Bible Study, Commentary

Jeremiah 11 – Solitary Man

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Jeremiah 11

Solitary Man


(Please refer to the Preface and Introduction sections found in the Jeremiah Chapter 1 commentary for some general information about this chapter by chapter study of Jeremiah).

Chapter 11

Jer 11:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 11:2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

Hear – shama – to hear intelligently with the implication of obedience.
Covenant – bereeth – a cutting, a compact or league made by passing between pieces of flesh.

A date is not given for this new prophecy, but the context suggests the latter part of the reign of Josiah. The first thing God commands is that we hear, but hear with the utmost attention. I think what has happened is that we have heard so many uninspired, man-centred messages, that we’ve truly forgotten how to hear properly when the real word of the Lord is spoken. You can dull your hearing and allow your heart to become cold if all you hear is unanointed messages that do not come from God. You begin to believe this is all there is. You faith dwindles, as your expectations to hear from the Lord begins to disappear. How desperately the church needs to hear the real word of the Lord from the pulpits today, while there are still pulpits to hear from.

God then tells us to hear the words of his covenant. Not the words of your pastor, or favorite preacher. Not the words of your denomination or little home group. Not the words on Christian television. Make it a priority to beseech the father to send you to a place where the true word of God is spoken. You would think with the internet that we would have an excess of good teachings to choose from. In fact, like every other promise of the world’s system, the opposite has come true. Because there are multitudes of false voices, it becomes increasingly difficult to even find, let alone recognize, the true words that come from heaven.

Third, God is speaking to 2 groups. The men of Judah would represent the leadership segment of God’s people. The inhabitants of Jerusalem represent the body of believers. Yet it is just a portion of the body, as God could of said to speak to the inhabitants of Israel, or even Judah. No, just to the people in Jerusalem, where the presence of God could be found. God knew not to waste his words to those believers who lived far from the presence of God. This is reminiscent of Jesus words in Mt 13:11:

Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Let us never take for granted when God leads us to his true words, as not every one is deemed worthy by the Lord to hear truth.

Jer 11:3 And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; (Bitterly) Cursed be the man that obeyeth (shama) not the words of this covenant (bereeth),

Note how the same two words are used in this verse. The same Hebrew word shama, instead of being translated hear, is now translated as obey. God expects us to understand that hearing and obeying God is supposed to be one and the same. This is a scary thought.

When God begins to speak a word to us, how many would eagerly hear and obey if God begins to tell us we’re cursed? Would we run away and scream ‘false prophet’? How many of us have ever had a personal word like this? Yet I would wager that most of us have had a personal word of some sort of generic blessing, at the most a mild rebuke, and no real negativity at all. I remember watching a teaching by a world famous minister who ran a school where he taught people how to give words to each other. One of the main rules was that it was never supposed to be anything negative, only encouraging and uplifting. I am sure he would of kicked Jeremiah out of his class the first day!

If you stop to think about it, what is more likely – that God needs to speak to you when you are in fellowship and obedience with him, or if there is some real danger you are walking in that must be addressed to prevent disaster? No one is saying that God won’t speak words of encouragement to you, as we all know the scripture in Corinthians where the simple gift of prophecy is given for edification, exhortation, and comfort. Two out of three are very positive. Yet take the apostle’s epistles to the churches, or the prophetic books as a whole, and the vast majority of utterances of Yehovah to his body is warnings. I would argue that you could make a case that the bible itself could be classified primarily as a book of warnings to mankind. What sort of communication would you prioritize with your children, a word of encouragement, or a word of warning when you see them running towards obvious, life-threatening danger? Both are useful, but one is critical and of a much higher priority.

Jer 11:4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey (shama) my voice, and do them, according to all (the whole, not just a part) which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God (elohim):

God fully expects subsequent generations to continue in the covenant that he has cut with our forefathers. Our number one priority is not to go out in all the world and convert others, but to pass on the faith to the next generation. While it is wonderful when any soul is saved, it is a greater tragedy when your own offspring turn away from the faith and the everlasting covenant has been severed in your future bloodline.

The word elohim, not Yehovah, is used here, to denote that all people have an elohim in their lives. It may not be a demonic entity like Baal or Ashtoreth, but even the atheist has his own god, even if it is his trust in his own ability and strength to see him through. Note the condition to have Yehovah as your elohim – that word shama again – hear and obey – obey everything, not just the parts you like, like king Saul of old.

