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About Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF has been a member since July 10th 2011, and has created 2210 posts from scratch.

Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF's Bio

I am a originally from Canada. I am a pastor of a house church ministry praying for the people of DeKalb, IL and the students of NIU. I also work as nurse. My wife Julie and myself are raising five wonderful children, who are serving the Lord together.

Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF's Websites

This Author's Website is http://christianfamilyonchristsmission.com/

Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF's Recent Articles

Jeremiah 49:1-39: Past Glory Is Nothing: Humbly Submit To The Lord Now

Past Glory Is Nothing: Humbly Submit To The Lord Now

Jeremiah 49:1-39                        Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 49:16                         4-9-18

“The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.”

Part 1: Jeremiah Lived In Hope (1-6)

Verses 1-6, “Concerning the Ammonites: This is what the Lord says: “Has Israel no sons? Has Israel no heir? Why then has Molek taken possession of Gad?  Why do his people live in its towns? 2 But the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will sound the battle cry against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it will become a mound of ruins, and its surrounding villages will be set on fire. Then Israel will drive out those who drove her out,” says the Lord.3 “Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed! Cry out, you inhabitants of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth and mourn; rush here and there inside the walls, for Molek will go into exile, together with his priests and officials. 4 Why do you boast of your valleys, boast of your valleys so fruitful? Unfaithful Daughter Ammon, you trust in your riches and say, ‘Who will attack me?’ 5 I will bring terror on you from all those around you,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.“ Every one of you will be driven away, and no one will gather the fugitives.6 “Yet afterward, I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites,” declares the Lord.

The Ammonites, descendants of Lot, lived on the east side of Jordan. Their god was the blood-thirsty, passion-ridden Molech. The Ammonites occupied Gilead, a part of the tribal inheritance of Gad. In other words, they had moved into Israelite territory and took over their land. When they took over their land, they brought with them their idol Molech. It was a travesty.

But God promised that the Ammonites would be driven out and that their god Molech would be driven out with them. There is also hope that the Israelites would come and fill the land that God had given them as part of his promise.

However, God would be merciful the Ammonites. He would someday restore the fortunes of Ammon. God was also merciful to them in that they were not totally annihilated like some former nations were. They were allowed to grow and be a nation. There was some purpose for them in the future centuries.

Jeremiah lived in hope.  He looked forward to the time when Israel would reclaim her territory and drive the Ammonites out. He knew God’s promises to his people. He had hope that the people of God would be restored to the land and again live in the land of Gad. Jeremiah was living in hope.

Living in hope at this time was not easy. The remnant was now in Egypt and would die by the sword and famine. There were others who were building a new life in Babylon. There were people from foreign nations occupying the land and introducing their idol worship to the people. How hopeless can things get?

But yet Jeremiah lived in hope. He hoped against all hope. He could do so because he had hope in God. He had absolute faith that God would do exactly what he had promised he would do, to bring his people back from exile to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Part 2: God’s Justice Will Prevail (7-22)

Verses 7-22, “Concerning Edom: This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed? 8 Turn and flee, hide in deep caves, you who live in Dedan, for I will bring disaster on Esau at the time when I punish him. 9 If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes? If thieves came during the night, would they not steal only as much as they wanted? 10 But I will strip Esau bare; I will uncover his hiding places, so that he cannot conceal himself. His armed men are destroyed, also his allies and neighbors, so there is no one to say, 11 ‘Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive. Your widows too can depend on me.’”

12 This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished but must drink it. 13 I swear by myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse, an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.”

14 I have heard a message from the Lord; an envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Assemble yourselves to attack it! Rise up for battle!”15 “Now I will make you small among the nations, despised by mankind. 16 The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.17 “Edom will become an object of horror; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 18 As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, along with their neighboring towns,” says the Lord, “so no one will live there; no people will dwell in it.19 “Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Edom from its land in an instant.    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?”20 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Edom, what he has purposed against those who live in Teman: The young of the flock will be dragged away; their pasture will be appalled at their fate.21 At the sound of their fall the earth will tremble; their cry will resound to the Red Sea. 22 Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down, spreading its wings over Bozrah.  In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”

The Edomites, descendants of Esau, lived south of the Dead Sea. Once they had been proud and powerful, striking terror in the hearts of neighbors. They lived in the clefts of the rocks and occupied the heights of the hills. They built their nest as high as the eagle’s. But God would find them out. God’s judgment on Edom by the hand of Babylon would be swift and sure (16). I can see here that no one can escape God’s justice. If they were striking terror in the hearts of their neighbors then one day they would have to answer to God. Nations cannot go about inflicting terror on other nations and feel that they can always get away with it. One day they will be “dragged way” though they feel secure.

God pours out his judgement and not us. His justice prevails. God is the one wo doles out his justice on wicked nations. We can trust that. We are just beings. We want justice. We want to be treated justly. This is part of our human identity. It is part of the image of God within us. But what do we do when we experience unjust treatment? We must trust God to bring about his justice. “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” (Deuteronomy 32:35). Instead of retaliating, we need to trust God that he will bring about his judgement in his time and in his way.

Part 3: Damascus, Kedar, Hazor and Elam (23-39)

Verses 23-39, “23 Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea. 24 Damascus has become feeble, she has turned to flee and panic has gripped her; anguish and pain have seized her, pain like that of a woman in labor.25 Why has the city of renown not been abandoned, the town in which I delight? 26 Surely, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord Almighty.27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus; it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.”

A Message About Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked: This is what the Lord says: “Arise, and attack Kedar and destroy the people of the East.29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken; their shelters will be carried off with all their goods and camels. People will shout to them, ‘Terror on every side!’ 30 “Flee quickly away!   Stay in deep caves, you who live in Hazor,” declares the Lord. “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has plotted against you; he has devised a plan against you. 31 “Arise and attack a nation at ease, which lives in confidence,” declares the Lord, “a nation that has neither gates nor bars; its people live far from danger. 32 Their camels will become plunder, and their large herds will be spoils of war. I will scatter to the winds those who are in distant places and will bring disaster on them from every side,” declares the Lord. 33 “Hazor will become a haunt of jackals, a desolate place forever. No one will live there; no people will dwell in it.”

A Message About Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah: 35 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. 36 I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go. 37 I will shatter Elam before their foes, before those who want to kill them; I will bring disaster on them, even my fierce anger,” declares the Lord. “I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them. 38 I will set my throne in Elam and destroy her king and officials,” declares the Lord. 39 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come,” declares the Lord.”

Damascus was the capital of Aram; Kedar and Hazor were neighboring cities. Elam was east of Babylon. For a while they felt secure from Babylonian encroachment. But disaster would come upon them too. They were not out of reach of judgement. God’s judgement would reach them also.

All of these nations felt a false sense of security based on their past glory. They had achieved some level of human glory. They had been powerful nations. But they were proud and arrogant. They prided themselves on their military power. They were leading the people of God astray with their false religions. There came a time that they would be humbled.

No person or nation should rest in a false sense of security based on their past human glory. Focusing on past glory deceives us. It makes us blind to the fact of our present human condition. It deceives us to think that we something when we are not. All human glory fades. Human glory is deceptive. These nations thought that they were powerful enough to withstand the Babylonians. But it was not true. They too would be dragged away and defeated.

God holds the future of all nations in his hands. All nations. There is not a nation in the world that is too far from the hand of God. The whole world must come humbly and bow their knee to the God of the Bible… to Jesus.

Prayer: “Lord, there is no place for pride or arrogance or a false sense of security. You are the Lord. I want to bow before you. May the nations of the world bow down before you and declare that Jesus is Lord.”

One Word: Past human glory will not save you. You must bow down before the Lord.

Jeremiah 49:1-39: Past Glory Is Nothing: Humbly Submit To The Lord Now

Past Glory Is Nothing: Humbly Submit To The Lord Now

Jeremiah 49:1-39                        Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 49:16                         4-9-18

“The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.”

Part 1: Jeremiah Lived In Hope (1-6)

Verses 1-6, “Concerning the Ammonites: This is what the Lord says: “Has Israel no sons? Has Israel no heir? Why then has Molek taken possession of Gad?  Why do his people live in its towns? 2 But the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will sound the battle cry against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it will become a mound of ruins, and its surrounding villages will be set on fire. Then Israel will drive out those who drove her out,” says the Lord.3 “Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed! Cry out, you inhabitants of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth and mourn; rush here and there inside the walls, for Molek will go into exile, together with his priests and officials. 4 Why do you boast of your valleys, boast of your valleys so fruitful? Unfaithful Daughter Ammon, you trust in your riches and say, ‘Who will attack me?’ 5 I will bring terror on you from all those around you,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.“ Every one of you will be driven away, and no one will gather the fugitives.6 “Yet afterward, I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites,” declares the Lord.

The Ammonites, descendants of Lot, lived on the east side of Jordan. Their god was the blood-thirsty, passion-ridden Molech. The Ammonites occupied Gilead, a part of the tribal inheritance of Gad. In other words, they had moved into Israelite territory and took over their land. When they took over their land, they brought with them their idol Molech. It was a travesty.

But God promised that the Ammonites would be driven out and that their god Molech would be driven out with them. There is also hope that the Israelites would come and fill the land that God had given them as part of his promise.

However, God would be merciful the Ammonites. He would someday restore the fortunes of Ammon. God was also merciful to them in that they were not totally annihilated like some former nations were. They were allowed to grow and be a nation. There was some purpose for them in the future centuries.

Jeremiah lived in hope.  He looked forward to the time when Israel would reclaim her territory and drive the Ammonites out. He knew God’s promises to his people. He had hope that the people of God would be restored to the land and again live in the land of Gad. Jeremiah was living in hope.

