Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

The Wise Man Knows God

Labels:

 Chapter 9


 1.     
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! 

 

Grief because of sin

 Jeremiah, Moses and Paul, to name three, were intrinsically identified with their people. Their salvation was as vital to these intercessors as their own souls. Compassion is the fountain of intercession; tears are the overflow of compassion. When two Salvation Army ladies wrote General Booth for counsel concerning the hardness of the place and people, with which they were working, General Booth responded with two words: “Try tears!” May this prayer of Jeremiah be ours.

 Constant joy springs from the knowledge of the person and the attributes of God, but in the reality of a sinful world and sometimes, in the condition of the church, it is not possible or right to be happy. In one of his recorded sermons, I heard A. W. Tozer say, “I’m not as happy as I could be; I don’t want to be irresponsibly happy.” A born-again Christian cannot be happy in the presence of sin. In Ecclesiastes 7:6, wise Solomon gives us an example of irresponsible happiness: “For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool.” I think we have all heard plenty from these crackling thorns.

 In Ecclesiastes 3:4, Solomon said that there is a proper time to weep and in 7:2-4, he also taught that there is spiritual benefit in sorrow: “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that (meaning death) is the end of all men; and the living take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt.5:4). 

Is There No Balm in Gilead?

Labels:


 Chapter 8

1.      "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. 

 2.      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.

 3.      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. 

4.      "Moreover you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: "Will they fall and not rise? Will one turn away and not return? 

 5.      Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return. 

 6.      I listened and heard, But they do not speak aright. No man repented of his wickedness, Saying, 'What have I done?' Everyone turned to his own course, As the horse rushes into the battle. 

 

Unnatural reactions

 The first verse of this chapter connects it to chapter 7 and we must go back, in order to see the time, of which the writer is speaking. It is the time of the desolation of Jerusalem, when gladness and joy will cease. Everything that is held sacred will be purposely desecrated by the Babylonians. The Lord will lift His protecting hand from the holy temple and it will be destroyed. In these verses, we see that the graves of the nobility of Judah will be ransacked and the bones exposed to the elements (1).

 The Lord proclaims justice in their exposure, openly under the sky, because, in life, these people worshiped the sun, moon and stars. I heard a certain atheistic scientist reason that the universe must be eternal, although he claimed that the eternal God did not exist. He rejoiced in being part of the universe, showing that in the heart of man, the host of heaven is still loved, served and observed for guidance above the Creator. Fallen man will worship anything, but God, proving over and over the truth of the Bible concerning his hatred for his Lord (2). There is ample evidence of the evil nature of the human heart and faith in its goodness is a great deception. We must learn, against all humanistic tendencies, that all the wickedness upon earth stems from the roots of mankind’s rebellion and mutiny against his infinitely benign Sovereign. For that reason, above all others, he is evil.

Addressing the Temple-Goers

Labels:


 Chapter 7

             False doctrines by false prophets

 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!” Jesus said (Lk.13:34). This is the third message that we have in the book, preached at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign and it is connected with chapter 26, which we will study later. Jehoiakim is good King Josiah’s son, who was placed on Judah’s throne by the king of Egypt. Jeremiah risks his life in giving this message, but he must speak, while there is any chance that his message will be received (Ch.26:3). The Lord has sent Jeremiah from his home town of Anathoth to Jerusalem for his prophetic ministry and, as the chapter begins, the Lord commands him to stand in the gate of the city’s temple at the time of a religious festival. He addresses the religious masses, who come from the country roundabout, faithfully attending the house of the Lord, but continuing oppressive practices (2). The God of all hope and mercy again offers a way of escape through repentance (3).

 Old Testament and New show clearly that salvation begins with repentance. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and the gospel by preaching repentance and Jesus started His ministry in Galilee “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk.1:15).  On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the first apostolic message in the book of Acts. The Jews cut to the heart, convicted by the Holy Spirit, seeing that they had crucified their Christ, asked. “What shall we do? Peter’s first word, in answering their question was, Repent” (Ac.2:37-38).

