Jeremiah 8, beginning of verse number 1, “At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshiped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.”
Now, in this chapter, we find more pronouncements of doom upon the children of Judah. The Book of Jeremiah is a very negative book. It was like this when we did Isaiah several years ago where it says week after week after week, preaching through Isaiah, preaching through Jeremiah, it’s just doom and destruction. I believe that Jeremiah is probably one of the most negative books in the Bible, if not the most negative book because it’s being written at the time when the nation had turned away from God, and God is giving them a lot of really strong warnings about the punishments that are coming, and He’s rebuking their sin, He’s angry, and He’s dealing with His people.
Jeremiah is also pretty much the longest book in the Bible. It’s right there with the Book of Psalms when you actually look at how many pages it takes up in your Bible. That should tell you something about the God of the Bible that He has a lot of negative things to say. He has a big, giant, long book here, Jeremiah, and it’s just a lot of doom, and a lot of rebuke, and a lot of cursing, but yet, today, we have a positive-only Christianity that ignores about 90% of the Bible. They focus in on about 10% of the Bible that they like.
You say, “Pastor Anderson, I just feel like you’re preaching so many negative sermons,” but honestly, all I’m doing is just preaching through the Bible. There’s no way to sugarcoat this chapter. How else do you preach Jeremiah 8 but to preach that God is angry with the wicked every day, and that God is punishing people?
Now, what he mentions here in these first two verses is about the bones of all these different groups of people, the leaders, the preachers, the priests, the prophets, and even just the citizens of Jerusalem being dug up from their graves and being scattered on the ground. Basically, what he’s talking about is a desecration of their graves.
Now, the reason this is important is because it’s considered dishonorable to not receive a proper burial. This is something that throughout the Bible, God talks about the honor of receiving a proper burial and how it occurs that it’s placed upon ungodly people is that their body would lie in an open field, or that dogs would eat them, or that they would be just left out to rot, and so forth. Here, he talks about their bones being dug up from the graves, and being scattered on the earth. God is also explaining that this is a type of poetic justice because they have worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. He says, “I’m going to scatter your bones in the site of the sun, moon, and stars that you’ve worshiped. Now, your bones are going to bake in that same sun and be exposed to that same light.”
He says in verse 3, “And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts.” He says the people that die and are buried, those graves are going to be dug up, and their bones are going to be scattered, and their graves will be desecrated but then, the people who survive God’s judgment are going to wish that they had died. Their lives are going to be so miserable and they’re going to be so sad that they’re going to wish that they had been the people who died. Death would be chosen rather than life, he says, by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family.
Now, the question is, who is this evil family? This evil family, they must be the Arabs. They must be of the Palestinians. An evil family, that must be Ishmael. That must be the Ammonites, or Moabites, or the Edomites. This evil family, who are we talking about here? No, actually, it’s the children of Judah. It’s the Jews that are called the evil family in this passage because God is not a respective person. It doesn’t matter what our nationality is. It doesn’t matter what our so-called race is.
People are so foolish when they get hung up on race. It’s really stupid. It really just shows the total ignorance of the world that we live in that anybody thinks that just white people are just purely white, or that black people are just purely black, or that anybody is purely anything. We demonstrated both mathematically and scientifically in our film, Marching the Zion, that we’re all related, we’re all mixed, and you don’t even have to go back that far to find where we’ve been “tainted,” and where we’re not as purely whatever we think we are.
It’s so amazing to me how in our day, there are so many people who are white supremacist and they are so proud of how white they are. Then, you’ll run into people that are black, and they’re the black Hebrew Israelites, and the blacks or the chosen people. Often, black people will be just as racist as white people. It’s really just so foolish.
Him that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. It’s so carnal to look in the mirror and glory in your skin color or to glory in whatever nationality you are because you’re the Scandinavian Nordic man. Based on Sunday night sermon, that’s nothing to be proud of but, “Man, I’m so proud to be black,” or “I’m so proud to be Hispanic and I’m part of La Raza,” and “I’m so proud of being this type of Asian,” or “Chinese is better than Japanese.” “No, the Japanese are way better than the Chinese.”