Living in hope at this time was not easy. The remnant was now in Egypt and would die by the sword and famine. There were others who were building a new life in Babylon. There were people from foreign nations occupying the land and introducing their idol worship to the people. How hopeless can things get?

But yet Jeremiah lived in hope. He hoped against all hope. He could do so because he had hope in God. He had absolute faith that God would do exactly what he had promised he would do, to bring his people back from exile to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Part 2: God’s Justice Will Prevail (7-22)

Verses 7-22, “Concerning Edom: This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed? 8 Turn and flee, hide in deep caves, you who live in Dedan, for I will bring disaster on Esau at the time when I punish him. 9 If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes? If thieves came during the night, would they not steal only as much as they wanted? 10 But I will strip Esau bare; I will uncover his hiding places, so that he cannot conceal himself. His armed men are destroyed, also his allies and neighbors, so there is no one to say, 11 ‘Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive. Your widows too can depend on me.’”

12 This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished but must drink it. 13 I swear by myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse, an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.”

14 I have heard a message from the Lord; an envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Assemble yourselves to attack it! Rise up for battle!”15 “Now I will make you small among the nations, despised by mankind. 16 The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.17 “Edom will become an object of horror; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 18 As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, along with their neighboring towns,” says the Lord, “so no one will live there; no people will dwell in it.19 “Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Edom from its land in an instant.    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?”20 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Edom, what he has purposed against those who live in Teman: The young of the flock will be dragged away; their pasture will be appalled at their fate.21 At the sound of their fall the earth will tremble; their cry will resound to the Red Sea. 22 Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down, spreading its wings over Bozrah.  In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”

The Edomites, descendants of Esau, lived south of the Dead Sea. Once they had been proud and powerful, striking terror in the hearts of neighbors. They lived in the clefts of the rocks and occupied the heights of the hills. They built their nest as high as the eagle’s. But God would find them out. God’s judgment on Edom by the hand of Babylon would be swift and sure (16). I can see here that no one can escape God’s justice. If they were striking terror in the hearts of their neighbors then one day they would have to answer to God. Nations cannot go about inflicting terror on other nations and feel that they can always get away with it. One day they will be “dragged way” though they feel secure.

God pours out his judgement and not us. His justice prevails. God is the one wo doles out his justice on wicked nations. We can trust that. We are just beings. We want justice. We want to be treated justly. This is part of our human identity. It is part of the image of God within us. But what do we do when we experience unjust treatment? We must trust God to bring about his justice. “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” (Deuteronomy 32:35). Instead of retaliating, we need to trust God that he will bring about his judgement in his time and in his way.

Part 3: Damascus, Kedar, Hazor and Elam (23-39)

Verses 23-39, “23 Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea. 24 Damascus has become feeble, she has turned to flee and panic has gripped her; anguish and pain have seized her, pain like that of a woman in labor.25 Why has the city of renown not been abandoned, the town in which I delight? 26 Surely, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord Almighty.27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus; it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.”

A Message About Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked: This is what the Lord says: “Arise, and attack Kedar and destroy the people of the East.29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken; their shelters will be carried off with all their goods and camels. People will shout to them, ‘Terror on every side!’ 30 “Flee quickly away!   Stay in deep caves, you who live in Hazor,” declares the Lord. “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has plotted against you; he has devised a plan against you. 31 “Arise and attack a nation at ease, which lives in confidence,” declares the Lord, “a nation that has neither gates nor bars; its people live far from danger. 32 Their camels will become plunder, and their large herds will be spoils of war. I will scatter to the winds those who are in distant places and will bring disaster on them from every side,” declares the Lord. 33 “Hazor will become a haunt of jackals, a desolate place forever. No one will live there; no people will dwell in it.”

A Message About Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah: 35 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. 36 I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go. 37 I will shatter Elam before their foes, before those who want to kill them; I will bring disaster on them, even my fierce anger,” declares the Lord. “I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them. 38 I will set my throne in Elam and destroy her king and officials,” declares the Lord. 39 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come,” declares the Lord.”

Damascus was the capital of Aram; Kedar and Hazor were neighboring cities. Elam was east of Babylon. For a while they felt secure from Babylonian encroachment. But disaster would come upon them too. They were not out of reach of judgement. God’s judgement would reach them also.

All of these nations felt a false sense of security based on their past glory. They had achieved some level of human glory. They had been powerful nations. But they were proud and arrogant. They prided themselves on their military power. They were leading the people of God astray with their false religions. There came a time that they would be humbled.

No person or nation should rest in a false sense of security based on their past human glory. Focusing on past glory deceives us. It makes us blind to the fact of our present human condition. It deceives us to think that we something when we are not. All human glory fades. Human glory is deceptive. These nations thought that they were powerful enough to withstand the Babylonians. But it was not true. They too would be dragged away and defeated.

God holds the future of all nations in his hands. All nations. There is not a nation in the world that is too far from the hand of God. The whole world must come humbly and bow their knee to the God of the Bible… to Jesus.

Prayer: “Lord, there is no place for pride or arrogance or a false sense of security. You are the Lord. I want to bow before you. May the nations of the world bow down before you and declare that Jesus is Lord.”

One Word: Past human glory will not save you. You must bow down before the Lord.

Jeremiah 47-48: Philistia and Moab Invite God’s Discipline On Themselves

Philistia and Moab Invite God’s Discipline On Themselves

Jeremiah 47:1-48:47                             Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 48:10                                    4-8-18

“A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!    A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed”

Part 1: God Works In Anyway He Chooses (47:1-7)

Verses 47:1-7, “47 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza: 2 This is what the Lord says: “See how the waters are rising in the north; they will become an overflowing torrent. They will overflow the land and everything in it, the towns and those who live in them.  The people will cry out; all who dwell in the land will wail 3 at the sound of the hooves of galloping steeds, at the noise of enemy chariots and the rumble of their wheels. Parents will not turn to help their children; their hands will hang limp. 4 For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to remove all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The Lord is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.5 Gaza will shave her head in mourning; Ashkelon will be silenced. You remnant on the plain how long will you cut yourselves? 6 “‘Alas, sword of the Lord, how long till you rest? Return to your sheath; cease and be still.’7But how can it rest when the Lord has commanded it when he has ordered it to attack Ashkelon and the coast?”

God can use godless people to accomplish his purposes.  Jeremiah predicted that Babylon, not Egypt would be God’s instrument of judgment on Philistia. The “waters rising in the north” (2) refer to Babylon. Babylon was the “sword of the Lord.” (6) It is hard for people to accept a godless nation, like the Babylonians serve as God’s instrument of judgement. But it is true. Babylon would have to face judgement one day for their sins. They were not getting away with anything. Their own kingdom would fall to the Persians in about seventy years from the time of the exile.

God can use godless people to accomplish his purposes, for he is the Owner of all the world. We cannot put God in a box, saying that God can only work this way and in no other way. God can work how he wants. He is God. He is fulfilling his purposes. And in this chapter, he chooses to work through the godless nation, the Babylonians.

I need to not put God in a box and insist that he must only work in a certain way. I want to be open to follow God and hang on tight as he leads me in ways that I could never imagine. How is God going to send career missionaries to remote communities in northern Canada? How will God build up the body of Christ among us here in Dekalb/Sycamore? He is working and will continue to work in very imaginative and “out of the box” ways.

When we are in the midst of suffering, we must also ask ourselves, “What is God doing through all of these events.”. We may in the throws to pain and anguish. Our nations may be suffering at the hands of a cruel enemy. We must ask, “What does all of this mean? How am I to respond to this? What is God trying to teach me?” There may not be a clear answer. But I do know that God is working out his sovereign plan. He is in control. He has never stopped trying to teach us and grow us in faith and closer to him.”

Sometimes we don’t want to know why we are suffering, because like Moabites, we may be called to repentance. God’s goal is humbly us and draw us closer to him. That is not easy to accept. Could the present world events with Muslim extremists or with Russia and China be a message for America? What could happen to America if we let pride and arrogance grow unchecked? It is something to think about. It is a definitely a call to search out hearts and our souls.

Part 2: Moab’s Pride and Arrogance Will Be Checked (48:1-47)

