Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part XV: Viewing God's Warnings Of Discipline At The Intensely Personal Level

(Jeremiah 6:1-9)


I.                 Introduction

A.    Hearing of another person or group of people being disciplined by the Lord may not affect us deeply, but if God warns us or people close to us of His severe discipline, such a warning dramatically affects us!

B.     Jeremiah 6:1-9 presents God's warning of discipline to Jeremiah's own neighbors and tribal people, an intensely personal experience with enhanced effect, and we view this passage for our insight and edification:

II.              Viewing God's Warnings Of Discipline At The Intensely Personal Level, Jeremiah 6:1-9.

A.    The prophecy of Jeremiah 6:1-9 is an intensely personal one as clarified by Jeremiah 6:1 as follows:

1.      Jeremiah's hometown was the town of priests known as Anathoth in the tribe of Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1) just three miles north of the city of Jerusalem, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Jeremiah 1:1.

2.      Thus, his call to the children of the tribe of Benjamin to gather themselves to flee from Jerusalem instead of fleeing into that great walled city for safety from invading Babylon (Jer. 6:1a) warned people close to Jeremiah: he revealed that no longer could his own people expect to find refuge in Jerusalem's walls as  before presumed, for even Jerusalem itself was doomed to fall.

3.      Indeed, Jeremiah added that they should "blow" the trumpet in "Tekoa" 12 miles south of Jerusalem (Jer. 6:1b; Ibid., ftn. to Jer. 6:1), the word "Tekoa" being a play on the Hebrew word "blow" (Ibid.), and to set up a signal fire in Beth-haccerem, modern Ramat Rahel, just 2 miles south of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 6:1; Ibid.  The relentless southward march and conquest of the Babylonian army would be so sure and so devastating, Jeremiah warned his town and tribal people to keep on fleeing, to go right on past Jerusalem!

B.     Accordingly, Jeremiah voiced God's claim that He was about to destroy what was like His own beautiful and delicate daughter, the "Daughter of Zion," a poetic reference to the city of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 6:2.  This destruction would be so complete that shepherds would come and pitch their tents there in its uninhabitable ruins to graze their sheep, each tending his own portion of pasture, Jeremiah 6:3.  Such great destruction was verified by the later testimony of Nehemiah 1:3; 2:3, 11-17; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1138.

C.     Jeremiah predicted that the Babylonian soldiers would initially plan to attack at noon, but before the preparations were completed the shadows of the evening would have begun to lengthen, Jeremiah 6:4; Ibid.  Nevertheless, though most armies would want to postpone the attack until the next day, the Babylonians would be so motivated to attack the city that they would start their assault that night, Jeremiah 6:5.

D.    As the invaders waged war, God would help them, leading them to cut down trees to build siege ramps up against the city walls to punish Jerusalem since it was filled with oppression, Jeremiah 6:6 NIV.

E.     Continuing to explain Jerusalem's ripeness for judgment, God added that the city constantly, abundantly poured out its wickedness like a well pours out its water, that violence and destruction resounded in her and that her moral sickness and wounds were ever before the Lord, requiring His discipline, Jeremiah 6:7 NIV.

F.      In an additional warning to the city, God through Jeremiah warned Jerusalem's dwellers to repent or He would turn away from the city and make its land so desolate that no one would live in it after its fall, Jeremiah 6:8.

G.    Likening the nation to a vine that had been harvested, leaving the gleanings of a few grapes behind, the Lord urged that the nation be gleaned as thoroughly, that her branches be passed over again like one who gathers the last gleanings of the grapevine so that absolutely no fruit was left, Jeremiah 6:9.  The picture is one of inescapable judgment for every one of the ungodly inhabitants of Judah, even on people close to Jeremiah.


Lesson: In an intensely personal message, the Lord had Jeremiah warn his OWN townspeople and tribal folk not to flee from the invaders even into the presumed safe haven of nearby Jerusalem, but to keep on fleeing out in the open country southward, for Jerusalem was about to be invaded and destroyed so that shepherds would pitch their tents in its ruins as they led their flocks there much like a pasture!  The Lord would even help and guide the Gentile invaders because Judah was so ripe for judgment, pouring forth violence, destruction in all of its moral sickness and wounds.  The nation would be thoroughly gleaned as a man strips a grapevine of every one of its grapes, punishing every wicked individual throughout the entire nation.


Application: When we hear of God's discipline in His Word, may we apply it to OUR lives as a warning for US and our ASSOCIATES to repent, for our righteous God eventually must punish ALL unconfessed sin -- even OURS!