It’s so stupid because what we ought to be excited about, and glorying about, and boasting about, we have to be boasting in the Lord all day long, the Bible says. That’s all that matters. Are we in Christ? The man that is red, yellow, black, or white that is in Jesus Christ is my brother. The white man who blasphemes the Lord Jesus Christ, I have no part with him. I don’t have some allegiance to my white brothers or something. It’s so foolish but this exists in all nationality.
It’s not just white people. There are some white people but it’s a lot of other people too. It’s people of all nationalities where they get this carnal obsession or want to just go on and on about what race was Jesus, what did He look like, like that’s some big important thing, or “Who are the Edomites today?” or this dumb stuff that people just need to forget about, and they need to just avoid genealogies.
Here’s my genealogy. I am going to recite my genealogy for you. Abraham begat Jesus and Jesus begat Steven L. Anderson. That’s all the genealogy I need. I am the son of Jesus who is the son of David who is the son of Abraham. You know what? That’s everybody in here if you believe in Jesus. You have that same genealogy. That’s the only genealogy you need.
There’s so much foolishness where people put so much stack in the nationality or the family. Even the most chosen people here of the Old Testament where they were the chosen people, when they’re wicked, he calls them out as being an evil family. He says, all the places that I’ve driven you, you evil family, He’s talking to the Jews. He says, “You’re going to wish you were dead. You’re going to be that miserable.” These people aren’t under the blessing of God. This is in the Old Testament. How much less in the New Testament when he said the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof? How much more in the New Testament does it not matter if you’re a so-called Jew?
It’s so funny, I flew recently into the area of New York City. New York City is filled with Jewish people, more than any other city in America. There’s as many Jews in the United States as there are in Israel, and most of them are in the New York City area or Los Angeles area. On the airplane that I flew in, it was about half Jews on this plane. Just so many Jews. It was amazing to me to see the Jews that were, I’m not exaggerating, I’m not up here just trying to be dramatic, that literally had red hair and freckles. They look like an Irish person.
You expected her to say, “Kiss me, I’m in Irish,” but instead, you saw the little skullcap on the back, and I was just blown away. I am thinking to myself, “This is who Sam Gipp thinks the chosen people are. This is who John Hagee thinks the chosen people are.” I am thinking like, “What makes these people chosen? They’re redheaded white people. The whole family was redheaded.” I am thinking to myself, “Do these people really think that they’re Middle Eastern?” They’re clearly Celtic. They’re not Semitic but they’re like, “You’re an anti-Semite.” Wouldn’t that be anti-Celtic if I didn’t like you? It’s just blown me away.
The only thing that makes them chosen to these Baptists, they believe in the Zionist garbage, is that they reject Jesus. That makes them chosen now. You’re the chosen people of God because you rejected Jesus as the Messiah. All of your other white, redheaded relatives that claim the name of Jesus, they’re not chosen, but now that you’ve renounced Christ and put on a little satanic hat like the Pope wears.
Have you ever noticed all these demonic religions share all the same headgear? The Pope’s got that funny hat. The Pope has the identical and the cardinals, you know what I am talking about, right? That little doily. The Pope has it and the Jews have it. It’s the same thing. There’s nothing in the Bible about putting a weird little doily on the back of your head and putting a bobby pin to hold it there. That’s what they do.
Then, here’s the other thing. Here is the other thing that I was blown away by, and I don’t know if this was just a coincidence but there were literally ten Jewish adult men on this flight. There were ten of them. All ten of them had one thing in common because they didn’t all have red hair and freckles, they were all white as snow, they were all whiter than me, but they all had one thing in common, they were all wearing super thick corrective lenses. They all had glasses on and they were really thick glasses like Coke bottle thick. Some people wear glasses and some people don’t, but I just thought it was weird that they all wore glasses. I was just blown away.
Then, the next day or two, when we were in New York, I was with Paul Winberg, and he’s like, “Hey, look. There’s another Jewish guy with glasses. Look, the all have.” We never saw one that didn’t have glasses. I couldn’t figure that out. You’d think that some people have glasses, some people don’t. Why do they all have really thick glasses? I don’t know.
