No two books of the Bible are probably more linked than the Old Testament books of Jeremiah and Lamentations. Jeremiah, a book of God’s judgment and punishment upon His rebellious people Israel is followed by the prophet Jeremiah’s lamentations over the sufferings of Israel. Listen to his word in the first of these lamentations, chapter 1:1-2 “How the city sits alone That was full of people! She who was once great among the nations Has become like a widow; She who was a princess among the provinces Has become tributary. Bitterly she weeps in the night, And her tears are on her cheeks. There is no one to comfort her Among all her lovers; All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies.” This was Jeremiah’s speaking of the utter destruction and devastation that had been visited upon the city by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. And the suffering of Jeremiah reflects that of all of God’s people, especially no doubt the few righteous among them.
Mark (Program #52) – A Life Fully According To and For God’s New Testament Economy (9)
In Mark chapter 8, 9 the Lord Jesus is recognized as being the Christ. Then He goes on to unveil for the first time, His death and resurrection. It’s very significant that this unveiling comes immediately after the healing of a blind man in Bethesda. Before the Lord Jesus unveiled Himself, He healed a blind man. This indicates that in order to see Christ in His death and resurrection, we need to be healed of our blindness.
Jeremiah (Program #21) – The Principle of Being One with God
Let me ask you, “What is sin?” As you ponder this great and universal question and before you begin enumerating any number of transgressions that would easily fall into the general category of sin, please consider that the Bible makes a clear distinction between “sin” and “sins”. Sins are the by products of the principle of sin. So, once again let me ask, “What is sin”? Well if we drop our own speculations and restrict our consideration to the clear revelation of the Bible, we realize that sin is fundamentally a matter of leaving God and doing something by ourselves and for ourselves. In other words, sin is to take anything other than God as our unique source. He desires to be the source of our life, of our living and even of our satisfaction. Any departure from taking Him as our source is sin and it will unavoidably result in innumerable sins. In that light, now let’s consider these verses from the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis 2:9, 16-17 “And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely … But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Jeremiah (Program #20) – Jehovah’s Promise concerning the Restoration of Israel
The history revealed in the Bible is a history of the covenants that God made with man. In reality, only two of these covenants have great significance. The first of which from Exodus 25 was the covenant of law that God made through Moses when He gave Israel the ten commandments. The second covenant called the new covenant was also the last covenant. And though it was not enacted until the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for our redemption. It was clearly foretold by the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah chapter 31, listen to the word of this marvelous new covenant as spoken by the Old Testament prophet.
“Indeed, days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by their hand to bring them out from the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, declares Jehovah. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Jehovah: I will put My law within them and write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And they will no longer teach, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for all of them will know Me, from the little one among them even to the great one among them, declares Jehovah, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.“
Mark (Program #49) – A Life Fully According To and For God’s New Testament Economy (6)
Luke chapter 17 verse 20-21 tells us, “And when He was questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation; Nor will they say, Behold, here it is! or, There! For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.“
In the book of Jeremiah, we have the indelible account of God’s people forsaking Him in the most fundamental way. Listen again to Jehovah’s words though His prophet Jeremiah to the children of Israel “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew out for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns, Which hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) This warning applies not only to the children of Israel in the Old Testament but to us as well. Because to forsake the Lord in this way is to depart from Him as our very source and it’s an offense to God that is far more serious than even the sins we commit as a result of taking our own way and living independently from Him.
Israel’s departure from Jehovah was connected to the worship of idols that had become so prevalent among them. Though we may not be sacrificing to idols of wood and stone, as they were we too are tempted to be drawn off to our own idols. But what we all must see is that behind every idol whether or wood and stone, or an object of pleasure or a position that may attract us, the same spiritual force is present. God’s enemy Satan who will stop at nothing to distract God’s people from knowing and enjoying God as this fountain of living water.
Mark (Program #48) – A Life Fully According To and For God’s New Testament Economy (4) & (5)
Both John chapter 1 verse 1 and Mark chapter 1 verse 1 both use the word ‘beginning.’
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here the word ‘beginning’ denotes eternity past. John use of this word is very mysterious. Yet Mark on the contrary speaks of the beginning of the gospel. The gospel of Mark is unique among the four gospels in opening with the clear expression, the beginning of the gospel.
Jeremiah (Program #18) – Jehovah’s Condemnation of and Punishment upon the Kings and Prophets of Judah
In the middle chapters of Jeremiah, the Lord is condemning and chastising the kings and prophets of Israel for how they had so fully turned their backs on Him. Listen to this verse from chapter 22, “I spoke to you in your prosperity; But you said, I will not listen. This has been your way from your youth, That you have not listened to My voice.” But despite how this must have deeply offended the very God that had brought them through so much and had proven Himself to them again and again, it’s in the midst of His exposing how utterly unrighteous His people had become that He offers the most hopeful and encouraging promise through the prophet Jeremiah. Just a few verses later, we hear “Indeed, days are coming, Declares Jehovah, When I will raise up to David a righteous Shoot; And He will reign as King and act prudently And will execute justice and righteousness in the land.”