Verse 48:1-47, “Concerning Moab: This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.  Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured; the stronghold will be disgraced and shattered. 2 Moab will be praised no more; in Heshbon people will plot her downfall: ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation. ’You, the people of Madmen, will also be silenced; the sword will pursue you. 3 Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim, cries of great havoc and destruction. 4 Moab will be broken; her little ones will cry out. 5 They go up the hill to Luhith, weeping bitterly as they go; on the road down to Horonaim anguished cries over the destruction are heard.6 Flee! Run for your lives; become like a bush in the desert.7 Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his priests and officials. 8 The destroyer will come against every town,  and not a town will escape. The valley will be ruined and the plateau destroyed, because the Lord has spoken. 9 Put salt on Moab, for she will be laid waste ;her towns will become desolate, with no one to live in them. 10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed! 11 “Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another— she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged. 12 But days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will send men who pour from pitchers, and they will pour her out; they will empty her pitchers and smash her jars. 13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as Israel was ashamed when they trusted in Bethel. 14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors, men valiant in battle’? 15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded; her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,” declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty. 16 “The fall of Moab is at hand; her calamity will come quickly. 17 Mourn for her, all who live around her, all who know her fame; say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter, how broken the glorious staff!’ 18 “Come down from your glory and sit on the parched ground, you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon, for the one who destroys Moab will come up against you and ruin your fortified cities. 19 Stand by the road and watch, you who live in Aroer. Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping, ask them, ‘What has happened?’ 20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered.  Wail and cry out! Announce by the Arnon  that Moab is destroyed.21 Judgment has come to the plateau—  to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath, 22  to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim, 23  to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon, 24  to Kerioth and Bozrah—  to all the towns of Moab, far and near.25 Moab’s horn is cut off; her arm is broken,” declares the Lord. 26 “Make her drunk, for she has defied the Lord. Let Moab wallow in her vomit; let her be an object of ridicule. 27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule?  Was she caught among thieves, that you shake your head in scorn whenever you speak of her? 28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks, you who live in Moab. Be like a dove that makes its nest at the mouth of a cave. 29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance! —of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart. 30 I know her insolence but it is futile,” declares the Lord, “and her boasts accomplish nothing. 31 Therefore I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth. 32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps, you vines of Sibmah. Your branches spread as far as the sea; they reached as far as Jazer. The destroyer has fallen on your ripened fruit and grapes. 33 Joy and gladness are gone from the orchards and fields of Moab. I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses no one treads them with shouts of joy. Although there are shouts, they are not shouts of joy. 34 “The sound of their cry rises  from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah, for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up. 35 In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods,” declares the Lord. 36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe; it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.    The wealth they acquired is gone. 37 Every head is shaved and every beard cut off;  every hand is slashed    and every waist is covered with sackcloth. 38 On all the roofs in Moab and in the public squares there is nothing but mourning, for I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants,” declares the Lord. 39 “How shattered she is! How they wail!    How Moab turns her back in shame! Moab has become an object of ridicule, an object of horror to all those around her.”40 This is what the Lord says: “Look! An eagle is swooping down, spreading its wings over Moab. 41 Kerioth will be captured and the strongholds taken. In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor.42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the Lord. 43 Terror and pit and snare await you, you people of Moab,” declares the Lord.44 “Whoever flees from the terror will fall into a pit, whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare; for I will bring on Moab the year of her punishment,” declares the Lord. 45 “In the shadow of Heshbon the fugitives stand helpless, for a fire has gone out from Heshbon, a blaze from the midst of Sihon; it burns the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of the noisy boasters. 46 Woe to you, Moab! The people of Chemosh are destroyed; your sons are taken into exile and your daughters into captivity. 47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the Lord. Here ends the judgment on Moab.”

There are a lot of verses here to digest. I tried to highlight some verses to distill it down and see what God is trying to say to Moab here in this passage.

Flee! Run for your lives;….(10)

“A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed! …

(14) “How can you say, ‘We are warriors, men valiant in battle’?… ’

20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered. …2

5 Moab’s horn is cut off; her arm is broken,”…

26 Let Moab wallow in her vomit;….

33 Joy and gladness are gone from the orchards and fields of Moab….

35 In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods,”…

38 for I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants,” …

(39) How Moab turns her back in shame! Moab has become an object of ridicule, an object of horror to all those around her.”

(41) In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor… (42b) because she defied the Lord. …

(45) the skulls of the noisy boasters.

It seems that Moab was very boastful. They thought they were a nation of valiant warriors. She thought that she was powerful. They were enjoying life with joy and gladness coming from their orchards. Verses 29-30 reveal what was making him so upset about Moab. “We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance! —of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart. 30 I know her insolence but it is futile,” declares the Lord, “and her boasts accomplish nothing.” Moab had a bad history with God’s people. They had frequently harassed Israel. They had tried to curse the Israelites in the wilderness (Nu 22-25).

It was their time to be judged for their sins. Chemosh was the god of Moab (7,13). He would go into exile with the Moabites who worshiped him. The cities of Moab from one end to the other (Heshbon to Zoan) would be destroyed (9), because Moab had defied the Lord (42).  God encouraged Babylon to sweep into Moab with its armies. They were not to be lax in doing the Lord’s work–the work of punishing Moab (10).

God’s hand of judgment has a redemptive purpose. His people, the people of Judah would be refined and return to the Lord with humble obedient hearts. Even Moab could be restored. Look at verse 45 says, “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the Lord. Here ends the judgment on Moab.” God leaves people with hope, even though they would be receiving some very harsh treatment.

I think that the main point here is that we need to repent of our pride, arrogance and our boastfulness. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6). We like to boast about ourselves, but what do we really have to boast about? What do we have that we have not been given? 1 Corinthians 4:7 reads, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

If we want to exalt ourselves and think more about ourselves than we ought, we must repent pray that God may transform our hearts into humble hearts. God’s divine discipline is going to happen. We should not wait for God to do it for us through some very difficult discipline.

Prayer: “Lord, there are so many times that I am proud and arrogant, thinking I am more than I am. Help me to be humble and thankful and obey your words.”

One Word: Pride and arrogance invite God’s discipline.

Jeremiah 46:1-28: Seek Healing Through “The Balm of Gilead”

Seek Healing Through “The Balm of Gilead”

Jeremiah 46:1-28                    Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 46:11                     4-8-18

“Go up to Gilead and get balm, Virgin Daughter Egypt. But you try many medicines in vain; there is no healing for you.”

Part 1: Healing Comes Through the Balm of Gilead (1-26)

Verses 1-26, “This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations: 2 Concerning Egypt: This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: 3 “Prepare your shields, both large and small, and march out for battle! 4 Harness the horses, mount the steeds! Take your positions with helmets on! Polish your spears, put on your armor! 5 What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,” declares the Lord. 6 “The swift cannot flee nor the strong escape. In the north by the River Euphrates they stumble and fall. 7 “Who is this that rises like the Nile, like rivers of surging waters? 8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers of surging waters. She says, ‘I will rise and cover the earth; I will destroy cities and their people.’ 9 Charge, you horses! Drive furiously, you charioteers! March on, you warriors—men of Cush and Put who carry shields, men of Lydia who draw the bow. 10 But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty— a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes. The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst with blood. For the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will offer sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates. 11Go up to Gilead and get balm, Virgin Daughter Egypt. But you try many medicines in vain; there is no healing for you.

12 The nations will hear of your shame; your cries will fill the earth. One warrior will stumble over another; both will fall down together.” 13 This is the message the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to attack Egypt: 14 “Announce this in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol;  proclaim it also in Memphis and Tahpanhes: ‘Take your positions and get ready, for the sword devours those around you.’ 15 Why will your warriors be laid low? They cannot stand, for the Lord will push them down. 16 They will stumble repeatedly; they will fall over each other. They will say, ‘Get up, let us go back to our own people and our native lands, away from the sword of the oppressor.’ 17 There they will exclaim, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is only a loud noise; he has missed his opportunity.’ 18 “As surely as I live,” declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty, “one will come who is like Tabor among the mountains, like Carmel by the sea. 19 Pack your belongings for exile, you who live in Egypt, for Memphis will be laid waste and lie in ruins without inhabitant. 20 “Egypt is a beautiful heifer, but a gadfly is coming against her from the north.

21 The mercenaries in her ranks are like fattened calves. They too will turn and flee together, they will not stand their ground, for the day of disaster is coming upon them, the time for them to be punished. 22 Egypt will hiss like a fleeing serpent as the enemy advances in force; they will come against her with axes, like men who cut down trees.23 They will chop down her forest, “declares the Lord, “dense though it be. They are more numerous than locusts, they cannot be counted.24 Daughter Egypt will be put to shame, given into the hands of the people of the north.”

25 The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh. 26 I will give them into the hands of those who want to kill them—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited as in times past,” declares the Lord.

The people of Judah had hope in Egypt. Many thought that Egypt would defeat the Babylonian Empire and save Judah. But this was not to be. Pharaoh Neco of Egypt suffered a devastating defeat by the Babylonians at Carchemish, and Egypt’s bid for world power evaporated.

Babylon’s conquest of Egypt was God’s hand of judgment on Egypt and her gods and kings, and on those who relied on Pharaoh. Look at verse 25, “The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.” Egypt was allowing people to hope in it’s society, economy and armies. They did not defer people to the God of the Bible. They let people hope in them. If they were a world power then they needed to use their influence to lead people to the God if the Bible (Jesus) and not to themselves.  In that way they were leading the people astray.

Judah could get no help from Egypt for Egypt was a broken reed itself. God told Egypt to come to him for healing. Look at verse 11, “Go up to Gilead and get balm, Virgin Daughter Egypt. But you try many medicines in vain; there is no healing for you.”

“a small evergreen African and Asian tree (Commiphora opobalsamum synonym C. meccanensis of the family Burseraceae) with aromatic leaves; also: a fragrant oleoresin from this tree.” “an agency that soothes, relieves, or heals.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balm%20of%20Gilead

“In three different places the Old Testament mentions the “balm” or healing ointment that comes from Gilead, the mountainous region east of the Jordan River. When Joseph’s brothers conspired against him in Genesis 37, they sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites from the region of Gilead carrying a load of gum, balm, and myrrh (v. 25). Jeremiah 46:11 mentions the healing balm of Gilead. Jeremiah 8:22 poses a question to the sinning people of Judah:”

“A well-known African-American spiritual applies the words of the text this way: There is a balm in Gilead To make the wounded whole; There is a balm in Gilead To heal the sin sick soul. Jesus is truly the “balm of Gilead” for all the hurting people of the world.”

http://www.jesus.org/is-jesus-god/names-of-jesus/jesus-is-our-balm-of-gilead.html

     I think that God was telling Egypt in verse 11, to see their sin and look to the people of Judah and their God for healing. They need to come to the balm of Gilead.  If this world super power, Egypt, came to God for healing, then they would be healed. Then they would truly be glorifying God with their position and influence for they would be pointing the known world to the God of the Bible.