I don’t know what that has to do with the sermon but I was thinking about this, I was thinking about the spiritual blindness because that’s a thing that Jesus brings up over. He says that they’re blind and how blindness has come upon them according to Romans 9, and how when they read the Scripture, the veil is over their eyes. That’s what I think of. Whenever I see those really thick glasses, I was thinking to myself, “You’re blind, spiritually blind.” That’s nothing against people who wear glasses, of course. I just thought that was a weird coincidence that they all wore those really thick glasses.
They’re not the chosen people. No, they’re an evil family because they hate the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the condition they’re in when Jeremiah is preaching to them. He didn’t say, “You’re a wonderful family because of your relatives.” He said, “No, you’re an evil family because you hate the Lord. You rejected the Lord.”
Now, look at chapter 8, verse 4. It says, “Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; Shall they fall, and not arise? Shall he turn away, and not return?” Now, when you read that verse by itself, think about this, when you read verse 4, it sounds like God is saying, “God is not going to turn away from these people forever. He’ll return unto them.” It’d be easy to say, “God is never going to be through with these people. He’ll always turn. He’ll always return to them,” but let’s keep reading the context.
It says, “Thus saith the Lord; Shall they fall, and not arise? Shall he turn away, and not return? Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.” What he’s saying is that God is ready to return to them any time but what do they have to do first? They have to return to Him. Is God just going to permanently turn away from these people and never return? They’re not returning. That’s the problem.
Anybody who wants to can turn to the Lord Jesus Christ any time they want to and be saved. Anybody who is a Born Again Christian who gets back slidden can get back with the Lord any time they want to. His mercy is their new every morning. Any time they want, they can show back up at church, and get back in the fight, and start reading their Bible, and start living for the Lord. Anytime we want to, we can return and God’s ready to return to us.
Here’s the thing, God doesn’t return to you unless you’re going to return to Him. You got to take a step toward Him. The Bible says, “Draw a nigh to God and He’ll draw an eye to you,” but if you’re not going to draw an eye to God, then he’s not going to draw a nigh to you. You have to take that step. He is saying, “But these people were refusing to return and they had a perpetual backsliding.” You see halfway through verse 5, perpetual backsliding. Meaning backsliding that just never ends. They just keep getting worse and keep getting worse. That’s what perpetual means. It goes on forever. It doesn’t stop or goes on for an extended period.
“They hold fast deceit. They refuse to return. I hearkened and heard,” verse 6, “but they spake not aright.” What is he saying there, “I hearkened and heard.” He is saying that he is ready to hear their prayer and for them to say that they’re sorry, and for them to get back on track. “I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, what have I done? Every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.”
He is saying, because this is back when the Jews were God’s chosen people. They’re not in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament, they were the chosen people but He says, “My people don’t realize that it’s time to come back to Me and it’s time to return to Me. That’s what makes them evil. That’s why they’re going to be punished. That’s why they’re going to die. Then, their graves are going to be desecrated. Then, the ones that are alive are going to wish that they were dead.” These are some pretty negative words here. These are some pretty strong condemnation of the children of Judah and children of Israel at this time.
Let me just point out one thing also since this is a Bible study. In verse 7, it says, “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow.” Now, let’s do think this is like one of those little preschool exams of which one of these does not belong. The turtle there is actually short for a turtledove. It’s actually the bird. It’s not the reptile or is it an amphibian? Reptile, all right.
Anyway, I am not an expert on zoology but it says here, but I do know that storks, cranes, and swallows are all birds. Turtle, no, this is not a flying turtle but often, in the Bible, it will use the word turtle. Sometimes, it’s says turtledove. Sometimes, they just shorten the turtle. That’s why it was sometimes as a sacrifice. A turtle is being offered but it’s a word that has changed meaning since 1611.
It amazed me. Sometimes, people have this really just adamant position of, “If it says turtle, it’s a turtle,” or “If it says wine, it’s alcohol,” or whatever. They don’t realize that words change in meaning. We’re just speaking at the community college and I was speaking against drinking, and somebody just insisted that, “When it says wine, it means wine.” That’d be just the silliest thing. “When it means turtle, it’s a turtle. It’s a snapping turtle,” when in reality, words do change meaning over time.
