Jeremiah 4, Give People Another Chance
1. Invite People To Repent (v1-4)
2. Warn People About The Coming Judgment (v5-9)
3. Wrestle To Understand God’s Work (v10)
4. Invite Repentance While Warning People (v11-18)
5. Weep While Warning People (v19-31)
Jeremiah 4, Give People Another Chance
Jeremiah 4, Give People Another Chance
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As we spend some time in Jeremiah Chapter 4 this evening, I've titled the Message Give People another chance.
Give people another chance, this is.
What God has called Jeremiah to do his whole ministry is really set with this aim.
With this goal in mind, to give the people of Judah one last chance.
To give them one more opportunity and it's really the last opportunity, it's the last chance for the nation of Judah before they experienced the full destruction of of Babylon.
But but even in the.
Midst of that in the midst of Jeremiah's ministry, it's amazing as you walk through the history of it.
Last chance opportunities over and over and over again.
Babylon did not just conquer Judah one time.
And then that.
Was it Babylon actually conquered Judah 3 times?
And every time they would set up a new king over the land, Jeremiah would be there calling the people to say hey, now you've experienced this level of judgment you've been conquered.
Now turn to the Lord and trust in the Lord and experience his deliverance.
And then they would continue.
To ignore the Lord and continue to persist in their own ways.
And so Babylon came back again a second time and conquered that.
And the Lord had Jeremiah there, saying, OK, now you've been conquered a second time.
Now here's your chance.
Here's your opportunity.
Come back to the Lord.
Be obedient to the Lord, receive from him and you will be blessed and experience all the goodness that he has in store for you.
But they still persisted.
They still rebelled and and so God is giving people.
Another chance, and here in this we see an incredible aspect of the heart.
And the nature of God.
You know, many times people categorize the Old Testament as you know that's where we see the God of judgment, right?
And the angry God, the God of wrath, and even as you look at the prophets, you know that will often be a characterization characterization that is attributed to God.
But when you dig into the context and all that is going on.
You find that these pronouncements of judgments are not God just enjoying the destruction of people every time he announces judgment.
It is an opportunity for his people to respond and escape the judgment by turning back.
To him and getting right with God.
I've said it before many times working through Jeremiah in years past that God is never more merciful than when he announced his judgment.
Because when he announced his judgment, we have to understand two things.
Number one, he is announcing judgment because the people deserve to be judged that their sin and the rebellion has risen to the level that judgment is owed and is overdue.
And it's about to fall on them.
But at the same time, God announces the judgment because he wants to give them another chance.
This is the heart of God.
He always wants to give people another chance, another opportunity he does not take any joy or pleasure in the destruction and the judgment or in the suffering.
That people experience.
And so he was always looking for that opportunity to to bring people out.
Of the judgment that they deserve by.
Their response to him, their repentance, and so give people another chance. It's God's heart and it's what God calls Jeremiah to do. And as we walk through this chapter this evening, it's something that we can be encouraged in as well to reflect the heart of God. To follow the example of Jeremiah, and to give people another.
Remember, Peter asked the Lord how many times should I forgive my brother up to 7 times and the Lord said 70 * 7.
How about that?
Don't keep count.
Give people another chance.
Peter, forgive them, they come back and repent, forgive them and give them another chance.
And so let's walk through.
Some of these things found here in Chapter 4.
Verses one through 4 gives us point #1 and that is invite people to repent in order to give people another chance. There has to be an invitation, an opportunity to repent, to turn and to change verse. One says if you will return to Israel, says the Lord return.
And if you will put away your abominations.
Out of my sight.
Then you shall not be moved.
Now, this invitation that we see here at the beginning of chapter four really begins in Chapter 3.
But we're not going to go into go backwards and go into all of those details but, but it begins throughout Chapter 3.
He's been calling his people to return to him and and starting that conversation, starting that call.
Starting that invitation because he wants people to have a chance to read.
He says you've been stuck in this way for a long time.
You've been heading down this path for a long time.
You've been suffering the consequences of it for a long time.
If you will return that, the choice is up to you.
If you're going to change.
Now, in the midst of a difficult situation, some people might choose to make a change, but their change is not toward the Lord, and so here the Lord is saying, look, if you're finally.
Willing to make a change.
Change if you're finally finally willing to return from your ways, then return to me.
Come back so turn to something else.
Don't try to rely on something else.
Turn to me and if you put away your abominations then you shall not be moved here.
It really pictures very clearly for us repentance that 180 degrees that turning away from what you have been practicing.
Putting away the abominations and moving towards the Lord.