God would send his judgement Egypt’s way.  Look at verse 10, “But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty— a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes. The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst with blood. For the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will offer sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.” And now look at verse 15 again, “Why will your warriors be laid low? They cannot stand, for the Lord will push them down.” God could not allow, powerful Egypt to stand in the place of God and lead his people astray. He needed to do something. And he chose to bring judgement.

A modern-day example would be if America, for example, would be touting itself as the world’s savior and the panacea for all of the world’s problems. America would then be a self-proclaimed savior and will have to answer to God for that.

What about a person with some influence over others. There are movie stars that are in the media forefront. They have a lot of influence. They affect the lives of billions of people. Are they pointing them to Christ as the Savior or are they pointing the people to themselves and their philosophies of life, as the savior of the world? What about teachers, politicians, authors, professors and even parents. Everyone with some influence over others will have to answer to God how they use that influence, pointing others to Jesus or not.

God’s judgement is not just for the rebellious people of Judah. The other nations may have though that the people of Judah were really sinful to their God and that is why they are being judged. They never thought they would be held accountable by the God of Israel. But God’s judgment is for the whole world. All nations will be judged for their sin. No nation is exempt. Even the Egyptians and yes, even the Babylonians, whom God was working through at that time, would be also judged.

The truth is, we all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5;10 reads, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” All people, of all nations, of all generations must stand before the judgement seat of Christ. The only way to stand in the judgement is to have the right relationship with God. And that is accomplished through Jesus Christ and his Gospel. We need healing by the balm of Gilead. That is the only way I can pass through the judgement.

There is a balm is in Gilead, to make the sinner whole. The balm of Gilead is Jesus. Jesus, through the Gospel makes sinners whole. The balm of Gilead heals the sin sick soul and allows us to pass through the judgment.

Part 2: God Has A Special Relationship With His People (27-28)

Verses 27-28, “27 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. 28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares the Lord. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

God promised to be with his people in their exile. He would destroy the unrepentant, idol worshipping nations in which they tried to find refuge, but they would be protected and spared.

These words reveal a special relationship that God has with his people from Judah. Yes, they deserved to be totally judged for their sin. They deserved to be eradicated because of their rebellion to God. But God still loved them. He still had hope in them. He was still with them and planning to bring them together from the land of exile and help them to live in peace and security.  He was still committed to disciplining them and enabling them to live up to their calling as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

God was planning to discipline his people for a purpose. His discipline is redemptive. His discipline is to bring his people back to him and into the right relationship with him. They would experience some punishment for their sin but this too had a purpose. They needed to know that God is the sovereign Lord, he is holy and that his word stand, like a solid rock. They needed to come humbly and worship their God. God is love. Even when we experience his punishment we must always know that God is love.

Prayer: Lord, I know that there is only one way to be healed and made whole, it is through the balm of Gilead. This is Jesus. Receiving healing through this balm brings glory to you Oh Lord.”

One Word: Go up to Gilead and get God’s balm

Jeremiah 45:1-5: God Will Help Us To Stand In Suffering

God Will Help Us To Stand In Suffering

Jeremiah 45:1-5        Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 45:5         4-6-18

“Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’”

Dear Lord, thank you for strengthening me through your words in Jeremiah. Help me learn your word and stand on it as a solid foundation in this world of shifting sand. Shed your light in me through this passage. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: The Sorrow Of A Servant Of God’s Word (1-3)

Verses 1-3, “When Baruch son of Neriah wrote on a scroll the words Jeremiah the prophet dictated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, Jeremiah said this to Baruch: 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: 3 You said, ‘Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.’”

This chapter is going back to an earlier time when Baruch and Jeremiah were ministering to King Jehoiakim. The people if Jerusalem had not yet been taken into exile. When one studies Jeremiah they need to be careful because the chapters are not in chronological order. They jump around to different times in Jeremiah’s ministry to four kings of Judah.

Baruch was Jeremiah’s co-worker in ministry. He shared in the ministry of the word by writing on a scroll the words of the Lord dictated by Jeremiah. It was hard, but very important work. Sometimes he was called to speak to the people. He suffered along with Jeremiah.

Here are some examples of how he suffered. Do you remember when he was told to write the words of God, spoken through Jeremiah, on a scroll and he had to speak these words to the king? The king listened and cut off pieces of the scroll while it was being read and burned it. Baruch had to do the whole thing over again. There was a time when both Jeremiah and Baruch were arrested for speaking God’s message. When Baruch saw the negative response of the people to God’s word, he was under a lot of stress. He was cried out “Woe to me!” He was in deep, emotional pain. He felt worn out. He was groaning. He needed rest but could not find it. He was in such distress and grief.

God heard his groans. Look at verses 2b-3 again. God heard all of his groans. God was concerning over him and his suffering. He was strengthening him throughout the decades as he served in the ministry.

It is not easy to present the word of God faithfully to the people, especially when they reject it. There are times when you despair and want to give up. You can see this many times in the Bible. Think about Elijah who was so stressed out that he wanted die. 1 Kings 19:3-5 reads, “3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.”

God was with Elijah. He came to him, fed him and encouraged him with his words. Look at 1 Kings 19:13b-18, “Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” God fed Elijah. He listened to him. He encouraged him and gave him clear direction as to what do do. God did this without taking away his suffering. He was strengthening him in it.

Experiencing suffering as we live as preachers of God’s word is never easy. It is not something we can avoid either. Suffering comes. God never promises that he will alleviate the suffering either. He only promises to be with us and to strengthen us along the way.

I headed up a small house church for fourteen years. It was not easy to continually write and preach the word of God, especially when it seems that so few people wanted to hear it. There are people close to me who have not wanted to hear the Gospel from me for the last 32 years since I have been a Christian. With all the pressures of work, raising a family and ministry I despaired of life itself many times. But I must confess that Jesus has always been with me. He has always heard my groans and strengthened me. He has always given me clear direction in life and ministry. But one thing that Jesus has not done, is, he has not taken away hardships. Instead he has refined my faith through them. Let’s think about this more.

Part 2: God Shows Us How To Stand (4-5)  

Verses 4-5, “4 But the Lord has told me to say to you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the earth. 5 Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’”

Jeremiah gave God’s message to Baruch. Baruch was under much duress. He was almost incapacitated by the suffering he was experiencing. What was his problem? I think that what was happening to Baruch was a normal human response. Think about how much he had to bear. He was persecuted. People tried to arrest him. He was forcibly taken from his homeland. Of course, he was despaired of life!

People are human. The can only take so much. Even the strongest person cannot take the stresses of life and ministry all the time. Outwardly, they may not look like are enduring the suffering will, but they are not. Usually prolonged suffering reveals itself in depression. Sometimes it reveals itself in anger to those close to us. The point is, we all wear out and we all need help from our Savior.

God did not take away the suffering. He did not transport Baruch and Jeremiah to a resort on the shores of the Red Sea. No. They remained with their people, suffering with them and being rejected by them also. It was God’s will for them to stay just where they were and keep doing what they were called to do.

When we cry out to God we expect a cessation to the suffering. But this may not be the will of God. Jesus tells his disciples in Luke 9:23-25, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”  We have a cross to bear. God will not take it away. But he does promises enough grace for us to strand up under it.

How can we overcome when we are suffering? I think we can find some pointers in this passage.

First, accept God’s sovereignty. Look at verse 4. “This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the earth.” God is the sovereign Lord. He is in control. He builds and uproots. His sovereign reign is over all the earth.  And this all powerful, sovereign Lord, is our God who is with us and who cares for us even when we are suffering. Faith in this God gives us power to overcome.

Second, stop thinking about ways to seek your own gain. Look at verse 5a, “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them….” We suffering a lot because of our own selfish desires. We are unhappy because we don’t get what we want. It is OK to build a life for yourself and your family. But there are times when we need to stop seeking great things for yourself and seek the Lord instead. There are times when you must seek to take care of your own people. We are commemorating the death to Dr Martin Luther King Jr. He could have lived a comfortable, secure life as a reverend. But God called him to a mission to fight for civil rights for African American people. He knew that there would be unbearable suffering, jail, persecution and even death. He was not seeking great things for himself. He was following God’s will and seeking God’s glory and he was trying to help his people.

Third, accept God’s judgement on the matters. Look at verse 5b, “…For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord…” God’s message for a rebellious people was one of impending disaster and judgment. It was painful for God to punish his people so severely, for he had loved them so much. But for Baruch, acceptance is the key. A person needs to accept that what is happening is happening for a good purpose. That purpose may be because of judgment. Struggling to make sense of everything will only make a person insane. There is a time when a person must accept things under God’s sovereignty and trust God

Fourth, the fact that God keeps you alive is enough. Look at verse 5, “….but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’” Baruch may have felt that he was going to die. But God promised he would spare his life. That was sufficient grace at this time in Baruch’s life. We need to stop expecting the world and simply be happy that we are alive and growing in God. People are not content with this. But it is true. We should open our eyes every morning and say, “Thank God I am alive and my life is in his hands.”

We need to know that even though we are suffering we are not going to die until God wants to take us home to be with him in heaven. Christians live in dangerous situations, yes. They live in places where they can get killed. But they must not fear. God is with them. Because of God’s hand they will escape with their life, until the time that God wants to bring them home. With this basic faith we can overcome fear and the hardships that we face.

Prayer: “Lord, there are times when my heart is fully of agony and I want to give up. It is hard to keep speaking your word to the people. Help me stand as your servant and overcome the hardships by your power and grace.”

One Word: God gives us grace to stand as his servants.

Jeremiah 44:1-30: God’s Word Will Stand True

God’s Word Will Stand True

Jeremiah 44:1-30                    Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 44:28                     4-6-18

Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.”

