Just No.

Nope, sorry. Can’t do it. I have neither the physical energy nor the mental capacity to try and do anything positive today.

But as a reminder:

 

“Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them. Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Psalms 22:22

 

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Jeremiah was a Prophet, He was a Good Friend of God

Jeremiah 1:1

Yes, another prophet of God tells pretty much the same story that we’ve already heard twice before. This book (so far) does have a tendency of showing the softer side of God, and it has made for an interesting read (so far).

The Call of Jeremiah-God called out and said to me that He had chosen me before I was even born. He had chosen me to carry his words to people near and far and be a great prophet. Now, I was dubious and told God so, but He was like Do what the hell I’m telling you to do. I intend to punish my people, which will be scary, but I will protect you.

Israel Forsakes God-I (God) remember when our love was young, and you followed Me around the desert like a puppy. But those days are gone, and now you turn your back on Me! You worship idols and “Say to wood ‘You are my father,’ [you] say to stone, ‘You gave me birth.'” You’ve been prostituting yourself around with every god and idol in the land. And you don’t even show Me the courtesy of being embarrassed or secretive about it. You think I don’t see you? You call out, “Father” to Me but act vile.

Unfaithful Israel-Israel is an adulteress whore, so I (God) gave her divorce papers and sent her on her way. But Judah isn’t much better. If only Israel and Judah would come back to me and be faithful, I would give them great lives. But they won’t, so I’ll just punish the shit out of them.

4:5

Disaster from the North-Hey, guys, I’m (God) going to destroy you for being nasty little buggers. Are you sorry? No? Ok, well I’ve unleashed your demise from the north; they’re on their way. Sorry now? No? Because now, you’re completely surrounded and your doom is near. Still not sorry? I really didn’t want to do this, but here goes. And you’re destroyed. I feel sad.

Not One is Upright-Jeremiah, if you can find one guy in this place who “deals honestly and seeks the truth,” I will forgive the city. But you won’t because they’re all jerks. They’re all adulterers thronging to the houses of prostitutes. They’re “well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife.” I’ve had it with them. They lie and cheat, they do not defend the right of the poor and fatherless. Their leaders “rule by their own authority,” and the people “love it this way.”

Jerusalem Under Seige-Flee for safety, people of Jerusalem! I have sent your destroyers to your city walls, and you will be destroyed. I tried to warn you, to help you do right, but you “have no shame at all.” You “don’t even know how to blush.” I have rejected you, people of Jerusalem.

7:1

False Religion Worthless-Look, guys, I will save you right here and now if you “do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” But no, you come to be temple and call out my name, thinking that I haven’t seen what you’ve been doing. You can burn sacrifices all you want, but if you’re just going to go home and offer sacrifices to idols right after, all the sacrifices in the world will not matter! I see your deceit.

The Valley of Slaughter-My people have broken my heart. This land will no longer be known by its current name, it will be known as the Valley of Slaughter. I will cut them down and leave their carcasses for wild beasts to pick at. I will unbury their dead and leave their bones exposed to the sky. I will end the sound of laughter. Those who survive will wish they had not.

Sin and Punishment-Even animals can figure out the correct ways to go about their lives, but not men. Men do not repent and do not learn. They are happy in their wicked ways. Why do they refuse to heal themselves? “I weep day and night for the slain of my people.” They go from sin to sin and refuse to acknowledge me. Now, I must test and leave my people in ruin. “What else can I do?” “I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”

10:1

God and Idols-Your stupid man-made idols are stupid. They can’t speak or bless or smite you. Only God can do that.

Coming Destruction-I suggest you get out of Judah, because God is going to destroy it. Which really sucks.

The Covenant is Broken-I’ve (God) tried to be patient, Jeremiah, but these people are stubborn and will not listen. They come to my temple and burn their sacrifices, but then they go and cheat on me with Baal. I’m not having it, and now I’m going to destroy them. They will wail and they will pray once I’ve begun their destruction, but I will not listen or save them.

Plot Against Jeremiah-Some dudes were trying to get Jeremiah to stop prophesying, telling him to cut it out or they’d kill him. But Jeremiah prayed to God to help him, and God told him that He would. God told Jeremiah that He would kill the dudes and their entire families.

Jeremiah’s Complaint-God, the people here are just awful. “You are always on their lips, but far from their hearts.” They are wicked and prospering by it; how long do you intend to let this go on?

God’s Answer-Yes, they are awful. Even your own family. They stab you in the back like all the time. So I will uproot them and take away the land I gave them. They will get a second chance, if and only if, they give up their addiction to other gods and praise My name alone.