Jer 11:5 That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said (the response given was), So be it, O LORD.

God wants to bless, don’t think that all these dire words of woe somehow means that god is looking for an excuse to kill. He clearly lays out what we have to do, we don’t need to guess. He has given us his instructions in the bible. Read and obey, and the blessings are yours.

The latter part of the verse can be written two ways. Either Jeremiah agrees with everything God says, or the response of the people at the time the command was first given were of said to of agreed. Either way, both are true.

Jer 11:6 Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim (accost those you meet, call out, address by name) all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear (shama) ye the words of this covenant, and do them.

Jeremiah is given the task in his generation to reiterate these eternal commands of God. It is everyone’s task to make God’s word known in the generation that God places us in. We are all one generation away from utter godlessness, as we have certainly discovered here in 2024. All it take is for one generation to fail in their duty to proclaim and pass on the true word of the Lord, and all becomes lost.

Interesting the alternate meanings of the word proclaim. It gives the sense of aggressiveness, of personal, intimate contact, of intentionally reaching out. It reminds us of one of Jesus parables, where he tells us to compel them to come in. Yes, there is a truth about being led by the spirit, and not to cast your pearls before swine, but I think most of us tend to err on the side of being too timid, rather than too presumptuous when it comes to witnessing. I know I am certainly guilty of this. What about you?

He also said to publish it in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem. This implies taking the message of Jesus everywhere you travel. Don’t leave Jesus behind in the church, take him with you to the store, to work, to those awful relatives that you must visit!

Jer 11:7 For I earnestly protested (ood ood – i repeated myself intensively, i repeated myself intensively) unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting (ood), saying, Obey (shama) my voice (kole – loud call).

God is saying that he spared no effort in speaking again and again in the most intense manner possible right from the start of their salvation from Egypt. He has not stopped speaking up until this very day. Rising early was a figure of speech not meaning first thing in the morning, but at the first possible opportunity I was warning you to obey my word. I spoke with a loud call, it wasn’t something that you can say that you haven’t heard. I think many at the judgment will claim that they didn’t know what God required, because the voice of the church has become so dim in these times. Yet no one, especially in the so called Christian west, will have any excuse that they did not know about Jesus when they stand before the judge of all the earth. God testifies that he has sent us many voices, again and again, at all times, speaking loud and clear, but did we really want to hear?

Jer 11:8 Yet they obeyed (shama) not, nor inclined (stretched) their ear, but walked every one in the imagination (obstinacy, twisted path) of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant (bereeth), which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.

Not only did they not hear and obey, but they did not even bother to stretch the ear towards my word, did not even make an effort to try and hear. Instead, their fallen, corrupt heart was their guide. The words that God will bring upon them is the curse found for breaking the covenant, found in Dt 28:15-68. Note how God has 54 verses describing the evil that he will send upon the disobedient, versus the 14 verses describing the blessings of the obedient. This reiterates and confirms the fact that God is far more interested in warning than in reassuring.

I believe I can confidently say that most believers have never heard a sermon on Dt 28:15-68. Most pastors would not last very long if they tried to preach from this part of the bible!

Jer 11:9 And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy (treason, unlawful alliance) is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Conspiracies are real things. Wicked men engage in them all the time. When the mainstream media tell us we’re all conspiracy theorists when we believe the truth, you can agree with them (except for the theory part) that yes, we believe the bible. When men engage in unlawful alliances, God calls it treason. Our hearts break and our minds are at times overwhelmed with the level of insanity and destruction that we witness in our leaders. We must content ourselves that there will come a day that whatever prize they accepted in order to betray humanity, the eternal price that they will pay will be unimaginably horrific, yet perfectly just. They shall not escape forever.

Jer 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities (perversities) of their forefathers (first fathers, initial ancestors), which refused to hear (shama) my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

God specifically points back to the first generation of redeemed Israelites that wandered in the wilderness. They may of been delivered out of Egypt, but Egypt had not been delivered out of them. Of course, the elementary truth that we all understand is that a man’s heart could not truly be changed before the coming of Christ. Yet I think the more important pattern here is that these people experienced true redemption, passing through the waters of baptism when the sea was parted. Yet they were then expected to cleanse themselves of all defilement of flesh and spirit, as we are commanded to do (2 Cor 7:1). because they did not, they were all destroyed in the wilderness. They did not enter the promised land. Some teach that means they were still saved, but only lost their inheritance, or their eternal heavenly rewards. I think the apostle Paul taught it differently. Acts 7:42 speaks of God giving them up to worship the host of heaven in the wilderness. I Cor 10:5 said that God overthrew them in the wilderness. Heb 3:8 says they hardened their hearts in the wilderness. Heb 3:17 says that God was grieved with those whom he destroyed, by felling their carcasses in the wilderness. This does not sound like a fate any one of us want to experience, do we?