Stepping into relationship with the Lord and stepping into the ways of the Lord.
He goes on in verse two to say.
And you shall swear.
The Lord lives in truth in judgment and in righteousness.
The nation of Judah at this time is still swearing in the name of the Lord.
That is, they're still claiming the name of the Lord.
They would still see one another and say, hey, the Lord lives.
Just like you know, we might look at each other and say, hey, God bless you and we could say, hey God bless you and our hearts could be 1,000,000 miles away.
From God and the things of God.
That's how the nation of Judah was.
They said the Lord lives, they said Hallelujah and Amen and all the the right spiritual words.
But it wasn't in truth and it wasn't in righteousness.
They they did not have their hearts right with.
The Lord, but they were.
Still using that vocabulary and putting on that.
Kind of show.
As if they were right with God.
Verse 3-4 thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem. Break up your fallow ground, and do not so among thorns.
Using an illustration from the field to break up the field to prepare it to sow seeds of repentance to so spiritual seeds that can grow the to try to sow good seed on ground that is not broken up and is filled with thorns.
That's going to be a fruitless endeavor.
And so to try to like sprinkle in things of God into a life and a heart that is apart from God and messed up and filled with things that are not of God.
Well, you're you're not going to get fruit that way.
There needs to be a turning of the soil.
Preparing the soil to receive.
The growth that God wants to provide.
Verse four, he says, circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts.
You, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my fury come forth like fire and burn, so that no one can quench it.
Because of the evil.
Of your doings.
He goes on to use the example.
The illustration of circumcision.
And he says, look this physical covenant with Abraham represents something spiritual to circumcise yourself to the Lord, that is to be devoted to the Lord.
To remove the things of the flesh to take away the abominations and to commit yourself and to focus.
Your life and your mind in your heart.
On the things of God.
And God here.
Gives the warning if you don't do this, my fury will come forth like fire.
Because of the evil.
Of your doings, you deserve fire.
You deserve judgment.
But because I don't want you to experience that, I'm giving you this opportunity to break up that fallow ground to devote yourself.
To me, to return to me and to put away your abominations.
Now again, this is really fascinating to consider because.
When Jeremiah is ministering this and delivering this message.
These people that he's speaking to have been religious their whole lives.
And yet in rebellion against God, their whole lives as well.
Just think about the timeline with me for a moment here.
The Nation of Israel was split in two after King Solomon.
And so although King Solomon started off well, he kind of went sideways, and it seems like he came back to the Lord and got right with the Lord at the end of his life.
But his son really didn't follow in his footsteps or David's footsteps, and it was pretty much downhill.
The nation was split into the Northern Kingdom, kept the name Israel, the Southern Kingdom, kept the name Judah.
The Northern Kingdom always had bad kings.
They never had one good king.
They all rebelled against God from the start and they grew worse and worse and worse and worse.
And similarly to the Prophet Jeremiah, there were prophets that God sent to that Northern Kingdom, calling them to repentance, and they refused to receive it, and so finally God used the nation of Assyria to bring judgment to conquer the northern Kingdom and take all the inhabitants away captive.
And so here's the nation of Judah.
They weren't conquered when Israel was conquered.
And yet they were neighbors.
They're still, you know, brothers and cousins.
And you know, they're they're still family in many ways, and and so here they.
Are they're right across the fence?
And they're watching this unfold.
They're watching the nation of Israel be conquered and taken away captive.
And they don't learn from that.
This is part of the keys that God lays out for them in Jeremiah Chapter 3.
They don't take those things to heart and say, hey, you know, we're kind of on the same path as the nation of Israel and we're practicing a lot of the same things that they're practicing.
And so maybe we ought to change our ways and come back and get right with God, and they continue on.
And now they had some good kings that would bring about some revivals.
But the revivals were superficial. In fact, at the beginning of Jeremiah's reign, which this prophecy seems to come from that time period in Chapter 3, verse six, it tells us the Lord said to me, in the days of Josiah the king. Now you might recognize the name Josiah, because Josiah is one of those.
Noteworthy good kings for the nation of Judah, and he led a revival.
But there in.
Chapter 3 If you follow along after verse 6.
God makes it clear, although.
They had this good king.
And there was reforms that took place.
The people as a whole the nation.
As a whole.
Did not really repent.
Verse 10 of Jeremiah Chapter 3.
He says, and yet for all this.
Her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to meet with her whole heart.
But in pretense, says the Lord.
And so in the time of.
Josiah, when there is this revival that looks like revival, that's going on, God says.
It looks like revival and there's reforms going on externally.
From the majority of the people, it's fake.
