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Gospel Briefs on Jeremiah and Lamantations

JEREMIAH
Date of Writing: The Book of Jeremiah was written between 630 and 580 B.C.

Reason for Writing: The Book of Jeremiah records the final prophecies to Judah, warning of oncoming destruction if the nation does not repent. Jeremiah calls out for the nation to turn back to GOD. At the same time, Jeremiah recognizes the certainty of Judah’s destruction because of its unrepentant idolatry and immorality.
Jeremiah pronounces the coming Judgment of GOD all through this book, giving him the name of ‘the weeping prophet.’
Judah had fallen far from the will of GOD, and had sunk into idolatry and immorality, even with Jeremiah weeping in their ears, they did not repent, but instead threw him into a cistern (Ch.32).

Jeremiah was criticized, hated, imprisoned and threatened with death because he preached repentance and warned of GOD’S coming judgment when the “positive prophets” promised peace and prosperity “by the word of the LORD.” Popular opinion opposed him. He became so discouraged that he declared that he would no longer speak for GOD nor even mention His Name. But, things didn’t work out that way. The Word of GOD was deep in his heart and it burned like a fire in his bones. He simply had to speak (Jer. 20). I know that feeling. GOD’S Word burns within me as well, and it compels me also to speak out His Truth.
Jeremiah was distressed by accusations of hatred, disbelief, doubt and uncertainty. He cried out to GOD and turned to His Word. What did he find there? The very message he was warned not to preach!

Dear one, Christ Himself was far bolder than any of His servants ever were/are. He continually warned of judgment to come, GOD’S wrath and Hell. He exposed sin, demanded repentance, rebuked the religious leaders and accused them of being hypocrites, whited sepulchers, blind leaders of the blind, fools (Mat.23). There is NO doubt whatsoever that He would absolutely be BANNED from the vast majority of Christian pulpits and mass media today!

The International Genocide Treaty signed by President Reagan in November 1988, makes it a crime to try to convert anyone of another religion or to suggest that their beliefs are wrong. It will very soon be a crime to call homosexuality a sin. The day is almost here when, to protect minority rights, we will be forbidden by law from preaching the Gospel except in the most positive way . . . with NOTHING about sin, or judgment, or GOD’S wrath or Hell! So sad to say, much of the evangelical church has already conformed.

It is simply NOT enough to preach the Truth when there are LIES by false preachers and false teachers that copy it so closely that many cannot tell the difference. It is both sound and Scriptural to expose and contradict today’s wicked false gospels (2 Cor.11:4). Yet to do so is to be hated and ridiculed by church leaders and all those who desire to hear only good things. Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV) . . . Times have not changed!
Are church leaders concerned for Truth? OR . . . protecting their own interests?

It makes me sad to watch deception growing in leaps and bounds. The meager “few” righteous ones cry out against it, but are opposed by the “many” (Mat.7:13). Why is that vital correction, which Scripture so clearly demands, left to a few of us nobodies and shunned by church leaders who are heeded by millions? Today’s evangelical leaders shun their duty to oppose heresy. Many of them promote Catholicism, occultism and humanistic psychology. Because of this, we nobodies, even though only a meager few listen to us, must cry out even louder to warn the sheep of poisoned pastures and false shepherds. We must bring Truth.

Author and Time of Writing. The beginning of Jeremiah reads: Jer. 1:1-2 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. (KJV) And in: Jer. 51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. (KJV)

There is no other prophet in the OT of whom we are told so many personal details regarding his life and service. Out of Jeremiah's records we see that he was born during the reign of wicked king Manasseh (696 - 642 BC). He originated from the priestly family of Aaron. His hometown was Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, which was not far from Jerusalem (Jer.1:1). In his very early years he was called by GOD to be a prophet (Jer.1:4-10). This happened in King Josiah's 13th year, which was in 627 BC (he reigned from 640 - 609 BC). Jeremiah's service lasted over 40 years until after Jerusalem's destruction through Nebuchadnezzar in the year 586 BC (Jeremiah 39). According to GOD’S command Jeremiah remained unmarried (Jer.16:2).

