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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 25

Verses 1-38

  1. Intro:
    1. “Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”
      1. So Jeremiah continues to stick his neck out.
    2. He gives us 2 messages here - Outline: Chastening Judah(1-11) & Judging the Gentiles(12-38).
      1. “God's love for poor sinners is very wonderful, but God's patience with ill-natured saints is a deeper mystery.”
  2. CHASTENING JUDAH! (1-11)
    1. Vs.3 – 23 years!
    2. Jeremiah started serving as a prophet in the yr.626bc. – He continued after the fall in 587bc. – Which encompassed over 40 yrs. – This 23 yr. mark brings us to about mid-way in his prophetic carrier.
      1. Often if you’re with a company for a number of years, & have shown faithful service, they give you a gold watch or a trip somewhere!
        1. We give Jeremiah the 23 yr. “Golden Turtle Award!” For sticking his neck out!
    3. Q: Imagine preaching for 23 years w/”0” results?
      1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile and saying the usual things at all those White House receptions. So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed that big smile and said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." People would automatically respond with comments such as "How lovely!" or "Just continue with your great work!" Nobody listened to what he was saying, except one foreign diplomat. When the president said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning," the diplomat responded softly, "I'm sure she had it coming to her."
        1. ​​​​​​​At least he had 1 listen to him, that was a lot more than Jeremiah had!
      2. Praise God we are judged for our faithfulness rather than outward success!
      3. If you're ever tempted to give up, think of Brahms who took seven long years to compose his famous Lullaby. They say he kept falling asleep at the piano?
      4. If you stop every time a dog barks, your road will never end. [Arabian Proverb]
        1. Jeremiah kept on the path God had sent him down. Many dogs barked, some even bit his heals, but he plowed on!
      5. Benjamin Franklin said, Little strokes fell great oaks” & so we watch on as Judah the Great Oak falls!
    4. Vs.3b - “You have not listened” – 4 times this indictment came! (vs.3,4; 7,8)
      1. “The ear is the road to the heart.” [French proverb]
      2. The say, “The attention span of a typical human is ten praises, six promises, or one preachy statement” – They weren’t hearing anything!
      3. “Some people think they have an open mind when it is really their mouth.”
      4. We are terrible listeners! - “I think the only reason we listen sometimes is because we know we get to speak next!”
      5. Patricia Goldman, the vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, tells a story about a stewardess who, frustrated by passenger inattentiveness during her what-to-do-in-an-emergency talk at the beginning of each flight, changed the wording and said, "When the mask drops down in front of you, place it over your navel and continue to breathe normally." Not a single passenger noticed.
      6. Q: Have you been deaf to God’s word lately? Is it only filtering through your eyes but not down into your soul of understanding?
        1. Q: Does your heart feel cold? I have good news! {“Like a log tossed on a frozen lake, God's word may appear to be rejected and ignored, but when the cold, hard heart thaws, the "log" of truth sinks in and becomes a part of that life.”} – Keep throwing the logs on!
    5. Vs.9 – Once again Neb. is named & the army of Babylon.
      1. They would be God’s tool for punishing Judah.
    6. Vs.11 – Now, the timing is finally revealed…70 years!
      1. Q: Why 70 years? – 2 Chron. 36:20,21
      2. The Law itself – Lev. 25:1-7
        1. Side note: This year the y. of Jubilee for Israel, explain!
      3. The Judgment - Lev. 26:32-35
      4. Q: What was the good news about 70 years? It had an end to it, & a promise return. This will bring hope while in Babylon.
      5. So, they lived in the land for 490 yrs. & not once did they observe the Sabbatical year.
        1. They did not let it sit fallow {plowed but left unseeded during a growing season.}
        2. So, 70 stacked up & God said, “That’s enough!”
      6. The Lesson? – When we keep to ourselves what belongs to God, we eventually either: “smother it, spend it, or lose it!”
