"THE ANGELS ARE HERE" AUDIO BLOG (or read only below)
I woke up, in the wee hours (we don't have a clock in the bedroom, so I don't know exactly), maybe between 3:00 am to 5:00 am. My husband said something to me, and I said, "The Angels are Here." We went back to sleep. The next morning, I was at my computer, reading Scripture, and I remembered my exclamation last night, "The Angels are Here!"
I prayed for God to give me guidance on what Scripture He wanted me to refer to regarding "The Angels are Here!" And right away, the first Scripture I was directed to was Jeremiah 4. Following is a comprehensive breakdown from bible-studys.org:
Jeremiah Chapter 4:1-4:
1 "If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.
2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings."
These verses conclude the message begun at Jeremiah 3:6: "The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot."
In Jeremiah 4:3, we see an admonition to weed out totally their present practices and “break up” their “fallow ground,” or clear the field of weeds, and then “sow” or plant the new seeds of spiritual fruitfulness for God.
This has been God's message to me for the last year. We must turn back to God wholly and fully, in the full meaning of His Word, without lukewarmness, and without political correctness. God will not be politically correct when He comes to punish the sinners. We will see His full fury and recompense.
The path to heaven is narrow and difficult to follow for a reason. Few will find it. But the path to hell is wide, and many will find it.
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14
And, following is a thorough examination of each verse in Jeremiah 4, which God led me to this morning to fulfill His message to me that "The Angels Are Here":
Jeremiah 4:1 "If thou wilt return, O Israel, says the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove."
"Abominations": Literally, things of shame, the idols which Israel had worshipped.
"Then shalt thou not remove": We see again, an offer from God to forgive them and start them all over. God will not take them back until they give up their idols. Repent! When they give up their idols, or turn away from sin, God will welcome them back.
And, Verse 2:
Jeremiah 4:2 "And thou shalt swear, The LORD lives, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory."
God’s covenant with Abraham had stressed that all peoples would be blessed through him, but Judah’s disobedience had prevented them from being the instrument of God’s blessing.
This is speaking of the promise God made to Abraham, that all the nations would be blessed through Him. There was only one condition: They must follow God with all their heart. Look at the following Scripture for insight into what God expected from them.
Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." It is not enough to just believe in your heart. You must confess with your mouth.
Examining Verse 3:
Jeremiah 4:3 "For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns."
“Break up your fallow ground": Jeremiah appealed for a spiritual turnabout from sinful, wasteful lives. He pictured this as the plowing of ground, formerly hard and unproductive due to weeds, in order to make it useful for sowing.
Hear the Parable of the Sower, planting seeds, in Matthew 13:18-23:
18 "Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and anon with joy receives it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
Continuing with Jeremiah 4:3, the word "fallow" in means freshly plowed, or to prepare the heart, or repent, turn away from sin, and then plant the seed of the Word. The heart unprepared, without repentance, will not receive the seed of the Word. It will be choked out with the cares of the world and the sins of the flesh.
Jeremiah 4:4 "Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings."
“Circumcise”: It was also a symbol of the need for the heart to be cleansed from sin’s deadly disease. The really essential surgery needed to happen on the inside, where God calls for taking away fleshly things that keep the heart from being spiritually devoted to Him and from true faith in Him and His will.
As Apostle Paul said in Romans 2:29 "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
Jeremiah later expanded on this idea:
31 "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD:::
, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
God selected the reproductive organ, as in surgical circumcision, as the location of the symbol for man’s need of cleansing for sin, because it is the instrument most indicative of his depravity, for by sexual sin, he reproduces generations of sinners.
Jeremiah said, “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord”, then added the more graphic phrase, “take away the foreskins of your heart.” This is the kind of internal, spiritual operation that only God can do.
We find in the Scripture above that God is not satisfied with just the formality of circumcision, but wanted the heart of the people to be pure. If they do not learn to follow God with all their heart, He will destroy them.
1 Samuel 12:24 "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you."
Jeremiah 4:5-8: God instructed Jeremiah to declare “for I will bring evil from the north” and destruction would come. The invasion might take the form of a foreign army, but the driving force would be “the fierce anger of the LORD.”
