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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 16

Verses 1-21

  1. Intro:
    1. Name some ways people get other peoples attention. (clothes styles, hairstyles; body piercing[tongue?])
    2. At different times God gave certain people “roles to act out” at a great cost to themselves. This was from God’s intense concern to get the message across.
      1. Isaiah had to name 2 of his sons “odd” names which would become a text for his message (Is.7:3,8:3).
      2. Another time Isaiah had to walk around for 3 yrs. Naked & barefoot!
        1. This prob. meant w/o his prophetic garb.1.2.2.2.This was typical of looking like a P.O.W., to call attention to a coming conflict. (20)
      3. Here God restricts Jeremiah in 3 areas of what were very normal & acceptable activities, to get His message across to Israel(getting married; mourning for the dead; & attending feasts)
    3. Outline: [1] Don’t Marry [2] Don’t Mourn [3] Don’t Celebrate [4] Don’t Look back.
  2. DON’T MARRY! (1-4)
    1. MARRIAGE - It was the norm for a Jewish young man to marry by age 20.
    2. A godly wife can be a great encouragement to a minister, but Jer. had to serve alone.
      1. Prov.18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.”
      2. Eccl. 4:9-12
    3. A wife can also be a hindrance in ministry (his time involved, or dedication to the ministry, can become a threat, or a competition to the wife).
      1. There are “helpmates” & “hinder-mates”!
      2. “It’s possible if your single God has protected you from marrying someone that would have been a hindrance to you in walking with the Lord.”
    4. Celibacy, in contrast to a relationship w/God that was always spoken of as them being married to Jehovah.
      1. Whenever people asked “why aren’t you married?” he had the opportunity to share Gods message of the coming judgment.
    5. Application:
      1. Q: Could there be a reason for your singleness?
      2. Q: Does it have to be neative(ie. God’s mad at me)?
      3. Q: What are the advantages Paul points out to being single in 1 Cor.7:25-33? (times short, be w/o care)
    6. FATHERING - He therefore could not have a family/no kids!
      1. Vs.4 – Families will be wiped out & reduced to bird food, to carrion(dead rotting flesh).
    7. Application: What do we learn about marriage in this text? It is good/a blessing (it is being withheld).
  3. DON’T MOURN! (5-7)
    1. Vs.5 - Jeremiah would be a living witness that God’s comfort was taken from His people.
      1. It was an existence so bleak it is w/o Peace, Loving-kindness, & Mercy!
    2. Vs.6,7 – The day would be coming where there would be so few survivors that nobody would bury the dead, let alone comfort whatever family member remained.
      1. There would not be even the faintest glow of human warmth (no bereavement).
    3. Mourning we see, like marriage & family, is a very accepted & natural thing.
      1. Mourning or the grief process is good thing. God gave us emotions.
      2. “As it takes time for a broken bone to heal, so to it takes time for a broken heart to heal!”
      3. Evangelist Leighton Ford wrote the following about his son Sandy: During the months following Sandy's death, to cope with my grief and sense of loss, I kept a journal. Through a series of "conversations" with Sandy, I continued to express my grief and bring our relationship to a close. In one of those chats, I said, "Sandy, you've been dead two months earthtime." "I feel as if I have been alive forever, Dad. It's a lot like one big long today." "It's not a matter of time, Sandy, except that time heals. It's more a matter of nearness. I guess I'm concerned that as our time goes on, we will lose any sense of nearness." "But why, Dad? You're moving closer to eternity every day. You're no longer moving from, but to me! And besides, the 'Wall' between is so thin -- you would laugh if you could see it." "I think more of you than when you were at Chapel Hill." "Sure! I know you do. I hear those thoughts." "Night, son! Enjoy the stars!" "It's morning here, Dad. Enjoy the light!"
    4. Some have noted 8 ways one grieves: (everyone doesn’t nec. do all of these, but we need to be sensitive to each of these).
      1. Shock(numbness), strong emotion(tears, weeping), depression(loneliness, feelings of security are gone), fear, guilt(blame, the “if only’s” hit), anger(blame self, others, God), apathy(withdrawl, no body knows how I feel), & adjustment(learns to accept the loss).
  4. DON’T CELEBRATE! (8-13)
    1. Vs.8 - Again, when Jer. was asked about his strange behavior, he’d have the opportunity to declare the word of God.
    2. Vs.9 - There were still weddings going on, but who could enjoy the celebration knowing that death was imminent?
    3. Application: By us not going somewhere(to a party, Mormon baptism, a certain movie) can be an opportunity for us to share why we didn’t go(not with Pride).
      1. Q: Where Haven’t you gone, that later you were glad you didn’t, & God used it to share with someone why?
      2. Q: Where Have you gone, where you wish you could take it back?
        1. Listen for the Lord to speak to you as He did w/Jeremiah on when &where to go!
    4. Vs.10 Their reaction….Why? …What? (such innocence!)
    5. Vs.11 Answer – Idolatry “A lesson ever taught & never learned!”
  5. DON’T LOOK BACK! (14-21)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.14,15 – 1st we’re given a parenthesis of a glorious ending!
      1. A message of hope!
        1. “Empathy is your pain in my heart.”
      2. The future restoration of the nation will be greater than the Exodus from Egypt! (The 2nd Exodus)
      3. In the discouraging hours of life, God is working out His purposes, so take refuge in Him!
    2. Vs.16,17Yet it still doesn’t detract from the ordeal itself.
    3. ​​​​​​​Vs.16-18 – Jer. uses several images to describe the captivity: [hurling a spear, fishing, hunting, & banking]
      1. Hurling a spear(13) = “cast you out”.
      2. Fishing (16) – The Babylonians would cast out their nets & not 1 fish would escape.
      3. Hunting (16) – If they hid in the hills during the attack, they’d become “hunters” & track them down.
      4. Banking (18) – The nation owed a great debt to the Lord for the way they treated His Law & His land, now the note was due, “I will repay double for their iniquity & their sin.”
        1. “double” is found in the positive sense in Is.40:12 (ie. the assurance that all was settled now.) – {The judgment would be ample & complete!}
    4. Vs.19-21 – God opens Jeremiah’s eyes to foresee the day when people around the world will realize the shallowness, the hollowness, & emptiness of their religion & turn to the Lord!
      1. Vs.19….this is US!
    5. Vs.21 – What a great reminder, “His name is THE LORD”!
      1. You may receive Nameless, anonymous letters.
      2. Letters without signatures are usually of no value(got one today/with a book/it read shame on you!).
      3. But God is no writer of anonymous letters; God puts His name on everything that He does, affects, and says! His name is THE LORD!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-16.html. 2017.