        1. Lose your life, you’ll get it back, try to save it, you’ll lose it fast!
  3. JUDGING THE GENTILES! (12-38)
    1. ​​​​​​​The circle widens!
      1. Cleansing starts in God’s house – then to the surrounding nations – then to all the nations(29).
    2. Jeremiah wasn’t only called to minister to the Jews – see 1:5.
    3. It was one thing to do Gods work, quite another to become proud, & hateful,…Neb. overstepped his bounds!
      1. Babylon fell to the Medes & Persians in 539bc (Dan.5)
    4. He gives here 8 descriptions of Gods judgment upon them!
    5. The Drink of Death! (15-29)
      1. Here is a familiar one “cup of Wrath” – It’s used in the Psalms, Is, Ezek, Hab, & in Rev!
      2. In Jer.51:7 it says, “Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord's hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged.”
      3. Q: How did he make them all drink(17)?
        1. Maybe he did an “action sermon” & invited them all down to a party? Like (27:2-4) - Show goblet!
        2. Jerusalem drinks(18) passes it on to Judah(18b), to the surrounding nations(19), to all(29).
          1. “99 bottles of beer on the wall,…take 1 down pass it around….” –That’s what is happening here.
      4. To “drink the cup” is a symbol of submission to the will of God!
        1. Jn.18:11 “Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"
        2. Jeremiah called the nations to submit to God’s will, surrender to Neb., & be spared destruction. {He later illustrates this w/the yoke(27)!}
        3. If they don’t submit to this cup, their end is vs.27 “Drink, be drunk, vomit, & fall to rise no more!”(NIV)
    6. The Roar of a Lion! (30a; 38)
      1. A Lion roars to paralyze its prey w/fear!
      2. This metaphor is used in Hos., Joel, Amos, & in Rev.
      3. God 1st spoke in Love, but now speaks in Wrath!
    7. The Shout of those Treading Grapes! (30b)
      1. As they shared in the joy of harvest, those treading the grapes shouted & sang to one another.
        1. Is.16:10 “Gladness is taken away, And joy from the plentiful field; In the vineyards there will be no singing, Nor will there be shouting; No treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease.”
      2. So God would shout as He judged the nations!
        1. Rev.14:19,20 “So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”
    8. The Voice of the Lawyer! (31)
      1. (NIV) “for the LORD will bring charges against the nations;”
      2. (www) “In this trial there will be a judge & no jury, an indictment & no defense, & a sentence but no appeal.”
      3. We have one!!! J
        1. ​​​​​​​1 Jn.2:1 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
        2. Parakletos – “called to one’s side”, to one’s aid. It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate!” (Vines)
    9. El Nino! (32)
      1. showing up everywhere friends!
      2. Neb’s army comes in like a tornado moving from city to city leaving only destruction in its wake!
      3. Jer.23:19 “Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury; A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.”
    10. The Refuse! (33)
      1. To not be buried was to be treated like trash on the ground.
      2. Even worse the word used here is for manure, dung.
    11. The Broken Pottery! (34b)
      1. “Precious Vessel” – Fine pottery(NIV). Not regular pottery, not common pots.
        1. Not oops I broke a plate, but I just dropped a vase from the Ming Dynasty!
        2. This reminds us of Jeremiah’s “action sermon” in (ch.19) when he brought them all down to the gate of the city with the pottery he broke in front of them.
        3. One day Jesus will break the nations - Ps.2:7-9 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
      2. A Vessel will be cleaned & Yielded,…or be smashed!
    12. The Slaughtered Flock! (34-38)
      1. These shepherds were the leaders of the nations(kings, nobles, princes, priests, false prophets).
      2. Instead of feeding the sheep they fleeced them, then slaughtered them. Now it was time for their slaughter!
      3. (38) Like a fierce Lion God would leap out on them, & there would be no escape!
        1. Praise God He has made us a way of escape, we need to take it!
      4. 1 Pet.4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 25". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-25.html. 2017.