DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 18, 2017, 03:22:49 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277667 Posts in 26442 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  ChristiansUnite Forums
|-+  Entertainment
| |-+  Books (Moderator: admin)
| | |-+  JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
« previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8 Go Down Print
Author Topic: JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET  (Read 12485 times)
nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 12:31:31 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
III.  CISTERN MAKING
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

He also protested against the proposal to form an Egyptian alliance. The little land of Canaan lay between the vast rival empires founded on the Nile and the Euphrates, much as Switzerland between France and Austria. It was therefore constantly exposed to the transit of immense armies, like locusts destroying everything, or to the hostile incursions of one or other of its belligerent neighbors. It had always been the policy of a considerable party at the court of Jerusalem to cultivate alliance with Egypt or Assyria. In Hezekiah's and Manasseh's time the tendency had been toward Assyria; now it was toward Egypt, which had in a remarkable way thrown off the yoke which the great king Esarhaddon in three terrible campaigns had sought to rivet on its neck. The prophet strenuously opposed these overtures. Why should his people bind themselves to the fortunes of any heathen nation whatsoever? Was not God their King? Would not he succour them in times of overflowing calamity? Surely their true policy was to stand alone, untrammeled by foreign alliances, resting only on the mighty power of Jehovah, serving his purposes, true to his law, devoted to his will. "What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor [i.e., the black Nile]? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? . . Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the Lord hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them" (Jeremiah 2:18, Jeremiah 2:36, Jeremiah 2:37).

This, then, was Jeremiah's mission -- to stand almost alone; to protest against the sins of the people, which were covered by their boasted reverence to Jehovah, whom they worshiped as the tutelary deity of their land, besides many false gods; and to oppose the policy of the court, which sought to cultivate friendly relations with the one power that seemed able to render aid to his fatherland in the awful struggle with the northern kingdom which he saw to be imminent (Jeremiah 1:5). And this ministry was exercised in the teeth of the most virulent opposition. Here was a priest denouncing the practices of priests, a prophet the lies of prophets. It was no light thing to expose the falsehoods alike of priest and prophet, and accuse them of healing the hurt of the daughter of his people slightly, saying, "Peace, peace," when there was no peace. Small wonder, therefore, that the most powerful parties in the state conspired against him, as in after-days Pilate and Herod joined hands against Christ.
_______________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 12:32:50 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
III.  CISTERN MAKING
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.


II. THE IMAGERY HE EMPLOYED.

It is a scene among the mountains. In that green glade a fountain rises icy-cold from the depths, and pours its silver stream downward through the valley. You can hear the music of its ripple, and trace its course by the vegetation that follows it. It is always flowing in abundance for young and old, for the villagers in the hamlets, and when it has grown fuller and broader for the inhabitants of large towns along its course. But its banks are unvisited, neither cup nor bucket descends into its crystal depths; for all practical purposes it might as well cease to flow.

Far away from that verdant valley you hear the clink of the chisel, and presently discover people of every age and rank engaged in making cisterns to supply their homes. The bead-drops stand thick upon their brow, as from early dawn to far on into the night they pursue their arduous toil, wrestling with the stubborn granite. They will not avail themselves of the materials of former times, nor utilize the half-hewn cisterns deserted by their ancestors. Each man has his own scheme, his own design. He toils at it when spring casts her green mantle over the pasture-lands that come to the edge of the quarry, and when the summer heat makes the quarry like a kiln. While others are gathering in the ruddy grape or golden corn, he remains constant to his toil, and he is there amid the biting cold of winter. After years of work he may achieve his purpose and complete the cistern on which he has spent his years. He calls on his neighbors to view his accomplished purpose, and waits expectant of the shower. Presently it descends, and he is filled with pride and pleasure to think of the store of water which he has been able to secure. But lo! it does not stay. As soon as it enters it passes out. There is a fatal crack or flaw, or the stone is too porous. He finds what every one of his neighbors has found, or will find, that with the utmost care the cisterns wrought in the quarry can hold no water.
____________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2008, 12:34:36 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
III.  CISTERN MAKING
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

