JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 8 AND 9
THE STATE OF THE NATION
Jeremiah Chapters 8-9
Taught by: Carolyn Sissom
Tuesday Morning Bible Study, March 8, 2021.
To preach chapters 8 and 9, I have to pull from the strength of the Lord, because these verses are difficult for me to preach and teach. The prophet is conscious of the futility of his appeals and rebukes.
I wrote in my notes on these chapters October 2008:
“I struggled before the Lord to continue in obedience to teach this book of love, intercession and judgment. I said to the Lord, “Allow me to preach a message of encouragement, peace and hope.” I then knew that Jeremiah had struggled with the same petition and obeyed the Lord. I remembered in years past of great revivals and revival preachers. Our nation was in a great depression and the Lord sent forth revivalists who had the courage to call our backslidden nation to repentance. From the revivals and times of refreshing, the United States came in to Greatness in Prosperity and Power. Our nation has been exalted and we are presently the most powerful nation on earth.
However, like Israel, we are now seeing reverse after reverse. Due to the sins of sacrificing babies, worshiping idols, sun moon and stars, plus many more, our nation is being judged. The leaders have turned their back on God, His Word, His Son, His Ways and His Law” (Carolyn Sissom – 2008).
We studied Sunday evening how when a nation’s idols begin to appear as images, the judgment of that nation has already begun.
Jeremiah 8:1-3: At that time, says the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its 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. They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. Then death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the LORD of hosts.
At the time Jeremiah gave this prophecy, this was still a future event. Judah still had time to repent.
“When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, not only would the living be killed and left in Tophet until there was no more room for bodies, but the Babylonians would also ransack the graves of the kings, princes, and wealthy people of Judah, leaving their bones out in the open fields to be spread before the sun, moon, and various other planets which they had worshipped.” (Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible)
In contrast with sacrificing children, God’s ways are ways of life, and the personal sacrifices he requires of his people produces moral strength and nobility of character leading to freedom rather than bondage.
Christ fettered and disarmed the demons and their darkness through his Cross.
Mankind has continued with this sinful act, never fully eradicating abortion and baby sacrifice from the land.
8:4-5: Say to them, this is what the Lord says: when men fall down, do they not get up? When a man turns away, does he not return? Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They clink to deceit. They refuse to return. The Word deceit here in all of the commentaries refers to idolatry; in this, men worship that which is false. Why do they refuse? Because of a feeling of dislike, because Satan deceives the whole world and they lie in wickedness (1 Jn. 5:19).
8: 6-7: I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.
The people have no understanding that they have sinned. No true revelation that they have denied God. All of them zealously pursue their own selfish course rather than turning back to God in repentance.
They are governed by a lying spirit!
8:8-12: How do you say, we are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? 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? Therefore, I will give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for everyone from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one deals falsely? For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abominations? No, 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 cut down, says the Lord.
We can apply this to government leaders as well as spiritual leaders. This was and is the judgment upon the deceiving pens of religious leaders whose heart was governed by a lying spirit. The Torah has been mishandled by the scribes in such a way as to actually falsify the text. These will all be put to shame. The time of the God’s visitation of judgment is the same as the harvest and the summer of verse 20.
8: 13-20: I will take away their harvest, declares the Lord. There will be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and their leaves will wither. What I have given them will be taken from them. Why are we sitting here? Gather together! Let us flee to the defensed cities and perish there! For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against him. We hoped for peace, but no good has come, for a time of healing but there was only trouble. The snorting of the enemy’s horses is heard from Dan; at the neighing of their stallions, the whole land trembles. They have come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all who live there. (Vs. 17) Behold I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, says the Lord. O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away. Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King no longer there? Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their worthless foreign idols? The harvest is past. The summer has ended, and we are not saved.
The prophet is expressing his pain and grief. Jeremiah is crying for his nation and people. How could this happen. The Lord answers because they provoked me to anger with their images.
Such visitation is found four other times in Isa. 10:3; Hos. 9:7; Mic. 7:4; Lk. 19:44. God had given them a definite time which of itself gives them time to repent.
God first sent them judgments in the form of serpents. Isaiah 14:29 notes the progressive rebellion of Judah:
Do not rejoice Philistia, because the rod of him that smote you is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
1. Serpents root = Fangs
2. Cockatrice (adder) = Thruster (striker)
3. Fiery flying serpent = Dragon Company
Rebellion is a venom passed by the serpent’s root or seed. If one has been bitten, and does not allow the root of bitterness to be removed, he will become a Cockatrice (striker) towards himself and others, hence defiling many. If one Is not delivered from this destructive lifestyle, he will grow into a mature son of disobedience, a fiery flying serpent.