The rest of the Jeremiah 4 contains a new message emphasizing the proclamation of God’s judgment. The sounding of the “trumpet” was a well-known sign of danger in the ancient Near East (Hosea 5:8; 8:1; Joel 2:1)or Amos 3:6 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
The sounding of the trumpet could also mark a time of national, and personal, self-examination as shown in Joel 2:15-17
15 "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?"
Moving on to Jeremiah 4:5 "Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defensed cities."
The Lord directs the prophet to lay before the people a view of their destruction as near at hand. Who calls upon some persons as a sort of heralds, to publish and declare in the land of Judea and Jerusalem what follows.
"Blow ye the trumpet in the land": As an alarm of an approaching enemy, and of an invasion by him and of danger from him. And this was to be done, not in order to gather together, and put themselves in a posture of defense to meet the enemy and give him battle, but to get together that were in the fields, and in country villages, and hide themselves from him.
"Cry, gather together, and say": Or cry with a full mouth, with a loud voice, that all might hear, which shows imminent danger.
"Assemble yourselves and let us go into the defensed cities": Such as Jerusalem, and others, where they might think themselves safe and secure.
Matthew 24:16 "Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:"
This declaration to God was to be throughout their land. The blowing of the trumpet was for two things. It gathered them for worship or for war.
Jeremiah 4:6-7: “Evil from the north”: This evil is Babylon’s army which would invade from that direction. The “lion” on the prowl fit Babylon because of its conquering power, and Babylon was symbolized by the winged lions guarding its royal court. Many details in Jeremiah 4 graphically depict warriors in conquest.
Breaking down Verse 6:
Jeremiah 4:6 "Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction."
Not on the tower of Zion, but on some high place pointing to Zion, and directing the country people to flee thither for safety. For the setting up of the standard here is not for enlisting of soldiers in order to fight, but as a sign of danger, and a direction where to flee from it.
"Retire": Gather yourselves together in order to flee. Though some render it, "be ye strengthened"; take heart, and play the man. But this does not seem so agreeable to the context.
"Stay not": Or, "stand not." Stand not in the place ye are in, but move from it in all haste, because of present danger.
"For I will bring evil from the north”: From Babylon, as some have interpreted, which lay north to the land of Israel. And so designs the captivity Judah should be brought into there.
"And a great destruction" or, "breach," which the Babylonians should make on the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem.
The standard was to be raised pointing to Jerusalem or the church. The standard must be raised by God's people for others to follow. The road into Jerusalem that the enemy would come on, led to the north.
And, Verse 7:
Jeremiah 4:7 "The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant."
The descending judgment of Babylon is described as a “lion” coming up from his “thicket.”
The near interpretation is Nebuchadnezzar coming against them. Gentiles here, possibly means nations. The thicket could be hell, or place of destruction. Notice also where he came from. It was from his place. The land to be made desolate is Israel.
Moving on to Verse 8:
Jeremiah 4:8 "For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us."
“Sackcloth” was the traditional attire of grief and repentance. The sackcloth here is the garment of mourning. When the LORD is angry with His people, He will allow the enemy to attack them. God controls Satan the same as He controls everyone else. God can stop him at any time.
And, Verse 9:
Jeremiah 4:9 "And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder."
Meaning, when Nebuchadnezzar should come up from Babylon into the land of Judea, and lay waste the cities thereof, and besiege Jerusalem.
"That the heart of the king shall perish": Meaning Zedekiah king of Judah, who should be in the utmost fright and consternation, not knowing what to do, being devoid both of wisdom and courage. “And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.” Jeremiah 38:19 "And the heart of the princes": Who being seized with the same panic, and at their wits' end, would not be able to give any advice and counsel to the king. So that the people would have no help from the king and his nobles, in whom they put their confidence.
"And the priests shall be astonished": The idolatrous priests, whose service would now cease, and whose idols would not save them.