To start with, Jeremiah lived in Anathoth. But soon the hatred of its inhabitants arose against him (Jer.11:18-23). The prophecies of chapter 1:2 and 3:6 were uttered during king Josiah's time (640 - 609 BC). After Josiah's death Jeremiah lamented for him (2 Chron.35:25; compare Jer.22:10). He prophesied against Shallum (or Jehoahaz) the son of Josiah king of Judah in Jer. 22:11.
During the following reign of Jehoiakim (609 - 598 BC) Jeremiah prophesied Jerusalem's doom. This is why the priests wanted to kill him (Jer.26). In Jehoiakim's fourth year Jeremiah prophesied amidst other things the 70 years captivity of Judah in Babylon (Jer.25:11-12; 36:1;  45:1). During this time the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian Empire in the battle of Carchemish (606 BC). Following this Jerusalem was besieged and a part of the inhabitants were brought to Babylon (which was the first deportation to Babylon in 605 BC). Jeremiah then got the task of GOD to write down all his previously existing prophecies into a book. He did this with the help of his secretary Baruch (Jer.36:1-4). When Baruch had read out these words in the Temple, king Jehoiakim in fury cut the roll and burnt it (Jer.36:20-26). Then GOD had Jeremiah rewrite it all again and Jeremiah added "besides unto them many like words" (Jer.36:27-32).
The next king, Jehoiachin or Jeconiah, only reigned for three months and was brought to Babylon in 597 BC (the second deportation). His successor was Zedekiah, the third son of Josiah (597 - 586 BC). Jeremiah gave Zedekiah the advice (Jer.27:12-22). When Jeremiah intended to go to the land of Benjamin he was captured and cast into the dungeon (Jer. 37:11-21; 38:1-6). When the Babylonians finally took Jerusalem, Jeremiah was freed out of prison. He was given the choice to either go to Babylon or to remain in the land (for king Nebuchadnezzar had given charge concerning him). When Gedaliah (who was appointed governor by the king's command) was murdered the Jews flew for fear of the Babylonians' vengeance to Egypt (although Jeremiah had warned them not to do so) and forced Jeremiah and Baruch to go with them (Jer. 41; 42; 43). This is where Jeremiah continued his prophetical service in the city of Tahpanhes (Jer. 43:8-13; 44) and this is where he was stoned to death according to tradition five years after Jerusalem's destruction. The Bible remains silent regarding the death of this great prophet who lived and served in the last forty years of the kingdom of Judah.

The author of Second Chronicles (36:22) and of Ezra (1:1) as well refers to Jeremiah's Prophecy regarding the 70 years' desolation of Jerusalem. Based on King Cyrus' edict around 42,000 Jews got ready for Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple (around 536 BC). The prophet Zechariah (who prophesied shortly after the Jews' return) likewise refers to the 70 years of Jehovah's indignation with Jerusalem and with the cities of Judah (Zec.1:12).
Now the question: from which of Nebuchadnezzar’s three campaigns against Jerusalem are the 70 years to be counted? Some researchers think to start from the destruction of the temple in 586 BC and then conclude that the number 70 is not to be taken literally as only just 50 years passed by until the return of the remnant in 536 BC. Others (based on Ezra 5:1; 6:14; Zech.1:12) want to see the final date around 516 BC when the Temple was accomplished to reach the number of 70 years.
The easiest and most likely way however is to take the first conquest of Jerusalem in 605 BC as starting point and the return of the Jews in 536 BC as final point in calculating the 70 years (based on 2 Kings 24:1-4; 2 Chron.36:20-23).

Prophetical Symbols . . . We find many prophetical actions or signs with many prophets, for example (Eze.2:8-10; 3:1-3; Hos.1:2-9; Zec.11:7-17). But in no other Book we will find so many prophetical symbols as in the Book of Jeremiah.

  • the linen girdle (ch. 13:1-11): the rejection of Israel
  • the potter and the clay (ch. 18:1-10): GOD’S patience
  • the earthen bottle (ch. 19:1-13): destruction
  • the yokes (ch. 27:2-11; 28:2.10-14): subjection
  • the acquisition of a field (ch. 32:6-15): faith and hope
  • the hidden stones in the brick-kiln (ch. 43:8-13): humiliation
  • the book cast into Euphrates (ch. 51:59-64): Babylon's destruction