By chapter 8 of Jeremiah, Judah’s rebellion had reached the 60-fold level. The cockatrice had been hatched! Yet the prevailing love of God will not allow Judah’s rebellion to fully mature –Jer.4:27: The whole land shall be desolate, yet I will not make a full end.
Jeremiah continues to cry out with a broken heart.
8:21-22: Since my people are crushed, I am crushed. I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? 9:1-3: Oh, that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. They make ready their tongue like a bow to shoot lies. It is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another. They do not acknowledge me, declares the Lord.
Chapter Nine is the chapter of the broken-hearted Prophet. Jeremiah is a man of sorrows (a type of Jesus – Isa. 53). He continues his hard and thankless task of warning Judah. Like Moses, he was reluctant to accept this responsibility. He is now in the midst of a people abandoned to everything vile.
Jeremiah weeps day and night at the thought of frightful impending retribution. He moved about among them, begging, pleading, threatening, persuading, entreating, and imploring them to turn from their wickedness and sin. But in vain…The Prophet is so repelled by their evil ways that he yearns for seclusion (9:2). The evil ways of Judah are attributed to their lack of true knowledge of God (9: 3-8).
K.J.V.: 9:1-2: Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
Jeremiah reveals in careful the detail Judah’s sins. 20 sins are listed in Chapter 9 alone:
- They are all adulterous (V.2)
- The whole assembly is treacherous.
- They bend their tongues like bows to tell or shoot out lies (V.3).
- They are not valiant for truth.
- They commit one evil after another (Vs. 3)
- They are ignorant of God (Vs. 3)
- Every man is a cheater (V. 4).
- They walk with slanders.
- They all deceive each other (V.5).
- They train others to lie.
- None will speak the truth.
- They bend every effort to sin.
- They refuse to know God (V. 6).
- They speak deceit (V. 8).
- They plot against each other.
- They have forsaken the law (V.13).
- They have not obeyed God’s voice.
- They have not walked in God’s ways.
- They have walked after the imagination of their own heart (V. 14).
- They have walked after Balaam.
We can charge our government leaders, politicians and media with these verses. We watch this daily on our television screens:
9:4-10: Beware of your friends, do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie. They weary themselves with sinning. You live in the midst of deception. In their deceit, they refuse to acknowledge me, declares the Lord. Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty says: See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow. It speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he seta a trap for him. Should I not punish them for this? Declares the lord. Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the desert pastures. They are desolate and untraveled. The lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds of the air have fled and the animals are gone.
God’s displeasure with the sinful, destructive speech of his people is brought into sharp focus. Nowhere else in Jeremiah is sinful speech given as the primary reason for the coming judger. It is stated in verse 9 so apparent that anyone should be able to see it and recognize it. “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Ps. 18:21).
“Through the blessing of the upright, a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked, it is destroyed. (Pr. 11:11).
This also illustrates how much the Lord abhors treachery and betrayal on a human-to-human level, as well as on a human-to-divine level. With such a people, God will not dwell.
9:11-22: I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perishes and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passes through? The LORD says, Because, they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them. Thus, saith the LORD of hosts, consider, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come: And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters. For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, how are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out. Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor lamentation. For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Speak, thus saith the LORD, Even the carcasses of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them...
The Lord is commanding Jeremiah to call for the praying church.
9: 23-24, Jeremiah preaches to the inhibitors of Jerusalem as we must now preach to the inhibitors of the whole earth:
There are three things which men boast of:
- The wise man glories in his wisdom.
- The mighty man glories in his might.
- The rich man glories in his riches.
None of these three classes should boast and glory in their blessings; all should glory in essential and eternal things.
There are two things men should glory in 9:24: let him that glories, glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord which exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the Lord.
9:25-26: The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh---Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.
The garden of their heart was unpruned. They had put on the foreskin of their forefathers! In the New Covenant, water baptism by immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the seal of the new covenant, and is for the circumcision of heart and the remission of sins.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
Sermon notes by Carolyn Sissom, October 19, 2008; I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth by Kelly Varner; Jeremiah by: Michael L. Brown.