Part 1: God States His Case (1-6)

Verses 1-6, “This word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower Egypt—in Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis—and in Upper Egypt: 2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.”

In this passage God is stating his case as to why all of this was happening to his people. It was not God’s fault at all. We can see the reason why it all happened in verses 3-5, “because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods.”  God was upset, because for centuries, his people, who were called by his name, were worshipping the idols of the nations around them. Some of these religions involved horrible practices, like child sacrifice and temple prostitution.

Image today, what it would be like. Think about a Christian country surrounded by Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist nations, etc. For many centuries this Christian nation was practicing their Christian faith. But then they decided that they would get some benefit if they started to practice some of the religious practices of the other neighboring countries. Practicing other religions would be easier on their people.  It could benefit them economically and militarily. They may have felt that their crops were blessed when they worshipped other religions. Eventually their Christian faith became so diluted and tainted, that they could no longer be recognized as Christian. They were not like the other nations either. They were some kind of Christian mutation. They jeopardized their relationship with God for the sake of some short-term benefits. When the rest of the world looked upon them, they could no longer see Jesus. They could not see the Gospel. They were led astray into falsehood that would only lead their once Christian nation into destruction.  That is what happened to Judah and that is why God was so sorry about the condition of his people.

God’s verdict was clear. The people of Judah and Jerusalem had provoked the Lord to anger by worshiping other gods. They would need to face the consequences of their sin. They would need some spiritual refining so that their hearts may turn back to the Lord. And so, God’s judgment came in the form of the Babylonian invasion. The city was razed and the people taken captive.

Part 2: God Invites His People To Reason With Him (7-14)

Verses 7-14, “7 “Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant? 8 Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth. 9 Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? 10 To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.

11 “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach. 13 I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.”

While most of the able people had been taken to Babylon, a remnant remained in Judah. Some of the leaders, like Johanan and his military leaders were afraid to live under Babylonian occupation, and in spite of Jeremiah’s warnings, they decided to flee to Egypt. They gathered up everyone else to go with them, the poor, who were tending the fields and the orchards and those refugees who had slowly come back to Judah from the surrounding country side, after the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile. I am not convinced that all of the poor people were afraid and wanted to leave at first. Their leaders tried to convince them to leave. They might have planted fear in their hearts. They might have forced them migrate, like they forced Jeremiah and Baruch to migrate with the populace.

Jeremiah remained true to God’s message. He told them the way of salvation for them.  Look at verse 11-14. He told them that none of them would survive to return. He warned them to change their minds, repent, trust God and return to Judah and submit to the Babylonians. This was God’s consistent message to his people.

God wants to reason with us. Isaiah 1:18 reads, “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (NIV) The people thought they were wiser than God when they ignored his word and disobeyed him. They had not idea what they were doing to themselves. But God told them what they were doing through his word. He tried to reason with them, asking them why they were inviting this destruction on themselves. Through Jeremiah he said to them, “…Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant?” (7b), “Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live?” (8a); “You will destroy yourselves…” (8b); “…and make yourselves a curse and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth.” (8c); This is a clear call to examine their hearts and ask themselves, “Why?”

I am a nurse. There are many times that the patients become confused. They have hospital delirium, or medication induced delirium. The patients actually become convinced that something diabolical will happen to them. They think that the nurses are part of some sort of conspiracy, where the patient feels they are imprisoned and they are a victim of some elaborate plot. Things escalate. I ask the patient, “Why are you doing this? This is only going to lead to five men coming into the room and you might have to be restrained. Why do this?” They are not in their right mind. They don’t trust my words and fail to see the folly on their ways. They try to throw a few punches and soon they are subdued by five men and placed in restraints. This happened despite of the fact that they were warned again and again with kindness and patience.  It was all because they were in delirium. That is what sin does to us. It makes us delirious to the point that even when God wants to reason with us, we don’t trust him and we rebel against him.

We don’t know the disaster that we are bringing on ourselves when we ignore God’s way. I see it all the time. People are following their own wills and over the decades their lives have literally become a train wreck. They have been a curse on others, rather than a blessing. They have desperately not wanted this to happen, but it happened. Should they be shocked? God is asking why did it have to go that far? We need to come to Jesus now and not wait any longer. The stakes are very high.

In our “delirium” we sin. We become overcome by fear. We end up doing many things in order to save ourselves. We do what we think is best. But if we ignore God, we are actually not doing what is best, because God is the one who knows best. Jesus is the way; the truth and the life. (John 14:6) He shows the way that leads to himself and to eternal life. It is the ancient, tested, tried and true way. It is the way of the Lord.

Part 3: God’s Word Will Always Stand (15-30)

Verses 15-30, “15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. 18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”

19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”

20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him, 21 “Did not the Lord remember and call to mind the incense burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials and the people of the land? 22 When the Lord could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today. 23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.”

24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah in Egypt. 25 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You and your wives have done what you said you would do when you promised, ‘We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.’

“Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows! 26 But hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.” 27 For I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed. 28 Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.

29 “‘This will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.’ 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.’”

In Egypt the people were unrepentant and persisted in burning incense to the Queen of Heaven. The women were the ones who had started this evil practice. They men quietly agreed with them and went along. It was the fruit of fear.

I can see that they misinterpreted their suffering. Look at verses 16-18, “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. 18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”

The people knew that they were perishing by the sword and the famine. They were desperate. They refused to agree that their suffering was a punishment and divine training for their sin.  They literally felt that their suffering was because they have not been faithful to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her. They felt they were suffering because they were going astray from devotion to idol worship. What a distorted way of thinking.

This is what happens when people are caught up in false religion. No matter what the false religion is, they feel that national tragedy comes because they have drifted away from sincere worship to their religion. If they want their national tragedies to cease then all they have to do is to become sincerer to their false religion. But this is not the correct view.

Adherents to false religions need to realize that the practice of their false religion is the cause of their troubles and getting sincerer to their false religion will only cause them more grief and trouble. They need to stop and accept what the God of the Bible has to say, considering deeply what God’s word is saying. They must repent of their sins and hold fast to the Gospel. Then Jesus will lead them in the most fruitful path. It is that clear.

God wants his word to stand, for it is the word of life and salvation. God can not let his people be led astray by false religion. God must uphold his word and his  glory over all the earth. Look at verse 28, “Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.” The Egyptians all knew that these migrants were from Judah and were God’s people. They were watching. The kids of the migrants were watching. If these people saw God’s own people rejecting his word and turning to idols, that would defame God and lead future generations to reject his word and go astray. It would serve to hide God’s word and his glory from the people who so desperately needed to seek and find God. God had to do something. And so, the people were facing certain destruction.

Prayer:Lord, thank you for inviting us to come and reason with you and thank you for showing us that your word stands true. Help me to spurn all idols and hold fast to Christ and your word.”

One Word: God’s word will stand, for he makes it stand.

Jeremiah 43:1-13: Stop Running From God And Humbly Obey His Word

Stop Running From God And Humbly Obey His Word

Jeremiah 43:1-13                          Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 43:7                             4-4-18

“So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.”

Lord, open my mind and my heart to your word so that I may know you more. Strengthen me to obey your word. I thank you and I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: Arrogant Hearts Will Be Revealed (1-7)

Verses 1-7, “When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”

4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. 5 Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 6 They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women, the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them. 7 So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.”

The reaction of these men to the proclamation of God’s word was shocking to me.  Look at their reaction in verse 2b-4, “…You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.” When Jeremiah gave God’s word to Johanan and Azariah, they accused them of lying. They blamed Jeremiah’s secretary Baruch for plotting to turn them all over to the Babylonians to be killed or exiled. What was wrong with these men?

I am in shock about these men. How could they respond like this?  They seemed to be on the verge of making the right spiritual decision. The sought out Jeremiah, a servant of God and asked him to pray for them. They waited ten days to hear from Jeremiah. They were even making declarations that they would obey whatever God told them to do. Everything seemed right. But now what is this that is happening?

This event reveals what was really in their hearts. They may have said all the right words and made the right overtures towards Jeremiah. But at the critical moment their hearts were revealed. They revealed their arrogance. Nobody can hide from God. A person may look good on the outside, but it is God who sees the heart. Our sin will find us out.

What if Jeremiah stood up and stated what they wanted to hear? “Men, go down to Egypt and live there. The Egyptian army will protect you and defeat the Babylonians and then you will be free to return to Judah.” What if Jeremiah told them this? They would be cheering and lifting Jeremiah and Baruch on their shoulders celebrating God’s encouraging words. That is what would happen if Jeremiah lied to them.

But thankfully, Jeremiah was not that kind of servant of God. He spoke the truth, even if it is the hard truth that people do not want to hear. He was willing to speak the words that would make him unpopular or even cost him his life. This world needs servants of God like Jeremiah who can speak the truth.

These men were powerless to keep their declarations. They were helpless to obey the revealed word of God to them. It went directly against their own ideas and plans. It went against their human rationale. It did not make sense to them. There own ideas and plan made more sense and that is why they rejected God’s direction.

Why could they not be honest and confess that they were rebellious to God? Why not confess that they simply chose to disobey him in order to save themselves? Verse 2 declares that these men were arrogant. The definition of arrogant is “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.” (Google) Their arrogance led them to depend on themselves rather than depending on God. Arrogance created a type of pride within them. Let’s see.

      First, pride. Pride made them blame Baruch and Jeremiah. They demonized these servants of God. Pride made them think that their own plans were better than God’s plans. Pride made them refuse to listen to God’s words through Jeremiah.

Second, fear. They were deathly afraid of the Babylonians. They were known for doing horrifying things to their captives. Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear makes us disobey God in a frantic effort to save ourselves.