You say, “How do we know that?” You get the context in the Bible. You can see where the Bible is talking about turtledoves, and then you could see a turtle in a list of birds, and then you can talk about the singing of birds in Song of Solomon 2 and then, the voice of the turtle. It’s not hard to use the context to figure out.
It’s the same thing with wine. When it talks about wine being in the cluster of a grape, that’s clearly not an alcoholic beverage that you get in a cluster of grapes. That’s just fruit juice. When it talks about wine of a pomegranate or other fruit, then that tells you that wine is not just a grape product. Today, wine means alcoholic grape juice but in the Bible, it’s any kind of fruit juice, it doesn’t even have to be grape. Any fruit juice, whether fermented or unfermented. Wine is just a broad word that covers all of that.
Look at, if you would, at verse number 8, “How do ye say, we are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us?” Again, who is he speaking to here? Disobedient Jews that are rejecting the Lord. He’s saying, “Don’t tell me to law of the Lord is with you.” “Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?”
I love that statement, “They have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” What is he saying? If you’ve rejected God’s word, you don’t have any wisdom in you. That’s what He’s saying. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. People who reject the word Lord, they don’t have any wisdom. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. That’s what the Bible teaches. The wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.
It says in verse 10, “Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” God is bringing up another judgment that’s going to come upon them because of their sins as a nation. He says not only is there going to be death and destruction. Not only will graves and bodies be desecrated. Not only will people wish they were dead because of the suffering when they’re scattered into all nations but he says also their wives will be given unto others.
Now, this is obviously a horrible punishment. How would you like your wife to be taken away from you and give to another man? That’s pretty much one of the most horrible things that could come upon you in your life. Now, if you are a normal man, if you are a righteous man, you love your wife, and the Bible commands these husbands to love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. A normal man, a godly man, a righteous man loves his wife. Not only does he love his wife, he’s protective of his wife. Not only that but he’s jealous for his wife.
What does jealous mean? Jealous does not mean what most people think it means. Again, this is one of those things where words change in meaning. People corrupt the meaning of words sometimes to where they think jealous means you want something to belong to someone else. That is envy in the Bible. The Bible uses a different word, “envy.” Envious is when you get the promotion and I didn’t, and then I wish that I had it. That’s envy or thinking that I should have something that belongs to you.
Jealousy on the other hand is actually in a way the opposite of envy. Envy is when I want something that belongs to someone else. Jealousy is when I’m just protective of what’s rightfully mine. I am not trying to get what somebody else has, I am just trying to keep what I have and something that is rightfully mine, not something that should be shared.
For example, God is very jealous for His name. Here’s the thing, no one should share that name. No one should share that name, Jesus, or Jehovah, or the Lord, or God. Those are His name. God Almighty is His name. He’s jealous of that name. He doesn’t want other entities to call themselves the Lord, or God, or Jehovah, or Jesus Christ, or anything. He is jealous of His name. He’s also jealous of His glory. He doesn’t want to share His glory with other people. He wants to receive all praise, and all glory, and all honor for Himself co He deserves it. He’s also jealous that He doesn’t want people to worship other gods. He wants to receive the worship.
We, as husbands, should be jealous of our wives by a biblical definition. What that means is that we should not want to share our wife with someone else. Isn’t that common sense? It’s perfectly natural and normal for us as men to not want our wife to be hanging around with some other dude but it also goes the other way, women should be jealous for her husbands as well because this is actually a two-way street.
Now, some things in marriage are not a two-way street because the Bible is clear that the husband is the head of wife. There are certain differences between husband and wife. In this case, it is a two-way street. The Bible talks about the wife belonging to the husband but it also talks about the husband belonging to the wife. We should both, husband and wife, want to be exclusive, meaning that we don’t want to share our wife and wives don’t want to share their husband. Isn’t that what a normal, godly, righteous person would feel?
Therefore, this is one of the worst punishments that could happen where God gives their wives to someone else. It’s one of the most horrible things you can imagine your wife being given to someone else, or your wife committing adultery with someone else, or being given to another in marriage. It would cause a lot of pain and suffering. That’s what God is telling them the punishment is going to be.