What an infinite mistake to miss the fountain freely flowing to quench the thirst, and hew out the broken cistern in which is disappointment and despair! Yet this, said the prophet, was the precise position of Israel. They had done as no nation else, though search were made from the far west of Chittim to the far east of Kedar. The heathen, at least, were constant to their gods. False religions were indigenous to the lands where they had originated -- the same idols worshiped, the same rites performed, the same temples filled with succeeding generations. But the people of Jehovah had forsaken him as a maid might lay aside her ornaments, or a bride her attire; and in resorting to false religions and heathen alliances they were hewing out for themselves broken cisterns which would fail them in their hour of need.

Very pathetically the prophet reminds them of the past. The kindness of their youth, the love of their espousals, their holiness to the Lord, and the song with which they celebrated their deliverance on the shores of the Red Sea, suggested a sad contrast to the evils that cursed the land. Through him the voice of God is heard inquiring the reason of this lamentable apostasy. The chapter is full of questions, as though God would elicit the charge upon which they had deserted him. "What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? . Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? A land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are broken loose; we will come no more unto thee?"

There is nothing sadder than the ebb of love, when we are compelled to sit on the beach and watch the slowly receding waters as they drop down from the high-water mark which they had reached with the dancing wavelets. This takes the light from the eye, and the spring from the foot. Life can never again be quite as it was. The tide may come up again; but it will never efface the recollection of the ebb, and the fear of its return. This in human experience is something like the pain felt by the Eternal, as he saw Israel, for whom he had done so much, turn from him to strangers. Bitter, indeed, to hear them say to a stock, "Thou art my father;" and to a stone, "Thou hast brought me forth." Their apostasy was to God as though a wife should go from the husband that doted upon her, and become another man's (Jeremiah 3:1).
____________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2008, 12:36:00 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
III.  CISTERN MAKING
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.


III. ITS APPLICATION TO OURSELVES,

Many cistern-makers may read these words -- each with soul-thirst craving satisfaction; each within easy reach of God, whose nature is as rock-water for those that are athirst; but all attempting the impossible task of satisfying the thirst for the infinite and divine with men and things.

There is the cistern of Pleasure, embroidered with fruits and flowers and bacchanalian figures, wrought at the cost of health and rest; the cistern of Wealth, gilded and inlaid with pearls, like the mangers of the stud of Eastern kings; the cistern of ‑Fame, hewn by the youth who tore himself from the welcome of home and the embrace of human love, to climb with his banner of strange device the unfrequented solitudes of the mountain summit, far above all rivalry, and even companionship; the cistern of Human Love, which, however beautiful as a revelation of the Divine Love, can never satisfy the soul that rests in it alone -- all these, made at infinite cost of time and pains, deceive and disappoint. In the expressive words of Jeremiah, they are "broken cisterns, that can hold no water." And in the time of trouble they will not be able to save those that have constructed and trusted them.

At your feet, O weary cistern-hewer, the fountain of God's love is flowing through the channel of the Divine Man! Stoop to drink it. We must descend to the level of the stream, if its waters are to flow over our parched lips to slake our thirst. You have already dropped your tools, and are weary of your toil. List to the music that fills the air and floats around, like the chime of angel voices: "Come back to God. Do the first works. Forsake the alliances and idolatries which have alienated you from your best Friend  Open your heart, that he may create in you the fountain of living water, leaping up to eternal life. The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And he that heareth, let him say, Come! And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely."
_______________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2008, 12:38:11 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
IV.  THE SECOND DISCOURSE
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.


(Jeremiah 3, 6.)


"Surely the time is short,
Endless the task and art,
To brighten for the ethereal court
A soil'd, earth-drudging heart:
But He, the dread Proclaimer of that hour,
Is pledged to thee in Love, as to thy foes in Power."
KEBLE.