"And the prophets shall wonder": Also, false prophets, who prophesied peace, and now they shall see it was a lie they prophesied, since sudden destruction now comes upon them.
In a situation like this, the king has no more protection than the people. In many cases he has less. These heathen people will not respect the office of the priest either. God will allow this because He is angry with His people.
Jeremiah 4:10 "Then said I, Ah, LORD GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reaches unto the soul."
Many suggestions have been given as to the meaning of this difficult verse. One theory builds upon a textual variant found in a few ancient manuscripts that reads “said they” for “said I,” attributing the words to Judah’s false leaders. Some lay great stress on Jeremiah’s exhausted emotions. Perhaps it is best to see the verse as an expression of Jeremiah’s realization that God, in His sovereign wisdom, was allowing Judah and Jerusalem to use their own destiny by believing their own lies, even though He continued to urge their repentance.
14 "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
15 For a voice declares from Dan, and publishes affliction from mount Ephraim.
16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the Lord.
18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reaches unto thine heart."
Breaking down Verse 10: “Surely thou hast greatly deceived this people”:
Let's look at Habakkuk 1:12-17
12 "Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.
13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore look thou upon them that deal treacherously, and hold thy tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?
14 And makes men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?
15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?"
Like Habakkuk, Jeremiah was horrified at these words of judgment, contrasting the prevailing hope of peace. God is sometimes described as if doing a thing He merely permits, such as allowing false prophets, who delude themselves, to also deceive a sinful people into thinking peace would follow. God sees how people insist on their delusions, and lets it happen.
Jeremiah was not happy with his role, offering “peace” to the people while God was setting events in motion that would send them into exile. In the face of humanity’s persistent rebellion, God has determined that humans will be without excuse when judgment comes.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;" Romans 1:18
God had promised there would be peace in Jerusalem. The problem is that God did not mean that very day, but a time in the future. It is as if Jeremiah was questioning God's intentions here. Men will try to bring peace to this region, but there will be no true peace until the King of Peace comes to the earth and establishes His kingdom. Then, there will be peace in Jerusalem.
Moving on to Verse 11:
Jeremiah 4:11 "At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,"
Though the revelation of the certainty of Judah's ruin forces from Jeremiah a cry of despair, yet it is but for a moment. He immediately returns to the delivery of God's message.
"A dry wind": Literally, A clear wind, which probably meant the Samum, a dry parching east wind blowing from the Arabian Desert, before which vegetation withers, and human life becomes intolerable.
"Not to fan": The Syrian farmers make great use of the wind for separating the chaff from the grain: but when the Samum blows, labor becomes impossible. It is not for use, but for destruction.
The Jews are like a hot wind that brings no blessing. This wind is not the wind of the Holy Spirit. This wind does not cleanse or bless. The wind of the Spirit comes from an unknown place and brings blessings. In verse 11, the wind comes from the mountain where the false gods were worshipped.
Next, Jeremiah 4:12 "Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them."
"From those places: Rather, "a wind fuller (that is, more impetuous), than those winds" which fan the corn.
"Unto me," "for Me": as My [God's] instrument for executing My [His] purpose.
"Sentence": Judgments against them. Jeremiah 1:16 "And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands." This is an ill wind that brings no good, for God is the One who brings judgment against them.
And, Verse 13:
Jeremiah 4:13 "Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled."
This verse notes the vast number, or the suddenness, of them.
Let's also look at Isaiah 60:1-3 for insight:
1 "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."
And, Hebrews 12:1 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"
When not expected, clouds often rising all of a sudden, and overspreading the whole face of the heavens. Or rather, the great speed and swiftness with which Nebuchadnezzar shall march against them.
Isaiah 19:1 "The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it," or, as described by the swiftness of eagles in Jeremiah 48:8,"And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord hath spoken."
And, continuing to breakdown Verse 13:
"His chariots shall be as a whirlwind": Which besides the swiftness notes also the confusion and amazement that they will cause.
"And the LORD discomfited [confused] Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet." Judges 4:15
"Woe unto us! for we are spoiled": The dreadful apprehensions that the people have of their woeful condition, or possibly the words of the prophet lamenting their misery.
