Jeremiah 33:1-3 ESV
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Not one of us knows everything there is to know about God and about His Word, the Bible, the Holy Scriptures (Genesis to Revelation). As well, the scriptures are made clear to us by the Spirit of God, for they are spiritually discerned. So, if we want to have understanding of the Word of God, then we need to pray, and we need to ask God to reveal to us his truths.
This is not saying that we can’t use external sources such as commentaries, dictionaries, Bible study helps, and Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, etc. We can. But, they must not be our primary source. And, even as we read these helps, we must pray for spiritual discernment to know what is right and what is wrong, for there are so many different ways the Bible is interpreted.
In addition to this, we read in the Bible that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NIV).
Thus, the Word of God is not just for intellectual comprehension, but it is to be applied to our daily lives. And, we can even learn from the scriptures that don’t specifically apply to us, the church, with regard to who God is, concerning his divine character and will, and relating to what he requires of us, his people. We just have to read them in light of the New Covenant.
Also, as we are going into God’s Word, praying for understanding, guidance and wisdom, we need to make certain we are reading and interpreting scriptures within their context. This is not to say that God can’t use any scripture outside of the original context to speak to us today regarding something in our lives. He can. But, doctrinally speaking, if we are going to teach God’s commands to his church, they must be taught in context.
Jeremiah 33:4-5 ESV
For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword: They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil.
So, what is the context here? It is helpful here if we can read the book of Jeremiah or at least some chapters before this one to get the context. Bible study helps are also useful for getting the context here, and I have personally engaged some commentaries to help me to understand the historical background of what was happening here, so that I understand what biblical principles could be applied to our lives today through this story.
Jerusalem was under siege by the king of Babylon, and Jeremiah, a prophet of God, who spoke God’s exact words, was being held captive, i.e. he was being persecuted for his faith and for his testimony for God and for his Word. The scriptures say he was “shut up” in the court of the guard. And, the reason that Jerusalem was under siege is because of Israel’s sins of idolatry against God. So, this was a judgment of God on his people for their sins of rebellion against God, and for their refusal to listen to his instructions.
So, who are God’s people today? We, the church, who are believers in Jesus Christ, are God’s people today. And, the vast majority of the church in America today can certainly be paralleled over to God’s people in Jerusalem in the day of Jeremiah. For, there is much rebellion against God going on within the market-driven church of today, and there is much refusal to listen to God’s instructions (his commands) to us, his people, too.
For, the church in America, for the most part, is a reflection of American culture. It is a reflection of the people of God living immature, self-indulgent, selfish, pleasure-driven lives apart from God’s will and purposes for his church. They are soft on sin, unyielding to the Lordship of Christ, hardened to instructions on holy living, and going under spiritually like a sinking ship.
There is disorder and every evil practice going on within today’s modern church here in America. The character and the heart of this rebellious church is the opposite of what is righteous and holy, which is evident by their deeds, by their involvements with worldliness, and by their participation in the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and by their unions (alliances) with what is contrary to God and to his Word.
Thus, the Word of God is under siege, and it is being shut up, and in its place is a cheap grace gospel which appeases human flesh, and which coddles people in their sins, and which makes no demands for holiness or obedience to Christ. The church itself has been taken over by liars, thieves, marketers, manipulators, and twisters of scripture, who are destroying the church and the Word of God, and who are giving false hope to people while leaving them dead in their sins. This is the destruction of Jerusalem going on in America today because of the rebellion of God’s people.
Jeremiah 33:6-9 ESV
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.
So, God has allowed this to take place, and for the church to be under siege right now by those thieves and liars of “Babylon,” who are destroying it, because his ultimate goal is to bring his people, his church, to a place of spiritual health and healing. Thus, God disciplines his beloved in order to bring her to holiness and to purify her so that she might leave her rebellious ways, and so that she might follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will (See: Heb. 12:3-11; Rev. 3:19; 1 Co. 11:32).
He just asks that we leave our “leaky vessels” behind us, i.e. our sinking ships, which include our sinful pleasure-driven flesh, the cheap grace gospel, and the false market-driven church which is leading many believers in Jesus astray from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ. We are to leave “Babylon,” in other words, so that we do not share with her in her sins and in her punishment (See: Rev. 18:4-5). And, we are to follow God with our lives.
And, God will restore, revive and renew us to what we were intended to be from the beginning, which is a holy people, set apart (different) from the world, because we are being made to be like Christ in righteousness, holiness and purity of devotion to God. And, this is what the church in America needs right now. We need revival!
But, sad to say, I feel that matters are going to get much worse here in America before God’s rebellious people here finally look up to God and they leave their flesh-driven lives to follow him in holiness and in purity. And, I think if we are spiritually discerning that we can see the handwriting on the wall for America. She is on a massive spiritual and moral decline, and for her to be brought back to the Lord, she is going to suffer even more than she is now at the hands of “Babylon,” to get her to see God as her only God/Lord.
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.
Sunday, August 4, 2019