J e r e m i a h

Part 2   by: Ronald L. Dart

If God were going to send us a Prophet today, what sort of man would he be? Would he be a rough hewn mountain man type like Elijah, dressed in leather riding into town on a Harley? Or would he be a smooth educated orator like Isaiah, or maybe he would be a man like Jeremiah, who gives his name to the 'jeremiad' which is defined as a prolonged lamentation or complaint?

Well if God has sent us a prophet today he is very well disguised and of course it's also possible that if we ask God, "Where is a prophet today?" God might very well say. "I have already sent you prophets, listen to them, after all, the Old Testament prophets spoke to their own generation about what was going on right then, but then they wrote the prophecies down."

Why did they do that? Well they wrote them down because history repeats itself, and consequently, so does prophecy. History repeats itself because man doesn't change and because God doesn't change, and so since man doesn't change, he does the same things over again, God who doesn't change responds the same way over again.

Present Your Case

One of the prophets, Isaiah, tells us how it works. In his 41st chapter verse 21, quoting God, he says this, "Present your case," says the LORD, "set forth your arguments, bring in your idols and tell us what is going to happen."

Alright, this is what we are going to do, this is your challenge, bring your false gods, your idols, these things that you make out of silver and gold. Bring them in, let them tell us what's going to happen? Tell us what the former things are so we may consider them and know their final outcome or tell us things to come or tell us what the future holds so we can know that you are gods."

God seems to tell us that that's the real test. Can you tell me what the future's going to be? To do that you need to tell us what were the former things, so that we can consider them and know the final outcome. What God is telling us, indirectly is, that a real prophet will tell you the past, so you can understand the future. Out of this comes the concept of 'type' and 'antitype' in religious conversation about prophecy. The word 'type' comes from the Greek word for 'model', the 'antitype' is a later 'model'.

In other words, something happens in the past, it will happen again in the future with variations. Oddly enough you see this pattern developed again and again in the Old Testament prophets as they apply their prophecies, not only to their own days, but to the last days as well. So here we sit, in what may be the most dangerous time in our history and not a single real prophet on the horizon. Oh, there are 'want to be prophets' out there by the dozens, there are fortune tellers of the future and psychics and what have you. Now I am not talking about that, I'm talking about 'real prophets'.

Lazarus and the Rich Man

This reminds me of the parable of 'Lazarus and the Rich Man', Luke 16 verse 24, "The rich man asked Abraham, "O send Lazarus to warn my brothers of the dangers of hell."" The rich man and Lazarus had both died and the rich man is in hell and Lazarus is in Abraham's bosom. The rich man says, "Send Lazarus to warn my brothers about this terrible place." Abraham replies, "They have Moses and the prophets. let them hear them." The rich man replies, "Oh no, father Abraham, but if somebody came to them from the dead, they will repent." And Abraham replies, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead."

Maybe that's what God is telling us, "Why should I send you a prophet, you have Moses and the prophets and more than that, you have my Son, Jesus Christ, hear them!"

Well, I'm not a prophet, but I can read the prophets and what I read is not entirely comforting, because what I read seems definitely to apply to the end times, it seems to fit us, our people today like a glove and the message is, well, it's daunting!

Jeremiah the Prophet

In this series on 'Real Prophets," I want to take you now and introduce you to one of the strongest voices in the Bible, one who speaks down through the ages to our generation.

His name is Jeremiah. In Hebrew it means literally, 'raised by Yehovah.' Now it is an interesting name because Jeremiah was chosen by God and he began to prophesy at a very early age.

He says in fact, that he was chosen from the womb, so it's almost as though God picked him out, before he was even born and raised him for the prophets' office and when he actually starts to prophesy, Jeremiah objects saying in his book chapter 1 and verse 6, "Lord God, I'm just a child, I don't have any business doing this." And God of course says, "Oh yes you do!"

Most of the prophets, interestingly enough, start out very young. The popular image of a prophet is a gray bearded old man who shows up on the scene saying, "Flee from the wrath to come!" But the real prophets, they start out very young and they prophesy for many years and by the time the real crisis arrives, the time when they have got to speak and be believed, they are well known, established, controversial public figures. They didn't come out of nowhere.

Jeremiah is the son of a priest and therefore, a hereditary priest himself. He dates from about 627 B.C. , they tell us, and he was active for something close to 50 years. The great prophet Isaiah had been dead about 30 years before Jeremiah became active. Ezekiel goes captive to Babylon some 30 years after Jeremiah begins his work and Ezekiel becomes active in Babylon.