Serious sin always begins with a refusal to hear and obey God’s word. It may be just that one verse really bugs you, and you just don’t want to do it. Perhaps you really don’t believe you have the strength to do it. Perhaps you really don’t know how. If you persist in these lies, the devil will show you an easier way. He will lead you to other gods, other paths that are more to your flesh’s liking. Perhaps it will be to a compromised church, where no word of judgment is ever heard. Where this new pastor understands what I am going through, and does not expect me to do the impossible.

God indicts all of Israel and Judah. Even so today, all of the church must take its share of the blame for the state we are in. Too many internet heresy hunters sit in their basement and find fault with every other group but their own. Let us look to ourselves first and foremost, and like Daniel, take the responsibility and burden of the church’s sinfulness upon our shoulders in heartfelt prayer and repentance on behalf of all.

Jer 11:11 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

Intentional sin done long enough means no escape from judgment and no answered prayer. Our current reality in North America and in the world most closely resembles the reality of Jeremiah’s time. Jeremiah’s era was the era of final judgment on Judah. Certain acts of God predominate. You will find virtually no redemption in Jeremiah. You will find very little prophetic words of comfort and promise, though there are some, but most are for the future restoration. You will find that the temperament of God is one of anger, fury, and vengeance.

All truly born again believers profess how much they love the word. About how they believe the word of God absolutely. So many sermons and declarations that it’s the word, and the word alone, that we believe and follow, not the traditions of men like in those old, dead churches we used to attend. Well here is the verse that puts the lie to that statement for many, many believers. Jeremiah declares 3 truths that are not taught in the Laodicean generation:

1. God brings evil upon his people.
2. There is no escape from this kind of evil.
3. God will not answer our prayers.

How can this be? What do most, if not virtually all, pastors do with a verse like this? They ignore it. They pretend it does not exist. Their bible gets shortened by at least one verse.

Let’s break this down. God begins with a therefore. In light of all that God has been saying about his people, these 3 things I will do. What has he been saying? That they are just a little bad? That they have broke bad just for a short time? That they haven’t heard or haven’t had ample time to repent and amend their ways? No, none of that.

God has said that from the outset, there was a serious sin problem in the ranks. God used the first generation of believers as a stark example of what will happen to the believer should he choose to reject God’s commandments and go after other gods, who speak of other ways to live. Today the god of wokeness and political correctness instructs most of the church into an alternate set of morals and ethics.

God utterly destroyed each and every one of that first generation, serving as an example for all generations to come. In the book of Acts, when a new covenant was inaugurated, God did the same thing again. He gave us an eternal example for all future Christian generations to learn from and remember. Ananias and Saphira intentionally lied to the Holy Ghost, and God struck them dead. Whether or not they made heaven, you be the judge. The point is that God gives us patterns at the start of a new thing. He will not continue to instantly judge like that in all generations, otherwise he would soon run out of people to judge!

Israel over the years then had their ups and downs, their good times and bad. It all culminated in Jeremiah’s day, where the last part of God’s tribe was clinging to the last bit of promised land. Yet even after most of God’s people and blessings had disappeared, this last group had intentionally, immediately departed from good king Josiah’s attempts to bring the people back to God’s good graces and protection. Instead they turned to the behavior of that wicked first generation, and it is in this context that God pronounces these 3 awful truths. God sends the evil on his people. Because of their longstanding, continual rebellion in an era when they had all that history to learn from, they could not apply 2 Chr 7:14 anymore. It was not available at this stage of the nation’s spiritual decline. No matter how much they petitioned heaven, the mishpat (decree) was set. He would not turn away from the final judgment.

Later we will see a refinement, an elaboration to these truths. Yes, the nation was lost. But individual men and women of righteousness could at least save themselves. There is hope for the remnant, but we may have to adjust our expectations going forward.

Jer 11:12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry (shriek from anguish) unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all (yawshah yawshah – deliver, rescue) in the time of their trouble.