13:1

A Linen Belt-God told Jeremiah to buy a belt and put it on. So Jeremiah did. Then God told him to take the belt and bury it. So Jeremiah did. Then God told him to go dig it up. So Jeremiah did, but when he dug it up the belt was ruined and useless. God told Jeremiah that the belt symbolized Israel. God had “bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah” to Himself to be His “renown and praise and honor.” But the people were bad, so now he would have to ruin them just like the belt.

Wineskins-God instructed Jeremiah to get everyone schnockered. Apparently, it would be easier to set them against each other and destroy them that way.

Threat of Captivity-Exactly what it sounds like, God threatens his people with captivity. The wording in this one is interesting, though. “It is because of your many sins that your skirts have been torn off and your body mistreated.” Now, throughout the entirety of Jeremiah and Isaiah, Israel and Judah are always described as feminine entities, which is interesting in and of itself. But this is new. This is the first time that the punishment of Israel and Judah has been described in a sexual way. Unfortunately, it could be taken as an argument for shaming the victim of a rape. Which happens anyway, and we don’t need people taking the Bible out of context to argue it further. Of course, the Bible doesn’t say that anytime a woman’s body is “mistreated” that it is her own fault, but in this book all it takes is one iffy line for people to start running with it. I hate this line, which is unfortunate because I am really like the book of Jeremiah.

Drought, Famine, Sword-I (God) have set a drought upon the peoples of Israel and Judah. They have no water or crops, and so now their crying out My name. They pray to Me and fast, but I will not listen. Do not pray for them, Jeremiah. They do not deserve it. I will not forgive them so easily, because if I did, they would go right back to their evil ways. Not even Moses could talk Me out or destroying them now. But I will save you, Jeremiah, so long as you continue to speak My words and no one else’s.

16:1

Day of Disaster-I (God) am gong to destroy Israel and Judah. There will be no one left in the land to mourn or bury their dead. I will allow them to be taken into slavery in other lands to worship the gods they hold so dear.

Keeping the Sabbath Holy-I (God) have repeatedly asked that the Sabbath be kept holy. Is that so much to ask? I’ve asked that you do no work on the Sabbath and that you do not bring loads through the city gate on the Sabbath. What is so hard about that? I’ve asked you not to work for one day. One day. It isn’t that hard. If you can’t keep that one, single, freakin’ damn day holy, I’m going to have to destroy you.

And I’m spent. More Jeremiah next time!

Isaiah 3: Conclusion of Doom!

Isaiah 44:24

The thrilling conclusion!

Jerusalem to be Inhabited-I (God) wrecked Jerusalem, because My children there were being wankers. But I will redeem them, and My city will be rebuilt. I will raise up Cyrus (Persian King), and I will lead him to victory. Though he has never recognized Me, Cyrus will do My bidding; he will free My exiles. And then everybody, the Egyptians, the people of Cush, everybody will bow to Me.

Gods of Babylon-All other gods are lame. How can they be compared to me? “I am God, and there is no other.” And I can do whatever I want. And I intend to. My righteousness is near; I will grant salvation to Zion. (The term Zion has been used a lot, but I’ve been avoiding it. Apparently, it can refer to Israel itself or can be used to represent the church of Israel.)

The Fall of Babylon-“Now then, listen, you wonton creature” (meaning Babylon), you have been a naughty girl, what with your magic spells and astronomers. I gave you My people as slaves, because they were being a pain in the neck, but you laid a heavy yoke on even the oldest of My children. This has made Me irritable. Also, you’re too proud and have a penchant for worshipping others gods. So I’m going to destroy you. Completely. (To be honest, Isaiah is beautifully written, and this particular passage is just… wow.)

48:1

Stubborn Israel-Israel, you are the most hardheaded wankers there are. “The sinews of your neck [are] iron, your forehead [is] bronze.” You’re a real pain, but I knew that a long time ago and even told you that a long time ago! I even told you that I would make you suffer for it; I wanted to make sure that you knew it was Me and not some idol punishing you. But now, I will tell you something new: I have tested you but not cut you off, and that was for My own glory.

Israel Freed-I (God still) intend to free the Israelis! I will choose an ally and work through them to defeat the Babylonians. Then My people will flee from their Babylonian masters!

The Servant of the Lord-There will be a servant of God, who will rise up to free the Israelites. He will be above kings and princes, and he will lead gentiles to God.

Restoration of Israel-I (God again) am gonna save Israel so hard that everyone will know that I am the one, true savior.

Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience-You guys (Israel) sinned really badly, and I had to punish you in a fitting manner. It hurt me more than it hurt you. Not really though. But now that I’ve decided to take pity on you, you need to be good kids. Cut the crap, ok?