It's in pretense it's not real revival.
And so that happens during these good kings, and as they call people to repentance, there's an outward.
Expression of repentance.
But their hearts are still far from God.
And so consider the timeline a little bit we're talking about.
Hundreds of years of rebellion.
By the time Jeremiah is on the scene.
The nation of Judah has been in rebellion for hundreds of years.
Hundreds of years.
That means the people that Jeremiah is ministering to their whole lives.
Have been in rebellion.
They've been very religious their whole lives, and they've also been.
Rebellious and resisting the word of God and the work of God for their whole lives.
And yet, God.
Is inviting the people to repent?
After hundreds of years, God not given up.
And even after Babylon comes, and we'll see that later on in Chapter 4.
Even when Babylon comes, God hasn't given up.
And even when that judgment falls, it's not the end completely.
There's going to be future opportunities.
To repent as well.
I like to consider the timeline and understand OK when God is talking about a nation.
You can kind of scale that down to an individual level.
I do about a 12:50 ratio. What does that mean? Well, it's been 400 years in the lifetime of Jeremiah. It was 400 years after the nation of Israel was split in two.
In the life of a person, maybe that.
Works out to about 40 years.
And So what if you're talking to someone who has?
Made a split.
Made a change.
Bet in rebellion against Scott for 40 years.
I would suggest to you that the heart of God.
For that person who has been hardened.
Been against God for 40 years.
God would be saying.
Hey Harvey, give them an invitation to repent.
Give them a chance.
I know it's been 40 years.
I know it's been.
Their whole life or practically their whole life.
I know it's been such a long time that this rebellion has been going on, and that seems so entrenched and so impossible, but.
But I still haven't given up.
And so here I, I suggest that we get a little glimpse into the heart of God through the prophet Jeremiah that God calls Jeremiah to give this message because he wants.
People who have been in rebellion for a really long time who deserve incredible judgment because of the terrible things that they have done.
He wants them.
To have an opportunity to repent, he never takes pleasure.
In the destruction.
In the judgment that is deserved, well, moving on to versus 5 through 9 we get point #2 this evening and that is warn people about the coming judgment.
So there has to be some clarity.
As this invitation is given, there also has to be a warning about what happens if you don't change course, warn people about the coming judgment.
Verse 5 through 9 says this.
Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say, blow the trumpet in the land.
Cry, gather together and say, assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.
Set up the standard toward Zion.
Do not delay, for I will bring disaster from the north and great destruction.
The lion has come up from his thicket.
And the destroyer of nations is on his way.
He has gone forth from his place to make your land desolate.
Your cities will be laid waste without inhabitant.
For this, clothe yourselves with sackcloth.
Lament and wail.
For the fierce anger of the.
Lord has not turned back from us.
And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord, that the.
Heart of the king.
And the heart of the.
The priests shall be astonished.
And the prophets shall wonder.
Warn the people.
About the coming judgment for dropping your keys in church.
Warn the people about the coming judgment.
Here the Lord says in verse 5 two declare in Judah and proclaim.
There was this call to blow the trumpet.
Now the the blowing of the trumpet was to sound the alarm.
It's like trigger the fire alarm.
Set it off so that everybody is alerted, everybody knows.
Why is God saying to sound the trumpet?
Well as he goes on in the following verses, he's saying.
Babylon is on the way.
In verse seven, he says the lion has come.
Up from his thicket.
He's using the lion approaching as a picture of Babylon.
The lion is coming.
The devourer is right at the door, so sound the alarm.
So that people have an opportunity.
To take shelter.
Sound the alarm again when God announces judgment.
It's always an opportunity to repent.
And so God is never more merciful.
Then when he announces judgment.
Pastor Warren Wisby puts it this way.
God commanded the watchman to blow the trumpets and alert the people to run to the walled.
Cities for safety.
That would have given them time to repent in sackcloth.
And to wash their hearts by confessing their sins.
It's not hard to understand, right?
If God took pleasure.
In causing people to suffer.
Then he wouldn't give them advance notice so that.
They could get out of it.
Like that doesn't make any sense.
He announces it.
For the express purpose.
That people have the opportunity to respond.
And so he calls the watchman to sound the alarm.
Picture the nation of Judah.
There was the city of Jerusalem, which was a stronghold.
There was other cities that were strong, holds the majority of the nation, though lived in smaller cities or unwalled cities.
And so the Kingdom of Babylon is they swept through the land.
Those cities that were unwalled or that didn't have great defenses, they would just be swept up quickly like you wake up that morning.
Gonna go farm your field like usual and then all of a sudden.
Here's the Army of Babylon and.
