JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 11 - BROKEN COVENANT
JEREMIAH – CHAPTER 11 – BROKEN COVENANT
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
March 23, 2021, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Jeremiah 11 is the chapter of the broken covenant. The important theme of the covenant occurs twenty-three times in the rest of the book and five times in chapter 11. The judgement to come is the result of Israel breaking of the (Sin-ye -itic) Siniatic covenant. In light of Judah breaking the covenant, in chapter 31, the New Covenant is prophesied.
These chapters are not in chronological order. This seems to belong to the period after Josiah’s great reformation (2 Kg. 23).
The people had again restored their idols.
Because of Jeremiah’s rebuke, they plotted his death.
This chapter and the two following (12-13) are Jeremiah’s fourth sermon which is about the broken Covenant and the Sign of the Loin-cloth. This is also Jeremiah’s fourth commission.
People of God, broken covenant---betrayal of God’s covenant with Him is still serious business.
The prophet and the Lord are both betrayed, but judgment will come on the wicked.
11:1-8: This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is the man who does not obey the terms of this covenant---the terms I commanded your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace. I said, obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey---the land you possess today. I answered, “Amen, Lord.” The Lord said to me, proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your forefathers up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, ‘obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So, I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow, but they did not keep (NIV).
Israel was under the law before it reached Sinai. The deliverance from Egypt had been on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant. The (Sin-ye -itic) Siniatic Covenant was on different terms---namely, the Ten Commandments (Ex. 34:27-28; Deut. 4:13).
The Law of God embodied in the Decalogue reveals the love (nature) of God. The Law of Moses was for the Old Testament nation, but the Law of God is for all men. The Ten Commandments are still binding on all men, especially Christians. Humanity is still in need of this moral Law.
After the Lord God gave to Moses His moral and civil law, He made a promise to Israel. I want to read that promise today. As confirmed by Prophet McMahon on Sunday, we are in a season of repentance. If we will obey the Lord, He promises us:
Ex. 23:20: Behold I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice. Do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hitities and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and Jebusites; and I will cut them off. You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars. You shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land. I will fulfill the number of your days…(NKJV).
Jeremiah’s response to the Lord in 11:1-8 is “Amen” or so be it. This is Jeremiah’s only such response to a divine statement in the book. He does “Amen” Hananiah’s false prophecy in 28:6.
Jeremiah is commanded to call his people to obey God’s covenantal terms. This exhortation is nothing new. It has been the persistent unrelenting word of the Lord from Sinai until the current generation. Israel’s past response has also been consistent. They are guilty of chronic, hardhearted disobedience, thereby incurring the Lord’s promised covenantal curses. They have disobeyed the covenant. They have rejected the prophetic warnings. They are about to experience God’s wrath.
11: 9-13: Then the Lord said to me, there is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. They have returned to the sins of their forefathers, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant I made with their forefathers. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. You have as many gods as you have towns. O Judah; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem. (N.I.V.)
The Hebrew word for “conspiracy” means political intrigue, to band together, make an alliance, conspire. I speak to the government and people of the United States as well as the nations of the earth. God knows every conspiracy going on behind closed doors. Here it is a conspiracy directed against Yahweh. They are joining together in an unholy spiritual alliance, forsaking the Lord, and throwing off their covenantal commitments in the most overt, despicable way.
It is the theme of covenant that explains the use of the term conspiracy. This is a national rebellion, an act of corporate treason against God and will reap His judgment.
11:14-17: Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress. What is my beloved doing in my temple as she works out her evil schemes with many? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice. The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm, he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken. The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done evil and provoked me to anger by burning incense to Baal.
There is a time when the season for repentance is over. The Lord will not always strive with man. When man’s cup of iniquity is full, then judgment will absolutely come.
These verses are a beautiful glimpse into the heart of God. Even though he promises to bring on his people irrevocable disaster, in a way that seems ruthless. He is the same one who refers to them as his Beloved. “yadid” a term of special affection. This also deepens the nature of the sin. Yahweh’s “Beloved” works out her evil schemes in his house.
In studying the storm against the olive tree, God’s special planting, I am reminded of the word given by Prophet Kerry McMahon this past Sunday: “The Lord has made the back-cut on the evil tree.” The promise to Isreal of coming destruction of the olive tree by a mighty storm or as NASB translates it as a “great tumult,” the fire of divine judgment will be a roaring blaze utterly ruining the branches.
Israel owes their very existence to the Lord. Therefore, it is sheer suicide to engage in Baal worship. Burning incense to an idol is the very thing that will inflame his wrath. Throughout the history of Israel, Baalism has bene their spiritual and political ruin.