Babylon does come against these people and overcomes them. We must remember that God brings this as judgment against His people. In the next few Scriptures, we will see God's power in the wind, or the whirlwind, and the elements in general.
Nahum 1:3 "The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
Matthew 24:30 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Daniel 7:2 "Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea."
Job 38:35 "Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?"
We can see from this, that it is God who controls the elements of the earth.
Moving on to Verse 14:
Jeremiah 4:14 "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?"
“Wash”: Jeremiah continued to appeal for a dealing with sin so that national destruction might be averted while there was still time to repent.
"Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment." Jeremiah 4:20 (compare Jeremiah 7 and 26).
Jeremiah cries out to Jerusalem to repent and be saved. It is as if he is saying, why can't you see why this trouble is coming? They imagine a vain thing. They appear to be caught up in their own values, overlooking the needs of others.
God wants man to be saved so badly, that He sent His only Son to save us. Man has a part in his own salvation. He must wash in the blood of the precious Lamb.
And, Verse 15:
Jeremiah 4:15 "For a voice declares from Dan, and publishes affliction from mount Ephraim."
"Affliction": From a root signifying worthlessness, it is used both for wickedness and for misery. Thus, the "iniquity" of Judah proves also to be her "affliction," as being the cause of the ruin inflicted by the enemy.
It appears the enemy comes by the land of Dan and mount Ephraim. The affliction had already begun.
And next, Verse 16:
Jeremiah 4:16 "Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah."
These are either the nations in Judea, or these words are a proclamation, summoning in the nations by the Chaldeans, as it were, in pursuance of a commission from God, to bring great armies together against Jerusalem. Or they are the prophets turning away from Judah, as despairing of doing any good upon them, and calling for the nations to execute God’s sentence.
"Watchers": Military watchers, i.e. the Chaldean soldiers, that shall so carefully and watchfully encompass Jerusalem, that none shall escape. Possibly a metaphor from hunters, that in hunting their prey lay wait at every passage, that the game may not escape.
Also see, 2 Kings 25:4-5
4 "And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.
5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him."
And, continuing with Verse 16:
"Give out their voice": They will proclaim war against them, or a shout, either encouraging soldiers to the battle, or triumphing after the victory. Or the outcries that they will make, such as the Turks now make in their onsets.
"The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant." Jeremiah 2:15
All of the countries surrounding Judah are to take notice of the fact of the attack against Judah. God allows them to speak evil about Judah, because He is angry with them. The Babylonians may be performing the physical battle, but it is really God who has come against Judah. He is using Babylon for His purpose.
And, next, Verse 17:
Jeremiah 4:17 "As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD."
As those that are set to watch a field, in which are fruit and corn of any sort, that thieves and robbers, and wild beasts, may not enter to waste and destroy, and are placed on all sides for that purpose. So the Chaldeans were round about Jerusalem, that none could make their escape out of it.
2 Kings 25:4 "And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain."
"Because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD": It was not without reason that the LORD suffered the Chaldeans to come against Jerusalem, besiege and take it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem had rebelled against him, their King and their God. And, therefore, he delivers them up into the hands of another lord, a cruel one. They had provoked him to anger with their sins, and caused him to stir up his wrath against them in this way. Rebellion against a prince, or against a parent, is a provoking sin.
1 Samuel 15:23"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
They have surrounded her as the keepers of the field do. They rebelled against God, and God brought this punishment on them. Next, Verse 18:
Jeremiah 4:18 "Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reaches unto thine heart."
The way in which they walked, which was an evil one, and the actions which they committed, their idolatries, backslidings and rebellions, before spoken of in this and the preceding chapter, were the cause of this siege, and those calamities coming upon them. They had none to blame but themselves. It was their own sinful ways and works which brought this ruin and destruction on them.
"This is thy wickedness," The fruit of thy wickedness; or, "this thy calamity": That is, is owing to these things; so the word is rendered in Psalm 141:5"Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities."
"Because it is bitter": Jeremiah 2:19 "Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the LORD God of hosts."