WE do not know how Jeremiah's first address was received. It was impossible for Jerusalem to have heard the eager pleadings of the young preacher, protesting so earnestly against the policy of its leaders and the practices of its priests, without becoming aware that a new force had entered the arena of its public life. And from that moment, through the forty-four years that followed, the influence of his holy example and fervent words was destined to make itself mightily felt. One star of hope more shone over that hotbed of corruption, the very atmosphere of which was charged with symptoms of impending dissolution. Another voice was audible through which God could utter his pleadings and remonstrances.

In his second discourse, lasting from the third to the sixth chapters inclusive -- and which perhaps is preserved as a specimen of Jeremiah's words at this period -- there is an added power and pathos. The flame burns higher; the sword has a keener edge; yet the tone is more tremulous and tender. There is more than ever of the spirit of Jesus, bewailing the blindness and obstinacy of men, as the vision of impending judgment looms clearer before the soul, and the violence done to the redeeming love of God is more clearly apprehended. In his own touching words, Jeremiah was as a gentle lamb led to the slaughter (Jeremiah 11:19); but he was also strong as a lion, in the vehemence with which he strove to avert the doom, already gathering on the horizon, and threatening to devastate his beloved fatherland. If any pure and holy soul could have saved Judah by its pleadings, tears, and warnings, Jeremiah would have done it.
_________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2008, 12:40:15 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
IV.  THE SECOND DISCOURSE
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

But it was not to be. The upas had struck its roots too deeply. The ulcer was too inveterate. The evil that Manasseh had sown had too thickly impregnated the soil. This, however, did not appear in those early days of Jeremiah's ministry, and with all the hopefulness of youth he thought that he might yet avert the disaster. Surely a voice warning of the rocks that lay direct in the vessel's course, and a firm hand on the tiller, might yet steer the good ship into calm, deep water.

This discourse is occupied with a clear prevision of the Chaldean invasion; with plaintive expressions of pity and pain, and eloquent assertions of the redeeming grace of God.
..........

I. THE PROPHET'S PREVISION OF APPROACHING JUDGMENT.

At the opening of Jeremiah's ministry, as we have seen, the land was rejoicing in a brief parenthesis of peace, like a glint of light on a mountain side in a cloudy and dark day. It was a welcome contrast to the experience of the previous centuries. And it appeared probable that it might last. The mighty empire of Assyria was weakened by internal dissension; Babylon was becoming a formidable rival of Nineveh; the Medes, under Cyaxares, were beginning to descend the western slopes of the Taurus; while in Egypt Psammetichus was too deeply engaged in expelling the Assyrian garrisons, consolidating his kingdom, and founding his dynasty, to have leisure or desire to interfere with the tiny neighboring kingdom.

Thus Josiah was able to pursue his reforms in peace, and there was no war-cloud on the horizon. It was on one of these days of Josiah the king (Jeremiah 3:6) that the newly appointed prophet startled the men of Jerusalem and Judah as he made known what he had seen on his watch-tower.

He had heard the trumpet summoning the peasantry from the open country to the fenced cities, leaving their crops at the mercy of the invader, to save their lives. He had descried the lion stealing up from his lair in the thicket to destroy the nations. He had caught the cries of the watchers from the northern heights of Dan to Ephraim, and so to Jerusalem, as they announced the advent of the invader. He had beheld the desolation of the land, the hurried retreat of the defenders of the Holy City herself, some to thickets, and others to holes in the ragged rocks. Yes, and. he had seen the daughter of Zion gasping in the extreme of her anguish, and crying, "Woe is me now!"
_______________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2008, 12:41:44 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
IV.  THE SECOND DISCOURSE
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

So real was the whole scene to him that we find him turning to his brother Benjamites, who had fled for shelter to the metropolis, bidding them flee still farther south. He beholds the preparations for the siege, and the chagrin of her assailants that the evening shadows of declining clay interpose between them and her inevitable capture. He describes the invader as a mighty and ancient nation, gleaning Israel as men gather the last grapes into their basket; cruel and merciless as ravening wolves: their quiver a sepulcher; their sword a terror; their charging cry hoarse and deafening as the roar of the sea; their chariots and cavalry irresistible. The mere report of their deeds was sufficient to induce in each hearer, as it were, the pangs of travail (Jeremiah 1:15; Jeremiah 4:6-7, Jeremiah 4:16, Jeremiah 4:19; Jeremiah 7:9, Jeremiah 7:19, Jeremiah 7:21). And the words of the young prophet were as fire to wood (Jeremiah 5:14).