You have no chance.
To respond to, run to do anything you're under attack immediately.
They're just right up on you because you have no defence is no defence system.
This is who this warning is for.
It's to sound the alarm.
All you people who are scattered around.
You're not in the strongholds.
Get out of the country.
Run to the stronghold.
Again, so that you have opportunity 'cause Babylon is coming.
And so you have opportunity, then to get away.
To have another day or two to think about your life, to think about what God has been saying and to respond.
And so this warning was important so that people would have the chance and have a little extra time a little.
Bit more time.
To turn back.
To the Lord.
And Ezekiel Chapter 3 and Ezekiel Chapter 33 God walks through the responsibility of a watchman.
A prophet, a messenger of the Lord, has a responsibility.
To warn whenever God announces a judgment.
And so Ezekiel was.
Given that charge Jeremiah is given that charge.
And I would suggest there are many occasions where you and I are given that charge as well.
Inviting people to repent.
Is an important part.
Of the work that God wants us.
To be involved in.
But we have to be careful that we.
Don't get so soft.
Now we're not willing.
To also talk about the harsh reality.
To refuse God to turn from God continually and not accept his offer of salvation and deliverance is to experience his judgment that is deserved.
And so there needs to be a clear warning that people understand the threat that they're facing.
There is a coming judgment that's true today, as much as it was true when the prophet Jeremiah was given this prophecy back in Jeremiah Chapter 4.
It's true, it's true today there is a coming judgment.
Now, that doesn't mean that.
We only talk about judgment.
Because we also need to invite people to repent, right?
But that doesn't mean that we go around.
Or you know, kind of gleefully talking about the judgment that is to come right.
Like it's not.
It's not about taking joy in it.
And it it might be really difficult and challenging for us to give.
A warning, but.
But people need to be warned, and God's heart is that people would be warned about the coming judgment.
So that they would get more opportunity, more time, more chance.
To turn and to get right with God.
Well, moving on to verse 10. Just one verse for point #3 wrestle to understand.
Verse 10 says.
Then I said.
Oh Lord God.
Surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem.
Saying you shall have peace.
Whereas the sword reaches to the heart.
I like verse 10 because.
You're seeing this interaction between Jeremiah and the Lord.
He's receiving this prophecy from the Lord.
And he's saying wait a second.
That's challenging what I have in my head that's challenging my my mental model of this scenario and situation.
Have you deceived the people?
Proclaiming that they would have peace.
You know, sometimes.
Maybe I should rephrase that?
A lot of times, most of the time.
We don't fully understand.
And if there's not times where we have to wrestle to understand God's work.
We're not really interacting with God on a.
Deep enough level.
Because there are going to be so many times where we can't figure out what God's doing, why he's doing it, or why he's allowing it.
Now Jeremiah is not accusing God of deceiving the people.
Wrapping his mind around things that he's hearing and trying to understand them.
I I think the this is more clearly revealed a few chapters over, and if you want to take a look at Jeremiah Chapter 14, it'll kind of clear up where where Jeremiah head and heart is added in this Jeremiah Chapter 14 verse.
Again, he's interacting with God.
In verse 13 he says.
Then I said, Ah Lord God, behold the Prophet, say to them, you shall not see the sword.
Nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace.
In this place.
And the Lord said to me.
The prophets prophecy lies in my name.
I have not sent.
Them commanded them, nor spoken to them.
They prophesied to you, a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.
During this time, the nation of Judah has false prophets in their midst.
And they're prophesying peace.
Hey, don't worry about Babylon.
You've heard about the lion coming.
Don't worry about that.
Babylon they're not gonna be able to defeat us.
The false prophets.
We're saying we're gonna have peace and we're gonna have victory and we're gonna rise up and everything is gonna be great.
And what's interesting here?
Is that Jeremiah?
He doesn't have a clear black and white picture of what is true and what is from the Lord and what is it?
He's wrestling with this, but Lord, the Prophets are saying.
And and they're they're speaking.
These things about peace, but you're telling me something different and I don't understand.
These two messages don't line up.
I'm a bit confused by why.
This is going on.
And God has to clear it up for him and say, here's why this is different.
Jeremiah those guys are lying.
You know, sometimes we take such a simple view of things that we are absolutely convinced that we have exactly the clear picture about everything we ever think about.
Or have an opinion about right?
But but Jeremiah was humble enough to say here's these guys prophesying.
That doesn't match what you're saying to me.
I don't get it.
Why is that happening?
Why are they saying those things?
And the message you're giving me is something different and and he had to seek the Lord for clarity, had to work to understand it.
