Hebrew Prophets II
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Bruce Baloian
February 11, 2003
"Lament Songs of Jeremiah"

I.   Jeremiah's personality
A.   Seems very timid, and an ordinary guy
B.   He would be a "business" man of today - not a construction worker
C.   Wanted to quite the "ministry"
II.   The decision was not taken once and for all. The prophet had rather to take and retake it to face the difficulties that kept arising for freedom also implies the possibility of refusal - von Rod
III.   Calls to ministry usually involve some sense of doubt and breakdown
A.   Jesus - publicly called to ministry, God "approves" and immediately sent to the wilderness (Mk 1)
B.   Paul - After success in Damascus, had to be miraculously (Acts 9:25)
C.   Moses - Burning bush experience, God tries to kill him, and he eventually tells God he chose the wrong man (Ex 4 & 5)
D.   Jeremiah was much in the same
IV.   Famous Lament Passages
A.   Jer 11:18-23
Jer. 11:18 Moreover, the LORD made it known to me and I knew it; Then Thou didst show me their deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; And I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, And let us cut him off from the land of the living, That his name be remembered no more." 20 But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, Who tries the feelings and the heart, Let me see Thy vengeance on them, For to Thee have I committed my cause.
Jer. 11:21 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, that you might not die at our hand"; 22 therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; 23 and a remnant will not be left to them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth (Jeremiah home town) Ñ the year of their punishment."
1.   18-19 - Lament (verbal expression of difficulty) because people proposed to kill him
2.   19 - Plan to kill him and burn his words (destroy the tree with its fruit)
3.   20 - Request for God to kill those who want to kill him (Imprecatory lament)
a.   Is this appropriate for him to pray this?
i.   He takes this issue in faith
ii.   He doesn't quit
iii.   He doesn't take things into his own hands
4.   21-23 - God's response
a.   Commands him not to prophesy anymore or he would die
b.   God says those who threaten him will be punished
B.   Jer 12:1-6
Jer. 12:1 Righteous art Thou, O LORD, that I would plead my case with Thee; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with Thee: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease? 2 Thou hast planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. Thou art near to their lips But far from their mind. 3 But Thou knowest me, O LORD; Thou seest me; And Thou dost examine my heart's attitude toward Thee. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a day of carnage! 4 How long is the land to mourn And the vegetation of the countryside to wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, Animals and birds have been snatched away, Because men have said, "He will not see our latter ending."
Jer. 12:5 "If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? 6 "For even your brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you."
1.   1 - Addresses God respectfully
2.   1-2 - Accusation against God against the "poor quality" he runs the world
3.   3 - Back to respecting God and asking Him to search his heart
4.   3-4 - Requests the genocide of those who appose him
5.   5-6 - God says, "You're a baby"
C.   There difference between Jer 11 and Jer 12
1.   Jer 11 - is that he went from lamenting, accusing men, and asking for their genocide
2.   Jer 12 - is that he went from lamenting, accusing God, and asking for their genocide
D.   Jer 15:10-21
Jer. 15:10 Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have neither lent, nor have men lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me. 11 The LORD said, "Surely I will set you free for purposes of good; Surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you In a time of disaster and a time of distress. 12 "Can anyone smash iron, Iron from the north, or bronze? 13 "Your wealth and your treasures I will give for booty without cost, Even for all your sins And within all your borders. 14 "Then I will cause your enemies to bring it Into a land you do not know; For a fire has been kindled in My anger, It will burn upon you."
Jer. 15:15 Thou who knowest, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Thy patience, take me away; Know that for Thy sake I endure reproach. 16 Thy words were found and I ate them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Thy hand upon me I sat alone, For Thou didst fill me with indignation. 18 Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Wilt Thou indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable?
Jer. 15:19 Therefore, thus says the LORD, "If you return, then I will restore you Ñ Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them. 20 "Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you," declares the LORD. 21 "So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent."
1.   Look how honest is prayer life is with God - don't I feel like this often
2.   15 - Do not let your loving personality get in way of justice
3.   15-17 - He's upset because he always does the right thing even when everyone else is doing the wrong
4.   18 - Accusing God of tricking/deceiving him
5.   19-21 - He will restore Jeremiah, but it is very conditional
E.   Jer 17:12-27
Jer. 17:19 Thus the LORD said to me, "Go and stand in the public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as in all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, Listen to the word of the LORD, kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all inhabitants of Jerusalem, who come in through these gates: 21 Thus says the LORD, "Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 "And you shall not bring a load out of your houses on the sabbath day nor do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers. 23 "Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks in order not to listen or take correction.
Jer. 17:24 "But it will come about, if you listen attentively to Me," declares the LORD, "to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to keep the sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, 25 then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 "They will come in from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country, and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the LORD. 27 "But if you do not listen to Me to keep the sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I shall kindle a fire in its gates, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched."'"
F.   Jer 18:18-23
Jer. 18:18 Then they said, "Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest, nor counsel to the sage, nor the divine word to the prophet! Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words."
Jer. 18:19 Do give heed to me, O LORD, And listen to what my opponents are saying! 20 Should good be repaid with evil? For they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before Thee To speak good on their behalf, So as to turn away Thy wrath from them. 21 Therefore, give their children over to famine, And deliver them up to the power of the sword; And let their wives become childless and widowed. Let their men also be smitten to death, Their young men struck down by the sword in battle. 22 May an outcry be heard from their houses, When Thou suddenly bringest raiders upon them; For they have dug a pit to capture me And hidden snares for my feet. 23 Yet Thou, O LORD, knowest All their deadly designs against me; Do not forgive their iniquity Or blot out their sin from Thy sight. But may they be overthrown before Thee; Deal with them in the time of Thine anger!
1.   They are basically saying "he is worthless" - Judaism will go on with out him because they have the law
2.   Yhwh does not even answer him
3.   Yhwh is letting him vent however
G.   Jer 20:7-18
Jer. 20:7 O LORD, Thou hast deceived me and I was deceived; Thou hast overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. 8 For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted In reproach and derision all day long. 9 But if I say, "I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. 10 For I have heard the whispering of many, "Terror on every side! Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!" All my trusted friends, Watching for my fall, say: "Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may prevail against him And take our revenge on him." 11 But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten. 12 Yet, O LORD of hosts, Thou who dost test the righteous, Who seest the mind and the heart; Let me see Thy vengeance on them; For to Thee I have set forth my cause. 13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD! For He has delivered the soul of the needy one From the hand of evildoers.
Jer. 20:14 Cursed be the day when I was born; Let the day not be blessed when my mother bore me! 15 Cursed be the man who brought the news To my father, saying, "A baby boy has been born to you!" And made him very happy. 16 But let that man be like the cities Which the LORD overthrew without relenting, And let him hear an outcry in the morning And a shout of alarm at noon; 17 Because he did not kill me before birth, So that my mother would have been my grave, And her womb ever pregnant. 18 Why did I ever come forth from the womb To look on trouble and sorrow, So that my days have been spent in shame?
1.   7-9 - The Hebrew implies that "God, you raped me"
2.   10 - Paranoia has gone ramped through out the nation