Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17: Jeremiah 30 – 31:26; Psalm 87; Proverbs 25:18-19; 1 Timothy 2



Overview

            Jeremiah: The Lord told Jeremiah to write everything he has been told about Israel and Judah because the Lord will restore the people and bring them back to the land. There will be panic and not peace and a time of destress for Jacob but some will be saved. The oppressors will be broken and Jacob will not serve them but will serve the Lord and David their king. They are not to be afraid because the Lord is with them even from far away. He will bring them from all the nations. Though Jacob will be punished and disciplined.
            The Lord said their hurt is incurable and no one will help. He asks them why they are complaining; it is because of their flagrant sins. The ones that kill Jacob will be killed and made captive. The Lord will restore Jacob and heal them because their oppressors says no one cares for Zion.
            Jacob will be restored, Jerusalem rebuilt; singing, and thanksgiving will be there. The Lord will make the people increase. It will be like it was in the past with one of their own being king. He will make them draw near because no one could unless the Lord does it. They will be his people and he will be their God. But the Lord’s wrath will come upon the wicked. In the end, they will understand this.
            At that time, the Lord will be God over all the tribes of Israel. He will establish them because of his everlasting love and will continue to be faithful. He will make them prosper and desire to go to Zion. The Lord commands them to sing and proclaim his salvation. He will gather blind, lame, and pregnant – a multitude who will come weeping but will not stumble. The Lord will ransom Jacob from all the nations. The will have much joy over God’s provision for them. There will be dancing and merriment as he turns their mourning into joy.
            There will be lamentation in Ramah over the death of her children. The Lord says not to weep because they will come back. He has heard their grieving as they admit to being disciplined and ask to be restored. They were ashamed. The Lord says that he still remembers them even when he accuses them and will have mercy on them. The Lord tells them to remember the way back to him. The Lord will create a new thing with a woman encompassing a man.
            Jacob will once again bless each other as inhabitants of righteousness on the holy hill. The cities will all be safe as well as farmers and shepherds. The Lord will care for them.
            Jeremiah woke from the vision and was refreshed.
            Psalm: The sons of Korah exalt Jerusalem because God has chosen it for his dwelling on earth. It is described as the city God loves. They mention several nations including Zion and state that they know the Lord and will be counted as being born in Jerusalem. The Lord establishes the city and registers all people as being born there. Singers and dancers find their source of life in Jerusalem.
            Proverbs: A person who lies about his neighbor in court might as well hit him with a club or shoot him. Trusting an evil person is like a biting on a bad tooth or stepping on a slippery foot.
            1 Timothy: Paul urges Timothy to pray for everyone, kings, and people in authority so we can live quiet, godly lives. These prayers and our godly lives are pleasing to God or Savior. He wants everyone to be saved. There is only one God and Jesus is the only mediator between us and him. Jesus gave his life as a ransom for all at the right time proving this. Paul says he was appointed as an apostle to teach the Gentile faith and truth.
            Paul wants everyone then to pray in holiness and without anger or quarreling. Women should dress modestly, be self-controlled, and not with expensive jewelry. They should adorn themselves with good works. A woman should learn quietly and submissively. A woman is not permitted to teach or have authority over a man. This is the order because Adam was created first but not deceived and Eve was created second and deceived becoming a sinner. She is saved by having a child and all women will be saved through faith and living a godly life.

What Stood Out

            Jeremiah: “Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you” (Jer 30:15). “How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encircles a man” (Jer 31:22).
            Psalm: “Singers and dancers alike say, ‘All my springs are in you’” (Ps 87:7).
            Proverbs: “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Prov 25:19).
            1 Timothy: “Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (1 Tim 2:15).