Don’t let people come down on you in this world that we live in, this crooked and perverse generation that tells you, “Your husband is abusive or controlling because he doesn’t want you having male friends that you go out to eat with, and hang out with , and have all this intimate time with.” You say, “Nothing is going on. My husband should just trust me to just go out to dinner and a movie with John from the office,” or whatever. No way. That’s ridiculous because you’re opening yourself up to temptation and putting yourself in a position to commit adultery co people don’t just commit adultery overnight in most cases.
In most cases, they get too friendly with someone, and they get real comfortable with someone of the opposite gender, and then next thing you know, something goes a little too far, and it’s like the frog in the hot water, and they get mixed up into adultery that way. That happens all the time. We need to be careful of that and take hit of that. It makes perfect sense for a husband to put his foot down and say, “No. I am your male friend. You’re going to have female friends but you don’t need to be buddy-buddy with some other guy, just like I don’t need to be buddy-buddy with women.” I need to get that female companionship from one person and one person alone, except for, of course, I get female companionship from my daughters but I should not be getting that from a strange woman. That’s what the Bible teaches.
Not only that but we should be protective of our wives in, how about the way that they dress? If you are a normal … I love that word, normal. That word is really comforting to me because we live in such an abnormal society. People are confused about which bathroom do you use. They’re confused about which gender they are. That’s why I like that word normal. We could just start using that word more because there’s just a lot of abnormal stuff going on.
A normal man, and let me say, a righteous man, a godly man, he wants his wife to be for himself. He doesn’t want her to be enjoyed by other men. Not only physically but also visually. Now, listen, there are a lot of worldly guys out there though who they want to flaunt their wife, the trophy wife, or they want to show off their wives’ body, and they want her to dress scantily-clad, but you know what, that’s not a Christian attitude. That’s not a godly attitude. A godly man tells his wife, “Look, cover up. Dress modestly. Do not dress provocatively. Get rid of the low cut top. Get rid of the short skirt.”
You know what? There’s nothing in the world wrong with the man looking at his wife and saying, “You know what? Turn around, and go back, and get dressed again. You’re not wearing that out of the house.” I can’t even count how many times I’ve done it. My wife already dresses modestly but if she goes a little over the line, I’ll tell her, “No. You know what? That’s a little too revealing. That’s too much. Go change that outfit.” You know what? That’s not just my right. That’s my responsibility to rule my home.
Especially if someone wants to be a pastor, one must rule well his own house. Meaning that the wife and the daughters don’t go out of the house wearing clothing that you don’t approve of. It’s important that you protect your wife and not only protect her physically from actually having someone commit adultery with her, but what about just protecting her dignity, and protecting her honor, and protecting her from just the eyes of every man who wants to just look at her.
Look, honestly, it’s one thing to dress stylish, and nice, and pretty. There’s nothing wrong with being beautiful and looking good but you know what? When you’re dressing to be flashy and provocative, and when you’re dressing in a way that is drawing attention of men, that isn’t right. You know what? You say, “But my wife, that’s what she wears.” Yeah, but it’s your job to say, “Honey, let’s go shopping. It’s time for you …” I don’t think any wife would ever say no to that.
Look, I am not saying you’re not going to have to go through tribulation here. It’s going to be tribulation. It’s going to be torture. It’s not going to be hell but it’s going to be purgatory or heck to go and go shopping. I am just joking obviously but you know what, it’s time. You say, “I don’t have the money.” You know what? It’s time to go to Goodwill, it’s time to go to Turn Style, it’s time to go to Savers and get some modest apparel, and find some nice things because honestly, it’s your job, husband. It’s all of our job to make sure that we protect, and cherish, and nurture our wives.
If we’re godly, we don’t want our wives to go to others and we don’t want other dudes looking at our wife all the time. We want to enjoy looking at our wife but we want to look at her in the privacy of our home. We don’t want just everybody looking at her, and her to just flaunt her bod to the world.
Let’s go to verse number 11. It says, “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Now, let me back up because I want to deal with the second half of verse 10 there. It says, “For every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” Notice that covetousness leads to false dealings. Covetousness means desiring that which does not belong to you. It’s similar to envy. Covetousness is when I wish I had more money than I have. I wish I had a better car. I wish I had a better house.
