This week’s Haftarah portion is Jeremiah 2:4-3:4. Listen in as Dr. Jeffrey Myers looks at the life and mission of the prophet Jeremiah, with an eye to the call to "teshuvah" (repentance).
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion – Jeremiah 2:4-3:4
Jeremiah lived in a world of great darkness; the Hebrew people were in spiritual depravity. He was taunted regularly because of his family line, as his great-grandmother was Rachav, a gentile convert. The Book of Jeremiah begins telling us Jeremiah’s lineage and shares with us how he becomes a prophet of Adonai. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you, and before you emerged from the womb, I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations”. However, to the people it didn’t matter who called him, or if his great-grandmother helped the Hebrew people gain victory over Jericho and possess the Promised Land. He had everything stacked against him, and yet, in the midst of darkness, he brought about great change and light! For us, we look at who we are, people tell us who they think we are, we look at our lineage, upbringing and think, “How can Yah use me?” or “Who am I to make a difference?”, the world around me has already labeled and restricted me on the basis of what they know or think.
Halleluyah! HaShem looks at us with eyes of hope, purpose, and worthiness. He sees in us what He has created and the purpose He has already placed within us. We have been hand-picked by Adonai… “Before I formed you…I knew”. He placed within Jeremiah the power to uproot and to tear down. Almighty gives Jeremiah the prophecy of the impending devastation of Judah and tells him to warn the Hebrew people.
There are some beautiful expressions in the Bible. There are wondrous promises. There are also some sad statements. One of those disturbing sentences is the indictment of Jeremiah 2:13. “For My people have committed two evils; They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water”. Because of this betrayal, there was a boiling pot leaning toward Judah—divine judgement was about to be poured out upon a rebellious people because they rejected Him. Adonai announced that He would raise up Babylon to judge Judah. Judah would not be destroyed but go into captivity for 70 years and then a remnant, purged of idolatry, would be returned to continue in a covenant relationship with Adonai.
Israel was guilty of two evils: Number one, she had forsaken the fountain of living waters. We know that every prophetic word has dimension, in that, it can apply today. We know that Yeshua is the source of the water of life: “Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost” (Rev. 21:6). Rev. 22:1-2 says. “Then He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the Throne of Yah and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”.
These ancient Israelites, like us today, had ready and continuous access to the fountain of living water, but they deliberately turned away, forsaking their only hope of life. Pay attention Bride, “they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water”. There was no way they could plead ignorance for they had deliberately forsook the source of eternal life. Call it what you want, a decline, a drift, a turning away, apathy, or a slow fade. Call it what you want, the evil of which Yah is speaking through Jeremiah is that of forsaking Yah and His ways. We need to hear the word of Jeremiah today in the Kehillah! Wake up and listen to my words…forsaking, neglecting, or even postponing a commitment to the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer is nothing less than evil.
They were guilty of apostasy, and that without excuse or remorse. Is that where we are today? Has the Kehillah turned her back on Yeshua? Has the Bride found another husband? Adonai has always sought to be our Father, our King, but we, as well as them, constantly reject him, turning again and again to idolatry, putting other things over our commitment to Him. It seems we continue in the same vicious cycle; we rebel and turn to false gods, Yah judges us and we go into exile, we cry out for deliverance, He sends a messenger, we repent and live in peace but then repeat and repeat. Yah gives every reason to obey Him and serve Him, but they (we) continually reject the fountain of living water.
The 2nd evil: They hewn for themselves broken cisterns. Throughout the entire period of the Judges, Israel had turned over and over to the Canaanite gods, some turning totally from the True Yah, but some, combined what they liked best from pagan religions with their worship of Adonai, the One true Yah. Does that sound familiar? What is the great appeal of pagan religions? The enemy entices people with the desires of the flesh and how things make us feel. The world tells us that since everyone else is doing it, there must be some value to it. Satan uses every argument to seduce us in order for us to hew for ourselves broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
We can find America, today’s congregations, in Jeremiah because many have rejected the fountain of living water, the true Word of Yah to be absolute! What we read in Jeremiah is real history, dealing with real people in a real place at a real time. America was founded on the principles of the Word of Adonai, but over time we have allowed the enemy, idolatry, and carnality to enter the House of Yah, America itself. We have forsaken the fountain of living water and hewn for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Humanism, New Age religion, Mormonism, Watchtower, secularism, Islam, and liberalism and sad to say, it seems like the church has become broken cisterns.
I understand we can’t force people to repent, Teshuva, but we can repent for any part we may have had in rejecting the fountain of living water. Where have we floundered? Where have we compromised? Where have we allowed paganism to be mixed with the One True Yah? Do we follow the whole council of His Word? Do we worship and honor His Sabbath? Do we celebrate the Feast of Adonai? Do we believe the Word has not changed or have we created our own mixture of what we want Adonai to be instead of accepting and being obedient to Who He is?
What can we do? There is an answer—Yah’s answer: “If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
It is time to hear the voice of Jeremiah and return to the fountain of living water—Yeshua, the True Living Water! Israel was given only so much time and then they did not repent. Our time is quickly coming to an end, so we must repent now! We must repent while there is time! The clock is ticking… “Today is the day of salvation, this is the accepted time”.
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha…join us every Wednesday at 7 pm for Bible Study and 11 am on Saturday for our Sabbath service at Lion of Judah Ministries, 612 North Main St in Blackstone, VA or watch LOJ streaming on FACEBOOK LIVE or Lion of Judah YouTube or on our website at www.lojministries.org or download the Lion of Judah app and have access to the ministry 24/7.
Enjoy this Sabbath with King Yeshua, let us gather for the holy convocation and give Yah the praise that He deserves! Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Shalom