You have them in order as it were, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were contemporary for a short time in Judah and probably even knew one another. We can talk more about the background of Jeremiah but probably it's best to let him tell it himself.

Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 1, "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 13th year of his reign."

This is where they get the date 627.

Verse 3, "It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, all the way to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month."

So the dates encompassed here are from 627 to 597 B.C., some 30 years. All dates by the way in the Bible like this are approximate and depend on which scholar you happen to be listening to and that's why I say ‘about’.

God Knew Jeremiah in the Womb

Jeremiah continued to be active for some years afterward in Egypt and possibly beyond 597.

Jeremiah 1 verse 4, "Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you and I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

This is a remarkable statement, what the LORD is saying here is, before there was even any shape to Jeremiah in the womb, I would say perhaps, very shortly after conception, The LORD says, "I knew you." Jeremiah was identifiable, who he was, was determined, and so the LORD said, "I set you apart before you came out of the womb," which means, having been set apart, Jeremiah was holy and he was ordained or appointed a prophet to the nations.

"Then I said," Jeremiah speaking in verse 6, "Ah, Lord God! I can't speak, I am a child."

The choice was made before he was born, and the movement of this young boy, into activity was very early. He felt he was totally unqualified. This was of course was while Josiah was King and Josiah was a good king. These were good times in Judah, when there really wouldn't have been a lot of work for a prophet. If you read the biblical prophets, you would know what I'm talking about when I say not a lot of work, because when people are doing the right thing, why should God send a prophet to pat them on the head, just because you're living your life right, you're telling the truth, you're not stealing from your neighbor, you're not committing adultery with your neighbor's wife. you are just living a good life, why should God send a prophet to congratulate you for what you're doing. Well He doesn't! When he sends the prophets, it is not to congratulate you but to kick you in the rear and say, "It's about time for you to shape up, buddy!"

Jeremiah’s Calling

So here is Jeremiah's call. Let's go to work! Jeremiah says in verse 6 of Jeremiah 1, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for ‘I am a child’." {7} "But the LORD said unto me, "Don't tell me, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatsoever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, because I am with you to deliver you," says the LORD."

Now this sets the stage for the kind of prophet Jeremiah is going to be. He is going to be adversarial and he is going to be controversial. People are not going to like what he has to say, they're going to fight against him and God's going to have to deliver him, more than once as it turns out.

Jeremiah tells us in verse 9, "Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: "Look, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant."

We know what followed on the heels of this, in fact if you read all the way through Jeremiah's prophecy and the associated histories within the Bible, we get a lot of rooting out, pulling down and destruction, because that seems to be where Israel was headed and what is going to take place. We really don't encounter much in the way of building and planting in the historical narrative or in the prophecy. Well, yes we do find it in the prophecy, we just don't find it historically fulfilled by Jeremiah. We do know that Jeremiah eventually went to Egypt with a remnant of the captives of Judah and there is a story that he eventually made his way to Ireland with one of the royal princesses of Judah and planted the throne of Israel in Ireland.

I have nothing in print on that subject but I can refer you to a source for the information if you'd like to have it.

What Did Jeremiah See?

Let's listen now to the rest of what God had to say to this fledgling prophet Jeremiah.

"Moreover the word of the LORD came to me saying," in verse 11 of Jeremiah 1, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" He said, "Well I see a branch of an almond tree." The LORD said to me, ""You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word."

Now it's kind of odd, why does that one thing tell you the other, and of course, if you know the trees of Palestine, you would understand that the almond tree is absolutely the first tree in the spring to bud, so the fact it is going to be a rod of an almond tree means, it's going to be early.

Continuing in verse 13, "And the word of the LORD came to me the second time saying, "What do you see? And I said, "I see a boiling pot, and it is facing toward the north." Then the LORD said to me: "Out of the north, an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land, for low I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north," saith the LORD, " and they shall come, they shall set everyone his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem against all the walls round about it and against all the cities of Judah."

Every bit of this happened historically, the Babylonians did come down and besieged all the cities and finally besieged and took Jerusalem. Now what is curious about this is, that Daniel later will speak of a King of the North, and the King of the South will push at the king of the North, and the King of the North will come rolling back down against him, and will enter into the glorious land, that is into Palestine, and every indication is, he surrounds Jerusalem again from the north. It happened again.