51:1

Everlasting Salvation for Zion-Hey, Israel, “You are my people.” Remember when I took Abraham from one dude to thousands by allowing him and Sarah to multiply? Remember how I gave your people the promised land? Remember how I can do anything? Don’t you want to be on my side? You should. And if that’s what you want, you better show Me some respect.

The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath-Now I may have made you (Israel) drink from My cup of wrath, but I’m not gonna do that again. In fact, I’ll make your enemies drink from the cup instead! Partially because your enemies kept taking My name in vain, but mostly because they were mean to you! Mostly that.

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant-I will send you a wise servant. He will be unseemly and disfigured. He will be judged and misunderstood. He will marred and punished to heal your wounds and transgressions. (This for sure sounds like Jesus.) He will die and be buried as a poor man, but in death, he will be rich. I will do this to save my people, as a guilt offering. This servant will bear “the sins of many.” (It’s gotta be Jesus, right?)

54:1

The Future Glory of Zion-Worry not, barren women! I will give you more babies than you know what to do with! I got really mad and cursed everybody, but I promise not to do it again! Even if you’re really, really bad. I’m going to make everything up to you, promise! Riches and babies, tons of riches and babies.

Invitation to the Thirsty-Riches and babies! For free! Forever!

Salvation for Others-I’m totally cool with foreigners too! And eunuchs. All they have to do is stick to my rules and keep the Sabbath holy. That’s it. And sacrifice animals and stuff. That’s it. I’ll accept anyone who does those things.

God’s Accusation Against the Wicked-Everybody thinks I just kill people, but that’s not really it! I help the righteous find peace by putting their souls at rest. By doing so, I’m saving them from this evil world. But all you evildoers, you “offspring of adulterers and prostitutes,” you will go straight to the grave. No peace for you!

Comfort for the Contrite-You people with your wicked ways made Me really, really mad. But I’ve pretty much just found peace with the fact that no matter what I do, you’re always going to be a bunch of naughty sinners. That said, I’m over trying to punish you really harshly. Except for the wicked, “there is no peace for the wicked.”

48:1

True Fasting-You know, I was fairly specific about what I wanted form you guys with the whole fasting thing. Here is what you’ve chosen to do: act like a bunch of drunkards and do things only in your best interest. Here is what I asked you to do: “share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe him.” When you decide to do as I asked you, everything will be roses! I will bless you more than you’ve ever been blessed. But you have to do what I actually asked you to do, not whatever you want.

Sin, Confession and Redemption-The Lord can save anyone, but He won’t if people keep being all evil. They are quick to spill blood and slow to peace. Quick to judge and slow to help. That’s why the Lord does not save us; He has looked upon us and seen greed. The Lord is righteous and will not reward those who have acted as we have. But He will be back to redeem those who deserve it.

The Glory of Zion-I (God) have punished you, but now I will save you and place you above all others. It is going to be fantastic, and we are going to party like its 1999. Ok, Maybe not party, just be really happy.

61:1

The Year of the Lord’s Favor-God has made me (Isaiah) His voice to the people. It is my job to tell you about how awesome it is going to be when God saves us. And it will be awesome.

Zion’s New Name-God is going to save Zion and give them a new name, the Holy People. And they will never be slaves again.

God’s Day of Vengeance and Redemption-I (God) was really mad at you guys and trampled you into the ground. Which, by the way, got blood all over my robes, and now they’re filthy. But I’m over that now, and I’m ready to save you.

Praise and Power-Dear God, we realize that we’ve been really bad, but… I mean, you can’t stay mad forever can you? We’re sorry. Honest.

65:1

Judgment and Salvation-I (God) tried really hard to be a good god to you guys, but you are such a pain in the neck. I said, don’t sacrifice to idols, and you did. I said, don’t eat pigs, and you did. I mean… really? I’ve tried really hard to be patient, but you guys just keep doing stuff I said not to do. I will bless those who follow my ways, but the ones who keep doing bad stuff, I just can’t bless.

New Heavens and a New Earth-I’m going to create a new earth, a new Jerusalem. In it, there will be no sorrow or grief. Everyone (person and animal) will live together in peace.

Judgment and Hope-In my new Jerusalem, everyone is going to have plenty of everything, and we’re all going to have a great time. I will send out some of My children to distant lands, to preach my name and bring new worshippers back with them. But those who eat pigs or do other abominable things will be punished.

The end. Well, that started out pretty nasty, but it ended on a pretty good note. I actually really liked this book, destruction at the beginning aside. It shows a softer, more caring side to God that we haven’t seen much of up until now. It also reiterates man’s need to be good and kind and helpful to one another in order t live within God’s covenant. So, get to it people!

Up next, Jeremiah!