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Journey Through Jeremiah: Jeremiah 15:1-9: Even if moses and samuel stood before me

Even If Moses and Samuel Stood Before Me

Read Jeremiah 15:1-9

Jeremiah’s call was extremely difficult. He was called to minister and speak to a people and generation that would not listen. Because of the wickedness of king Manasseh for fifty-five years great wickedness was brought into the land. We see the depths of this wickedness in the statement by God “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people. Send them away from My presence and have them go!”. Moses and Samuel were not only pillars in the history of Israel, but they were also great men of prayer. Moses had interceded for the people after the golden calf incident and Samuel intercede after the people rejected God and asked for a human king. In both incidents the people sinned greatly, but through the intercession of Moses and Samuel the Lord showed great mercy to the people.

But here we see that even if Moses or Samuel interceded for the people, they would still face the judgement of God. They had rejected the Lord over and over again. They had forsaken the Lord and His ways. They had trampled on His covenant and now they would fully reap the consequences of their wickedness and their sin. It is far easier to respond to the mercy and kindness of God, but when we reject His mercy, we are left to face His judgement.

When the people cried out after hearing the word of the Lord, the Lord revealed the four judgements that would come upon the people. Some would face death by plague, some would face the sword, some would face famine, and some would go into captivity. It is important to see that God allowed this to happen. It is God in His grace and mercy that protects and sustains us. But when He is rejected, all the Lord has to do is slightly lift His hand and our world is turned upside down. It is a foolish and dreadful thing to resist and rebel against the Living God.

The Lord says I will appoint four kinds of doom. The word appoint is the Hebrew word pāqad and it means to see to, tend to. To fulfill an assigned task[1]. The Israelites were God’s covenant people. Part of the covenant was that God would protect and He would provide. But when the covenant was broken, God made it clear that curses would be brought upon the land. Israel’s sin had become so grevious to Almighty God that He would send four kinds of doom upon the land: the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy[2]”.

We find out why the Lord is bringing judement on the land: because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah[3]. Hezekiah was one of the great kings of Israel. Because of the actions of Hezekiah and repentance, the people experienced revival under his leadership. True revival will always begin with repentance. But sometimes great kings and leaders can make terrible fathers. Their responsibilities as a leader can rob them from time spent with the family and the valuable moments a child has growing up. When a child sees that their father is occupied and giving his time to other things and they are neglected, they may become resentful. I don’t know all that took place in the heart of Manasseh but what we do know is that he was wicked and for fifty-five years great wickedness filled Israel (2 Kings 21:1-16).

The Lord says I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. Israel would be a visual example and lesson to all the world of what happens when you rebel against the God of heaven and reject His mercy and grace. Many in this generation reject the mercy of God. Many look at the gospel and believe it to be foolishness. But God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life. God desires that people would repent and receive His mercy and grace. But God has given man a freewill and sometimes freewill can be dangerous and destructive.

God asks the question: who will have pity on you, who will mourn for you, who will turn aside to ask about your welfare. Throughout Israel’s history the Lord was the one who showed them pity. It was God who rescued them from Egypt, and it was God who many times showed them great mercy against their enemies. The only time Israel lost a battle was when they rejected God and His ways, and the Lord used the invading armies to bring discipline of His people. But Israel has now come to a point in their wickedness and sin that no matter how much they cry out to the Living God, it will not change the judgement that is coming. For seventy years they will go into captivity into a nation where they will be surrounded by idolatry on every side. But God never forsook or abandoned them. But as a loving Father course correction was needed to save and preserve them.

God points out that Israel has not only forsaken Him, but they have also gone backward. They have turned away from God and His ways and have embraced the worship practices of the godless nations around them. Israel is in covenant with the Living God. They have brought the hand of God against them with their actions. The Lord makes it clear that He will stretch out His hand against them and is tired of relenting. God has been nothing but kind and merciful to Israel. God’s love and gentleness is greater than we understand. It is His kindness that leads to repentance. But there is a point the Living God comes to in which He must respond with discipline and correction. Any parent who truly loves their child will not allow them to destroy themselves by their own actions. It is Israel who has chosen to turn their back on God.

To winnow means scatter, winnow, disperse. Refers generally to scattering or winnowing but is often applied to dispersing people, especially Israel and Judah.[4]. God will scatter Judah and remove them from the land not because He is cruel or unfaithful. He has chosen to move in this way because they are rebellious, stubborn, and callous. God has bereaved them and destroyed them because they did not turn from their ways. Many times, people want to blame God or even try to manipulate Him, but we cannot hide anything from Him. He sees our hearts and He sees whether we are truly willing to surrender all to Him. After many years and many messages, the Lord has been brought to this point by His people. When we reject the mercy of God, the only thing we are left with is judgement. God prefers mercy. He prefers to pour His love out on His people. But sometimes stern correction is needed especially when the sin and wickedness runs deep.

God says that He has made their widows more numerous than the sand of the seas and the Lord has brought the destroyer at noon day. It is God who unleashed the nation of Babylon on Israel. Though Babylon was a godless nation, they were still under the control of Almighty God. Every heart of every king is in the hand of God, He is able to turn their heart as He desires. It is a foolish thing for a leader to believe that they themselves are gods, they are simply created and under the control of the Almighty. When we truly understand how in control God is we no longer fear the things we face. But because of their sin and wickedness the Lord would bring anguish and terror on them suddenly. God would rightly deal with Israel for its sin.

To bear seven sons would be a great honor in Israel. But when all those sons are put to death it would cause any mother to grow feeble. Those who were destined for judgement would not be able to escape. God had given sufficient time to repent of their wickedness and sin. They have rejected and forsaken Him time and time again. No judgement would come and there would be no place to hide.

[1] Randall Merrill, “Authority,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014). [2]New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Je 15:3. [3]New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Je 15:4. [4] Benjamin M. Austin and Jonathan Sutter, “Exile,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

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