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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 10

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-25

  1. Intro:
    1. This will be the end of Jeremiah’s Temple sermon that started in ch.7.
    2. I wonder if Jeremiah felt like an umbrella salesman just pre-flood?
      1. There just didn’t seem to be a need for his message!
    3. Outline: [1] False gods vs. the True God(1-16) [2] Packed up & Flung out! (17-22) [3] Jeremiah’s 3-Fold Prayer (23-25)
    4. Jewish Proverb “If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.”
  2. False gods vs. the True God(1-16)
    1. Vs.2 - Astrology
    2. Vs.3,4 – Wow! Sounds like the X-mas tree? Is it?
      1. No, because what has been uncovered has been wood or pillars shaped into human like characteristics/not trying to decorate trees!
      2. (Poss. - Nude Pillar Figurine/common to this time period in Judah. Pillar shape to represent that of a tree)
      3. X-mas Tree background.(Martin Luther devotion w/wife & lil girl)
    3. Vs.5 – Picture a scarecrow in a corn filed. Dead as a Dodo bird! (Barclay (Jeremiah))
    4. IDOLATRY! (2-5; 8,9; 14,15)
    5. Definition: That on which I set my Attention & Affection, & that for which I am willing to Sacrifice for. {It becomes a substitute for God}
      1. That could be: an expensive car; house; stereo; boat; library; computer; boyfriend/girlfriend; children; career; bank account.
    6. “Poor Misguided Fools” (Barclay)
    7. Q: Why does Idolatry have to be targeted so many times in the Bible?
      1. {Abraham grew up w/it(Joshua 24:2,3). During time in Egypt they were exposed to tons of Idols. While Moses met w/God on Sinai, the people got behind Aaron & made the golden calf. At Sinai they saw: “The Glory of God, heard the Voice of God, & accepted the Law of God; yet…“Thus they changed their glory Into the image of an ox that eats grass.” Ps.106:20 {read ps.106:6-23}
      2. Idolatry seemed to be Tattooed on their hearts/ They’d cover it with a patch for a time, but son the patch would wear off.
      3. We equally make engraved images…on our minds! – (ie. God must be small He is not answering my prayers.)
      4. Tozer said, “Idolatry is the entertaining of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him!”
      5. The mind cannot suddenly crash past the familiar into the unfamiliar!
      6. Anything you can imagine reduces God to manageable terms.
      7. “We want to get God down to where we can use him – At least we’ll know where He is when we need Him! – We want a God we can in some measure control – We develop a God who is a composite of all the religious people we’ve seen – The best people we’ve known or heard about, & all the sublime ideas we’ve entertained!” (A.W.Tozer “The Knowledge of the Holy” pg.8)
      8. [1] Idols were Visually Impressive! – (9) See à Is.40:18-20
        1. The only difference between the idols of yesteryear & the idols of today are: The idols of old are ugly, today they are more attractive!
      9. [2] Idol worship was Popular! – (2) Gentiles did it!
      10. [3] Everyone’s doing it! - (14) Everyone may be doing it but it is pure nonsense (14,15).
        1. Notice they were as “dull-hearted”(14) as the idols themselves(8).
        2. Because we become like the god we worship! Ps.115:8 “Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.”
      11. [4] The Wise men were doing it – (7) But it’s possible for wise men to be Theologically Stupid & Foolish(8)which is where wisdom matters!
        1. Our idols are more subtle, but just as “worthless!”(8)
        2. It takes God to say so…& the godly to see it!
      12. God maybe Darkness to the Intellect but Sunshine to the heart!” (Fredrick Faber)
      13. 1 Jn.5 ends with “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
    8. Q: Isn’t man still asking the same question today? Aren’t all religions really the same? Does it matter what we call Him, or how we worship Him as long as we believe in some higher power beyond ourselves?
    9. Vs.11 – Is in Aramaic. From the word Aram(the former name of Syria.
      1. O.T. - Daniel 2-7, & some of Ezra 4,5,6,7, in Aramaic.
      2. N.T. – Mark 5:41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, arise."
      3. Mark 7:34,35(deaf/dumb) “Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.”
      4. The cry from the cross, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"”Mt.27:46
    10. * Aramaic is a branch of the Semitic languages: Hebrews, Arabs, & Assyrians.
      1. From the descendants of Shem/Semitic[Gen.10]
      2. Aramaic became the common tongue of ½ the world at the time.
      3. The language of the people whom the Israelites were to dwell as captives. {So. Babylonia}
      4. Jeremiah tells them how to speak to their captives about their false gods!
    11. Listen to Thoughtful Worship! (6,7; 10; 12,13; 16)
    12. It dwells on the Incomprehensible Lord!
      1. The remedy for Idolatry is getting caught up in the Majesty & Grandeur of the True, Living, & Everlasting God! (10)
    13. (6) His Greatness! – Himself & His Name!
    14. (7) His Fear – Sov. Over all nations
    15. (10) He is True, Living, & Everlasting! –
    16. (12,13) His Power, Wisdom, & Discretion
      1. “God is too kind to do anything cruel, too wise to make a mistake, too deep to explain himself.” (Swindoll)
    17. (16a) His Creation - Of all things.
      1. “God has no need of his creatures, but everything created has need of him.” (Meister Eckhart (C. 1260-C. 1327))
    18. (16b) His Commitment to His people – “Inheritance”.
      1. “God is the light in my darkness, the voice in my silence.” (Helen Adams Keller (1880-1968))
    19. Q: What is your favorite attribute or Characteristic of God, & why?
    20. Wrap up: And so the glamour of the gods that are called to “measure up”…disappears!
      1. And the reproach for being a minority becomes an honor!
    21. Israel moves from a Treasure(16) to a Refugee(17,18)!
      1. We move from the Pinnacle to the Depths.
  3. Packed up & Flung out! (17-22)
    1. Vs.17,18 - Pack up your bags & get ready to move, because you’re going to fly out of the land like a stone in a sling!
      1. 1 Sam.25:29 "Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.
      2. Worse yet look who’s doing the slinging! {God}
      3. Maybe this will bring them to their senses…it will!
    2. Vs.20 – He laments over the houses & families. The separation of the children from parents, the scattering of Gods precious flock.
    3. “This also sounds like a verse that would minister to a loneliness that is often felt when the kids all leave home & the house is quiet!”
    4. Vs.21 – The reason for the disaster…The Leaders!
      1. Oh, the responsibilities of leaders!
  4. Jeremiah’s 3-Fold Prayer (23-25)
    1. 3 Arguments of Mercy:
    2. [1] God must remember they are weak humans who don’t know how to run their lives.
      1. Maybe thinking of Ps.103:13,14 “As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”
    3. [2] If God gave them what they deserved, they’d be destroyed!
      1. Ps.103:10 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
      2. Or Ezra 9:13 “"And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this,”
    4. [3] The nations attacking Judah deserve punishment for seeking to destroy God’s choosen people.
      1. This is not the prophets personal wrath – But a plea for God to keep His promise to Abraham & protect the nation from extinction.
        1. Gen 12:2,3 “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;”
        2. God answers this prayer n ch.50,51.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-10.html. 2017.
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