Wasn't just obvious.
Oh those guys are false prophets.
They're liars, I know.
'cause I'm a prophet like it wasn't that.
Clear it was.
I don't understand Lord what are you doing and why are you allowing that and.
Why are they saying that?
He had to wrestle.
Why God would allow certain things?
Why people would proclaim things in the name of the Lord and he would have to stop and think is it is that of the Lord.
They used the name of the Lord.
Is it the Lord?
There's going to be many occasions.
Where we have to wrestle to understand God's work, it's not always.
Clear 'cause God's ways are.
Higher than our ways.
We don't have.
All knowledge and answer to every.
Question in every situation.
Thinking about this reminded me of the Prophet Habakkuk.
Who saw the wickedness of the nation?
And cried out to the to the Lord in prayer, and said, Lord, when are you going to do something about this wickedness in our nation?
And God responded to him and said, I am going to.
Do something about it.
You're not gonna believe it when I tell you.
I'm going to raise up the nation of Babylon to come and bring judgment upon the nation and.
Have acting says woo.
Wait a minute.
They're more wicked than we are.
I mean, I'm with we're wicked and I'm complaining about it.
I want you to do something about it, but I want you to do something about it with someone who's more righteous than we are.
Not someone who's more wicked than we are.
Habakkuk chapter one in his response to the Lord Habakkuk says.
You are of purer.
Eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.
Why do you look on those who deal treacherously and hold your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?
Bacchic, prophet of the Lord, says God.
I don't understand.
Why you allow this while you work this way?
While you're moving in this direction.
Giving people another chance.
It's not always going to be easy.
It's not always going to make sense.
It's not always going to be exactly clear.
Why God is allowing another chance?
Why God is allowing different things to go on or other people to bring in deceptive lies and and other messages.
I mean, you can wrestle with that question for a long time.
Why does God even allowed deception?
Why does he allow people to lie?
Why does he allow destruction to take place by someone more wicked?
Why does God and
When it comes to the why questions in regards to God, we normally don't have an answer unless the Lord lays it out for us and explains it to us.
Apart from that, we're just going to have to.
Wrestle and interact with the Lord and seek the Lord in.
Look to him.
For more clarity and understanding in what he's doing, and maybe he'll give it, but he doesn't know it to us, so we don't have to wait for you know, all the answers.
But we're going to wrestle expect.
To wrestle, expect there to be some mystery because God.
And we're not.
Moving on to verses 11 through 18, it gives us point #4 and that is.
Invite repentance while warning people.
And you might say, well, Jerry, isn't that just .1 and two over again? Well, yeah, 'cause.
That's what's happening here.
At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem a dry wind of the desolate heights.
Blows in the wilderness.
Tored, the daughter of my people not to fan or to cleanse a wind too strong for these will come for me.
Now I will also speak judgment against them, behold.
He shall come up like clouds and his Chariots like a whirlwind.
His horses are swifter than Eagles.
Woe to us for we are plundered.
Wash your heart from wickedness.
That you may be saved, how long shall your evil thoughts lodge?
Here's a warning.
With an invitation to repent.
Jeremiah uses a lot of illustrations this time.
He uses the illustration.
Of a wind.
Maybe you could think about it.
Like the Santa Ana winds, you know how?
We get those.
Strong winds that come in and bring the the hot air.
They would have similar wind systems over in the region of Judah as well, something they're familiar with.
And you know, when those come through, it's just.
Like, whoosh and and.
Can cause damage.
It can knock over all kinds of things, right?
That the idea here is that the Babylon, when they come, it's going to be like that.
It's just going to cover the whole end and then it's just going to be just overnight, just all over the land of Judah, and it's going to be so strong that there is no.
Ability to resist.
To hold against the nation of Babylon.
So the warning.
Like a windstorm that cannot be escaped.
Babylon is coming.
And so Jerusalem wash your heart from wickedness.
You still have a chance.
There's still opportunity.
He's at the door.
The wind is.
On the way but.
Wash your heart from wickedness that you may be saved.
You've been harboring those evil thoughts for so long?
How long are you gonna hold onto those?
Be washed, be cleansed.
Remove those things.
From U-verse 15 for our voice declares from Dan.
And proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim.
Make mention to the nations, yes proclaim against Jerusalem.
That watchers come from a far country and raise.
Their voice against the cities of Judah.
Like keepers of a field.
They are against her all around.
Because she has been rebellious against me, says.
The nation of Babylon is moving in verse 13 when he says a voice declares from Dan.
Dan was the further furthest city north in Israel.
It had been long ago conquered, but Dan was still that.