Not sin but the punishment of it. The calamity before mentioned, which was hard and heavy, and grievous to be borne, and yet very just, it was by way of retaliation. "They had bitterly provoked the Lord," as the word may be rendered in the preceding verse, and now he sends them a bitter calamity and a heavy judgment.
"Because it reaches unto thine heart": Into the midst of them and utterly destroyed them. The two last clauses may be rendered, "though it is bitter, though it reaches unto thine heart," though it is such a sore distress, and such an utter destruction, yet it was to be ascribed to nothing else but their own sins and transgressions.
Their own sin brought this evil upon them. They were wicked and their bondage will be bitter. They have displeased God.
In, Jeremiah Verses 19 - 22, Jeremiah had pain in his “heart” because there was nothing he could do to avert the coming disaster. God also laments the condition of the people who are “foolish” in the face of His judgment.
Examinining Verse 19 more closely,
Jeremiah 4:19 "My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war."
Here begins the woeful complaint of, and the great trouble the prophet was in, upon the consideration of these things, crying out as one even under great pain and torment. Doubling his words for want of vent, thereby expressing the excess of his sorrow, which in words was inexpressible.
"I am pained at my very heart": In Hebrew, the walls of my heart, or my heartstrings that surrounded and encompassed my heart, are ready to break. He may possibly allude to their encompassing the walls of Jerusalem. Or the proper meaning is, my heart is ready to break, makes a noise, is disturbed within me, I can have no rest nor quiet within.
Next, "Because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet": i.e., I have heard in the spirit of prophecy. It is as certain as if I now heard the trumpet sounding, and “the alarm of war” beating up or coming. This is a cry of the fearful. If this is Jeremiah speaking, it is because the pains of his people are his pains. The trumpet has blown, and it is time for war.
And, Verse 20:
Jeremiah 4:20 "Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment."
Or, "breach upon breach." As soon as one affliction is over, another comes on. And upon the news of one calamity, tidings are brought of another, as in Job's case. It signifies, that distress and troubles would come thick and fast, and that there would be no end of them, until there was an utter destruction, as this phrase signifies, and the following words show.
"Suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment": Meaning, either the armies of his people, which dwelt in tents, and were destroyed at once, or the cities, towns and habitations of his countrymen, which he compares to tents, as being easily beat down or overthrown. And the prophet seems to intimate that this destruction would reach to Anathoth, where his tent, cottage and curtains were. So sudden destruction sometimes comes, when men are crying “Peace, peace” - "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." 1 Thessalonians 5:3
Even the tent dwellers are taken and spoiled. This is a destruction brought on by God. It is a terrible destruction.
And, Verse 21:
Jeremiah 4:21 "How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?"
The “standard,” as in Jeremiah 4:6 "Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction," is the alarm signal given to the fugitives. The “trumpet” sounds to give the alarm, and quicken their flight to the defensed city. The prophet sees no end to the miseries of the coming war.
"And hear the sound of the trumpet?" Either of the watchmen giving notice of danger and summoning to battle, or of the enemy preparing to attack,1Corinthian 14:8 "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
The standard bearer is usually the last one to fall, because if one falls another takes it up. Before this battle is over, there will be no standard bearer or trumpet blower.
Next, Jeremiah 4:22 "For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."
“Wise to do evil”: Israelites were wise or clever in doing evil but were dull in knowing to do the good, i.e., God’s Will. Paul, applying the principle but turning it to the positive, wanted the believers at Rome to be wise to do good but unlearned in the skill of doing evil.
"For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." Roman 16:19
The word "sottish" means silly or fool. These are children who have made foolish decisions. They have chosen dumb idols (Satan, fake news, politicians, Hollywood, etc.) over the true God. They have gone out of their way to sin. These are a people whose understanding is darkened. They had the Light of the world but chose darkness over Light.