It has been supposed that these words referred to the invasion of the Scythians, who about this time poured in countless hordes over western Asia. The cities of Nineveh and Babylon alone, because of their great strength, escaped; the open country was swept utterly bare; all who could not escape were barbarously massacred or carried off as slaves; villages and towns were turned into charred and smoking ruins. But these barbarian hordes do not fulfill the entire scope of the prophet's words. They do not appear to have entered Palestine, but to have passed down on the eastern or western frontier, skirting the territory of Josiah, and driving the panic-stricken people to the shelter of the larger cities, whence they traced the path of the invaders, lit by conflagrations kindled on their ruthless march. It is better, therefore, to refer these ominous words to the invasion of Judah by Babylon, which was to take place in thirty years, but of which the people were amply warned, that they might put away their abominations and return to the Fountain of Living Waters.
..........

II. HIS PLAINTIVE EXPRESSION OF PITY AND PAIN.

The tender heart of Jeremiah was filled with the utmost sorrow at the heavy tidings he was called to announce. Throughout the book we constantly encounter the expressions of his anguish. True patriot as he was, it was hard for him to contemplate the impending destruction of the Holy City. The noblest traditions of his people were represented in those cries which for a little demand our consideration.
__________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2008, 12:43:00 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
IV.  THE SECOND DISCOURSE
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

"The sword," he says, "reaches to the soul." And again, "My heart! my heart! I writhe in pain! the walls of my heart will break! my heart groans within-me; I cannot keep it still" (Jeremiah 4:19, free translation). He identifies himself with his land, and it seems as though the curtains of his own tents are being spoiled, as in a moment. He struggles against uttering his message of judgment till he can no longer contain himself and becomes weary with holding in (Jeremiah 6:11). He addresses Jerusalem as the daughter of his people, and bids her gird herself with sackcloth and sit in ashes, mourning as for an only son (Jeremiah 6:23). He asks how he may comfort himself against sorrow, because his heart faints within him (Jeremiah 8:18 ). He wishes that his head were waters, and his eyes a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people (Jeremiah 9:1). He wanders alone over the mountains, weeping and wailing because the pasture-lands are dry, because the lowing of the cattle and the song of the bird are hushed (Jeremiah 9:10). "Woe is me!" he exclaims; "my wound is grievous."

He had no alternative than to announce the judgments which he saw upon their way; but there was a sob in the voice that predicted them. So far from desiring the evil day, very gladly would he have laid down his life to avert it. The chalice of his life was full of that spirit which led the Master in after-years to weep as he beheld the guilty and doomed city. Many a great preacher of repentance, in all the centuries of church history, has known something of this bewailing. Side by side with vehement denunciations of coming judgment there has been the pitiful yearning over lost men.

We need more of this. Nothing is so terrible as to utter God's threatenings against sin, which are predictions of its natural and inevitable outworking, with no sign of anguish or regret. If we are called to speak of judgment to come, it should be after hours of solitary prayer, weeping, and soul travail. It is only in proportion as we have felt for sinners that we can warn them. It is only in so far as we have known the Saviour's pity that we can dare to take up the woes he pronounced against Pharisee and Sadducee, or threaten the fate which he so clearly and awfully denounced.
___________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2008, 12:44:21 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
IV.  THE SECOND DISCOURSE
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

Our mistake is in dealing with generals and not with particulars; or in using terms which have passed from hand to hand, until-their inscription is worn away. We have not realized the loss of one soul, or the unutterable woe of hell for one apostate, or the meaning of the undying worm and the unquenched flame. And probably the best way of entering into the meaning of any of these terrible conceptions is to try and realize what they would mean for any one soul who was dear to us as life. Then from the one we may pass to the many; from the one lost soul we may understand the meaning of a lost world. Let us look at these things from the standpoint of the Saviour, or of a parent's love, or of the soul itself; and when thoughts have saturated our hearts of the dishonor done to God, the loss sustained by Christ, the anguish wrought into the texture of one disobedient life, we shall be able to speak to men of the judgment to come, with streaming tears, tremulous voice, and breaking heart. Such preaching will always be a convincing and irresistible argument to turn sinners from the error of their ways. Nothing is more awful than to speak of the great mysteries of life and death, of heaven and hell, of the right and left of the Throne, without that compassion of heart which is borrowed from close communion with the Saviour of the world.
..........