That geographic point that what do they call landmark?
That's why I'm trying to say that it's that landmark.
Everybody you know when you want to talk about the tip of the nation N you talk about Dan.
The voice declares from Dan.
Babylon has come.
They're they're not far off now.
They're at the tip of the nation.
They're right there at the northern tip of Israel.
And they're going to be surrounding Judah.
In just a little bit like keepers of the.
Field, they're around them all around.
And again, God leads out why?
Because she has been rebellious against me.
And your doings have procured these things for you.
This is your wickedness.
Because it is bitter.
Because it reaches to your heart.
God is explaining here as Babylon comes against them.
This is a direct result.
Of your wickedness.
It's a direct result of your rebellion against God.
Your ways and your.
Doings have brought these things upon you.
And it's bitter and the nation of Babylon when they came in.
They were not going to be gentle and say, OK, everybody please line up.
We want to just take you over to Babylon and so here's some you know.
Nice soft tethers, and so just kind of maybe tie your hands.
Don't tie it too tight.
Just tie your hands and and just start marching.
But that's what we'll just take a lot of breaks and stuff.
It'll be nice and easy.
We'll make our way to Babylon and you'll find a great home to live in.
And it's just going to.
Be wonderful, that's not how Babylon came in.
They came in to conquer and people were going to be hurt.
Lives are going to be lost.
What they would do in that caravan taking them out of the land was they would hook people through their nose and so it would be a line of prisoners hooked through their nose, led the hundreds of miles back.
In captivity to where they would be.
It's bitter, I mean to think about how hard and hurtful and painful that was.
Oh, it's bitter.
But God says exactly.
Your your bitterness that is experienced in this is in direct proportion.
To the wickedness.
Of your ways.
Something important for us to understand when when we don't understand God's judgment.
It is always because we don't understand the sin.
That is involved.
When we look at a situation and go wow, that was just like way too harsh God.
I can't believe you did that.
We don't have the whole picture.
God's judgment is always.
And exactly what is required in fact, oftentimes.
God OPS to provide judgment that is less than what is deserved because he's merciful.
He's not obligated to do that.
He gets to make the choice.
When we don't understand God's judgment.
It is always because we don't understand the sin.
Involved and so.
We need to continue.
To invite repentance.
To provide the warnings to give pictures that help people understand.
The consequences for sin, the consequences for ignoring the Lord and rejecting the Lord.
While giving opportunity, there's still chance to be cleansed.
Yes, that wickedness is great and.
It the judgment is deserved.
But there's still a chance you get to wash yourself.
To be cleanse.
By faith in Jesus Christ.
Well, finally verses 1930 through 31 gives us the fifth point.
Weep while warning people.
Verse 19 says.
Oh my soul, my soul.
I am pained in my very heart.
My heart makes a noise in me.
I cannot hold my peace.
Because you have heard Oh my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
Jeremiah is referred to by many.
As the weeping Prophet.
Because we find him often weeping.
Here he says I'm pained in my very heart and and there's this expression of pain here Oh my soul, my soul.
This ministry that Jeremiah has is not one that he.
Volunteered for because he was so excited to announce judgments upon people.
He's doing what God has asked him to do.
And it hurts him.
To do it.
It hurts him to see.
The things that are proclaimed, but then it hurts even more to see those prophecies fulfilled.
And Jeremiah lived to see the majority of his prophecies fulfilled.
He watched it all unfold.
He watched Babylon, conquered the first time, and then watched Babylon conquered the second time and then watched Babylon conquer the third time.
And all the things that he is prophesying about he watches it unfold.
And it is painful.
It is heart aching and heartbreaking Oh my soul, my soul.
Again, Jeremiah here.
Accurately represents the heart of God for us.
For the midst of that situation, for the nation of Judah.
God's heart was breaking and broken and hurting.
Even though it's God who is bringing the judgment.
He takes no.
Pleasure in it.
And so Jeremiah here.
Reflects the heart of God and reminds us.
You know, sometimes.
There are warnings that are given.
And and it's almost like.
Happy to give this warning and.
I'm kind of hoping you don't repent, 'cause I really want.
To see you get judged.
And sometimes that.
Is conveyed in a message of warning.
To a people.
And and it can be given many times in the name.
Of the Lord now.
God is not ashamed of the reality that.
He is a right choice and holy God and brings judgment like he doesn't have to apologize for that.
At the same time we have to be careful that we reflect the heart of God that.
God tells us later on in Ezekiel, we'll see he.
He never takes pleasure in the destruction.
Of the wicked.
It's never like a gleeful thing a joyful thing for him to like.