In Jeremiah 4:23-26: Having warned of the winds of destruction Jeremiah 4:11-13, Jeremiah gives a prediction of the awesome extent of that coming event Jeremiah 4:23-31. That disaster is described in terms of a gigantic cosmic and terrestrial cataclysm. The words without form and void are used of the original conditions at Creation Genesis 1:2. Therefore, some have suggested that Jeremiah is actually describing the early earth in terms of the effects of a primeval judgment, and, accordingly, emphasizes strongly the severity of Judah’s coming judgment for sin.
And, Jeremiah 4:23 "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light."
“Without form”: Jeremiah may be borrowing the language, but the description in its context is not of creation, but of judgment on the land of Israel and its cities. The invader left it desolate of the previous form and void of inhabitants due to slaying and flight.
"I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled." Jeremiah 4:25
And, Jeremiah 4:24 "I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly."
He proceeds in his figurative elegancies. Behold how the mountains of Judea tremble! a like expression. As if the very senseless creatures were astonished at the greatness of God’s anger, and he mentions these as being the most stable part of the earth, yet shake before him.
"All the hills moved lightly": As easily as if they were some very light matter, or as dust or feathers in a whirlwind. Or these may be said to tremble and move by reason of the multitudes of trampling and prancing horses and chariots furiously passing over them.
Jeremiah 4:25 "I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled."
No people dwelling in it. The land was without inhabitants, they were either killed with the sword, or taken and carried captive into Babylon, or fled into Egypt and other countries.
"And all the birds of the heavens were fled": At the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war, at the blackness of the heavens, filled with smoke, at the barrenness of the earth, there being no seed sown. And the earth, as at the first creation, having no herb, nor trees bearing fruit, and so no food for birds, and, therefore, they went elsewhere, both wild and tame.
There had been a habitation, but there had been a total destruction of that habitation. Who they were, and why they were destroyed, is none of our business. If God had wanted us to know, He would have told us.
Jeremiah 4:26 "I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger."
Jeremiah often uses the “wilderness” to represent God’s judgment. This speaks of total desolation brought on by God. The place that had brought forth fruit is now a wilderness. We see the reason is the anger of the LORD.
Verses 27-29: The Lord added a note of hope in the phrase “yet will I not make a full end.” He had “purposed” both judgment and the remnant who would survive to carry on His plan for His people.
Jeremiah 4:27 "For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end."
What follows is an explanation and confirmation of the above vision the prophet had.
"The whole land shall be desolate": As he had seen. It should not be manured, ploughed and sown, or bring forth fruit; and should be without inhabitants, at least have very few.
"Yet I will not make a full end": There should be some inhabitants, who, with those that should hereafter return from captivity, would repopulate it, rebuild the temple, and restore it to its pristine form and order. Both as to things natural, civil and ecclesiastical. But though a full end of them, as a church and people, was not to be made now by the Chaldeans. Yet, it would be, as it has been done by the Romans, in the times of Vespasian and Hadrian (in A.D. 70) when Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were scattered.
This earth that was null and void shall live again. God will apply the Light of the world, and it will live. It is the Light that brings life.
Jeremiah 4:28 "For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it."
That is, for the full end that will be made hereafter, though not now. The earth may be said to mourn when the inhabitants of it do. Or when it is destroyed, and is become desolate, when it is uncultivated and uninhabited.
"And the heavens above be black": With thick clouds, and storms and tempests; in allusion to mourners, that are clothed with black. These figures, of the earth's mourning, and the heavens being clothed in black, denote the horribleness of that dispensation, when there would be an utter destruction of the Jewish nation, church and civil government, of which Daniel prophesies. Daniel 9:27
"Because I have spoken it": In my word. In the Scriptures of the Old Testament, by Moses and the prophets.
"I have purposed it": Or I have thought of it, in my counsel. It was a thing deliberately devised and determined, and therefore can never be frustrated or made void.
"And will not repent": Will not turn away from it, or change, what was purposed and predicted.
"Neither will I turn back from it": Revoke or retract it; it shall surely come to pass. The Jews, upon their return from the Babylonian captivity, and afterwards, might flatter themselves that a full end would not be made of them, because it was not then done. And therefore, these several strong expressions are used, to confirm and assure them of it: for the word of God cannot fail, his counsel shall stand. He is not a man, that he should lie or repent; he will do all his pleasure.