Where will the apostate church go when all the false teaching of reversal and restoration fails to come to pass? Who shall they shriek to? It says here that they will not turn back to Yehovah, but to the gods that they are accustomed to worshipping. They will most likely double down on the false teaching. Perhaps they didn’t tithe enough, or believe hard enough, or confess enough, or declare victory enough. It is a fatal thing to persist in deception for too long, as it will utterly swallow you up in the end, and there will be no escape.

Jer 11:13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.

I think of the 5g towers that have been set up in every corner of the land today. You have worshipped your god the internet, the social media that you can’t live without. Thus you have allowed the tower of babel to be set up in every corner of the land, always visible by virtually everyone at all times.

They are now in place. Waiting for the command to microwave your graphened, snake venomed blood. You will experience the fruit of your ways, microwaved to death as a just recompense for turning from your creator to the created thing. Go and cry to facebook, see if mark z. will save you in the day of the Lord.

Jer 11:14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear (shama) them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

Here is the terrible climax of this passage. As in verse 11, the prayer door is shut.

This is a terrible verdict when God instructs his intercessors not to pray for a nation, as God’s judgment states that his decision of destruction is irrevocable and you’re just wasting your time if you ask him to change it. Jeremiah and Ezekiel in particular speak of Judah’s low point in history, whereby the remnant could only deliver themselves, but could not change the fate of their nation. Are we at this same place in history in North America? I would argue yes. However, that is something that you need to take up personally with the Lord. I know that recently I’ve been asking God to make my prayers for the nation and for the west more effective. Show me exactly what to pray for and how to pray for it. Clearly, as found in this terrifying verse, there are times when certain things cannot be undone. All the evidence seems to point that we have reached this awful place in history. This is why I cannot get behind any pollyanna prophecy of restoration and revival. With all the sin in our past, and all the sin that is multiplying without precedent in our land, how can God ignore the worldwide genocide taking place? Do you think he can turn a blind eye to the illicit mixing that is occurring everywhere, in the vax, in our foods, in the chemtrails? These things are defiling all of God’s creation, soon there will be nothing left that God declared very good in Genesis chapter 1.

Jer 11:15 What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness (evil plans) with many (or in abundance), and the holy flesh is passed (alienated, perished) from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest (jumps for joy).

God is asking why are these apostates still in his house, offering unholy sacrifices? They jump for joy not because they know and understand my holy commandments, but only when they practise wickedness. I wonder what percentage of so called churches today fall under this indictment?

Jer 11:16 The LORD called thy name, A green (prosperous, flourishing) olive tree, fair, and of goodly (beautiful well favoured) fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.
Jer 11:17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.

Note that Judah would bear some of the judgment for the northern kingdom, as they all were originally of one kingdom. We are all one in the body of Christ. We like to quote the verse that says if one part suffers, all suffer. I believe this verse is hinting that if one part rebels, all the body suffers in some fashion, as we all are experiencing in the judgments today.`

Jer 11:18 And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: (since) then thou shewedst me their doings.

God gave Jeremiah revelation of the upcoming judgment. The verse seems to imply continuing revelations will be given him. He who is faithful in a little will be given more. We shall see what the people’s response was to this bringer of truth.

Jer 11:19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices (woven a plot, even with a machine) against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.

The people respond not with repentance, but with a desire to kill the messenger. I like the hint that ‘devies devices’ may be rendered as weaving a plot using a machine. Artificial intelligence, and social media algorithms come to mind that are, and will, weave fictitious narratives about believers on the internet, which will destroy reputations, and try to shut down any presentation of not only gospel truth, but truth of every kind.

The verse implies a desire by the crowd for total destruction, not of the man only, but of his work. While the prophet’s life had been innocent and unsuspecting, his own townsmen were conspiring to crush him, and erase his name and prophecies into oblivion. Jeremiah’s predicament reminds us of what Christ faced when he preached in his hometown:

Luk 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
Luk 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Let us not think that the church body in general will welcome us when we come to them with the true word of the Lord in this day.

Jer 11:20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest (shawfat – pronounces sentence, governs) righteously, that triest (tests, proves) the reins (kilyaw – the kidney – the mind, the interior self) and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.

Jeremiah asks God to protect him. He went to God alone, not man. He asks that God take up the responsibility that is God’s alone – executing vengeance on the wicked. In this case, Jeremiah’s adversaries.