Insight

            Jeremiah: The Lord asks his people why they are complaining about his treatment of them (Jer 30:15) and he asks how long they will be faithless (Jer 31:22). These are rhetorical questions because the Lord knows exactly why and how long.
            However, the Lord answers the first question by telling them it is because of their flagrant sin. This provides understanding to the Psalms where there is complaint after complaint without any mention of repentance or admission of guilt. God sees this and rebukes them for their inability to admit their sins. This is not a good spiritual place to be. When we refuse to admit our sin, especially when it is flagrant, we are in deep trouble. The Lord will not give up on us and will continue to discipline us until we submit to him. Even in the midst of the storms, the Lord reminds us of his steadfast love and the future he has prepared for those who will repent and turn to him.
            The second question of how long is answered not in a length of time but in God’s restoration. It won’t happen until the Lord ransoms them. It won’t happen until he brings them back. It won’t happen until this new thing on the earth occurs when “a woman encircles a man” (Jer 31:22). Some believe this refers to the woman, Israel, defeating the strong man, Babylon or possibly other enemies. (Adam Clarke's Commentary). Others believe that in the masculine society, the reference is to the weak state of the returning exiles (The Bible Exposition Commentary). While Jewish scholars would choose one or both of the previous explanations, I would agree with Barnes’ Notes. Since this is something new and the previous two are not new, it must be referring to the New Covenant that will be explained in Jeremiah 31:31. I’ll also agree with Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary and the early church fathers (Barnes’) who saw this as the virgin Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
            Without something new, there is not eternal hope for us. “How long?” would be forever if God hadn’t come into the world to ransom us from our sin. Only a perfect, sinless Savior could do it. It is by the virgin birth that God put on human flesh so that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. God could have done it any way he wanted, but this is how he did it and he announced it through Jeremiah some 600 years ahead of time.
            Psalm: This description of Jerusalem is the way it will be in the millennium kingdom of Jesus as well as the New Jerusalem that will come out of heaven (Rev 21:2). These Jerusalems will be a source of joy for everyone. The reason is very simple, Jesus will be there in the millennium, Jesus and God will be there in the eternal one with everyone (Rev 21:3). He is our source of joy as we sing and dance before him in worship. If we aren’t looking forward to that day, something is wrong in our theology.
            Proverbs: I watch enough TV programs to know that you can’t trust the bad guys. They will lie to get what they want and tell you what you want to hear. They will take advantage of your trust and use it for their benefit. You can’t make a deal with the devil. If you do, it will only end up hurting you.
            However, we can trust the Lord. When that evil person makes a promise that he probably will not keep, you can count on God to work out the circumstances for his glory and our good. We don’t have to make deals that are contrary to godly living because of their threats.
            1 Timothy: Let’s jump into one of the craziest theological debates of history. Are women more easily deceived than men? May women ever teach men? Can women only be saved by having kids or saved from dying in childbirth?
            Paul didn’t say women are more easily deceived than men. He only said Eve was deceived and Adam wasn’t. He stupidly went along with Eve’s sin. He knew better but did it anyway. Which is worse? I think it’s Adam’s sin.
            Because both sinned we have the curse of Genesis where Adam was to rule over her. This explains why Paul admonished Timothy to keep this authority structure in teaching. It wasn’t because women are inferior or because they are any more easily deceived, but it is God’s hierarchy. I have seen some churches where a woman teaches classes of mixed sexes, however, it is stated at the beginning that the teacher is under the authority of a male pastor or teacher and she is responsible to him.
            Regarding childbirth and salvation, look back at the text of 1 Timothy 2:15 (ESV, NKJV, KJV) and see that it says she[1] is saved by or through childbirth. She, singular, refers to Eve. Some translations (NIV, NAS, NLT) have substituted “women” for “she,” which confuses the issue. It is through Eve, the first one to be deceived, that our Savior, Jesus has come and is the source of salvation as Paul has stated previously. The plural, they, refers to all women and they are saved by faith (first) and godly lives (evidence of faith).
            All this fussing causes us to miss the first part of this chapter which is about pray for our national leaders and other people. We shouldn’t ignore that and jump into controversies, but I did. Back up and you will also see that a point of prayer is the salvation of people as well as giving us the opportunity to live quiet lives.

Application

             I don’t want to get caught up in deception where I ignore my sins. I don’t want to be deceived into sinning. I don’t want to blame someone else for my sins either. I want to trust that living for Jesus will always be the right way and my choices will be based on trusting him and not succumbing to sinful choices because of threats of man.


[1] NIV footnote “Greek she,” 1 Tim 2:15.

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