Please note that these notes build on each other daily. If you miss a day of notes you may miss important context to what I am saying. For today’s notes, there is important context regarding who I am referring to when I speak of the “church” which I wrote about in yesterday’s notes.
Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Jeremiah 10-13
Click here to read today’s passages on BibleGateway.
I almost didn’t write notes for these chapters of Jeremiah because I find the passages so convicting that I feel the body of Believers is already likely to reject even the thought of seeing themselves in these verses, and if YHWH’s word will be rejected, how much more so will my own? With that in mind, I did endeavor to write my notes but with great effort to be brief, censoring myself as much as possible, and leaving it to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. I could easily share pages and pages of more notes from today’s readings but with a mixed multitude I’m just going to leave the convicting to the Father.
As always, Jeremiah comes out hitting. I dearly love this book for this very reason. I prefer YHWH to give it to me straight and to the point so that we can get to work right away, and these chapters definitely do just that. No walking on eggshells, no tickling the ears, no stroking the ego to try to win someone over first. Rather, YHWH speaks to us as adults in need of serious rebuking and lets the ones who have ears to hear benefit from it while the ones who refuse to listen deal with the consequences of their choices.
Jeremiah 10:2-3 (partial verse)
Thus says YHWH, “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the people are vanity.”
This brings us to our word of the day: syncretism.
Syncretism is the blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. Click here to read some verses that reference the act of syncretism. Spoiler alert: YHWH hates syncretism. He has given us clear instruction on how we are to live, behave, and worship Him. He does not take lightly when we decide to trust more in our own wisdom and modify His instruction as we see fit.
Time and again, the Father instructs His people not to become like the nations they are dispersed among. He tells us not to worship Him as they worship their gods, not to take on their customs, not to syncretize our faith with theirs in order to please them or to make our lives easier. “Learn not the way of the nations.” And yet, historically, how quickly we rush to do just that. Even now, some churches are actively working to become more and more like the world in order to attract the world. Many church services more closely resemble life coaching classes than they do Bible study from days of old. Most celebrate with great fanfare the world’s holidays but not a single one of YHWH’s Holy days.
We hold so dear all the days the world holds dear and give so little thought to the days dear to YHWH.
For some, the Word of YHWH has been relegated to a prop, with one mega church pastor actively teaching that we should let go of the basic tenants of our faith and “unhitch” ourselves from 75% of the book. Syncretism is all around us, it has permeated our culture, our churches, and our homes. In behavior, values, and actions, the church is hardly distinguishable from the world.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
But remember, the individual always has a choice.
Jeremiah 10:3-4 has been a source of controversy for generations due to a common practice among Believers today. Many say it is referencing the obvious, others defend it and say it is referencing something else. I’ve read compelling arguments on both sides of that coin so I’m not commenting either way. Regardless of what this is referring to, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on something. First of all, keep in mind that Abraham was willing to take the life of his own son because the Father asked him to. But are there traditions that we hold so dear that we would turn against the Father if He asked us to give them up?
Here is a truth I’ve learned: There are many things that Believers hold more dear than their relationship with the Father.
I’ve found that it is best to let the Father be the one to reveal those things to them, in His time, according to His will. If something is so dear that it will cause someone to turn against the Father rather than part with it, they will surely turn against you twice as quick and ten times more harshly.
Jeremiah 10:4 reminds us that we put ourselves to shame by trusting in the idols that we do.
Jeremiah 10:21 is a stark verse when you pay attention to what it is referencing. Who are the shepherds in our time? Religious leaders. Pastors. Church bodies.
For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of YHWH; therefore they have not prospered and their flock is scattered. Jeremiah 10:21
That’s some straight talk.
Now keep in mind prospering in YHWH’s economy looks different from prospering in the world’s economy.
Jeremiah 10:24 is a model to follow:
Correct me, oh YHWH, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
He is seeking correction so that he may be just in YHWH’s eyes. Also worth noting here, do y’all realize that Jeremiah was not really calling the Father “Lord” or “EloHim” but by His personal name? I think it is important to realize how many times we say “Lord”, when the actual people whose words we are quoting and reading were speaking His personal name out loud. That is definitely something to turn over in our minds today.
Jeremiah 10:25 brings to mind so many atrocities. Slavery of Israel in Egypt, Tyranny under the rule of Rome, the early church’s persecution of Israel, Martin Luther’s (the father of the reformation movement) evil book that inspired Hitler, and of course the Holocaust carried out by Hitler. Modern day, this persecution of Israel continues and much of the church boldly declares themselves lovers of Israel despite living in bold contradiction to the instructions of the the God of Israel.
Jeremiah 11:6-8 is a clear call and warning to us today.
6 And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.”
Jeremiah’s death threat: in Jeremiah 11:18-20, the Father made known to Jeremiah that there was a plot to kill him if he continued to prophesy. These men are simply referred to as the men of Anathoth. Anathoth was a city given to the Levitical priests, the sons of Aaron (1 Chronicles 6:54–60), and was inhabited primarily by the tribe of Benjamin. Jeremiah spoke against their false prophets – and being a true prophet, his prophecies came true where theirs did not. Here we see that inspired a level of hate that had them seeking his very life to snuff out the trouble he created for them.
Again in Jeremiah 12:10 we see condemnation of the shepherds, who have destroyed YHWH’s vineyard and trampled down the portion He meant for His people. They have turned what He offered as a gift into desolate nothingness. This is what happens when we filter, bend, twist, and fluff up YHWH’s word so much that the world will find us attractive – but it renders the Word of YHWH and thereby YHWH Himself to those who follow this counterfeit, unrecognizable.
Jeremiah 12:13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns; they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of YHWH.
Now keep in mind who is being condemned for these actions. These are YHWH’s chosen people. Descendants of Aaron. If He would condemn a people whom He has called beloved since the beginning, how much more so will He do the same to us for committing these same acts?
However, there is an If/then statement. In His Grace, there is an if/then statement.
This if/then statement occurs as we end chapter 12 with a message to the evil neighbors of Jeremiah. Note that this message is to the evil neighbors as well as the tribe of Judah! WOW!
If they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, “as YHWH lives” even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. Jeremiah 12:16
Make sure you check out Jeremiah 12:17 to see where we are heading if we do not, as a nation, turn back. And no, I do not think we will turn back. It has always been a remnant.
Jeremiah 13 brings us the story of the ruined loincloth and teaches us that when we cling to YHWH, we are protected and separate from the elements of this world. Apart from Him, we are exposed to the elements of the world and ruined by them.
Jeremiah 13:12-14 tells a story of every bottle being filled with wine, as is the purpose of a bottle, therefore the Father will give them their purpose and fill them to the full. However, when they rebel, as those in this land have done, He will remove His hand of blessing and let them to be left to their own folly. The visual of dashing them one against another, fathers and sons together, is one I’ve seen many times on social media during our time, brought about by the adversary’s skilled use of politics as a means of dividing and inciting the body of Believers.
Woe to you, Oh Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean? I have seen your abominations, your adulteries and neighings, your lewd whorings,
on the hills in the field.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
How long will it be before you are made clean?”
Living in a time in which Messiah has already paid the debt for our sin, for us to continue living in uncleanness is a choice we make. How long before we will be made clean? How long before we stop trusting in our own ways and train ourselves to trust in His?
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
- A Prayer For Anyone Struggling With Their Appearance - June 1, 2023
- How Do I Observe Shavuot? - May 9, 2023
- Don’t Miss This Opportunity - May 3, 2023