It Is Finished Audio

Friday, January 26, 2024

Jeremiah 7


Jeremiah 7:1-20

Jeremiah Stands at the Lord’s House (Jeremiah 7:1-2)

            Israel and Judah had a history of not obeying the Word of the Lord. They were a rebellious nation and often preferred to serve the false gods instead of the one true God of Israel. The Lord had sent many of His prophets to sound the alarm and warn them of their wicked ways. Yet, they refused to repent and honor the Lord's covenant between them and their forefathers. They did not think that God would go as far as to allow His own temple to be destroyed and that their idolatry could continue unjudged. Yet, they were sadly mistaken. Therefore, Jeremiah was told to stand before the people at the temple in this first message to deliver the Word of the Lord because He was once again warning them of the judgments that would befall them if they failed to repent. There was still time for them to turn from their wicked ways to prevent judgment from coming, but genuine repentance was a requirement. 

            According to Lundborn, Jeremiah was gifted with rhetorical skills equivalent to the Greeks and Romans, thus talented and able to speak persuasively, convincingly, and authoritatively.[1] This attribute is evidenced through Jeremiah's confident statement that what he had to say was a Word from the Lord. He was direct in letting the people know that he was not speaking on his own accord, but the message from the Lord had been given to him to proclaim to the people of Judah who worshiped at the Lord’s temple. It is important to understand that words from the Lord or prophecies showed not only God’s wrath but also His love and kindness should the people repent and turn from their wicked ways.[2]


Proclaims the Lord’s Word to Reform and Remain (Jeremiah 7:3-7)

            Jeremiah begins his speech by telling the people that the Lord demanded a change from them, and only then would He allow them to continue to live in the land. They were not to trust in the false prophets who did not give them a genuine Word from the Lord but only pampered them in their sins with false promises of security because the Lord’s temple was in their midst.

Furthermore, Jeremiah lays out a list of charges against his fellow Judaians. God had found them guilty of not dealing justly with one another and foreigners. They murdered the innocent and worshiped false gods. They were to be an example to all the nations around. Unfortunately, they did the same and even worse things than their heathen neighbors.

            Lundborn contends that repetition is the most important aspect of Hebrew writing.[3] Therefore, when one sees the phrase the temple of the Lord repeated in this section of Scripture, the reader would be wise to pay special attention because of its highlighted significance and emphasis as it entails the urgency of the prophetic word.

False Words (Jeremiah 7:8)

            Jeremiah directly relayed the Lord’s message that the people had been listening to false words from those who had not stood in the Lord’s presence. He told them that the false prophets and teachers’ words were meaningless and amounted to nothing as they pertained to the Lord. They were full of lies and would not benefit them because God would not honor and fulfill the false predictions and assumptions of those who lied in His name. The people of Judah and their false prophets claimed to know and have a relationship with the Lord, but they did not know Him nor do what it took to have a genuine relationship with Him.[4]

            Accumulation can be found in this text as Jeremiah repeats the deception mentioned in verse four. In verse four, Jeremiah tells the people not to listen to deception words, and once again, he parallels the warning by restating that they had been privy to deception. Therefore, according to Lundborne, one can expect to see a lot of accumulation in Jeremiah’s writing style.[5] 


Mistaken Security (Jeremiah 7:9-11)

            Once again, Jeremiah outlined the Lord's charges against His people in Judah. He questioned them about their misguided sense of security as they participated in debauchery, such as lies, murder, sexual immorality, and Baal worship, along with sacrifices to other gods. He emphasized their mistake in thinking they could honor God through temple attendance without actually living the part. He highlighted their spiritual ignorance regarding the Lord being merely a place for worship instead of being the God to worship. They were not one and the same but were a distorted ideology of those who rejected the Lord.

            In this verse, Lunborn highlights Jeremiah’s use of asyndeton, where he outlines the charges the Lord brought against Israel. As Jeremiah outlined the charges, they are presented back-to-back to bring guilt against the nation. Therefore, Lunborn states that many authors used asyndeton to address admiration or accountability.[6]

Thrust from His Presence (Jeremiah 7:12-15)

            The sanctuary had once been located in Shiloh near Shechem. It had been home to the Ark of the Covenant. However, the Lord had destroyed it, but those living in Jerusalem were under the false impression that God would not do a repeat performance by allowing the Babylonians to destroy the temple in Jerusalem. Sadly, they were mistaken, and the Lord was not affixed to a structure but desired to be affixed to their hearts. Therefore, the Lord reminded them that He had pleaded with them repeatedly to turn from their wicked ways, but they had refused to listen. Consequently, they would receive the same judgment Israel had received and be thrust from the land.