When you desire money like that and desire more than what you’ve been given¸ you end up dealing falsely. Meaning that you’ll start getting dishonest on your job or dishonest on your business in order to make extra money or you’ll start doing things that are immoral or unethical to make money because you have covetousness in your life. That’s why the love of money is the root of all evil. It leads to other sins. Covetousness leads to adultery. It leads to false dealings. It leads to all manner of sins because it is one of the most rudimentary sins that enters into our lives at the youngest age.
Even a toddler is covetous. They go into the grocery store aisle and, “I want that. Mom, give me that. I want it.” “No you can’t have that.” “But I want it.” It’s funny how they think that’s a legitimate argument, “You can’t.” “But I want it.” “No, you can’t have that.” “But I want it.” Like they expect you to say, “Oh, you want it?” Oh well, okay then. Yeah, then it’s yours.”
Here’s the thing, little children aren’t tempted with fornication. They’re not even thinking along those lines unless they’ve been corrupt of perverted. Little kids aren’t really even thinking about murder, and adultery, and those type of sins. Hopefully, they’re not taking God’s name in vein but one thing that they get right away is covetousness and it’s the root of all evil. It’s where it starts. It’s where sin begins in our life.
In fact, when Paul talks about being a baby, a physical baby, and basically not having any sin in his life, when he talks about his first sin, he mentions covetousness as the first sin that he committed as a child because that’s what we commit as children. Even as adults, it’s a big sin that we need to be careful of.
What’s the opposite of covetousness? Contentment. Contentment is the opposite. The Bible says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” What’s the answer? Be content with your wife. Don’t covet your neighbor’s husband, be content with your husband. Don’t covet your neighbor’s house, why? Because you’re content with your house. Be content with your car or lack of car. Be content with your feet, your legs, your shoes, your bicycle, whatever it is. Be content that’s the opposite.
Let’s keep reading. It says that because they’ve been given the covetousness and they dealt it falsely, and specifically, these are prophets and the priests. These are even religious leaders. Even the pastor, it’s saying. Even the pastor is covetous and desires wealth and riches. Even he deals falsely to make a buck. There are many preachers who preach things that they ought not for filthy looker’s sake.
Now, what specifically are they doing to preach falsely? The prophet and the priest, what are they doing? It says in verse 11 “For.” For means what? Because. They’re dealing falsely because they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly saying, “Peace, peace when there is no peace.” Slightly means deceptively. It means through trickery. Here’s how they’ve healed her, by just telling her, “You’re fine.”
It would be like if you went to the doctor, and the doctor said, “I’ve healed you.” You go in there with stage four cancer and he says, “Here’s a glass of water. Here’s a couple of aspirin.” He says, “You’re healed. You’re cured.” “Really?” “Yeah.” “Yeah that would be $500 and you’re cured. You’re cured. You’ll never need to come back.”
I’m using a silly example but that’s basically what he’s saying these preachers are doing. People are filled with disease, they’re dying, their body is rotting away, and the doctor’s just telling them, “You’re fine.” It would be like if you went to the doctor and you’re like, “Doctor, I’m in so much pain. I can’t sleep.” He just says, “No, you’re fine. It’s all in your head. Everything is fine. No problem.” “No you don’t understand.” “No, no, you’re fine.”
Basically, the preachers of today, they’re not seeing all the cancer, and all the corruption, and disease that is wracking our nation today. Our nation is on life support, spiritually. It’s like the spiritual operating table just flat lined, and Pastor Anderson is getting out the puddles, and I’m like, “Clear” I’m trying to do some shock treatments here. Try to get this thing coming. Try to bring this thing back to life. Our nation is choking to death and hasn’t breathe in many minutes. I’m getting ready to do the tracheotomy. Nobody wants the tracheotomy but we’re to that point where that’s what’s needed.
