Archive for Jeremiah

Prophet Jeremiah, Resume

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , on July 19, 2015 by paulthepoke

Faithful service to God does not depend on life’s circumstances.


A picture of faithful service in the Bible is the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah. He was called into service early in his life by God, and like Moses, Jeremiah pleads that he is not an articulate speaker (Jeremiah 1:6).

Jeremiah served God for approximately forty years. In our terms, he spent his career being a prophet. Granted, he did not always have the best attitude. He was reluctant to be a prophet and had no problem expressing his concerns and attitudes with God. Jeremiah was blunt, direct, and irreverent at times. Raw emotion was on display on many occasions (1:6; 12:1-6; 17:16; 20:7-18).

Jeremiah was asked to lead a life of social isolation by God. He was told to live a life without marriage or children (16:2). Jeremiah stayed away from the life of a party and mockers (15:17). There were no elaborate feasts with food and drink. This was forbidden by God (16:8). By our culture and lifestyle, this would not appear to be much fun.

Jeremiah was persecuted and mocked. His writings were burned (36:23). There were plots to kill him (11:19). He was accused and convicted of treason. He was beaten and jailed (20:1-2; 32:2-3; 37:12-17). He was thrown into a mud pit and left for dead (38:6-7). His countrymen took him to Egypt against his and God’s will. God had instructed Israel through Jeremiah to stay in the land. Israel disobeyed (Chapters 40-43).

Despite all of these trials and lifestyle, he faithfully served God. Although his fellow countrymen rejected and ignored warning during his life, kings and leaders sought his insights and asked him to pray to God on their behalf (21:1-2; 37:3; 38:14; 42:1-2).  He ultimately was so respected, Jews believed he would rise from the dead and be the forerunner of the messiah during the life of Christ (Matthew 16:14).

Isaiah 17:4-6 Beating an Olive Tree

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:4 Now in that day the glory of Jacob will fade, and the fatness of his flesh will become lean.

Nation Israel will be made skin and bones. The abundance of the population is going to take a severe hit.

Isaiah 17:5 It will be even like the reaper gathering the standing grain, as his arm harvests the ears, or it will be like one gleaning ears of grain in the valley of Rephaim.

The valley is a boundary between the territories of Judah and Benjamin per Nave’s Topics, Joshua 15:8, 18:16. The area is located west of Jerusalem. Rephaim is plural for the word rapha in the Hebrew. The word literally means giants. So, the Valley of Giants it is.

Isaiah 17:6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives on the topmost bough, four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree, declares the LORD, the God of Israel.

The symbolic and idiomatic language of this verse drives home the point God is making. The olive tree is a symbol of nation Israel. One example is from the Old Testament prophet. God is talking about the people of Judah and Israel. Jeremiah 11:16 The LORD called your name, “A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form; with the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and its branches are worthless…” A second example is from the New Testament Apostle Paul in Romans 11:17-27. The good olive tree in the Romans passage is nation Israel.
Twenty gallons of olive oil can be generated from one tree in a harvest (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, Fred H. Wight). An olive tree was harvested by beating the tree with a stick (Deuteronomy 24:20). The olive tree (figuratively Israel) is being beaten and shaken. The damage is so significant, there is hardly any fruit (figuratively people) remaining. To go from a tree that produces gallons of oil to a handful of olives is a significant decline in the yield (figuratively population).
God always leaves a remnant.

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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