            In modern times, one may view Jeremiah’s speech as having tropes or metaphors uncommon to the people of those times. For example, Jeremiah told the people that the Lord called, but they did not answer. When one thinks of someone calling them in modern times, it would be through the use of a landline or cell phone. However, this was not the type of calling that Jeremiah was referring to, but that the Lord had spoken through His prophets to the people for them to return to Him, only to be rejected. According to Lunbom, prophets and oracles often used tropes to embellish their messages.[7]

Do Not Intercede (Jeremiah 7:16)

            It was not uncommon for God’s servants to pray and intercede on behalf of His people when they were in sin. Moses did this when it was in God’s mind to destroy Israel after they had worshiped the golden calf (Exodus 32:30-32; Deuternonomy 9:13-14). Moses intercession caused the Lord to change His mind and have mercy on Israel. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case for Judah this time. Judah’s rebellion angered the Lord, and He did not want to hear any intercession from Jeremiah on their behalf. He would not even listen to Jeremiah if he attempted to do so. When the Lord turns a deaf ear to someone, it is a dangerous state for that person, group, or place to be in. Therefore, Jeremiah was not to pray for their deliverance, safety, or pardon from God. Judah would not be granted a stay of execution.

            God’s prophets often warned the people about sin, repentance, and returning to Him because of His love and grace towards them. Yet, they refused to listen and ignored His constant urging for a drastic change. They did not want to repent. They did not want to change. They did not want to honor the Lord with their lives.[8]

Charges Against Judah (Jeremiah 7:17-20)

            The Lord brings attention to the sins of Judah once again as He questions Jeremiah about their noticeable abominations. The children and parents were accused of preparing and gathering supplies to present food offerings to the Queen of Heaven and other gods. The Lord, however, made it known that they were not harming Him but themselves and everything around, including man, beast, and field would suffer because of their blatant rebellion. The Lord’s blessings outlined within His covenant with Israel had been conditional and based on their obedience. Therefore, they had broken their contract with the Lord.

            In these verses, the Lord posed rhetorical questions to Jeremiah. Lunbom states that rhetorical questions were not expected to be answered but were actually statements where the answers were already implied. Lunbom further suggests that Jeremiah’s rhetorical questions were not mechanically inclined but were connected to the subject matter at hand, which in this case, dealt with Judah’s defiance of the Lord.[9]



            Jeremiah was one of the four major prophets in the Bible. It was not about importance but these books were lengthier than the other prophetic books. Prophetic literature can be a challenge for many to understand, and yet, the figures of speech used within these prophetic writings allow the reader to understand the relationship the Lord desired to have with His people and the painful rejection He experienced.[10] These prophetic books also help the reader to understand the future suffering Jesus would experience by a people who would reject Him as they did God the Father and His servants.[11] While many churches disregard these Old Testament books, it would be unwise to disregard them because the same mistakes Israel and Judah made by rejecting the Lord are taking place in modern times with similar dire judgments to come.


[1] Jack R. Lundbom, The Hebrew Prophets: An Introduction (Augsburg Fortress Publishing, 2010), 167.

[2] D. B. Sandy, Plowshares & Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 20.

[3] Lundbom, The Hebrew Prophets, 168.

[4] William S. Sor et al., Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996), 328-331.

[5] Ibid., 179.

[6] Lundbom, The Hebrew Prophets, 178-179.


[7] Lundbom, The Hebrew Prophets, 180-181.

[8] Gary V. Smith, Interpreting the Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2014), 23.

[9] Lundbom, The Hebrew Prophets, 191-192.

[10] J. S. Duvall and J. D. Hays, Grasping God's Word: A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2012), 399-400.

[11] Smith, Interpreting the Prophetic Books, 23.

Psalm 72


“How does canonical consciousness within and beyond the Psalter affect your philosophy of teaching and preaching the Psalms?”

I found that the Psalms reflect God’s character and how He wanted Israel of old and the body of Christ to operate in the present as ambassadors for Him. Therefore, I decided to use Psalm 72 for this assignment and try to correlate it with other texts within the Psalms and other parts of Scripture per our assignment’s instructions.