Summary of Contents
I. Jeremiah 1: The Prophet's Call
II. Jeremiah 2-25: GOD’S Appeal to the People's Conscience.
Chapter 2   Israel's Apostasy
Chapter 3   Announcement of Judgment
Chapter 4   Call to Repentance
Chapter 5   Judah's Hardening
Chapter 6   Announcement of Jerusalem's Siege
Chapter 7   Reason for Judgment
Chapter 8   The People's Lack of Understanding
Chapter 9   The Prophet's Lamantation
Chapter 10   The TRUE God and the Idols
Chapter 11   Israel Had Broken the Covenant
Chapter 12   GOD Turns Away
Chapter 13   Judgment and Captivity
Chapter 14   The Great Drought
Chapter 15   The Remannt and the LORD
Chapter 16   Expulsion and Return
Chapter 17   The Remnant's Position
Chapters 18 & 19   GOD’S Sovereignty
Chapter 20   Persecution of Jeremiah
Chapters 21 & 22   Judgment over the House of David
Chapter 23   The Wicked Shepherds of Israel
Chapter 24   The Way of Life and Death
Chapter 25   Announcement of 70 Years of Exile
Chapter 26   Jeremiah in Danger of His Life
Chapters 27 & 28   Subjugation through Babylon
Chapter 29   Jeremiah Comforts the Captives in Babylon
III. Jeremiah 30-33: The New Covenant and the Reign of Peace
Chapter 30   The People's Salvation
Chapter 31   The New Covenant
Chapter 32   The LORD'S Faithfulness
Chapter 33   Salvation and Praise
IV. Jeremiah 34-39 : Events and Prophecies before Jerusalem's Fall
Chapter 34   Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah
Chapter 35   The Rekabites’ Faithfulness
Chapter 36   Jehoiakim’s Contempt of the Word
Chapter 37   Jeremiah Goes to Prison
Chapter 38   Jeremiah and Zedekiah
Chapter 39   Taking of Jerusalem
V. Jeremiah 40-45 : Events and Prophecies after Jerusalem's Fall
Chapter 40   Jeremiah Remains with Gedaliah
Chapter 41   Gedaliah is Murdered
Chapters 42 & 43   The Remnant goes down to Egypt in spite of Jeremiah's Warning
Chapter 44   Jeremiah’s Prophecies against Egypt
Chapter 45   Jeremiah's Warning for Baruch
VI. Jeremiah 46-51 : Prophecies against the Nations
Chapter 46   Prophecy against Egypt
Chapter 47   Prophecy against the Philistines
Chapter 48   Prophecy against Moab
Chapter 49   Prophecy against Ammon, Edom, Damascus and other Enemies
Chapters 50 & 51   Prophecy against Babylon
VII. Jeremiah 52, Historical Appendix: The Fall of Jerusalem

Brief Summary: The Book of Jeremiah is primarily a message of judgment on Judah for rampant idolatry (Jer.7:30-34; 16:10-13; 22:9; 32:29; 44:2-3). After the death of King Josiah, the last righteous king, the nation of Judah had almost completely abandoned GOD and His commandments. Jeremiah compares Judah to a prostitute (Jer. 2:20; 3:1-3). GOD had promised that He would judge idolatry most severely (Lev. 26:31-33; Deut.28:49-68), and Jeremiah was warning Judah that GOD’S judgment was at hand. GOD had delivered Judah from destruction on countless occasions, but His mercy was at its end. Jeremiah records King Nebuchadnezzar conquering Judah and making it subject to him (Jer.24:1). After further rebellion, GOD brought Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian armies back to destroy and desolate Judah and Jerusalem (Jer.chapter 52). Even in this most severe judgment, GOD promises the restoration of Judah back into the land GOD has given them (Jer. 29:10).

Prophesy: Jeremiah 23:5-6 presents a prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Prophet describes Him as a Branch from the house of David (v. 5; Matthew 1), the King who would reign in wisdom and righteousness (v. 5, Rev.11:15). It is Christ who will finally be recognized by Israel as her true Messiah as He provides salvation for His chosen ones (v. 6; Rom.11:26).

How do we apply the Book of Jeremiah to our life today? The Prophet Jeremiah had a most difficult message to deliver. Jeremiah loved Judah, but he loved GOD much more. As painful as it was for Jeremiah to deliver a consistent message of judgment to his own people, he was obedient to what GOD told him to do and say. Jeremiah hoped and prayed for mercy from GOD for Judah, but also trusted that GOD was good, just, and righteous. We too must obey GOD, even when it is difficult, we must know GOD’S will as more important than our own desires, and trust that GOD, in His infinite wisdom and perfect plan, will bring about the best for His children (Rom.8:28).

Jeremiah as a Prophet for the LORD, suffered beatings and persecution at the hands of his own people, because he was sent to them with the hated and unpopular message of repentance and the defeat of the nation. Jeremiah warned the people of their exile or banishment from the land with the coming of the Assyrian army and the destruction of Jerusalem. Not the most popular message! We must admire Jeremiah for speaking the truth of GOD even when it got him into trouble. How many of us would do what Jeremiah did? 