So many stumble on this topic. Jesus taught us to forgive our enemies. Jeremiah asks God to avenge him. Most see this as contradictory. God sees it as complimentary. You can completely forgive your personal enemy and still ask God to avenge your situation, as it is hindering the work of God that you’ve been assigned to do. If God does not take care of certain enemies that the devil sends your way, your work for the kingdom of God will be cut short and God’s will may be thwarted.

Another distinction the scripture makes is between one’s personal enemies and the enemies of God. Take a look at this passage:

Psa 139:21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Psa 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Psa 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psa 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

David is confident enough to tell God that he is proud that he hates God’s true enemies. He hates them with perfect, or total, hatred, just as we are to love God with all our heart. He says they are his enemies also. And he closes by asking God to search his heart, as obviously he is unafraid that God would rebuke him for this attitude.

What is actually going on here? Why does this passage make many squirm?

It is because most pastors and believers simply go by what they have been taught by others. When they encounter passages such as this that on the surface seem to contradict the principles found on the sermon on the mount, they are at a loss as to what to do. Most ignore it. Some say that this is an example of an unregenerate heart. That even David, who was so loved by God, did not have the Holy Spirit living in his heart so he could never aspire to the higher truths of the sermon on the mount. It would take a born again, regenerated heart to truly understand the depth of God’s love and forgiveness. So they teach that certain scriptures are not true anymore.

Yet we need to see that God has always had 3 classes of people in the world. The saved, the lost, and the wicked. It’s that third class that trip people up. These are the sons of Belial, the ones God calls worthless, the ones he hates, like Esau, those whom God has given over to unrighteousness, like those found in Romans chapter one. The wicked are the true globalists, the architects of the planetary destruction now in effect. Do you honestly think that those at the top have any chance of being saved? This may seem like a radical idea, as didn’t Jesus die for all? He most certainly did. Yet we all have free will. Can you entertain the fact that one could choose to throw in their lot with the devil so completely and irrevocably, that God truly gives them over to their decision and effectively seals their fate while yet still alive? Is that not what Romans chapter one teaches us?

Then the once saved, always saved crowd may come right back with: ‘well if God honours the wicked’s choice forever, then why don’t you believe that God would honour the believer’s choice forever by making him eternally secure’? Well here is the difference between signing up for the devil’s kingdom versus God’s side. While the devil seeks to bind and enslave forever, God never will bind and enslave anyone. God always respects his children’s free will. He does not coerce, force, or torture you into doing his will. He will not chain you up if you show signs of wanting to depart to serve the other side. Although Heb 6:4-6 does give us warning in advance, that if a certain very mature believer, who understands exactly what he is doing, makes such a choice, then God says he is not welcome back later should he ever want to reverse his fatal decision. On the other hand, the devil demands eternal obedience and subjugation of his most intimate cohorts. In other words, if you truly want to experience the devil’s greatest rewards, then you must sign up for eternity. God seems to honour that request, as evidenced by passages like those found in Ps 139 and Rom 1.

Jer 11:21 Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand:

Jeremiah more precisely identifies his assailants – those from his own hometown, prefiguring the exact same circumstance that Jesus found himself in in Lk chapter 4 above. Think about how absurd this is. These are the men that are supposed to mediate between man and God, offering the people’s sacrifices. Yet they want nothing to do with the voice of the Lord. Undoubtedly they were convinced that Jeremiah was a false prophet, as they would claim that he was the only voice speaking such nonsense. They twisted the idea of confirmation, consensus and democracy and applied it to God himself, who is never in the majority, yet always in the right.

Jer 11:22 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish (visit them with hostile intent) them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:
Jer 11:23 And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation (reckoning).

God is not shy to defend us. He will let the aged amongst their wicked linger, and watch their entire future be wiped out. I think that is a greater punishment than simply killing the aged, those who should of known better. The aged have the agony of watching all their offspring perish. To much is given, much is required. In this case, to those who should of been teaching their young the fear of the Lord, the terror of the Lord shall be visited upon them instead. Notice how God promises Jeremiah that there will not be any of them left to plot against Jeremiah anymore. Yet it will be at a specific time of God’s own choosing, not ours. How our timing is always so inferior to the perfect timing of God’s!

Let us be comforted, those who are in the center of God’s will, that God takes note of and will take care of all those who rise up against us, but let us pray for the patience and perseverance needed to wait for God’s year (time) of their reckoning.

Solitary Man

Photos courtesy Depositphotos


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