Jeremiah asked why the wicked prosper and the righteous who seek to learn and keep the whole Word of God suffer. This question is also addressed by David in the Psalms, by Solomon in Ecclesiastes and by Job.
Jeremiah 12:1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Today, very many of the spiritually called out speak of God and still will not keep God’s Word; instead they keep the false traditions of men.
12:2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
Jeremiah asks God to save him from the wicked because of his zeal for God
12:3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
The idolaters who idolize men including today’s Spiritual Ekklesia who claim to have the name of God yet will not turn from their sin nor proclaim the whole Word of God to the nation, have lost their savor of salt [acceptance] with God.
12:4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
If we think the brethren have a hard time now with their easy trials; how will they cope with the coming great affliction? Let us turn to and trust in our God and do his whole will, and he will deliver us from the grave to eternal life.
12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustest, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? 12:6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.
Jesus Christ speaks of his beloved espoused bride who he is giving over to strong correction because of her emotional and spiritual adulteries; the apostate Called Out of the latter day Spiritual Ekklesia.
12:7 I have forsaken mine house [today’s Spiritual Ekklesia who are quenching God’s Spirit], I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
We may pay lip-service to God but if we teach for doctrine the false traditions of men we will be forsaken and corrected. We claim to be God’s heritage but we refuse to live by God’s Word.
12:8 Mine heritage is [become God’s adversary] unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it [God will correct his people for turning against him].
Just like bird chicks will reject a chick which is different from them, God will reject his wayward people who have become different from Him; and God will allow the nations to correct physical and spiritual Israel/Judah in this latter day.
12:9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled [unacceptable, to be rejected] bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
Many deceiving elders have despoiled the brethren, to lead them away from Christ-like zeal for the whole Word of God, and into a zeal to love and follow idols of men and their false traditions.
Because we have not loved God our Father and our espoused Husband enough to learn and live by every Word of God and we have not proved all things by every Word of God; we have been deceived and led astray from our Mighty Holy One.
We have loved idols of men more than we have loved our God; for this and for our many spiritual adulteries we will surely be afflicted.
As Jesus warned in Matthew 24, very many false pastors have infiltrated today’s Spiritual Ekklesia and have deceived many away from their first love of TRUTH and GODLINESS, to follow corporate idols and false men.
12:10 Many [false] pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion [God’s Called Out] under foot, they have made my pleasant portion [They turn the Called Out away from their calling to learn and live by every Word of God and made them empty of spiritual understanding.] a desolate wilderness. 12:11 They have made it desolate [made the congregations of God, empty of understanding], and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man [takes God’s Word seriously] layeth it to heart.
Therefore we will be given up to extreme correction.
12:12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.
Then we shall be ashamed of our idols of men and we will seriously repent before the Lord our God.
12:13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
Once we sincerely repent Messiah the Christ will come at the appointed time and save his beloved out of their final correction. A sincerely repentant Spiritual Ekklesia will be resurrected from death into immortality and receive their inheritance, entering into the Promised Land of eternal life.
12:14 Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
After we have been corrected, Messiah the Christ will come and we will be delivered by him.
12:15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
If we diligently learn to live by every Word of God and turn away from false teachings and deceitful men: We will receive the birthright of our calling.
12:16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear [declare] by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
12:17 But if they will not obey [the whole Word of God], I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation [or person], saith the LORD.
A parable against physical and spiritual Israel.
God corrected physical Judah and Israel and God will correct them again for the same sins; God will also correct today’s apostate Spiritual Ekklesia if we are filled with the same sins of idolatry and stubborn self-willed pride in our own ways.
Jeremiah 13:1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. 13:2 So I got a girdle [kilt] according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.
A practical demonstration lesson, showing that God would destroy the pride of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon; and that God will correct us in this latter day by a new Babylon the Great which is now rising in Europe.
13:3 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, 13:4 Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates [at that time Babylon], and hide it there in a hole of the rock.
13:5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
This was an instructive example that just as the kilt was damaged beyond repair through its burial by the Euphrates in Babylon; the pride of ancient Judah would be destroyed in Babylon on the Euphrates.
13:6 And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 13:7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
13:8 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 13:9 Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride [in their own ways and rebellion against God] of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
Just as Judah was corrected by ancient Babylon, today’s proud self-willed physical and spiritual Israel/Judah will be accounted good for nothing and cast away into great correction until their stubborn self-willed pride in their own ways and their rebellious attitude against God are destroyed.