III. His ASSERTION OF REDEEMING GRACE.

Few of the sacred writers have had truer or deeper views of the love of God. It is to the earlier chapters of Jeremiah that backsliders must always turn for comfort and assurance of abundant pardon. The word backslide is characteristic of this prophet.

To Jeremiah's thought sin could not quench God's lave. It may come in between man and wife, severing the marriage tie and leaving the husband to divorce her whom he had taken to be his other self; but though our sin be more inveterate and repeated than woman ever perpetrated against man, or man against woman, it cannot cut off that love which is from everlasting to everlasting. The clouds may dim, but they cannot extinguish, the sun. Sin may hide the manifestation of the love of God, but can never make God abandon his love to us (Jeremiah 3:1).
______________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2008, 12:45:39 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
IV.  THE SECOND DISCOURSE
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

The lave of God goes forth in forgiving mercy. He only asks that the people should acknowledge their iniquity and confess to having perverted their way and forgotten their God. It were enough that they should accept the terms of the confession which he himself suggested: "Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God;" and he assures them that though their sin and iniquity were sought for there should be none found. (Jeremiah 3:22).

The love of God does not deal with us after our sins. He gives showers immediately on repentance. He does not keep his anger forever. He intervenes between us and trouble, as the soft sand between the homes of men and the yeasty, foaming ocean. He waits to receive us back, saying, "If thou wilt return, O Israel, unto me, thou shalt return." Ours may be the pleasant land; ours the goodly heritage; ours the rest for the soul -- all of which we have forfeited, but all of which are restored to us when we return.

What true and delightful conceptions of the love of God were vouchsafed to the young prophet! Many similarities between his expressions and those of Deuteronomy suggest that it was his favorite book, as, if we may venture to say so, it was our Lord's; and perhaps it was from that ancient writing, then newly discovered, that he derived his inspiration. But, in any case, his living spirit had drunk deep drafts of the everlasting, forgiving, pitiful love of God, revealed and given to men in Jesus Christ our Lord. Oh, blessed love! -- through which backsliding hearts may be admitted again to the inner circle, and have restored the years that the canker-worm has eaten.
__________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2008, 12:47:29 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
V.  AT THE TEMPLE GATES
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.


(Jeremiah 7, 10.)


"Bewildered in its search, bewildered with the cry,
' Lo here, lo there, the Church!' poor sad humanity
Through all the dust and heat turns back, with bleeding feet,
By the weary road it came,
Unto the simple thought, by the Great Master taught,
And that remaineth still:
Not he that repeateth the Name,
But he that doeth the will."
LONGFELLOW.

WE must read the records given in the Books of the Kings and Chronicles to understand the remarkable movement which was on foot during the time covered by the first twelve chapters of the Book of Jeremiah. In his collected words he scarcely refers to the great reforms being introduced by his friend the King Josiah; and he is scarcely mentioned in the historical records. But there is no doubt that he was in constant and close communication with the king and the little group of earnest reformers that clustered round his person, and which included Shaphan, Hilkiah, the prophet Zephaniah, the prophetess Huldah, and his own friend Baruch.