I can't wait to just inflict the pain and and bring the hardship, and it's going to be so enjoyable to just watch them squirm.
There are times in relationship to judgment where there is reference to God laughing, but it's not a laughter as in like oh.
My goodness, I'm having such a good time.
It's a mockery of the pride and the absolute refusal of people to repent and turn to God.
And God is saying, like.
You think you're gonna conquer me you think you're gonna outsmart me.
You can't do that.
But it's never a gleeful thing.
For God to bring judgment.
And so although we need to be responsible in our ministry and in our watching to warn, we also need to be careful that we weep.
With that warning.
And this can be really hard and challenging.
Christian meme a few days ago I can't.
Quite remember exactly.
The details, but I get the gist in my end, so I'll try to convey it to you.
It's basically like.
Loving Jesus is easy.
But loving Judas.
Loving Jesus is easy.
Loving Judas is what we're really called to do because Jesus loved.
Judas, even as we talked.
About on Sunday, he's still.
Had Last Supper with Judas right?
He still washed Judas feet.
He partook of communion with Judas.
They shared bread together.
Jesus loved Judas.
Even in the midst of the betrayal that would happen.
When he told Judas what you must do, do quickly.
You could look at Jeremiah.
Here's the example he weeped.
He didn't want Judas to be destroyed.
To be judged.
Even after the betrayal, but Judas hung himself.
Jesus was not trying to pay him back.
For his action for his behavior.
If Judas had not hung himself, and then when Jesus rose from the dead, he wouldn't have gone and pushed him off the Cliff, right like?
He loved Judas.
We need to be.
Really careful to reflect the heart of God in that even the worst sinners now going back to the timeline, right?
These are people who have refused.
To respond to God's call for hundreds of years.
And when we're standing in front of the person who has refused.
And then hurtful and hard and and causing all kinds of problems.
There can be a very great temptation for us to take a little bit of joy in that.
Oh man, I know God is gonna get you.
But that's not God's heart.
And we have to be careful we have a responsibility.
Not to just.
Do what we want.
And express what we want. We have a responsibility to express God's heart.
And even for our Judas.
We have a responsibility.
If God calls us to give the warning that it's not given in our own way and in our own methods and in.
Our own mindset, but it's given in.
The heart of God.
That would weep.
Even in the midst of providing the warning.
Well, we should get into these verses and the winning verse 20 destruction upon destruction is cried.
For the whole land is plundered.
Suddenly, my tents are plundered at my curtains in a moment.
How long shall I see this standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
For my people are foolish.
They have not known me.
They are silly children and they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil, but to do good.
They have no knowledge.
Understanding the weeping.
Gives the appropriate tone.
To these verses.
Destruction upon destruction.
It's not destruction upon destruction, it's.
Destruction upon destruction.
It's so destructive it's so hurtful it's so far reaching oh how long is this gonna go on not how?
Long is this gonna?
Go on, it's so great, right?
How long is this gonna go on?
God says, ah, this is heartbreaking.
My people are foolish.
They're silly children, he says.
They have no understanding.
They they don't know.
How to know me how to walk with me?
How to hear from me to do good they have.
No knowledge, oh.
But they're experts in doing evil.
What a tragedy.
Verse 23 I beheld the earth.
And indeed it was without form and void in the heavens.
They had no light.
I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth.
I beheld, indeed.
There was no man, and all the birds.
Of the heavens had fled.
I beheld, then indeed, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord, by his fierce anger. Verse 27 for thus says the Lord, the whole land shall be desolate.
Yet I will not make a full end.
Notice the mercy of God?
Jeremiah has this vision.
He's beholding the earth.
And it's just completely destroyed.
It's so destroyed there's no form, it's just void.
There is no light.
This is a vision, a vision.
He's he's seeing visually a picture of what it's going to be like.
For the nation, when this judgment comes.
The mountains trembling, the hills shaking now this is not a literal earthquake necessarily.
That Jeremiah is seeing.
It's just it's a a visual description.
Of the destruction that Babylon will bring.
And they're just going to be completely wiped out.
But not completely. It's completely wiped out, but not completely. The whole land shall be desolate, verse 27, yet I will not make a full end.
Even in the.
Midst of this very severe judgment that is deserved, God says.
I'm going to leave a small remnant.
I'm going to give the nation as a whole, another opportunity.
Those individuals who are taken captive who are.
Killed in the battle.
They had their chance.
But I'm not giving up on the nation.
There will be a few left.
Who will have a chance?
Have an opportunity?
To respond to the word of God. Verse 28.
For this shall the earth more.
