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Saturday, September 30th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 31

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-40

  1. Intro:
    1. Last week: clear up Is.42:6
    2. The tragedy of sin is that it keeps God at an arms distance from us!
      1. It keeps God from being to us all that He wants to be.
    3. Overview:
      1. (1-30) Gods everlasting love guaranteed future blessedness despite present mourning.
      2. (31-40) To accomplish his purpose God had to make a New Cov. w/His people.
    4. Outline: He is our: Lover, Father, Shepherd, & Comforter.
  2. HE IS OUR LOVER! (1-6)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.3 - Here is the “fountain head” of the whole passage, the whole chapter, the whole enchilada!
      1. Not by merit, through thick & thin, in sickness & in health, until death do us start!
    2. Here is a kiss on the mouth from God! He loves you!
      1. Q: Be honest! Would you rather [1] a voice from heaven saying, “I love you” [2] or, a vision in the night [3] an angel flying by to proclaim it [4] or this simple testimony?
      2. Q: Which is better & why?
        1. {the simple testimony will stand, it is more sure than any of these!}
    3. When we sin against God we not only sin against His Law but against His Love!
      1. We break the heart of God when we give our love to what he hates.
      2. Q: Can you think of anything God hates that you are doing, thinking, feeling?
    4. When Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage. The daughter, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened! Although these "love letters" have become an invaluable part of classical English literature, it's really pathetic to think that they were never read by ElizabethBarrett's parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.
      1. Q: Are you like Elizabeth Barrett's parents. You're cheating yourself, and someday you'll stand before God condemned and lost forever. Then you'll wish you had opened and read His "love letters" to you(the bible).
    5. Vs.3b – “with lovingkindness I have drawn you” – Oh the Law points us in the direction of Christ, but the final victory is wrought in Hislovingkindness!
      1. “The prodigal saw his “need” to come home, but his last steps before entering the house were with the kiss still warm upon his cheek, & the welcome still musical in his ears!” (Spurg)
      2. The knock struck fear when 1st the Master knock loudly on the door so as to make it shake. But upon His return it was a very faint knock, for it was with an open & pierced hand, each knock leaving blood on the dooor in its place. How could I not open? I yield, I yield, thy love has won my heart! {M&E spurg Feb.29 remake}
  3. HE IS OUR FATHER! (7-9)
    1. ​​​​​​​He was a Father to Israel – God wants to be a Father to us also 2 Cor. 6:16 “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."…Pray, our Father.
    2. Father as opposed to Judge!
  4. HE IS OUR SHEPHERD! (10-12)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.10 - The flock of Israel was smitten & scattered, but the Lord was caring for it the same.
      1. No matter how dark the day, the shepherd will find you, lead you, & give you a song.
      2. So, the Shepherd calls His flock & leads them to green pasture.
    2. Vs.12 – What a verse!
  5. HE IS OUR COMFORTER! (13-40)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.13,14 - The comforter will turn there mourning unto Joy!
    2. Vs.15 – What lamentation when there homes were torn up & they were carried off to Babylon. Vs.16,17 – But God gives a word of comfort…they will come home again.
      1. Rachael? – mother of Joseph & Benj.
        1. Joseph had Ephraim & Mannaseh(2 leading tribes in the north of Israel).
      2. Ramah? – Jeremiah had heard Rachael weeping at Ramah “where the Jewish prisoners were assembled for their long journey to Babylon”(40:1).
        1. Rachael’s descendants thru Joseph (Is.) captured byAssyria; Her descendants thru Benj.(so. Is.) now captured by Babylon.
      3. God reassured her both Eph. & Benj. would be restored(16,17)
      4. She can dry her tears because (18,19) Ephraim began to moan not for his fate but for his sins.
    3. Q: Why is this quoted in Mt.2:16-18!
      1. The mothers of Bethlehem like Rachael, could only weep cuz of their present situation, but like Rachael the tears were not in vain & not forever. “These children died that He might live, so He could die that they might live!”
    4. Vs.21 – As they started for Babylon, God instructed them to set up markers because they’d return on the same roads 1 day.
      1. Like Hansel & Gretel who waited till dark when the white stones shined. (not bread crumbs).
        1. “Sleep in peace dear Gretel! God is very kind, & will help us.”
      2. Memorized scripture does the same for us! Each is a shiny white stone, a marker, a landmark, on life’s highway home. They will help us find our way home when the rest of the world is dark around us.
    5. Vs.22 – If a daughter prostituted herself she would have been killed.
      1. But God would do a new thing, He would welcome her home & forgive her!
      2. Vs.22b - ? We don’t know? The virgin Mary impregnated with the mighty man.
    6. Vs.28 – Gods program…tear down, then build up. Don’t try to build on a faulty foundation. Don’t try to put old wine in new wine skins.
    7. Vs.31 Intro - To better a society, to help a group, or an organization, to ignore the sin problem is to court failure!
      1. You can’t just change the environment, or make physical changes.
      2. “For the heart of every problem is the problem of the heart!” (www)
      3. Outward reform is temporary, inward regeneration is forever.
        1. Prison reform..no! Prison Regeneration!!! (Mark Marcel), a New Cov. was needed.
      4. Jewish history is full of “cov. renewals” which brought about temporary blessings…but didn’t change hearts! {they were skin deep}
        1. In Deut. Moses brought one about before they entered the promise land.
        2. Joshua did in Joshua 23,24.
        3. Samuel did in 1 Sam.12.
        4. Hezekiah & Josiah did in 2 Chron.34,35.
      5. Now, cuz they didn’t last is no argument against revival & refreshing!
        1. Someone told Billy Sunday “Revivals weren’t necessary, because they didn’t last” – he responded, “neither do baths but it’s good to have one occasionally!”
    8. Vs.31-34 – The New Cov!
      1. The old cov. was as old as Moses!
      2. The Old Cov. tried to Control their Conduct; but it did not, could not, would not, & will not Change their Character!
      3. The New is exactly that New not a remake of the Old.
      4. It is Inward written on our hearts, not on tablets of stone.
      5. It is personal not national.
      6. The Old revealed their sin; the New forgives it!
        1. The Flesh loves the Law “just tell me what to do”, “give me the do’s & don’ts”. The flesh loves the legalistic & robotic way of life because then we don’t need to exercise our heart toward God.
        2. It is much harder to:sit in prayer & Ask God. Seek His word. Knock on doors of opportunity.
        3. We’d rather jump on the elevator of Law & have someone else push which floor to stop on.
        4. But God would rather write it on our minds & hearts. He wants us to seek His will. Rom.12:1,2 tells us how.
    9. Vs.34 – I am your God! Wow!!!
    10. Vs.36,37 – It would be easier for the sun to stop shining, & the moon & stars to go out, then for God to break His promises to His people!
    11. Overview again:
      1. (1-30) Gods everlasting love guaranteed future blessedness despite present mourning.
        1. Q: Are you going through present mourning? Watch as He will turn your mourning into JOY!
      2. (31-40) To accomplish his purpose God had to make a New Cov. w/His people.
        1. This covenant is in Jesus Christ “"This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 1 Cor. 11:25
        2. Q: Are you in this Covenant?
      3. Chapter 32 – (next week) Jeremiah buys a field occupied by the enemy to demonstrate his personal confidence in God’s promises of restoration!
    12. END:
      1. ​​​​​​​Read vs.7 & 12!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 31". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-31.html. 2017.
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