguish, they would rather continue in their sin Rather than repent – they would rather die instead. This has a Revelation connotation during the Bowls. How bad is it? Apostasy of Judah – every depth/level
Verse 14 – what are we waiting for? Rather than repent, they look for a way of escape [humm sounds like wanting the rapture]. IN America, we hope in the return of Jesus to end the troubles of our time. Do we not see that it is the hand of God on His people, trying to bring them to repentance and back to Him? We are Blinded by our own pride and religious regimes! All that Judah had hoped would happen, that God would bail them out didn’t happen. Summer is past and we are not Saved! In the season of hope, or so they thought, that God would deliver – no time for salvation was gone, time for turning to God over – Do Not Pray for these people for I will not listen! The presumption that God would do something to deliver them from Babylon, yet they missed that it was God behind the scenes working
Jeremiah is called the “Weeping Prophet” – he Lamented – weeping or crying over the people.
Condition of the people:
- -Treacherous dealings
- –Do not know God
- –Evil to Evil
- –Life in utter chaos
- –Watch Out for everyone – trust no one!
–Exercises Loving kindness
–Holy and righteous judgments
-“Psalm 51” – broken and contrite heart God will not despise! No fleshly animal sacrifices. But a heart humbled.–Uncircumcised, circumcised – not the foreskin, but of the heart. Pharisees boasted of being Abraham’s children and circumcised – outward looks don’t count
Jeremiah 10; Judgment is coming; the True God is going to act on Judah and the nations.Shepherds have become Stupid – 3X used times. I often have heard that a preacher is not to use the word “stupid” – but here we have it used over and over. A quick definition – doing something when the person knows better, ignoring all caution and warning.
Desolation of Judah – Lion King after the Hyenas destroyed it. Judah will be Corrected with Justice God, not with wrath. We must always remember that Israel is God’s own people. He will not tolerate sin in His children. He will Discipline us, but not destroy them for they have led us astray.It will be a thorough cleansing of Judah, they will be refined by fire, and they will not forget it! Judgment coming on gentile and Judah. Jeremiah 12:10 – bad shepherds; Ezk. 32:1-10. Desolation 3X = barren, isolated, empty. All The efforts of the wicked will result in emptiness.Unproductive crops and lives. Uprooted– the damage of pulling something up by its roots. Remove the plant from its protective and sustaining source
BUT – Merciful God – “But” verse 15, I will have compassion on them, bring them back into the land.“If” – they must listen! They must learn My ways 2 Chronicles 7:14, MY People, My Ways; if they don’t I will uproot them permanently