In 2016, a 50-foot replica of the arch forming the entrance to the Temple of Baal was installed in New York City. On Sunday evening, we are studying Harbinger II, by Jonathan Cahn. New York City is in judgment and continues down, down, down into that fiery pit of God’s ring of fire.
The prophet’s own countrymen plan to kill him: 11: 18-23: And the Lord has given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then you showed me these doings: but I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O Lord of hosts, that judges righteously, that tries the reins and the heart, let me see your vengeance on them: for unto you have I revealed my cause. Therefore, thus says the Lord of the men of Anathoth that seek thy life, saying, ‘Prophecy not in the name of the Lord that you die not by our hand. Therefore, says the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine. There shall be no remnant of them, for I will brings catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment. (K.J.V.)
N.I.V. 11: 18-23: Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not realize that they had plotted against me saying, let us destroy the tree and its fruit. Let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more. But, O Lord almighty, you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind. Let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. This is what the Lord says about the men of Anathoth who are seeking your life and saying, do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands. Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty says: I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth in the year of their punishment (NIV).
This is a plot by neighbors and relatives to kill him. Jeremiah prefigures Christ who said that a prophet has no honor by those of his own household (Mt. 10:36).
He was suffering as a lamb.
His life is sought by men of his own town.
His message is rejected.
In verses 22-23, the Lord of Hosts declares judgment on the plotters.
- I will punish them.
- The young men will die by the sword.
- The sons and daughters will die by the famine.
- There will be no remnant of them.
- I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation.
The year of visitation is either a year of promotion or judgment.
According to 2 Chronicles 24:21, when Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, the priest prophetically rebuked the people, “they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord.”
But the Lord warned Jeremiah.
Through 30 years of full-time ministry, I have had many people conspire against me to shut me down or run me out of town (smile). The Lord was always faithful to warn me and show me what they were doing. It has been several years since I have been under that kind of attack. No one messes with me anymore. Or, if they do, they just roll on past.
God’s judgment for rejecting his message and covenant parallels his judgment on the men of Anathoth for trying to kill his messenger.
Prior to the Lord’s revealing the people’s schemes to Jeremiah, the prophet was completely unaware of their evil intent, despite the fact that the Lord promised him opposition from the very beginning.
He has no idea that his own town people will try to kill him. Yet their violent plans have been fully articulated and real. They want to obliterate the prophet completely, even the memory of his name. We can identify this hatred and judgment with what congress tried to do to President Donald J. Trump. They will receive the same judgement as the men of Anathoth.
The carnal mind will believe that if you eliminate the messenger, that will eradicate the message.
Jeremiah is not the only prophet who suffered this kind of threat, Amos, Zechariah, Isaiah, etc. They told Isaiah, “see no more visions…give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things. Prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel.”
It is Jeremiah’s message of judgment that stirs up such fierce resistance. Jeremiah is a hometown boy prophesying in the name of the Lord. He is thus especially despised and hated by his own kinsmen.
It is an important aspect of prophetic ministry that the messenger is rejected because the One who sent him has been rejected. The ambassador is hated because his homeland is hated. The Lord spoke to Ezekiel, “the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me.” It is the Lord’s message that brings discord, conflict, and strife.
As we are watching the Lord move across the earth, we can be assured that his judgment will bring discord, conflict and strife with those who have rejected Him and His way.
The righteous emotions of the prophet---emotions that long for justice to prevail and for the Lord to be honored among his people are actually in harmony with oracles of justice against his foes. We do not pray this way because we are to love our enemies and do good to them who despitefully use us. However, the prophet is speaking the oracle of God, not his thoughts and words.
That brings me to the mysterious message and emotion expressed through me this past Sunday as I brought forth the song, Seven Spanish Angels. When the spirit of weeping hit me, tears fell out of my eyes throughout most of the worship and sermon. I believe the Holy Spirit was weeping through me for the situation at the southern border. The song was intercession. Most of you have known me for over twenty years, some longer. You know that the expressions of the Holy Spirit flowing through me are not frequent, but when these arise, the expressions are very genuine.
Such is the emotional state of Jeremiah as we continue next week in chapter 12. The prophet’s humanity is a tool in God’s hands. Our flesh can be bypassed by the Holy Spirit to release the heart of God.
In chapter 12, the prophet expresses great anguish over the threat from his kinsmen. They basically tell him, “if you don’t want to die, shut up.” It is not the prophet who will die, but his persecutors, and in the most devastating fashion. What they determined to do to Jeremiah, namely utterly obliterate him and his memory from the face of the earth will be done to them.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from K.J.V.; N.I.V.; N.K.J.V; as noted; I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth by Kelly Varner and Jeremiah by Michael L. Brown. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.