Third, people are simply incapable of obeying the Lord. We are helpless in so many ways. We can see that here. These men were military men. They knew the importance of obeying their commanding officers. They were also somewhat spiritual, in that they knew that they should inquire of God through Jeremiah. And yet these men stood opposed to God.

     Fourth, their sin made them a bad influence. These man not only committed themselves to disobeying God, they forced all of their countrymen to follow them in their disobedience and in their folly. Johanan and his army rounded up all people who had trickled back to Judah to live, and all the men and women whom Nebuzaradan had left with Gedaliah–including Jeremiah and Baruch–and forced them to go to Egypt with.

God had such a good plan for his people. These poor people and the people that trickled back to Judah from the surrounding nations, could have had a decent life tending the vineyards and the orchards until the exiles returned in seventy years. But not now. They were caught up in Johanan’s unbelief and fear. They became his victims. They might have been overcome by fear and faithlessness through his influence.

These people cannot blame God for this. No way. They were warned by God. Jeremiah and Baruch tried to speak the truth to them. Their sin had made them unreasoning brutes. Their sin had found them out. They took the way of destruction. God’s heart must have been broken.

Part 2: Stop Running And Listen To God (8-13)

Verses 8-13, “8 In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 9 “While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword. 12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive. As a shepherd picks his garment clean of lice, so he will pick Egypt clean and depart. 13 There in the temple of the sun in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillars and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’”

When they arrived in Tahpanhes in Egypt, God’s word came again to Jeremiah. He spoke about the future of Egypt and those who sought refuge there. Jeremiah vividly demonstrated how “God’s servant” Nebuchadnezzar would attack Egypt and bring death and captivity to those so destined. Johanan thought that he was getting away from the Babylonians, but the hand of Babylon would reach even to Egypt.

God was still with them. Though they disobeyed God in Judah, God was with them in Egypt. God’s word is true in Judah as well as in Egypt. Our God is the God over all the earth. There is no where to run to. We must all humbly stand before God and seek him.

In light of this passage, my advice is…”stop running from God”. Just stop. Humbly confess your sin and humbly bow before God. Trust him in faith. Because of Jesus and the Gospel, we can receive God’s forgiveness and his grace. God will change our whole situation and lead us into a new life and along paths of righteousness. That is what Johanan and his military officers should have done. How about you?

Prayer: “Lord, I spent most of my life trying to out on a righteous appearance. My outer appearance and my heart do not match. Help me to seek you and follow you with a humble heart.”

One Word: The arrogant can not run from God.

A Jesmer Was Allegedly Karate Chopped By The Prime Minister of Canada in 1969

A Jesmer Was Allegedly Karate Chopped By The Prime Minister of Canada

Return to the Jesmer Mystery page

Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) – August 12, 1969,

     Mrs. Emma Jesmer of Niagara Falls, the youth’s grandmother, said she has expected trouble for some time. Mrs. Jesmer said her grandson got mixed up with a “Communist gang” after dropping out of Grade last year. He was always going to meetings and complaining about the government. “His father couldn’t do anything with him and a couple of months ago he went to Vancouver with two other members of the gang.”

VANCOUVER (CP) A 17-year-old, high school dropout walked into the V a n c o u v e r public safety building Monday night and swore out a common- assault complaint against Prime Minister Trudeau. But whether or not the complaint sworn by Richard Bruce Jesmer of Niagara Falls, Out., becomes a formal charge won’t be decided until Friday. Jesmer claims he was struck by (Page 4) the Prime Minister during a wild demonstration by anti-Vietnam war protesters Friday night outside the Seaforth Armoury. The demonstration preceded a $ 50-a-plate Liberal fund-raising dinner attended by Mr. Trudeau. Justice of the Peace Don Stewart, who accepted Jesmer’s complaint, said he will hear from the youth and his witnesses at p.m. Friday. “I will determine at that time if I’m going to issue a process”, he said.

In an interview before he swore out his complaint, Jesmer said he called the prime minister an obscene name during the demonstration, “then he hit me.” “He put his open hand on my face- a sort of karate thing”, said the youth. “It was a good blow and made me stagger back.” Jesmer said he became “all worked up” by the mood of the crowd and by reading a book he had on alleged Canadian complicity with U.S. “aggression” in Vietnam. Jesmer, a laborer, said he came to Vancouver Iwo months ago to find work. The sequence of events outside the armory has been the subject of conflicting reports.

The father of a boy who says he was struck by Prime Minister Trudeau in Vancouver last Friday thinks the prime minister lost his cool. Edward Jesmer says although he could not condone his son’s language during a confrontation with the Prime Minister, he didn’t think Mr. Trudeau should have hit him. “Trudeau just lost his cool. ‘The boy didn’t deserve it and I can’t see how the prime minister can go around hitting anyone who provokes him.” Richard Bruce Jesmer

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau 1975

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RICHARD JESMER accuses Prime Minister Trudeau. Lost His Cool NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. (CP) – The father of a boy who says he was struck by Prime Minister Trudeau in Vancouver last Friday thinks the prime minister lost his cool. Edward Jesmer says although he could not condone his son’s language during a confrontation with the prime minister, he didn’t think Mr. Trudeau should have hit him. “Trudeau just lost his cool. The boy didn’t deserve it and I can’t see how’ the prime minister can go around hitting anyone who provokes him.” Richard Bruce Jesmer, 17, of Niagara Falls, Monday night swore out an information charging Mr. Trudeau with assault. Mrs. Emma Jesmer of Niagara Falls, the youth’s grandmother, said she has expected trouble for some time. Mrs. Jesmer said her grandson got mixed up with a “Communist gang” after dropping out of Grade 9 last year. He was always going to meetings and complaining about the government. “His father couldn’t do anything with him and a couple of months ago he went to Vancouver with two other members of the gang.” Hearing Set For Friday

VANCOUVER (CP) – A 17-year-old high school dropout walked into the V a n c o u v e r public safety building Monday night and swore out a common-assault complaint against Prime Minister Trudeau. But whether or not the complaint sworn by Richard Bruce Jesmer of Niagara Falls, Ont., becomes a formal charge won’t be decided until Friday. Jesmer claims he was struck by the prime minister during a wild demonstration by anti-Vietnam war protesters Friday night outside the Seaforth Armories. The demonstration preceded a $50-a-pIate Liberal fund-raising dinner attended by Mr. Trudeau. Justice of the Peace Don Stewart, who accepted Jesmer’s complaint, said he will hear evidence from the youth and his witnesses at 4:15 p.m. Friday. “I will determine at that time if I’m going to issue a process,” he said. Common assault is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code and carries a maximum penalty of two years.  HE CLAIMS HE WAS HIT. In an interview before he swore out his complaint, Jesmer said he called the prime minister an obscene name during the demonstration, “then he hit me.” “He put his open hand on my face-a sort of karate thing,” said the youth. “It was a good blow and made me stagger back.” ALL WORKED UP.  Jesmer said he became “all worked up and excited” by the mood of the crowd and by reading a book he had on alleged Canadian complicity with U.S. “aggression” in Vietnam. Jesmer, a laborer, said he came to Vancouver two months ago to find work. The exact sequence of events outside the armory has been the subject of conflicting reports. Many reporters missed the alleged blow struck by the prime minister because of a bushy tree that obscured their view.

https://newspaperarchive.com/lethbridge-herald-aug-12-1969-p-1/

Jesmer claims he was struck by the prime minister during a wild demonstration by anti-vietnam war protesters Friday night outside the Seaforth Armories. The demonstration preceded a $50-a-plate Liberal fund-raising dinner attended by Mr. Trudeau. Justice of the Peace Don Stewart, who accepted Jesmer’s complaint, said he will hear evidence from the youth and his witnesses at 4:15 p.m. Friday. “I will determine at that time if I’m going to issue a process,” he said. CLAIMS HE WAS HIT. In an interview before he swore out his complaint, Jesmer said he called the prime minister an obscene name’ during the demonstration, “then he hit me.” “He put his open hand on my face—a sort of karate thing,” said the youth. “It was a good blow and made me stagger back.” Jesmer said he became “all worked up and excited” by the mood of the crowd and by reading a book he had on alleged Canadian complicity with U.S. “aggression” in Vietnam. Jesmer, a laborer, said he came to Vancouver two months ago to find work. The sequence of events outside the armory has been the subject of conflicting reports. Many newspaper reporters missed the blow allegedly struck by the prime minister because of a bushy tree that obscured their view. Hilda Thomas, chairman of the Vancouver Committee to End the War in Vietnam which organized the rally outside the armory, said Mr. Trudeau was on top of a sound truck with her while she was speaking.to the crowd. “I realized there was some commotion, so I paused in my speech. Trudeau jumped around and tore a placard off a girl.”