13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
Because we have rejected our God and turned to false gods of men and institutional idols with their false traditions; we are good for nothing and will be cast into great correction until our pride and stubborn self-will is destroyed.
13:11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
In these latter days the spiritual Ekklesia as well as the physical nations have become intoxicated with pride and self-righteousness; and we will fall into great and terrible correction.
13:12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
13:13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
13:15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
Our foundational sin, like Sodom’s, is pride and exalting our own ways and false traditions instead of being zealous to learn and to live by every Word of God.
May today’s Spiritual Ekklesia repent quickly, humble ourselves in sincere repentance before God and his Word, and glorify them far above our own thoughts.
13:16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains [of our own ways], and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
Today’s physical and spiritual flock of God the Father and Jesus Christ is carried away by their own arrogance and pride (Rev 3:16-20) just as happened in ancient Israel and Judah.
13:17 But if ye will not hear it [if we will not hear God’s rebuke and repent], my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.
The cities of ancient Judah were destroyed and so latter day Judah and Israel will be severely corrected and today’s apostate Spiritual Ekklesia will fall with them unless we humble ourselves before God and quickly sincerely repent.
13:18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.
What happened to ancient Judah will happen to today’s nations of Israel and Judah, and will also happen to most of today’s church of God groups because of their arrogant pride in rejecting the Word of God to worship [obey] men and false traditions above the whole Word of God.
13:19 The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.
Ancient Judah was given over to the correction of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar for 70 years; and today’s physical and spiritual flock will be given over to the most severe correction of great tribulation for 42 months.
13:20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?
What will we say when we are corrected? Have we not thought ourselves to be great and righteous in our own eyes? Will we ask why this affliction has come upon us when we are despoiled and our leaders are fallen?
Jesus Christ does not rejoice over the correction of his beloved; rather his heart is filled with sorrow that the correction is necessary to bring repentance and a revival of righteousness in physical Israel/Judah and today’s called out Spiritual Ekklesia.
13:21 What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
When we are corrected will we continue in our self-righteous pride and ask God: Why has God done this to us when we are so righteous and called by your name?
13:22 And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? [the answer from God is that we are corrected for our many iniquities] For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered [we will be naked and powerless before our enemies], and thy heels made bare.
God says that we are bent to do our own ways and to exalt ourselves instead of our Great Creator. We have become habitual evil doers in our nations and in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
Spiritual Israel is addicted to following idols of men and not living by every Word of God because we have been taught [brainwashed] to do so, and because we think that giving up personal responsible for our salvation is the easy way; therefore we follow idols of men contrary to the Word of God and we will fall into great correction for doing so.
Every person is directly and personally responsible for his every deed; there is no: “But I followed your minister, Lord:” Because a minister who does not follow Jesus Christ to live by every Word of God is NOT a minister of Christ!
If we care so little for our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ that we do not test men to see if they are faithful to God before we follow them, we deserve correction for following men contrary to Christ!
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
and Paul wrote:
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
If any person teaches contrary to the Word of God he is the servant of sin, he is NOT the servant of God the Father or of Jesus Christ! Why then do we follow the servants of sin and we do not live by every Word of God?
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
The unrepentant wicked who follow men and false traditions and will not grow in repentance and knowledge will be burned up like the chaff from the threshing floor.
The sincerely repentant and zealous to live by every Word of God are as the grains of wheat which are separated from the chaff and saved.
13:24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.
As the grain is winnowed and cast into the air so that the wind might blow away the chaff and leave the grain behind; so God will divide today’s Spiritual Ekklesia separating the faithful from the sinful.
13:25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
The lot of the unrepentant wicked who turn from living by every Word of God to put their trust in false traditions and idols of men: is the rod of correction.
13:26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts [remove our garments and remove the cloak of self-righteousness hiding our sins] upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
Our pretenses of righteousness will be removed to reveal our sins and our wickedness will be exposed: For raiment represents godly righteousness (Rev 3:18, Rev 19:8)
Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia is overwhelmingly Laodicean; most are hot for themselves, their leaders and their own ways; and they are lukewarm for learning and living by every Word of God in true enthusiastic zeal.
13:27 I have seen thine adulteries [with idols of men], and thy neighings [lusting after false teachings], the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
We are full of adulteries against our espoused Husband; loving idols of men and organizations MORE than we love the Husband of our baptismal commitment; and following our corporate idols, false doctrines and idols of men, instead of being faithful to the Husband of our baptismal commitment to live by every Word of God the Father as our Jesus Christ our espoused Husband requires (Mat 4:4).