All the other doctors are standing around and saying, “He’ll be fine. Everything is fine.” Beep. “It will start beating again. It’s fine. His heart doesn’t really need to beat, he’ll be fine.” Beep. I’m glad but you guys are, “What are you doing? What’s going on?” I’m going, “[inaudible 00:35:30].” I’m trying to bring this thing back to life, and they’re like, “Whoa, you’re going to hurt him. You’re being too harsh. That electricity hurts, man. Let’s put those titles on you and see how you like it.” What in the world? Do you guys not …” but they don’t understand the severity of the situation. He’s saying that they’re like a doctor because he used the word healing. They’re like a doctor who heals by just telling you you’re fine. Peace, peace, when in reality there is no peace.
Verse 12, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.” It’s one thing to sin. It’s one thing to commit abomination but then it’s even worse when you commit abomination and you don’t even blush. You don’t even feel bad about it. You’re not even ashamed of it.
We could all think of times when we sinned and we felt shame. Isn’t that a natural feeling when we commit sin? We should feel ashamed. Then, that’s when we go to the Lord, and we tell them we’re sorry, and we basically confess into the Lord, and receive forgiveness, and move on with our lives, but to sit there and just commit the worse kind of sins, even abominations, and not even blush have no shame.
That’s where we’re at in this country now. We’re at the point where the grossest sins are not even in the closet anymore. They’re just open. They’re just exposed onto the world. It’s like we talked about on Sunday night with just having children out of wedlock is just considered normal. It’s considered fine. It’s considered great. It’s wonderful. Instead of saying, “Oh wow, that’s shameful.” It used to be if a girl in the church got pregnant out of wedlock shame, blushing. People are humiliated. The parents are upset, and they’re humiliated, and she’s humiliated, but now, it’s just considered normal. “Let’s throw her a baby shower.” That’s where we’re at in most churches now. “Let’s give her a Sunday school class to teach.”
It’s out there. It’s out there. I’ve been at a church where there was a small group, there was an official Bible Study of the church. It was an official Sunday school class, had a weekly Bible study in the home of two people that were living in sin together in fornication, unmarried, living in fornication, living an open sin. That’s where we’re at today in many places.
It says on Verse 13, “I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the Lord our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord.”
Because the people, they think everything is fine. That’s why Jeremiah keeps telling them bad things are going to happen. The prosperity preachers is telling them peace, peace when there is no peace. Jeremiah come in and says, “You better into the defenced of the city. You better get behind those walls, you better fortify because war is coming. Babylon is coming to destroy you.” They’re being told it’s peace. Jeremiah is saying, “You better get ready to fight. You better get into the defenced city, and just get in there, and sit down, and shut up,” he said, “because God has put you to silence.”
Verse 15, “We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble, the norting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones.” Talking about the invading army of Babylonians, their horses, the snorting and the trampling of the earth that it’s going to cause quaking of the earth. There’s so much cavalry coming.
“For they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord. When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”
They’re worshiping other gods. They have idolatry, graven images, and so forth. He’s saying, “They provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?” Vanities there is referring to gods because he teaches over and over again in the Bible that the god of the heathen are vanity. Vanity means worthlessness, emptiness. He says these strange vanities, these strange gods, this worthless gods that can’t save you, these statues that are carved by men and worshiped as God by the superstitious whether it’d be a little Buddha that they carry around, or whether it’d would even be a graven image that claims to be off Jesus, or claims to be of Mary, or claims to be of the saints, these are graven images that provoke the Lord to anger and they can profit.
He said in Verse 21, “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black.” Now, of course, there are people who just take that phrase, “I am black,” and just make a whole doctrine that Jeremiah was black which goes back to what we’re saying earlier on the sermon about how the color of our skin doesn’t matter. Red and yellow, black and white, they’re precious in his sight.
When he says “I’m black,” the Bible will often use the term black to have to do with, first of all, the effects of starvation. People’s skin becoming dark because of malnutrition. That’s part of what he refers to with the blackness. Also, there could be a metaphor here of a shadow coming over them in a sense that they are very down and depressed. They are in a spiritual shadow as it were. That’s another use of the word “black” in the Bible. It’s not referring to him, “I’m black.” By the way did I mention I’m black? That wouldn’t really fit in.