Psalm 72 is the first of two psalms written by Solomon, but many scholars credit King David with its composition while Solomon was the acting king before his death. However, some argue that Psalm 72 encountered three redactions.[1] Nevetherless, we will preserve a sense of simplicity in keeping with David and Solomon’s agreement to seek the Lord for help with leadership. This psalm details Solomon and David’s desire for godly and righteous governance over God’s people, amongst other things. While Author Robert Cole mentions how the Israeli scholar Amos Hakham describes Psalms 1 and 2 as being joined as a unit,[2] I believe Psalm 72 would be best explained by linking individual verses within Psalms and other selected texts throughout the canon.

Schmutzer describes certain catchwords, themes, and messages that are written within the Psalms.[3] We will explore some of these in Psalm 72. In 1 Kings 3:9, Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom to rule over His people. So, in Psalm 72:1-2, we find David praying to the Lord to bless Solomon with leadership abilities, which required wisdom. David recognized that the Lord was the only One who could guide his son to be a righteous and Godly leader, as did Solomon when He petitioned the Lord for wisdom. Furthermore, David prayed that Solomon would uphold justice, one of the themes found throughout the Psalms. Psalms 86:16 details the psalmist’s plea for help from the Lord, thus asking for justice to be rendered on his behalf.

Another theme or message within this particular psalm is the banner of prosperity to be over all the people. This request is in keeping with what God promised Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 12:1-3,7. In Psalm 72:3, David asks the Lord to give prosperity to the people under Solomon’s rule. We also see this expectation of prosperity in Psalm 111:5, where recognition of the Lord’s provision was given to those who honor Him.

Schmutzer describes observing links between Psalms' microstructure and macrostructure, thus understanding it from a fundamental and more extensive level.[4] Therefore, when we read Psalm 72:4, we see that David asks the Lord to help Solomon be a defender of the innocent, which is reminiscent of the Lord being a defender of Israel when the Egyptians enslaved them in Exodus. This theme of being a defender, protector, and shield is seen in Psalm 48:14 when the psalmist declares the Lord as being our defender.  

* A quick note… one may also find this text can be understood as having the characteristics of Jesus, our King, Lord, and Savior. Everything that David asked the Lord to bestow upon his son describes Jesus in His glory. This is especially evident in Psalm 72:8, but is in no way exclusive, where David asked and described rulership for his son from sea to sea and the ends of the earth, which can be found in Psalms 22:27-31 and Luke 1:33. One can also see Jesus in Psalm 72:10 where the kings from distant shores brought gifts and tribute to him, which can also be found in Matthew 2:11. Schmutzer suggests the Davidic representation establishes or signifies God’s divine plan for His Kingdom, for He is the King who endures forever, and unlike human kings, He alone is worthy of our trust.[5]


Schmutzer describes the difference between the grumblers in the wilderness and the written lament psalms. The Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron to one another, whereas the writers of Psalms who wrote laments addressed their concerns to God.[6] Psalm 78:12 speaks about the king defending the defenseless who cry out for help, but this was not in response to grumbling. On the contrary, it was a cry and desperate plea to the Lord for help, with the king being a representative of God to administer help and justice. This is parallel to Psalm 88:1-2 where the psalmist cries out directly to the Lord for help as his King and defender who was the only One who could deliver him. Similarly, Paul describes the role of government officials who are to defend what is right in Romans 13:4.


David ends Psalms 72 with a word of praise to the Lord for everything He has done with His mighty miracles and blessing His holy name. Psalm 113:1 begins with a similar praise to the Lord and uplifting His mighty name. Shmutzer describes the praise in Psalm 150 as having two elements, the first being God’s qualities and the second commemorating His wondrous miracles throughout history.[7] When we read about the plagues the Lord sent to Egypt before the Israelites were released, for example, in Exodus 10:1-2, the Lord performed mightily so all would know He is the Lord. Therefore, as we read the Psalms, we can make correlations throughout the entire book and other books of the Bible in describing who God is and what He expects from His people. Psalms should not be read as a group of isolated chapters, as mentioned by Shmutzer, but they are interlinked within the book itself and connected to the entire canon. Hence, one can know God intimately through proper interpretation of the Psalms as it details the past, present, and future for the saints of God.


[1] Gianni Barbiero, "The Risks of a Fragmented Reading of the Psalms Psalm 72 as a Case in Point," Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 120, no. 1 (2008): 67-69, doi:10.1515/zaw.2008.005.

[2] Andrew J. Schmutzer and David M. Jr, The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2013), 183.

[3] Ibid., 195.

[4] Ibid., 204.

[5] Ibid., 210-211.

[6] Ibid., 219.


[7] Ibid., 222.