And the heavens above be black.
Because I have spoken.
I have purposed and will not relent, nor will I turn back from it.
The whole city shall flee from the noise of the Horsemen and Bowman.
They shall go into the thickets and climb up on the rocks.
Every city shall be forsaken.
Shall dwell in it.
Babylon conquered all of Judah except for Jerusalem.
Laid siege to all the rest of the inhabitants of the land who were taken up shelter in Jerusalem, and then Babylon conquered Jerusalem.
But they left some behind, took some captive.
And then Judah rebelled again.
Babylon came back, laid siege, everybody was inside Jerusalem.
Babylon conquered Jerusalem, took some way captive, left some behind.
Set up a new king.
Then Judah rebelled again, and Babylon.
Said OK, that's it.
Conquered again, laid siege again destroyed Jerusalem this time.
Took down the walls we don't want to have to come back and conquer it a fourth time.
Babylon takes the whole nation captive.
Except for there's Jeremiah.
A guy named Gedaliah.
And a few others.
There's just a handful of people left, but there's no city, there's no stronghold anymore, they're just left.
Out in the field.
But even then.
You'll continue to read this in Jeremiah as we.
Go through, but even then.
They end up.
Leaving Judah and going to Egypt out of further.
Rebellion against God.
And so the land is truly left empty.
And there's people of God in Babylon.
There's people who've got in Egypt.
He's going to bring them back in due time, but the land itself is completely waste and destroyed.
And God weeps.
Over this requirement of judgment that was forced upon him by his rebellious people.
When you are plundered, what will you do?
But you clothe yourself with Crimson.
Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with paint.
In vain you.
Will make yourself fair.
Your lovers will despise you.
They will seek your life.
Here he paints the picture.
Of someone trying to gain favor with others.
When they realize the destruction and the results and the consequences.
Oh, let's try to make nice with Babylon.
Let's try to make nice with Egypt to fight against Babylon for us.
Let's try to strike up a deal or work something out.
You can't make.
Yourself beautiful enough to escape the judgment of God.
You can't sign up enough allies to escape the judgment of God.
Everyone around you.
Will despise you.
As you experience the judgment of God. Verse 31.
For I have heard of.
Voices of a woman in labor.
The anguish as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, be willing herself.
She spreads her hand saying, woe is me now.
For my soul is weary because of murderers.
In envisioning this judgment that is coming.
He pictures a woman.
The extreme pain.
The severe hurt that is going on.
Pictured by that woman in labor, the nation as a whole, the people will be crying out.
But before those people cried.
The Lord wept.
Over the necessity of this judgment.
Weep while warning people.
We are not to take joy.
In judgment, 'cause God doesn't.
And so God calls us to give people another chance.
That's what he called Jeremiah to do.
He serves a.
As a good example.
For us to invite people to repent.
To warn people about the coming judgment.
To wrestle to understand God's work. Because in the throes of it and the the the things that we're working through, man, we don't understand.
Why is God so patient?
Sometimes we wrestle with that.
Why doesn't judgment come, you know, more quickly or why isn't God wait and judge a little bit later?
Why do you judge so quickly in that case?
And in this case he's being so patient?
And why is God using this or allowing that?
And we're going to wrestle with this and the.
The ways of the Lord are not our ways.
Our responsibility is not to have all the answers to have it all figured out, our responsibility is to hear from the Lord.
And be obedient.
To what he calls us to and as he speaks to our heart.
While warning again, give the warnings.
But give the invitation.
And weep over the consequences weep.
Over the destruction.
That's the heart of God.
Lord me pray.
That you would.
Help us to understand these things and God.
First we want to say thank you for giving.
US multiple chances.
And, Lord, we've we've all had our own share of chances that you've given to us and opportunities, and.
But we're so grateful for your mercy.
And your forgiveness.
And your ongoing grace towards us.
God, I pray that.
You would keep.
Those chances that you've given to us.
Very clear in our mind.
That we might be able to reflect.
To people around us.
Or give us boldness.
But give us words and clarity that we might give invitation.
Give us opportunity, we pray.
To demonstrate your heart to the people around us.
Word that you're.
Invitation might be heard.
Annoyed that people might?
The destruction and judgment that is deserved and do, and.
Is on the way.
But may our hearts be in line with yours and break.
For the hardship, the heartache, the destruction that will come.
Disrupt the destruction that is happening, Lord as a result of sin.
And that will come.
When judgment is delivered.
Severe hardness and rebellion.
But you give people a new chance, a fresh opportunity.
And so let's send us out as your agents.
To do that, we pray this in Jesus name.