An Almond Branch and a Boiling Pot: Where is our Jeremiah?

Posted on July 4, 2011. Filed under: My Current Bible Study |

(I’m introducing a new category that is simply the outpouring of the thoughts and sentiments which linger after I read Scripture.  It is in no way exhaustive and nor do I have the arrogance to contend that it contains “commentary” level insights; moreover, this category may be only for my own edification and that in and of itself has value.  With that in mind…)

I am presently in the midst of a legal battle.  If you have also been embroiled in something similar than you must know and feel as keenly as I do the moments of confusion, disenchantment, and dare I say, boredom waiting for its final resolution.  Luckily (oh, sorry..faux pas, Calvinists hate it when you say “luck”), no, Fortunately (oops, did it again but with a more Medieval spin) I do have an amazing team that Providence (there, that’s better…breathe easier) has been so kind to make that connection.  With so much time on my hands, I must admit that I have spent it firmly between the Good and the Senseless.  Organic cooking, perusal of health articles, chopping vegetables and keeping up on my research have all been helpful, but pale in comparison to me recent passion for the OT prophets.  Allow me to explain…I heard a talk from a layperson the other day in which he stated in passing that America was like Israel during the time of Jeremiah.  Not immediately making the connection as it is quite unfortunately one of the books I am familiar with.  It is amazing how much of my Old Testament footing I have lost since college, but by God’s grace and with this time on my hands, I do have to remedy that.

I started reading Jeremiah and without going into the history here, I would rather consider just a few examples from the text that resonated with me and did indeed coincide with the comment about America.  Any student of history and of the Bible will surely come to the conclusion that our government has done things unspeakable from the treatment of the Indians to the embarassment of slavery to secret wars and corporate greed which continues to influence the direction of this country and our standing in the world.  While I would love to say that I just an innocent bystander and that as a citizen we are helpless to exact change; however, I am very guilty of something far more important than worrying about WWIII and the next Coming Evil Age.  I have been weak in prayer.  I’ll admit it openly.  I’m over 30 and have been a Christian over 25 years, so I have no excuse not to be a most ardent advocate of prayer.  The demons hate a praying Christian; even worse they hate a praying Christian who prays for their enemies. 

So, two things while I agree that America is like Israel during the time of Jeremiah, a wanton, loveless and ignorant soul; I would rather contend that evangelical Christianity fits the bill far better with its ecumenical leanings, preference of entertainment over substance, the thin veil of expository preaching, the complicity and fellowship of Masonic and interfaith movements and the lack of willingness to “separate ourselves” from the world.  Similarly, while I admit that my prayer life is weak, I know that I am not the only one and leave it at that.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your evil will chastise you,
and your apostasy will reprove you.
Know and see that it is evil and bitter
for you to forsake the Lord your God;
the fear of me is not in you,
declares the Lord God of hosts

Though this message is to Israel.  How true it could be said of the modern day apostasy that is so prevalent today.

Another Chosen People?  Yes, God chose them to chastise Israel.  A formidable foe reserved for Israel.

 Jeremiah 5:15 Behold, I am bringing against you
a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
declares the Lord.
It is an enduring nation;
it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is like an open tomb;
they are all mighty warriors.
17 They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
your fortified cities in which you trust
they shall beat down with the sword.”

18 “But even in those days, declares the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. 19 And when your people say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”

Amazingly enough, even though God’s wrath was tremendous he says, ‘all these things will happen, but I will not make a full end of you”.  He offers mercy in keeping with his justice!  Foolish people will say that there are two ‘gods’ of the Bible.  The Old Testament tyrant, then New Testament kind, haloed, non-judgmental Jesus.  This is an unbelievable example of mercy for a people that He had provided for, saved, loved, but who had…acted the harlot with every foreign god they encountered.  I do indeed see a parallel…how could I not?  The disappointment that I routinely feel towards Christians who lack discernment, spiritual fervor, and regard every wind of doctrine and profession of faith as genuine is certainly starting to affect me in some regard.  That’s why I love Jeremiah.  Love Jeremiah’s awful message, courage and testimony.


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9 Responses to “An Almond Branch and a Boiling Pot: Where is our Jeremiah?”

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Just came over here from CC through clicking on your profile and reading about your blog here.

Re God’s wrath but not making an end (above): We were reading in Daniel at church this week about Nebuchadnezzar being driven from his palace/rule for a time by God. Then at the end of it coming to his senses and worshipping God. Quite solemn to think about.

Anyway, just thought I’d introduce myself (Reformed also. I do enjoy reading/listening to Kim Riddlebarger) as I’ve just signed up to CC, but still finishing my profile.



Being a First nation living man allows us the ability to “step outside the square” and look back in. You start to see the whole forest over the trees, I do look forward to a further update

Thank you kindly, Peter for the comment and well wishes. I wish you indeed the same!

Amen…. as does the Book of Judges.

sorry to hear of the legal action. what else have you learned in Jeremiah?

what commentaries do you use, if any?

Mr. Kim: I am very sorry for the delayed response and I thank you for your comment. I do not use any commentaries actually. I’m not confident in any particular teacher at present and find that more and more “commentaries” have a decidedly ecumenical bent. Not saying that I wouldn’t read a few here and there, but they can be very pricey at times, can they not?

i see it has been a while since you have made any input to this( or have I missed something) I am interested in how 2012 has turned out for you. I also consider the KJV to be the most defined interpretation in to english and the history behind its inception brings much wisdom and under standing.
I hope to see an update of your journey……… many bleesings

Peter, indeed it has been a long time, in fact, you might be happy to learn about my other blog that truly reflects far more where I am in life. I can message you the details. I’m sorry for the delayed response. I do not have any rightful excuse besides being generally busy with life. 🙂 Thank you kindly for your well wishes…God bless in the New Year indeed.

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