Category Archives: Israel and the Middle East
I have been reading through the books of the major prophets during the corona virus shutdown which is still going on here in Hawaii. There has been some distressing dialogue between Jeremiah and the people of Judah who resisted his warnings about evil that would befall them in the coming captivity by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. According to the words of the LORD Himself this heathen king was ‘my servant’ to bring judgment and the captivity of the Jewish people and destruction of their cities (Jeremiah 43:10-13)!
In chapter 44 God explains why He is bringing desolation to Judah and tells Jeremiah to relate this to the people. The people have rejected God with idolatrous practices of burning incense unto other gods and are ‘a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth’ (44:8). The LORD says “I will set My face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah” (44:11).
Jeremiah pled with his people to repent and return to God, but they were rebellious and stiff-necked as the LORD said they were. In this following passage you will find THAT ANSWER to Jeremiah’s WHY?
Jer 44:20 Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer saying,
Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying,
As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.
But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?
Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying,
The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind?
So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and a astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.
Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.
The people of Judah who forgot, forsook, and rejected God also included the kings, princes, priests, pastors, false prophets (Jer 1:18; 2:8). They were experiencing drought and were living in a time a great afflictions. Jer 8:15 says, ‘We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!’
The rest of chapter 44 tells what God is going to do: (verses 26-30)
Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD liveth.
Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them.
Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.
And this shall be a sign unto you, saith the LORD, that I will punish you in this place, that ye may know that my words shall surely stand against you for evil:
An added note that the shedding of blood was practiced by offering children to heathen gods. Jeremiah 7:30-31 says ‘For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it . And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart’. Does this blood sacrifice or killing of children not make you think of how in our land we also kill millions of innocent babies and shed their blood by abortion!
If you want to read more about Jeremiah the ‘weeping prophet’ begin reading Jeremiah’s call to be a prophet in chapter 1; read through chapter 23 for the ‘burden of the Lord’. God bless you!
In my shutdown time I have been reading the book of Isaiah. These verses are in Chapter 24, ‘Judgments upon the land’:
BEHOLD, THE LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattered abroad the inhabitants thereof.
2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with the master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer so with the seller; as with the lender so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.
4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languished and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
10 The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.
11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
The following verses mention ‘howl’:
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. (Isaiah 13:6)
Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. (Isaiah 52:5-6)
Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. (Isaiah 65:14)
Howling in America
I was reading Isaiah when I came across a news story of people howling at 8:00 p.m. This practice actually began in late March. It is a big thing in Colorado and encouraged by a Facebook group called Go Outside and Howl at 8pm. By now the howling group numbers over 100,000 members ‘in the metro area, as well as fans across the U.S. and around world howling at 8:00 every night in their time zone. They are howling like wolves because they’re socially isolated and distanced from others so that it is a ‘cathartic howl’. The intent is to have it be a ‘worldwide’ thing since it is a world pandemic we are experiencing with corona virus. For many it is a ‘cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.’ (Isaiah 65:14)
If you Google Howl, or Howling in America or go to FaceBook social media ‘Go Outside and Howl’ you will find out about this phenomenon going on that has Biblical roots, and is related to how the world as a whole needs to return to God.