History Repeats Itself

Do you understand what I meant when I said earlier, that history repeats itself and that's the reason why these prophecies were written down for us to look at them and say "This happened before." It happened again. Is it going to happen yet another time in the future?

Well Jesus said plainly, that in the end (Luke 21:20-28), Jerusalem would once again be surrounded with armies and if you're there, you better get out of the city and away from there when you see it coming, because it is going to be destroyed, yet again. And other indications in prophecy suggest, this one also will come down from the north, which is really about the only major way for an entry to be made into Palestine except from Egypt in the South.

So you see what I mean, by history repeating itself, prophecy being dual in its relationships and showing up again and again down through history, and why it is, that it might be important for those of us in this generation to look back and examine the history of what happened at Jerusalem in the past, for it may be close to happening again.

But here's what happened, the other time, the first time. In verse 16 of Jeremiah 1 , God says, "I will utter my judgments against them concerning all their wickedness who have forsaken me, have burned incense to other gods and have worshiped the works of their own hands."

They Worshiped the Works of Their Own Hands

Now you can easily understand how God would use this term 'worshiped the works of their own hands' relative to people making a graven image or an idol and then bowing down to the thing and many of the prophets are at some lengths to tell people, "How stupid can you be? You made this thing, you fastened it on this board that you carry it around with, it can't walk, it can't move, you have to carry it and you pray to this thing, expecting it can do something when you have to carry it?"

That's the kind of idol they worshiped then, but now, in the 21st century, if you watch television, you might get the impression that we worship the works of our own hands, like new cars and television sets and computers that we buy from Dell! We worship the works of our own hands, in a way, just like they did.

The LORD is with Jeremiah

"Now therefore," the LORD says in Jeremiah 1verse 17, "gird up your loins, get dressed, and get up and I want you to tell them everything I command you. I don't want you to be dismayed at their faces, lest I confound you before them. They are going to roll their eyebrows, they are going make faces, they are going turn the corners of her mouth down and they will act like they think you're crazy but you don't pay any attention to them, for I have made you this day a defense city and an iron pillar, and brass walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against all the princes of it, against the priests, against the people of the land. They will fight against you but they will not win, for I am with you," says the LORD, "to deliver you."

Now considering that Jeremiah was just a kid when God told him this, this had to be more than a little bit daunting, but there is in Jeremiah's prophecy from beginning to end not a hint that Jeremiah ever yielded an inch, but boy, does this layout for him, what he is going to have to face. The fact is, those who tell the truth to power, are going to have to be strong, now every bit as much as then.

Governments See God as a Rival

I suppose it should be obvious but we might as well make this clear, no government is ever going to want to hear bad news from a prophet. The truth is that governments tend to take on the role of God for the people and they tend to see the real God as a rival. I am not talking here about any individual leader, I'm talking about the system, keep your eyes open and never forget for a moment that governmental systems tend to see God as a rival. The evidence of it is in the news nearly every day. Jeremiah faced it then, he would face it right now, today, if he were here.

Israel and America Believed in God at First

"Moreover," Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 1, "the word of the LORD came to me saying. "Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem saying, "Thus saith the LORD, "I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals, when you went after Me in the wilderness in the land that was not sown.""

What an interesting statement he makes here, "I remember you" says God. "I remember how you felt toward me when you were young. I remember the love you had for me at the first, when you followed me in the wilderness in a land that was not sown."

There's an interesting parallel between this statement and our own history as a people. When our forefathers founded this country, they started out by saying, "We do hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."

When we started this country we recognized God as our creator. We knew Him as the guarantor of our rights and of our freedoms. Our land was surely a wilderness, the land that was not sown but as the people came here, they believed in God. They may not have followed him very well. They surely did not follow him the same way but there was a belief, in God, the creator, and people did believe in the Bible and that the Bible was true, even when they honored it in the breach. We took steps in this land to guarantee our religious freedom, steps that have been turned against us now in a determined effort to remove God from public life in this country.

There's a war going on, Rabbi Daniel Lapin has called it, 'America's Real War' between those who would remove God from the country entirely and those of us who are trying to keep Him in the public mind."

"Israel," God said in verse 3 of Jeremiah 2, "was holiness to the LORD and the firstfruits of his increase, all that devour Israel shall offend and evil shall come upon them," saith the LORD. {4} "Hear the word of the LORD, house of Jacob, all the families of the house of Israel. {5} Thus saith the LORD, "What iniquity have your fathers found in Me that they have gone from Me and walked after vanity and a become vain?"