 A true prophetic ministry does not compromise its message and it cannot shun public places, where the masses congregate. It is imperative that the people be warned; God has sent him and is supporting him. False prophets are popular among the people, so the man of God must faithfully be the voice of truth among them. We want to see the damage done by men, false prophets, who have popular aspirations. 

When there is no Peace

Labels:


I will ask you to please open your Bible to Jeremiah 6, so you can follow the text with my expository comments. Thank you!

 

 Chapter 6

 

An imminent threat – its cause and its certainty

 Jeremiah lived among the Benjamites in Anathoth, therefore it is probable that he counsels that tribe, concerning a way of escape. It's another warning about the approaching threat of the Babylonian army.   The first king of divided Israel in Jerusalem, you remember, was Rehoboam and he built Tekoa, 12 miles south of Jerusalem on the edge of the Judean desert. It was also the birthplace of the prophet, Amos. Apparently, Judah lit bonfires in high places, in this case in Beth Haccerem (vineyard-house), to signal the place, to which the Benjamites, according to his counsel, are to join as a company, and flee. Beth Haccerem, was near to Tekoa.

 The city-people, especially in biblical times, tended to live a more comfortable and delicate lifestyle and the Bible, therefore, sometimes terms the Jerusalem citizens the daughter or daughters of Zion. They will not be spared in the coming invasion (2). Another analogy is used, calling the invading army shepherds with their flocks, and the text describes a siege, enemy soldiers consuming all the food and water to be found around Jerusalem (3).  The army is anxious to attack and was due to attack earlier, but a little more time was given before judgment fell (4-5).

 They will use the trees around Jerusalem to build their siege mounds against the walls of the city. God is moving the enemy to do its worst, because of the oppression within, the strong against the weak. Unfortunately, it has been too common for those who bear the name of Christ to oppose one another, when there is a common enemy without, waiting to destroy all. This practice must and will be punished, says the Lord (6).

Reality - Astonishing and Horrible

Labels:


 Chapter 5

 

Truth above all virtues

Truth, by its own definition, is the only virtue that cannot be falsified. We rejoice in love and meditate deeply in its significance, grateful when we discover it is near. We know that God is love and His love cannot fail, but it can be counterfeited and, because of its power, it often is misused and misinterpreted. Many have been deceived by false love. The same can be said of any other virtue (joy, peace and justice, to give a very few examples) and we must always be aware of lies and deception from Satan, the master counterfeiter.

 God loves truth, because it cannot be altered and is always steadfastly genuine. Every word of God is true and can be perfectly trusted. The Bible is the embodiment of truth and the Lord has given it to us for absolute, unquestionable authority. “Buy the truth, and sell it not,” the wise king wrote (Pr.23:23), because nothing is more precious to have as a possession. It is to be coveted above all else. Jesus presented Himself before Pilate as the King of Truth denoting that, without exception, everyone who gives top priority to truth, comes to Him: “I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (Jn.18:37). Nicodemus perhaps came fearfully to Christ by night, but his words in John 3:2 indicate that he was on a search for truth and Jesus said to him: “He who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jn.3:21). The presence of truth is the trustworthy proof of a work of God.

 I often point to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 for consideration, in order to see the value that the Lord places on truth. Please do consider what this passage reveals. A deceiver is coming, who does lying wonders (verse 9). It is never legitimate to see miracles as proof of a genuine ministry. He operates in unrighteous deception and many will perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth. On the other hand, the love of the truth, as Jesus taught, will lead to salvation (verse 10). To those who do not love truth, God Himself will send strong delusion that they should believe the lie (verse 11), as He did to King Ahab in order to destroy him (please study 1 K.22:9-23). Verse 12 is astounding and must form part of our theology as Christians: “That they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” This teaching leads us to see, leaving no room for question, that God values truth above the souls of men.