LAMENTATIONS
The Book of Lamentations was most likely written between 586 and 575 B.C., during or soon after Jerusalem’s fall.
Author: The Book of Lamentations does not clearly identify its author. The tradition is that the Prophet Jeremiah wrote Lamentations. This view is highly likely considering the author was a witness of the Babylonians destroying Jerusalem. Jeremiah fits this qualification (2 Chron. 35:25; 36:21-22).
Reason for Writing: Because of Judah’s continued and unrepentant idolatry, GOD allowed the Babylonians to besiege, plunder, burn and destroy the city of Jerusalem. Solomon’s Temple, which had stood for almost 400 years, was burned to the ground. The Prophet Jeremiah was an eyewitness to these things, wrote the Book of Lamentations as a dirge for what happened to Judah and Jerusalem.
The Book Lamentations is a sad book. It has five parts, and all five parts are about the city of Jerusalem.
GOD wanted His people to take care of Jerusalem and the Temple there. GOD wanted people to worship only Him in His House. But the people who lived in Jerusalem did NOT obey GOD, and after many warnings and threats by the prophets, the LORD God was furious with the people. In His wrath, He allowed armies to come from another country, and those armies destroyed Jerusalem and took the people away. The writer of Lamentation was Jeremiah, and he lived in Jerusalem. Jeremiah was a man who loved GOD and loved His people. He was sad because the people would not listen to the warnings he brought from the LORD, and when they refused to repent and be restored, GOD sent enemies to destroy His Holy City, Jerusalem.

In the first two parts of the book, Jeremiah writes at times as if he is speaking; while other times he writes as if Jerusalem and its people are speaking. The city speaks as if it is a woman who is speaking. In the next two parts, only Jeremiah speaks. In the last part, he writes as if the city's people are praying to GOD.

The first part is about the lonely city. The second part says that the LORD God was like an angry enemy. In the next part, Jeremiah remembers how good GOD is. If people really love GOD, they can always hope for better things. After that, Jeremiah talks about the cruel enemies. He remembers what those enemies did to the people in the city. In the last part, the city's people know that they have done many wrong things . . . and they ask GOD to forget those bad things.
The Book of Lamentations clearly shows us that the LORD God is very serious about sin, and His anger rises when His wrath sets in. Our Creator GOD is very patient, but He will take just so much . . . and then He lowers the boom. This Book also shows us WHAT GOD wants from us . . . He wants us to love Him and He wants us to obey Him.

Prophesy: Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet” for his deep and abiding passion for his people and their city (Lam.3:48-49). This same sorrow over the sins of the people and their rejection of GOD was expressed by Jesus as He approached Jerusalem and looked ahead to her destruction at the hands of the Romans (Luke 19:41-44). Because of the Jews’ rejection of their Messiah, GOD used the Roman siege to punish His people. But dear one, the LORD God takes NO joy in punishing His children and His offer of Christ Jesus as a provision for sin shows His great compassion for His people. One day, because of Christ, GOD will wipe away all tears (Rev.7:17).

How do we apply the Book of Lamentations to our life today? Even in terrible judgment, the LORD God is a GOD of hope (Lam.3:24-25). No matter how far we stray from Him, we have the hope that we can return to Him and find Him compassionate and forgiving (1 John 1:9). Our GOD is a loving GOD (Lam.3:22), and because of His great love and compassion, He sent His Son so that we would not perish in our sins, but can live eternally with Him (John 3:16). Our GOD’S faithfulness (Lam.3:23) and deliverance (Lam.3:26) are qualities that give us great comfort, hope and peace. HE is not a disinterested, unpredictable GOD, but a caring, loving GOD who will deliver all those who turn to Him, admit they can do nothing to earn His favor, and call upon the LORD’S mercy so that we will not be consumed (Lam.3:22).

Is the Gospel in the Old Testament?

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The GOSPEL is in the Old Testament

The Bible Helps us Better Understand GOD

Gospel Briefs in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers

Gospel Briefs in Deuteronomy and Joshua

Gospel Briefs in Judges and Ruth

Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings

Gospel Briefs in 1&2 Chronicles and Ezra

Gospel Briefs in Nehemiah and Esther

Gospel Briefs in Job and Psalms

Gospel Briefs in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song

Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 1-33

Gospel Briefs in Isaiah Chapters 34-66

Gospel Briefs in Jeremiah and Lamantations

Gospel Briefs in Ezekiel and Daniel

Gospel Briefs in Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah and Jonah

Gospel Briefs in Micah, Nahum, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah

Gospel Briefs in Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi

The GOSPEL IS in the OLD Testament

The Gospel IS in Exodus Chapter 12

The Gospel IS in Isaiah Chapter 53

The Gospel IS in Psalm 90

The Gospel For the Jews IS in the Old Testament

The Gospel IS in Many Places in OT, Many rolls of JESUS!

The Gospel, Special Comments to OT Books

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The Gospel, Which Is the Truth of the Gospel?

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