So I will ask the question of the American people, right now. What did God do wrong? Where did He make a mistake? What lawlessness have you found in God? How has He offended us? What has He done wrong to us that we have begun as a people to go far from Him and have walked after vanity and have become vain?

Continuing now in Jeremiah, verse 6, "Neither said they, "Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man lived?"

And I might say to the American people today, they don't say "Where is the Lord that brought us through two great world wars? Where is the God that has been on our side through the fight for independence, through the war of 1812, through all the wars of our past, through all of our trials, and all of our troubles? Where is that God? Well, He hasn't left, HAVE WE?

"I brought you," speaks God in verse 7, "into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof, and the goodness thereof, and when you got in there, you defiled my land and you made my heritage an abomination."

Where did America go wrong? What's the cause? Who led us down this garden path to destruction that we seem to be headed on?

Well listen to what Jeremiah said to Israel under God's direction of old. Continuing in verse 8, "The priests did not say, "Where is the LORD? And they that handled the law didn't know Me. The pastors also transgressed against Me and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that were worthless."

Do you realize what He is saying here? The LORD is saying the problems started with the religious leaders, the priests, the pastors, and incidentally, the lawyers, the people who handle the law. They would not say, "Where is God? Why don't we look for God? Why don't we trust God? Why don't we turn to God? NO, they didn't do that!

Now exactly where the priests and the pastors went wrong is a matter for its own field of investigation. In fact, there's a pretty good chance if you go talk to your pastor, that he can tell you where the changes began to take place from the great preachers of the past to the preachers of today and the kind of thing they're trying to tell us both from pulpits and from the stage. I call it a stage advisedly, in many of the television churches, for that's what it is, it is a place for performance, not a place for telling people the hard truth about the way they live their lives. (About their sins, iniquities and abominations against God and how they need to repent.)

What Kind of a Nation Would Change their god?

However, God says in verse 9 of Jeremiah 2, "I will yet plead with you," says the LORD, "and with your grandchildren, I will plead. {10} I will pass over the isles and consider diligently {11} and see if I can find anywhere in the world where a nation has changed their gods who are no gods?"

God said, "It is really something to see out there, that there are all kinds of nations that have gods and idols that they have to carry to get from one place to another and they will go through generation after generation and will never change their gods, but My people will. My people, to whom I have appeared, for whom I have done all these wonderful things, whom I have blessed and given this great land, my people will forget Me at the drop of a hat." He says, "My people have changed their glory for that which isn't worth a dime.

Continuing in Jeremiah 2 verse 12, "Be astonished, you heavens at this, and be horribly afraid and be very desolate," saith the LORD. {13} "For my people have committed two great evils, they have walked away from me, the fountain of living waters and they have cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

They walked away from the fountain of life and have gone to something which has nothing whatsoever to offer them. What are they going to? Well, if you look at our country, our world right now, it would seem to be the 'works of their own hands'.

"Is Israel a servant," verse 14, "is he a home born slave? Why is he spoiled? {15} The young lions roared up on him and yelled and they made his land waste, his cities are burned without inhabitant."

Because early on, long before they went into captivity, there had been invasion after invasion and the cities had been burned.

Verse 17 of chapter 2, "Haven't you brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the LORD your God, when He actually led you by the way? The LORD was leading you step-by-step down the right path and you left Him. {18} And now why are you going down to Egypt looking for help? Why are you going to the Assyrians and drink the waters of their river? Why are you doing this? {19} Your own wickedness shall correct you, your backsliding shall reprove you, know therefore and see, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and that you don't fear Me anymore," saith the Lord God of hosts."

You may think this path you're walking is a good path but you are going to find it is bitter beyond belief. What makes this so sad, is that Israel told God in verse 20, "Oh, I will not transgress, I will do the right thing," then God said, "You went out there, and everywhere you went, you played the harlot."

We will talk more about Jeremiah next time, until then, I'm Ronald Dart and you were Born to Win.

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This article was transcribed with

minor editing from a Born to Win Radio Program by: Ronald L. Dart

Titled: Jeremiah - Program #2

Transcribed by: bb 7-19-22

Ronald L. Dart was an evangelist and is heard daily and weekly on his Born to Win radio program. 
The program can be heard on over one hundred radio stations across the nation.

In the Portsmouth, Ohio area you can listen to the Born to Win radio program on 
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