This is a time of no Light. The blackness symbolizes mourning. God is Truth, when He speaks, it happens.
And onto Jeremiah 4:29 "The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein."
The inhabitants of all ranks and qualities shall seek to escape the fury of this Chaldean army.
"They shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks": Such a consternation there shall be upon them that they shall run into every hole to hide themselves. The Hebrew is abim, the clouds, possibly alluding to dark places on the tops of hills. Reaching as it were to the clouds, or among the cloudy shades of trees and groves that usually grew there. The LXX render it caves, and so the rocks for shelter, or the clefts, caves, and hiding-places in the rocks.
"Every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein": There shall be an utter desolation, their cities quite forsaken, not any to inhabit them.
This is a terrible time of fear. The fear is so great that they flee from the onslaught, and run to the caves for help. No one is left in the cities.
Verses 30-31: Jeremiah returns to the personification of Judah and Jerusalem as a “woman,” first as a prostitute, and then as a woman enduring labor pangs alone, and deserted by all.
Jeremiah 4:30 "And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothe thyself with crimson, though thou deck thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rents thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life."
Or, "O thou spoiled", wasted, and undone creature, how wilt thou help thyself? By what means do you think you can be delivered? It suggests that her ruin was inevitable; that she could not be recovered from it by herself, or any other.
"Though thou clothest thyself with crimson": And so look like some rich and noble person; hoping thereby to find mercy, and to have quarter given and kindness shown.
"Though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold": As a person of high and princely dignity. Or rather all this is to be understood of the manner of harlots, who dress rich and grand, in order to allure men; since it follows:
"Though thou rentest thy face with painting": Or, eyes; which painting dilates as Jezebel did. See, 2 Kings 9:30
"In vain shalt thou make thyself fair": So as to be loved and admired: far from it.
"Thy lovers will despise thee": As an old harlot is despised by her former gallants, notwithstanding all her dressing and painting. Yea, their love is often turned into hatred and abhorrence, as would be the case here.
"They will seek thy life": To take it away. So far would there be from being any ground of expectations of help and deliverance from them.
All of the beautiful clothing and jewelry will not make them beautiful to God. We see that the ones they have thought of as lovers, will be of no help at all. This adulterous people who were the wife of God, are now abandoned.
And, finally, Jeremiah 4:31 "For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewails herself, that spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers."
So, the distress of the Jews, at the time of their destruction, is compared to the sorrows of a woman in travail. And a word, that signifies that is used to express it. See, Matthew 24:8
"And the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child": Whose time is more difficult, her pains sharper, her anguish greater, and having less experience, the more impatient.
"The voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewails herself": Her unhappy condition, and miserable circumstances.
"That spreads her hands": As persons in distress do, and particularly women in travail.
Saying: "Woe is me now, for my soul is wearied because of murderers": These abounded under the second temple, and was the reason, the Jews say, of the Sanhedrim removing from their usual place in the temple. And why they ceased from the beheading of the red heifer. This appears to be speaking of the physical house of Israel, who is destroyed. The first child is generally speaking of physical Israel. Zion can be the church or Jerusalem. She is crying because of the murderous destruction of her children. The woe is for the loss.
So, in conclusion, and to bring together my message that "The Angels are Here," let us read Psalm 34:1-22:
But, first, Psalm 34:7, "The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them." And, Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Now, Psalm 34:1-22
1 "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.
9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is he that desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The LORD redeems the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate."
As we can see, God keeps pushing me to spread the word: He will not overlook sin!
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23
So, while He wants us to know that His judgment is coming, His goal or plan is always to save as many of His children as possible. And, He has sent His angels, and they are here now to protect His children, the ones who fear Him, and deliver them from evil and from God's fury at those who refuse His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Word.
Psalm 34:7, "The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them."
Do you fear God? You should! He commands it!
Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Repent, turn away from sin, turn back to God and be healed. Hallelujah! Praise God! Amen!