The Prime Minister then jumped off the truck and the crowd became noisy. She said there had been considerable heckling from a group known as the Internationalists, an ultra-left organization of young people. The Internationalists, the Vancouver Student Movement and the Unemployed Welfare Improvement Council joined the committee’s rally, which Mr. Trudeau had agreed to attend. “I didn’t see him make any gestures against any person in the crowd,” said Mrs. Thomas, who added that a banana peel was thrown at Mr. Trudeau as he left the truck, hitting him on the back of his jacket. The prime minister, flanked by aides and RCMP officers, then jostled through the crowd to the armory doors. It was during this walk that the incident with Jesmer occurred. PM lost his cool: father

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. (CP) — The father of a boy who says he was struck by Prime Minister Trudeau in Vancouver last Friday thinks the prime minister lost his cool. Edward Jesmer says although he could not condone his son’s language during a confrontation with the prime minister, he didn’t think Mr. Trudeau should have hit him. “Trudeau just lost his cool. The boy didn’t deserve it and I can’t see how the prime minister can go around hitting anyone who provokes him.” Richard Bruce Jesmer, 17, of Niagara Falls, Monday night swore out an information charging Mr. Trudeau with assault. Mrs. Emma Jesmer of Niagara Falls, the youth’s grandmother, said she has expected trouble for some time. Mrs. Jesmer said her grandson got mixed up with a “Communist gang” after dropping out of Grade 9 last year. He was always going to meetings and complaining about the government. “His father couldn’t do anything with him and a couple of months ago he went to Vancouver with two other members of the gang.” “He was a hippie,” Mrs. Jesmer said. “I’ve never heard from him, but he writes his mother. The grandmother said she was “not surprised” about the incident with the prime minister. “I think it’s a very bad thing, but he Rick must have been asking for it. I don’t feel sorry for him. He was just looking for trouble, I guess.”

https://newspaperarchive.com/medicine-hat-news-aug-12-1969-p-1/

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The Seaforth Armoury is a Canadian Forces armoury located at 1650 Burrard Street in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the home of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, a Primary Reserve Infantry unit. The building was designed by the architectural firm of McCarter and Nairne, and is now listed as a Class A Heritage Building.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaforth_Armoury

 

1968 Liberal Party Fundraiser

August, 1969

Intermedia was invited to produce site specific audio/visual installations at the Seaforth Armory for Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 Liberal Party Fundraiser. Pierre Trudeau gave an address to his supporters and jazz singer Eve Smith and the regimental band provided entertainment.

http://intermedia.vancouverartinthesixties.com/1969/113

Searching where Rick shows up in the Jesmer family tree

Marriage Date – Eddie Jesmer & Emma

From May Jesmer Family Bible.

Edward (Joseph Edwin) Jesmer (1885-1930)

https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=ROOT_CATEGORY&rank=1&new=1&so=3&MSAV=1&msT=1&gss=seorecords&gsfn=Lawrence&gsln=Jesmer&msbdy=1886&msbpn__ftp=Nys&msddy=&msdpn__ftp=&cpxt=0&catBucket=p&uidh=000&cp=0

Father: Moses Jesmer. Birth: date – Stormont. Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913. Birth, Baptism & Christening View Image.

Name: Joseph Edwin Jesmer. Father: Moses Jesmer. Birth: date – Stormont …

Jeremiah 41:16-42:22: Lessons In Prayer, Faith And Obedience

Lessons In Prayer, Faith And Obedience

Jeremiah 41:16-42:22                                 Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 42:6                                            4-3-18

Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.”

Dear Lord, illumine my heart and mind with your word. Reveal more of who you are to me. Help me to grow spiritually through a study of your word. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: Inquire Of God’s Will Through Prayer (41:16-42:6)

Verses 16-42:6, “6 Then Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led away all the people of Mizpah who had survived, whom Johanan had recovered from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after Ishmael had assassinated Gedaliah son of Ahikam—the soldiers, women, children and court officials he had recovered from Gibeon. 17 And they went on, stopping at Geruth Kimham near Bethlehem on their way to Egypt 18 to escape the Babylonians. They were afraid of them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land.

42 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.”

4 “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.”

5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.”

Johanan became the leader of the remnant. He had tried to help Gedaliah but had failed. But he also was previous associated with Ishmael in his opposition to the Babylonians. His heart was right, but now he feared reprisal because of the assassination of Gedaliah. Some Babylonian soldiers had also been killed. He decided to gather the remnant of people left in Judah and flee to Egypt.

I can understand his fear. It was very unlikely that the Babylonian leaders would listen to him. Most likely, he would be tried and sentenced to die a miserable death in order to set an example for the rest of the people, that they may never, ever raise a fist against the Babylonians. Johanan wanted to run and escape to Egypt. It made sense, humanly.

But before he went, he sought God’s direction. They asked Jeremiah to pray to God for direction and wisdom. They said that they would do whatever God told them to do. Look at chapter 42:1b-3. They, “…approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” I am very impressed about their desire to inquire of God. Most people would have abandoned all hope and ran for the hills. But God planted in their hearts a desire to seek the will of God. It shows that their hearts are in the right place. It also shows that the people have grown spiritually through their sufferings. They have seen so much suffering. You might think that they should be basket cases by then. But their suffering had an opposite effect. They sincerely sought the will of God.

When God is with us in our suffering we grow spiritually and we seek the Lord in our hardships. With faith we grow stronger in our hearts. We are not worn down, rather, we are built up in God. That is one of the big differences of having faith and not having faith.

I am impressed they sought answers through prayer and consultation. Johanan and his officers could have just prayed on their own, but they went to Jeremiah and sought his opinion and his prayer support. One might say, “Well that is how it was done in the Old Testament times. Jesus opened the way for us to come straight to God in prayer.” Yes, it is a gift and a privilege to go straight to God in prayer. But I have experienced over and over again the wisdom of talking about things with other Christians and seeking their prayer support. God works this way to answer prayer.

Jeremiah promised them that he will pray for them. He also assured them that he would speak the truth to them, no matter what the truth was. Look at verse 4.  “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.” (4) Jeremiah really did pray for people when they asked him to. He also prayed for ten days. He brought it all before the Lord. He spoke the hard truth. He was a faithful and true servant of God.

How easy it is to make prayer a cliché. “please pray for me” people ask us. We say “yes” and fail to do so. I pray that God may help me to pray for others as Jeremiah did for his people.

The people were also very sincere. Look again, what they said to Jeremiah in verses 5-6, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.” They committed themselves to obey the Lord, no matter what the outcome.

They linked faith, trust and obedience to God as the way for things to go well with them. Wow! That is amazing. What sincerity. People tend to search for answers anywhere else but God. But we need to remember the words of Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  

Johanon and the army officers committed themselves to listen to and to obey God. This is taking on a big responsibility. It is like taking vow. What if God’s direction was too hard for them to embrace? I am not sure if I would make such a promise for I know that I am not able to obey the Lord as I should. We pray to God and he answers. Are we ready to obey his direction even if we don’t like it or agree with it? I pray that God may strengthen me to do the right thing in light of his word.

Part 2: Be Ready To Obey God’s Will When He Answers  (42:7-22)

Verse 42:7-22, “7 Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’

13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach; you will never see this place again.’

19 “Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.”

Jeremiah prayed for ten days, and the word of the Lord came to him. This is really sincere. He prayed for ten days! That is praying “to the end”. It is praying until he finished. We pray once and quit. He prayed for ten days. He waited for an answer from God. What does that mean? It means that he prayed until God granted him a calm confidence and assurance in his heart. There was no ambiguity…no confusion…only clear direction from God to his people. “Lord, help me to go the length with prayer, until you grant an answer.”

This is so true about prayer. Since I have become a Christian, I have always been involved in missionary work. We prayed regularly for the work of God. Sometimes God answers quickly and sometimes after a long time. But he always answers. When we pray there will be a calm assurance in our hearts that God has answered prayer. God will make certain events happen that confirm his answer to prayer. We need to pray until God answers.

Frequent prayers are not to be used to convince God to act. Some people think that if they pray a thousand times, then God is somehow obligated to answer their prayers. But God has his own will in every matter. Prayer is communicating with God. Prayer is seeking to find and obey God’s will.

The answer he received was not what Johanan and the others may have wanted. God said, “Don’t go to Egypt. Stay in this land; don’t fear the Babylonians and he would protect them and bless them.” He also warned them that if they went to Egypt to escape war and famine, both war and famine would find them there.

It really was hard to obey this direction. It seemed easier to run into the desert of Egypt and hide and possibly seek protection from the Egyptian army. The hardest thing was to stand before the Babylonians and trust God that they would be shown mercy. God always wants his people to learn faith through all that they experience.

Faith lessons from God are not easy. They are meant to grow faith. They are meant to grow us stronger as his people. How does an oak tree’s roots go deep into the ground? It is the wind that pushes the trees back and forth. The wind stimulates the roots to go down deep. Difficult faith lessons are like wind. They help us to take deep roots in the Lord.

God told them the importance of saying you are going to obey and not doing it. Look at verses 19b and 20, “‘…Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.” The point is, if they were not going to obey, it would have been better not to ask God at all. Prayer is not a joke. Feigning obedience is not a joke either. We must come to God with a sincere heart that is ready to obey the direction that God gives. The answer is , “yes” many times over.

But then we must ask ourselves, “Is there any direction that goes against my human rationale? Is there a will of God that doesn’t seem to make sense or seems too hard to obey?”

It is not easy to be so sincere. We feign obedience to God often. We are not able to carry through with our declarations. We cannot obey the revealed will of God to us. These are some of the reasons that we need a savior. We need forgiveness. Jesus does not treat us as our deeds deserve. We should experience curses because of our disobedience. But we don’t get that. We get forgiveness. We get grace. We may experience some hardships to grow us and mature us in faith. But that is God’s love. It is the wind that helps an oak tree to grow strong with deep roots. Thank God for Jesus who does not treat us as our sins deserve but strengthens us instead.

Prayer:Lord, thank you for teaching more about prayer. Help me to pray to find your will and obey it. Help me to pray for others until a calm assurance comes into my heart. “

One Word: Seek God’s will through prayer and consultation and obey it

Jeremiah 40:7-41:15: God Cares And Hopes For His People

God Cares And Hopes For His People

Jeremiah 40:7-41:15                                 Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verse: 40:15b                                     4-2-18

“….Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scattered and the remnant of Judah to perish?”

