In Jeremiah chapter 25, we learn that God has sent Jeremiah message after message to the people of Judah now for 23 years, warning them to listen, repent, and stop pursuing other "gods". As spiritual decline begins with a defection away from the Lord, worship becomes a matter of self-service rather than self-sacrifice. Yet the people don't care, because if they did, things would change. How does caring about what God says mean everything to Israel, Judah, and our society today? Also, as God warns of judgment, punishment, and captivity, He is promising grace, guidance, and restoration if they turn to Him, because He cares for them. Yet they still do not listen, and God gives a prophecy regarding the judgment of all nations. What does that mean for the future?
Posted on May 19, 2022 5:51 PM
In this session, we look a little further into Jeremiah chapter 23, particularly when it comes to false prophets and the impact that they're having on the wayward kings, and wayward people. Back in the day, prophets use to advise godly kings in Israel and Judah, but at this point in history, the spiritual, moral, and guiding aspects in the nation's ability to govern has captured God's attention, arouses his anger, and he warns them. And yet, they don't care what He has to say. In chapter 24, Jeremiah is led to observe two baskets of figs, one good, one bad. He is led to paint an illustration using the figs in regards to the coming Judgment Judah will face. The remnant are the good figs, because they will do as God says, and God will in turn take care of them. The bad figs are those like King Zedekiah, his sons, and the rest of the people, who will work to resist the armies of Babylon despite God's warning and hand in bringing them against Judah and Israel. In other words, the bad figs will be "thrown out".
Posted on May 13, 2022 12:54 AM
God wants His leaders to be loving shepherds who tend to, guide, care for, protect, and keep His "sheep" securely in the fold. This is selfless leadership. But instead, Judah's kings and spiritual leaders were stubborn, selfish, disloyal, sinful, and outright refused to listen to God. God wants people to, under the power of the Holy Spirit, preach the truth as He moves you, not just tell people what they want to hear. Moreover, God is a true shepherd, in the most fundamental sense of the word and He will take care of things when He comes. (Note: This entire concept of a shepherd is one that Ezekiel is sent to reiterate in his ministry-to Judah, recorded in Ezekiel chapter 34).
Posted on May 05, 2022 3:40 PM
In Jeremiah chapter 22, God has a stern message for the puppet kings of Judah. Although King Zedekiah sat on David's throne, he did not lead as David led, and was not a man after God's own heart like David (and even his father Josiah) was. And so, the throne of David is going to be taken away from him. For Jehoiakim, he was disobedient since his youth, however despite that, God reached out to him in times of prosperity, but Jehoiakim refused to listen. So, God warns him that when he dies, he will die in disgrace and no one will lament for him. As for Coniah, his sins, and the weight that they bare, will jeopardize his future, the future of his family, and the future of the nation as they will cause him to be unable to govern. What does all of this teach us for today? Also, in his anger towards the nation, God speaks directly to their heart's condition on how they treat the vulnerable and the needy. Does how we treat homeless people today serve as a barometer on the condition of our hearts, and what does that say for our nation today?
Posted on April 28, 2022 12:46 AM
Pastor Troy Billow begins this session by sharing a few additional thoughts on Jeremiah chapter 20, particularly where Jeremiah feels depressed and demoralized in his ministry. In Chapter 21, the Lord sends a message to King Zedekiah (the last king of Judah) that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is going to invade the nation of Judah, and he will be successful in this invasion. In fact, God warns that if the people fight Nebuchadnezzar, they will be really fighting God Himself, because God is sending this invasion as an ordained judgment on the nation. So, God is offering an ultimatum to the King and the people there; surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and live, or fight him and his forces and die.
Posted on April 22, 2022 1:25 AM
In Jeremiah chapter 18, God uses a word picture of a potter creating pottery, and if it is marred in any way, the potter smashes it and starts new. Such is what God is doing with Judah. In chapter 19, God instructs Jeremiah to buy a clay flask and smash it to pieces, illustrating the point that as God bought Israel and Judah, they are now useless to Him in their current state. In chapter 20, Jeremiah is put in shackles, mocked, and despised, which makes him fall into a state of depression. But the truth of the Lord burns as a fire that motivates Jeremiah and keeps him going. Join us as we see how history in 7th century B.C. and its lessons apply so vividly today, in these end times.
Posted on April 13, 2022 12:00 AM
In Jeremiah chapter 16, God instructs Jeremiah to harden his heart towards and distance himself from the people of Judah. Not doing so can compromise the stern seriousness, depth, and potency of the truth that God instructs Jeremiah to deliver on the nation. In chapter 17, God tells the nation that a cursed nation is a nation that trusts in man, while a blessed nation is a nation that trusts in God. In a world of "trust the experts", how does this same dynamic play out today?
Posted on April 07, 2022 12:09 AM