The hand of salvation?Jeremiah 13:20-27$B-5(B Lift up your eyes
The text of this morning is from Verse 20-27. $B?72~Lu(B version and $B?76&F1Lu(B version lump these Verse 18-21, but because Iwanami version distributes this and I think it is appropriate, I want to follow this classification. Verse 18-19 is scolding King and King mother, and probably this King will be Jehoiakim. Verse 20-27 is independent and it is told to Jerusalem. Will $B?76&F1Lu(B version be conscious of it? It does not divide Verse 18-19 and Verse 20-27, but it makes "you" of Verse 20 singular with "you" (following verse 27 is all singular), and it seems to show Verse 20-27 is one bundle.
"Lift up your eyes and see those coming from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful sheep? What will you say when He appoints over you---and you yourself had taught them---former companions to be head over you? Will not pangs take hold of you, like a woman in childbirth? And if you say in your heart, 'Why have these things happened to me?' Because of the magnitude of your iniquity your skirts have been removed, and your heels have been exposed." (20-22) In Septuaginta, Verse 20 begins with "Jerusalem, raise up your eyes!". Masora text of Hebrew does not specify Jerusalem, but, seems to suggest it. Originally, it has not been in the original, but because Verse 27 had "Jerusalem", it would have been inserted. The Lord asks, "Where is the flock , your beautiful sheep?". "Lift up your eyes and see those coming from the north."; like this phrase, the situation of Jerusalem is becoming very serious. "You yourself taught them---former companions to be head over you?"; these are foreigners. Israel depended on Egypt and the strong large countries of east big rivers basin all the time from the times of the king Ahaz and was going to survive (cf. Isaiah Chapter 7). They have incorporated their pagan customs, it might have been their desperate wisdom, for Israel to survive. However, foreigner was not like a father who loves daughter, as Israel wished. About "You yourself had taught them---former companions to be head over you?", Iwanami version translates it, "When he visited you, even though you are convinced that they are the most intimate friend", but, a certain bible commentary person steps more and translates it, "they have been familiar with these lover". In spite of being free translation, it is indeed happy and pithy translation. Israel and those great powers were only such relations. If "a lover" was hard to hear, should I say even $B!I(Ba boyfriend"? Those great powers will make their girlfriend a servant in a moment. The king Jehoiakim was going to depend on Egypt which put him on to the throne, but Egypt had handled him like a slave. And, Babylonia which comes attacking will become the master several times tyrannical from Egypt.
$B-6(BBecause he has gotten used to a sin?
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to do evil." (23) This is one of the places known best in Jeremiah. It seemed that Jeremiah attracted a then proverb and changed it into his message; but the message that Jeremiah intended was the extremely important center subject that the people of Judah and Jerusalem must hear at this time, though it was not clear what had been spoken in it.
"A sin", it is not something humans have been born having it naturally. It is said that the original sin has gotten into a human being by Adam, and it occupies the important position in Christianity theology; but we never have "a sin" as the true character of us, even though it became big and grew the original sin among us. We are people created by God. The religious have come deeply into the hearts of people, it is said that it is to demand the trace of God; and it is also pointed out that atheism is insisted on is the same thing. Perhaps it would be right. However, we go to evil as if it is the born true character. Every time when they are blamed, they say "because there is original sin,", and are a cool face. There was not the recognition called the original sin, in the Judaism theology; but probably, would people have had such a sense in the times of Jeremiah? When people face their own sins, they will not be able to be nonchalant. Even more so, people do not want to stand in front of God and prophets who is pointing out their sin and condemning it wholeheartedly; and it is not only people of Jerusalem. We are also the same today.
However, there is one exception. It is to continue dipping in "sins" spending time, and to get used to it. If that happens, even if he is seen in the prophet and blamed by God, he becomes calm. Even the proverb saying, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his sports?", it is enough to think it would be a rhetorical question. "What's wrong to devote sacrifice on the altar of the pagan god? Do not say messily", this is their say. However, will not this be essence of what's called sin? By getting used to a sin, it has become the human second true character. As a result, the person has become to can't help committing a sin. A certain Bible commenter is pointing out "everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin" (John 8:34), it will be right. He says further. "From the deep recognition of a sin of the prophet of the Old Testament in this way, the need of salvation from God that forgiveness of a sin will occur. And becomes one of the basic line passed on to the New Testament from the Old Testament." (ATD The book of Jeremiah A. Weiser)"; probably, it is right.
$B-7(B The hand of salvation?
"'Therefore I will scatter them like drifting straw to the desert wind. This is your lot, the portion measured to you from Me,' declares the Lord, because you have forgotten Me and trusted in falsehood. So I Myself have have also stripped your skirts off over your face, that your shame may be seen. As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of you prostitution on the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean?" (24-27)
"As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your prostitution on the hills in the fields, I have seen your abominations."; the state of Jerusalem that got used to evil is clarified with the traditional example called the immoral sexual act of the woman. "On the hills in the field,", it will be a meaning that the immoral sexual act has been already carried out under the broad daylight. "Neighings" is also the same. It says that she neighs like a horse loudly without so much as hiding the pleasure to be absorbed in an immoral sexual act. The festival to gods of the paganism including Ishtar goddess and Baal gods are pictured as a sensual scene; it will be because, actually, those festivals themselves were rightly in such a state. "So I Myself have also stripped your skirts off over your face,"; this is declaration of God. And probably, her private parts are exposed to the eyes of foreigners, including Babylonia and neighboring Cannan races who invade and attack. Israel was praised by the world because they were the people who believed only God Yahweh, it was for their purity and faithfulness or intentness. It was criticized as that they were stubborn races, but the world had stared at Jerusalem with eyes of the admiration. It collapsed mercilessly and has left. There is it, "Therefor I will scatter them like drifting straw lo the desert wind". We might be listen that Israel had been scattered to all over the world (Jews as Diaspora) as straw by God, because they have received the judgment of God. There is it the last question "How long will you remain unclean?" (27). Unfortunately, as for "the hand of salvation" developed by them, even the trace is not found here. To them who had blocked the ears to hear, would the salvation of God have been obstructed in forever? We have no qualification to say "Yes or no". Because, we are the same as such Israel. However, if you have an ear to hear, please hear the words of Paul. It says, "It (the gospel) is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,".