He’s talking “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt. By the way I’m black, astonishment hath taken hold on me.” Obviously, the pain, and the hurt, and the astonishment is what made him black. I explained a few of that. If you study the word “black” in the Bible, you’ll see blackness as a result of famine, faces gathering blackness. Also, just the dark countenance of a shadow of sorrow and gloominess coming upon you is what that could also be referring to.
“Astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” Let me just point out to you in that last verse, the closing thought. Again, it’s a very negative chapter, isn’t it? It’s all doom, and gloom, and destruction, and punishment, and wrath, but you know what? The last verse is where the hope is found where God says, “You know what? It’s not that the doctor is not available. It’s not that there’s no balm in Gilead. It’s not that there’s no doctor in the house but it’s that they’re not returning to Him.”
You see, anytime anyone wants to, they could be saved. This is what you constantly try to impress upon the unbelievers of this world. “You’re just telling us that we’re going to hell,” or “You’re just condemning us,” but hold on a second, God sent not out His Son to the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved but a lot of times people quote that verse in isolation. If you quote that verse on isolation, you get the wrong idea. Like Jesus is just only preaching positive or something.
That’s what some people use but look at the next verse. He says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.” Why did God not send His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to condemn the world? Because the world was already condemned. How could He send Jesus to condemn the world? They’re already condemned. He said that He came into the world that they might be saved.
Now, look, anybody who wants to be saved can be saved, anyone. Anyone. You say, “What about …” Anyone. Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Anyone who wants to be saved can just, any time they want to, believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and just confess to the Lord Jesus, and be saved. If they believe in their heart and confess with their mouth, they can be saved in a moment. Anyone who wants to, but here’s the thing, a lot of people don’t want to. That’s the problem.
It’ funny, we’re preaching the Gospel in the South Mountain Community College a couple of days ago. It was either yesterday or the day before. I preached to them how it’s all by grace, their faith, and it’s by believing in Christ that we’re saved, and all we have to do is believe. Here’s what somebody responded, they said, “Then, basically, I guess, everybody in the world would be saved because it’s so easy,” because they said it can’t be that easy, it’s not easy, you have to do all these works.” They said, “If it’s that’s easy, then everybody saved.”
I said, “Wait a minute, hold on. There’s a difference between something being easy and people doing it.” I went on to explain how most people in this world do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s very easy to demonstrate because more than half of the people in this world don’t even claim to believe in Jesus. Amongst those who claim to believe in Jesus, they’re not all truly believers. It’s very easy to be saved. It’s available to anyone.
Not only that, for those that are already saved which is the vast majority of who I am talking to tonight, you know what, God is ready to receive you back into His good grace, in His good favor anytime. I don’t care how deep you’ve gone into sin as a believer. I don’t care how bad you screwed up. Even if you’re like David, look David committed adultery and committed murder. These are horrible sins but I don’t care how bad you’ve blown it. Any time, God is ready to receive you back into His …
Look, it’s impossible to lose your salvation but I am talking about being brought back into fellowship with the Lord, restored into His fellowship, and be in His good graces. Any time you want to, you can get back in church. At a future time you’re backsliding, you can always come back, you can always go back soul winning, you can always pick up the Bible and read it, you can always wake up tomorrow morning and say, “You know what? I’ve been away from the Lord but I am getting back in the saddle again,” anytime you want to.
It’s not the physician is not there to heal your life, to fix the problems in your life, it’s just that you’re not calling Him. The medicine is there. The balm is in Gilead. You’re just not taking the medicine, but it’s not that the medicine isn’t there. At least, in a very negative chapter, God does end on a positive note in a sense because He lets us know, “Hey, whenever you’re ready, I am here.”
Now, we know that these people do eventually turn back to God, although it’s probably not them, it’s probably more like their children and grandchildren because it’s 70 years later when they turned back to the Lord and are brought back to the Promised Land, but you know what? God’s there. God’s waiting. God is ready. Any time you want to get saved, if you’re not saved, or if you’re already saved, He’s ready for you to just come back to the fold, and to be restored into His service once again. Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank You so much for Your word, Lord. Please help us to apply it to ourselves, Lord, and to learn from this chapter. Even though it’s spoken thousands of years ago to people on the other side of the world, Lord, help us to apply these things to ourselves because we are also Your people, Lord, being New Testament believers. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.