Jeremiah 29
To face to the hope

Jeremiah 27:1-22
1 Peter 5:6-11
Ⅰ Whom do you trust?

Verse 1 begins thus, "In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah", but the contents of Chapter 27 is in the fourth year of King Zedekiah (BC594 years); the majority's opinion is that some confusion would have been produced in the editing process.

From neighboring countries Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon, messenger team came under King Zedekiah. It is the calling of the military alliance to counter the invasion of Babylon. God said to Jeremiah. "Make for yourself bonds and yokes and put them on your neck." (2) In such strange-looking, Jeremiah went to the palace. Probably, Jeremiah would have met to the messengers of countries, before they enter the palace.

This is the message that Jeremiah told to the messengers.
"'I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. ... And it will be, that nation or the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence,' declares the Lord, 'until I have destroyed it by his hand, But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." For they prophesy a lie to you, in order to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish. But the nation which will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let remain on its land," declares the Lord, "and they will it and dwell in it."'" (4-11) This is a divine message of God of Israel, the Lord of hosts. Judah and also you guys kingdom will be destroyed by Babylon. Even if you signed a military alliance, it is also nothing good for a country of you guys. This was the declaration that God is the only absolute sovereign for the countries. And He said, because Babylon is even the hand of God, "But the nation which will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let remain on its land,". This mercy was the promise of God facing to them. They did not seem to be able to achieve a military alliance entrusted from their lord, because they were told such a "divine message" by a prophet with a strange-looking.


Ⅱ Whom do you hear?

Then, Jeremiah entered in the royal palace and said towards the king Zedekiah. Many courtiers and priests also also heard. "Bring your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live! Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, famine, and pestilence,...? So do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you; saying 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for they prophesy a lie to you;" (12-14) "'For I have not sent them,' declares the Lord, 'but they prophesy falsely in My name, in order that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you.'" (15) These messages were divided into two Verse 12-14, and Verse 15; and these were told separately, but it seems to have brought together here at the stage of editing. Jeremiah dictated remembering thing, and Baruch wrote it. About these prophets, I will touch it later; but the message, "Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live!,", is same as the message that Jeremiah told messengers of countries. But here, as in the case of messengers, Baruch did not note anything to the reaction of the kings. Because rebuttal of the prophets have written down in Chapter 23 and rebuttal of the prophet Hananiah have written down in Chapter 28, courtiers and kings and priests also seem were not just listening in silence, but Baruch wrote just only the message of Jeremiah. Probably, Zedekiah king seems to have been charmed by the prophecy of Jeremiah at this point than the opinion of warlike of the prophets. The king was facing the word of God here in a sense. Would Baruch have a favor to such a king?

Jeremiah was still strange-looking. Surprisingly, Zedekiah had a favor to Jeremiah this time, and because priests and courtiers also did not doubt that Jeremiah was a prophet called by God; this strange-looking, unusual thing, also would have been possible.

And, the message was spoken again. Because there is that "Then I spoke to the priests and to all the people," (16), the things which were told at the time of worship or holidays would have been summarized here, along with the message of the previous two. "Thus says the Lord; 'Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying 'Behold, the vessels of the Lord's house will now shortly be brought again from Babylon'; for they are prophesying a lie to you. Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city become a ruin?, ... Yes, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of the lord, and in Jerusalem, 'They shall be carried to Babylon, and they shall be there until the day I visit them,' declares the Lord. 'Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.'" (16-22) Here also again, the promise of God is told that "Serve the king of Babylon, and live!". It says, "Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.". Probably, these three times messages would have been in last-minute efforts of Jeremiah to avoid the imminent doom, I think.


Ⅲ To face to the hope


I want to pick up two things here; it is a problem of the prophets, of the subject of the center of three messages. They said that "You shall not serve the king of Babylon". Those who inspired it to the messengers, they were those who speak the divine revelation of the countries faced, as your prophets, your diviners, your sorcerers. At the time the "divine revelation" is a darling of the era; as such the Delphi temple, the rampant place of divine revelation by professional domination had been built. "The theology of hope based on the evil customs" of such countries of Canaan had entered in the Kingdom of Judah. The divine message of prophets of Judah would have also become the same level as the divine revelation of countries. So Jeremiah said commandments strictly, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you", and said "If you're involved in the lie of the prophets, ’God will punish you with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence,’". People had to hear the word of God, which Jeremiah told. Even if we are in the brink of death and fine line, will hear the hope in the word of God. King, courtiers, priests, and also all the people and we modern people need to hear the word of God. It may really mean the "true theology of hope".

Another is about the vessels of the house of the Lord. Because the description of it is missing in Septuaginta, some people says this is revision of progeny; but perhaps for people of Judah at the time, especially for the priests, this was one of the condensation of Yahweh their faith. It is thought this is a genuine writing of Baruch. Because noticeable things had been carried off to Babylon in BC 597, the remaining things, which were said "they shall be carried to Babylon", would be low-value; but they could not see the salvation unless depend on such a thing, and their eyes were far away from God. However, it depending on container = quality will be extremely modern. And now, even those things have become more and more cheap. "Hope" would be also the same. Where it is facing focus is shifted somewhere.

Ogling the hope is important. This present ages, if we do not it, we have come to such times when it is almost crushed. But before that, whether it is true hope, we must check it. First of all, I want to begin to check my own. "Did I have run the desire to push others?", "Did I have trampled the weak poor people?", or "Did I poured the love for neighbor?" etc.. By reflect on oneself, we will be able to see the real hope, the hope of God, for the first time, isn't it?. I hope to trust the One who knows all anxiety of us (Ⅰ Peter 5:7), and I would like to face seriously Him. Because, the time of settlement is approaching.


The genealogy of prophets