Dear Lord Heavenly Father, thank you for your word which is a solid rock on which we can stand. Lord, how solid and how great a foundation you are. Help me to stand even firmer on your word through this passage. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: God Kept The Land So His People Could Return (40:7-16)

Verses 40:7-16, “When all the army officers and their men who were still in the open country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorest in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon, 8 they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men. 9 Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve the Babylonians,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you. 10 I myself will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in the towns you have taken over.”

11 When all the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor over them, 12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered. And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.

13 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.

15 Then Johanan son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scattered and the remnant of Judah to perish?”

16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”

When the Babylonians left, they did not leave a hellish wasteland. They left behind the poorest people to tend the fields and the vineyards. They appointed a governor that cared about the people. It was horrible that that the people had to be torn from their homes and forced to relocate to Babylon. But the country still had Israelites living there and the infrastructure was left somewhat intact.

Gedaliah was appointed governor of the occupied Judah. He lived in Mizpah, near the center of the land, and did his best to be a good shepherd for his scattered people. Jeremiah stayed with him. Jews who had been living in the surrounding countries trusted him and returned to settle down in Judah. They harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit. Johanan and his officers also joined Gedaliah.

I can see that God raises up leaders to help his people. Yes, he disciplined his people in order to get them to turn their hearts back to him. Yes, he allowed them to be subjected to a great amount of suffering. It was redemptive in nature and brought on by the stubborn disobedience of the people themselves. Though they deserved to driven away and forgotten, God left a remnant in the land and he established a governor who really cared for the people. There was a place for the people of Judah to return to, and some of them did return from surrounding nations, (even before the exiles returned). God created such an environment in the occupied land that the people, from surrounded nations, trusted the governor. They had land to work in, land that produced bountiful harvests. Many returned. But they were not the ones that were in exile in Babylon.

God was keeping the land in anticipation of when he would bring his people back from exile in seventy years. They would have something to come back to and rebuild in. This was God’s hope, that his peoples’ hearts’ would be changed and that they would worship him and obey his word and live up to their purpose to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Our God lives in hope.

Gedaliah is an example of a good leader. Look at verses 9-10 again, “Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serve the Babylonians,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you. 10 I myself will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine, summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars, and live in the towns you have taken over.”  Yes, he was governing over a conquered people. He was representing an invading nation, but he did his best to care for the people under very difficult situations.

God establishes his people and puts them in positions of community leadership. He does that so the they may use their positions in order to serve the people and for the betterment of their lives. They are to be servant leaders. The fact that Gedaliah was established was God’s mercy to the people.

Part 2: Nothing Can Thwart God’s Plans (41:1-15)

Verses 40:17-41:15, “41 In the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood and had been one of the king’s officers, came with ten men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating together there, 2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, killing the one whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land. 3 Ishmael also killed all the men of Judah who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, as well as the Babylonian soldiers who were there.

4 The day after Gedaliah’s assassination, before anyone knew about it, 5 eighty men who had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes and cut themselves came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria, bringing grain offerings and incense with them to the house of the Lord. 6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. When he met them, he said, “Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” 7 When they went into the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern. 8 But ten of them said to Ishmael, “Don’t kill us! We have wheat and barley, olive oil and honey, hidden in a field.” So he let them alone and did not kill them with the others. 9 Now the cistern where he threw all the bodies of the men he had killed along with Gedaliah was the one King Asa had made as part of his defense against Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with the dead.

10 Ishmael made captives of all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah—the king’s daughters along with all the others who were left there, over whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.

11 When Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the crimes Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed, 12 they took all their men and went to fight Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the great pool in Gibeon. 13 When all the people Ishmael had with him saw Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers who were with him, they were glad. 14 All the people Ishmael had taken captive at Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah and eight of his men escaped from Johanan and fled to the Ammonites.”

Nothing can thwart the plans of God, not even a small minded, nationalistic military officer. There was a lot of political intrigue going on that threatened the peace of the land.  Johanan warned Gedaliah not to trust Ishmael, an anti-Babylonian relative of King Zedekiah, with suspicious connections in Ammon, Israel’s ancient enemy. He offered to secretly kill Ishmael. Gedaliah, however, accepted Ishmael as a brother, and showed him hospitality. Then, while they were eating, Ishmael and his ten men assassinated Gedaliah. A vicious purge followed, until Johanan arrived with his small army. Then Ishmael fled to Ammon.

The peace in the region was held in a delicate balance. There were others who wanted to control things through violent political intrigue. What Ismael wanted was freedom from the Babylonians, even at the cost of co-operating with the Ammonites. What was he thinking? Did he think that the Babylonians were going to stand by idly and allow this to happen? No. He was literally inviting their ire. They would return with their army and squash this man’s plans. His plans were born out of nationalism. They were plans to support a former king who lived in disobedience to God. They were plans that that trusted in an idol worshipping neighbor.  It lacked wisdom. God could never bless those plans.

According to God’s sovereignty this was not going to happen. With a small army, Ishmael as driven out of the land and sent back to the Ammonites. God doesn’t honor and protect efforts born out of nationalism. He honors acts of faith that seek to bring glory and honor to him and support his plans alone.

Prayer: “Lord, thank you for caring for your people and raising up people who can take care of them. Thank you for living in hope that your people will return to you.  We place all of hope and trust in you.”

One Word: God cares for his people.

Jeremiah 40:1-6: Set Free To Follow God’s Plan

Set Free To Follow God’s Plan

Jeremiah 40:1-6                                Kevin E. Jesmer

Jeremiah 40:3,4                                4-2-18

“And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. 4 But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”

Dear Lord, thank you for your word that comforts our hearts and plants eternal hope. Please help me to learn one point and understand your word today. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: Jeremiah Was Released By God For A Purpose (1)

Verse 1, “The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon.”

When Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard found Jeremiah in chains among the prisoners being taken back to Babylon, he released him. King Nebuchadnezzar had instructed his imperial commander to take care of Jeremiah. They regarded him as pro-Babylonian.

He did not get some benefit from the Babylonians. He did not compromise with them in order to get some benefit and be set free. No. He stayed true to the God of the Bible. Jeremiah was living by the truth and obeying God no matter what the consequences were. If he was going to be imprisoned, thrown into exile of even killed, then so be it as long as he remained true to God. He did not seek rewards or favor from Babylon. Jeremiah was not on Babylon’s side; he was on God’s side.

We should never compromise in order to receive some benefit from those in charge. That is cowardice. We can never be happy nor blessed by compromising to escape suffering. You will always remember it your entire life. It will nag you and haunt your dreams.

This release was God’s mercy on Jeremiah’s life. God wanted him to be set free and so he allowed Jeremiah to find favor in the eyes of the Babylonian commander. God had a plan for Jeremiah’s life and he was leading him according to it. (Keep in mind that a life in chains could also be part of God’s plan. Think about Joseph.)

There are times when sincere believers are not set free from captivity. It may be God’s will that they endure suffering for his glory. Simply believing in and obeying Jesus is not the ticket to an easy exit from suffering. What is important is to remain faithful to the Lord and trust in the path that he has laid before you. There is a purpose either way. He will give you grace to follow.

It is amazing that the Babylonians did not see Jeremiah as the enemy, even though he was an Israelite living in Judah. Jeremiah was simply serving God. It just so happened that his mission actually supported the expansionist objectives of the Babylonians. The Babylonians had nothing to fear from Jeremiah. In fact, was helping them. Christians do not have a political objective as much as they have a spiritual objective. (Sometimes God leads Christians into a political agenda but not always.)

Part 2. Should I Stay or Should I Go?  (2-6)

Verses 2-6, “2 When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. 3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. 4 But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.” 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please. Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.”

The imperial commander understood the spiritual implications of the Babylonian conquest (2). The people of Jerusalem had sinned. The commander could see that this was why the Babylonian invasion was successful. It is amazing to me that the Babylonians understood the spiritual reason as to why God was working through them to defeat Judah. They could see and understand God’s plan and they were not even Israelites! The God of Israel was not their God and yet they understood his plan. This is very condemning to the king and official of Judah. If the Babylonians could understand then why not them? The Babylonian’s understanding is very convicting.

The Babylonian’s gave Jeremiah a choice. Look at verse 4, “But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.” The Babylonians carried many of the nobles, leaders and the people into exile. He gave fields and vineyards to the poor people he left behind (39:10) for the vineyards and the fields needed to be managed and harvested. This was a very wise move to make in order to get maximum benefit from the conquered land and to gain the loyalty and trust of the poor people.

The imperial commander respected Jeremiah and gave him the opportunity either to go to Babylon, and be taken care of, which could mean living in in ease with honor, or stay in Judah with the remnant. Jeremiah chose to stay.

I don’t think that living in Babylon would be a cake walk either. Yes, Jeremiah would be provided for, but there would be a whole lot of stress dealing with political issues and seeing his people suffering in exile, worries about his people back home and health issues. Whether he stayed or went there would involve hardships. But God gave him a choice and he chose to stay with the poor people of Judah and help his people who were left behind.

We all need to find the will of God for us. Should we stay or should we go? The answer to this will take a lot prayer and soul searching. One is not easier than the other.

A modern-day example is a Christian’s desire to be a missionary. We feel that if we stay we are choosing the way of ease and comfort. We long to be set free from all of our responsibilities and go to the mission field. That may or may not be God’s will. We need to pray and find God’s will. I know one man who was very successful in business. He retired and is now receiving training at a mission agency. He recently went on a mission trip to a pacific jungle tribe for three weeks. He prayed and God is leading him according to God’s unique plan for him. We all need to find God’s unique plan for our lives and commit to following it.

Prayer: “Lord, you have set me free from so much, from sin, from many vices, from fruitless ventures. I have been set free to serve you. I pray that you may show me my path and grant me grace and strength to follow it.”

One Word: Set free to choose God’s way.