Josiah promoted measures of reform from the earliest years of his reign; but at first he was opposed by the dead weight of national apathy to the cause he espoused. The worship of idols -- for which there are twenty different terms in the Hebrew language -- had so many fascinations from the use of the peoples around, and from its appeals to sensual passion, that the mass of the people had no desire to revert to the more austere and purer worship of their forefathers. Besides, had not Solomon the magnificent, four hundred years before, erected on the southern slopes of Olivet shrines to Ashtoreth, the goddess of Sidon, to Chemosh and Milcom, the national gods of Moab and Ammon? The rites of heathen superstition were also maintained by a vast herd of false prophets and priests, who, like parasites, throve in the corruption of their time. There was a fatal compact and collusion between the two bodies which boded no good for the efforts of the zealous band of reformers who gathered round the king, because they appeared to give a divine sanction to the abominations that were being perpetrated. A wonderful and horrible thing had come to pass in the land: the prophets prophesied falsely, and the priests bare rule by their means, and the people loved to have it so.
________________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2008, 12:48:46 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
V.  AT THE TEMPLE GATES
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

The cooperation of Zephaniah and Jeremiah was, therefore, exceedingly valuable. While Josiah wrought from without, pursuing a career of uncompromising iconoclasm, they wrought from within, appealing to the conscience and heart -- here pleading the claims of Jehovah on the thoughtless crowds; there taunting the idol-worshipers with the futility of their reliance on the creations of their fancy; and again announcing the swift descent of national judgment on the national sins which were desolating the country.

But, notwithstanding their united efforts, the cause of reform moved slowly, or might even have come to a stand-still -- as an express-train when buried in an avalanche of soft snow -- had not the discovery made in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign given a new and unexpected impetus to the ancient religion of Israel. And though it is not exactly an incident in the life of Jeremiah, he was so closely associated with the men who were principally concerned, and his third discourse is so evidently suggested by the reforms to which it led, that we must briefly touch on it.
..........

I. THE FINDING OF THE LAW.

At the time to which this incident must be referred, the Temple was under repair. It sadly needed it, for the lewd emblems of idolatry had been erected within its sacred precincts, and beside them the dwellings of the wretched men and women associated with the impious rites permitted on the site where David worshiped and Solomon spread his hands in solemn dedicatory prayer. Probably, also, the fabric was showing signs of dilapidation and age, for two and a half centuries had elapsed since it had been completely restored by Joash.
____________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2008, 12:50:17 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
V.  AT THE TEMPLE GATES
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

The work was intrusted to the superintendence of Hilkiah, the high priest, who was assisted by a little group of Levites, and the cost was contributed by the people who passed through the Temple gates. On one occasion the king sent Shaphan, his secretary and chancellor, who was the father of Gemariah and a good man -- who afterward defended Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:10-19, Jeremiah 36:25) -- to take an account with Hilkiah of the money which had been gathered by the doorkeepers. When they had attended to this important business, and delivered the money into the hands of the workmen that had the oversight of the work, Hilkiah, the high priest, said unto Shaphan, the scribe, "I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord."

It was a very startling discovery. The rabbinical tradition states that it was discovered inside a heap of stones, where it was hidden when Ahaz destroyed all the other copies of the holy books. Or it may have been hidden away in the ark, which Ahaz may have removed to one of the rooms of the Temple, where dust and lumber concealed it. There has been much discussion as to what that roll of ancient MSS. contained, some holding that it was the entire Pentateuch, others that it was the Book of Deuteronomy. It has even been asserted by some that a pious fraud was perpetrated on Josiah and his times by some well-meaning individual, who had just written the Book of Deuteronomy with his own hand, and now foisted it on Hilkiah and the rest as a venerable production dating from the days of Moses! To what miserable straits they are reduced who would have us accept such wanton speculations! Let the critics betake themselves to the examination of the ancient MSS., if they will. We thank them for the facts they bring to light; in their own province we give them credit for painstaking and erudition, but we refuse to accept their theories. Let them give us the facts, and we can formulate the theories for ourselves. Even if it could be shown -- which we hold it cannot, that Moses was not the author of the Book of Deuteronomy, it is surely utterly inconceivable that the mind through which that sublime treatise was given to the world could have been a party to a fraud so unblushing and scandalous as to palm off its own offspring under the august sanction of the name of Moses!
____________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2008, 12:51:48 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
V.  AT THE TEMPLE GATES
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.

