Good For Nothing (Jeremiah #5)

Text: Jeremiah 11-13

Jeremiah brings an evil report against Judah (ch 11)

  • Jeremiah revives the words of the covenant and agreement between the LORD and the nation in the days of Moses (vss 1-8)
    • Jeremiah preaches the word. In this sense, he isn’t bringing a new doctrine, he’s applying the words of God that have been lost. There is no relationship to the Creator like this in our nation. There is no Moses or heaven-sent instruction to bring to remembrance in our country. (Some of our laws are based on Moses and some are not. Bill of Rights says freedom of religion while Israel had no freedom of religion. Israel had no need of a congressional legislature to make laws. All of Israel’s laws were made. They just needed judges and priests to administrate the laws already given.)
    • Read verses 3-4 and notice the emphasis on the individual as opposed to the race. The individual relationship to God becomes very clear, particularly in these major prophets.
    • New Testament applications of the individual theology are these: the LORD Jesus Christ says exactly this in Mark 3:31-35, Paul would reiterate this truth in Romans 2:8, Galatians 3:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, etc.
    • We would call this the priesthood of the believer. Now, this truth existed before the New Testament but was overshadowed in our minds by the Levite priesthood. I think some baptists think that when the Levitical priesthood went out of effect and the veil of the temple was torn that that was the beginning of the individual’s responsibility toward God. It was not.
    • The LORD identifies the conspiracy to do evil. A conspiracy means to plot evil, an unlawful design, or an evil purpose.
  • Jeremiah preaches that the LORD will remove his wife-turned-harlot out of His house (vss 11-17)
    • 11-17 The LORD asks, What are you doing in my house having brought all these strange men in here? And you think your offerings pay for this sin?
    • The next thing to notice is that the LORD takes no more responsibility for Israel and Judah. Look at verse 14. David said to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee has now turned to quit praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • Jeremiah is a type of Christ  who bears the burden of bringing light into darkness (vss 18-23)
    • These people are planning to kill the messenger according to verses 18-20. It is first the priests and false prophets that seek to kill Jeremiah. Exactly as they’ll do with Jesus Christ and have done with every prophet that pointed out their sin.
    • This is the way of Cain who killed his brother Abel because of righteousness. And the devil who was a murder from the beginning according to the LORD Jesus Christ. John sums it up this way: 1 John 3:10-12 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Type of Christ-like Joseph when Joseph brings an evil report against his brothers and is cut off from the family for it.

Jeremiah’s common struggle as a servant of God (ch 12)

  • How is it that the wicked prosper while what’s right is trampled on? (vss 1-4)
    • The wicked talk about God being with them, but he’s nowhere near their heart.
    • Jeremiah says, But LORD, you know me inside and out. You’ve tried my heart. I’m not all talk. My faith has been tried and tested and proven.
    • Please deal with the wicked to remove them. They just mock you LORD!
  • The LORD’s answer is a splash of cold water to the face (vss 5-6)
    • If you’re asking these questions now Jeremiah, your strength will not be enough for the work ahead according to verses 5-6. And there is more to do.
    • The people close to you pretend to be close to you. When they tell you not to worry understand that they’ve already conspired against you. And they do that because you remind them of the agreement and covenant I made with their fathers.
  • The LORD will abandon his house (vss 7-13)
    • In the LORD’s absence, His house has become a whore house and a crack house occupied by squatters and sinners. The LORD says I’m not attempting to clean up my house anymore, instead I’ll put it up for auction.
    • Notice how God uses the term desolate in verses 10-11. The wicked look around and see wealth and safety because of their money. But the LORD looks around and sees moral depravity, hypocrisy, and godlessness. This is what God calls desolate. As it is spiritually desolate, so it will be physically.
  • The people of God are those who do the will of God, whether they be Israelites or Gentiles according to verses 14-17.

Jeremiah illustrates a “good for nothing” nation like dirty underwear (ch 13)

  • Read verses 1-10 to explain this strange illustration about the linen girdle.
  • The dirty underwear illustrates that as long as you desire to be unclean you’re useless and lifeless to the LORD.
  • Something that once had a purpose has become so filthy there is no restoring it.
  • Jeremiah warns the king of Judah that he is the head that has guided the nation in lies. And there is no changing the leadership or the people, so the LORD will remove all from His land. See verses 15-24.