After careful thought, we are disposed to think that the Book of Deuteronomy is specially referred to here, though not to the exclusion of the other books of Moses. It seems unquestionable that this portion alone of the Pentateuch was ordained to be written out by each king on his accession, and was read before the assembled congregation once in each seven years. The terms of the covenant made afterward by Josiah and his people are precisely those with which the Book of Deuteronomy abounds; and the phrases which characterize it are perpetually recurring in the addresses and appeals of Jeremiah. This book dyed his speech, as it had done that of Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah.

Its discovery by Hilkiah made as great a sensation as that of the Latin Bible by Luther in the library of the old Augustinian monastery at Erfurt. Shaphan read parts of it before the king, among them probably chapter 28. "And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he rent his clothes." In hot haste he sent a deputation of his most trusty friends to one of the suburbs of the city, where the prophetess Huldah dwelt. Jeremiah may have been at this time at Anathoth, or he may have been too young in his work to be recognized as an authority in so grave a crisis. The question to be asked was, whether the nation must expect to suffer all the awful curses which those words predicted, and the answer was an uncompromising "Yes," though their infliction might be for a brief space postponed.

Forthwith the king summoned a mighty convocation of all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great, and, from a platform erected in the entrance of the inner court, he read aloud all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. And further, he solemnly renewed the covenant between Jehovah and the people, that they would walk after the Lord, and keep his commandments, his testimonies, and his statutes. Perhaps, as one commentator suggests, an ox was slain, and the king and people passed between the severed halves in witness of their solemn resolve. Then the work of reform broke out afresh. The tide of popular feeling rose high, and the reformers took it at its flow. The black-robed priests were suppressed; the emblems of idolatry were cast out of the Temple, and burned without the city; the dwellings of the miserable votaries of lust were destroyed, Tophet was defiled, and the high places leveled to the ground. Thus, outwardly at least, Israel became again true to its allegiance to the God of its fathers, and free from the taint of idolatry.
_____________________________________
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60375


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2008, 12:53:17 AM »

JEREMIAH PRIEST AND PROPHET
V.  AT THE TEMPLE GATES
BY F. B. MEYER, B.A.


II. THE DIVORCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND MORALITY.

The influence of the court, the finding and reading of the law, the splendid success of the great Passover which Josiah instituted, the glow of the crusade against the old idolatries, sufficed for a time to effect widespread reform, and the fickle populace gave an outward adhesion at least to the service of Jehovah. The Temple courts were thronged; the rites and forms of the Levitical code were rigorously maintained; every point of ceremonial allegiance to the institutions of Moses was punctiliously observed. But there was no real change in disposition. The reformation was entirely superficial. Beneath the fair exterior the grossest forms of evil were seething in hideous corruption, now and again breaking forth into the light of day, but awaiting the death of Josiah, when they once more asserted themselves.

Jeremiah was profoundly disappointed at the result of a movement which had promised so well. He detected its true character, and sought an opportunity of showing its insufficiency to avert the wrath of God, which was gathering like a thunder-cloud upon the horizon. Taking up his position in the gate of the Temple, on the occasion of some great festival when the people of Judah were gathered with the citizens of Jerusalem to worship Jehovah, he poured forth a torrent of remonstrance and appeal.

He was not unaware of the attention paid by the nation to outward ritual, which they mistook for religion. The incense of Sheba, and the costly, fine-scented cane fetched from Arabia or India, burned for the sake of their rich perfume, stole through the Temple precincts (Jeremiah 6:20). They took care to speak of the Temple as the house of God, and to stand before him as his people (Jeremiah 7:10). The burnt-offering and other sacrifices were rigorously distinguished from one another, the priests and people feeding on those parts alone permitted by the Mosaic ritual (Jeremiah 7:21). It was the boast of the people that the law of the Lord had been committed to their charge, and that they had therefore special claim upon his forbearance (Jeremiah 8:8 ). And against every accusation which the prophet laid at the nation's door, they pointed to the order and beauty of the restored ritual, of their splendid Temple, of their privileged condition as the chosen people of God, and cried, "The Temple of the Lord, The Temple of the Lord, The Temple of the Lord, are these."
____________________________________
Logged

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media