|Jeremiah 4 |
1 "If you will return, O Israel," says the Lord, "return to me; and if you will put away your abominations out of my sight, then if you will not stray.
2 And if you shall sincerely 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.'"
3 For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, "Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart1 you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my fury come forth like fire and burn so that none can quench it because of the evil of your doings.
5 Declare in Judah and publish in Jerusalem; and say, 'Blow the trumpet in the land.' Cry, gather together, and say, 'Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defensed cities.'
6 Set up the standard toward Zion. Retire to safety and do not remain where you are. For I will bring evil from the north and a great destruction.
7 The lion has come up from his thicket, and the Gentile destroyer is on his way; he has gone forth from his place to make your land desolate; and your cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
8 For this gird yourself with sackcloth, lament and wail for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.
9 And it shall come to pass at that day," says the Lord, "that the heart of the king shall perish, as well as the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder."
10 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, 'You shall have peace;' when the sword reaches to the soul."
11 "At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, 'A dry wind comes from the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
12 Even a full wind from those places shall come from me. Now also will I give judgments against them.'"
13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us! for we are spoiled.
14 "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan and publishes disaster from mount Ephraim.
16 Mention this to the nations; tell Jerusalem that plunderers are coming from a far country, and they will shout in war against the cities of Judah.
17 Like keepers of a field, they will surround her because she has been rebellious against me", says the Lord.
18 "Your way and your doings have brought these things on you. This is the result your wickedness because it is bitter, because it reaches to your heart.
19 My anguish, my anguish! I am pained at my very heart; my heart makes a noise in me. I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20 Destruction upon destruction is cried for the whole land is spoiled. Suddenly my are tents spoiled, and my curtains are spoiled in a moment.
21 How long shall I see the standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 For my people are foolish, they have not known me; they are foolish children, and they have none understanding. They are wise to do evil; but to do good, they have no knowledge.
23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the its cities were broken down at the presence of the LORD and by his fierce anger."
27 For thus has the LORD said, "The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
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 relent, neither will I turn back from it.
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 no man will dwell in them.
30 And when you are destroyed, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, though you deck you with ornaments of gold, though you rent your face with painting, in vain shall you make yourself fair; your lovers will despise you, they will seek your life.
31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor, and the anguish as of she 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!'"
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1 Circumcise yourselves,..take away the foreskins of your hearts. Notice! Even the Old Testament screams that our hearts must be circumcised, our hearts must be cleansed, our hearts must be purified. The sin must be cut out of our hearts by the circumcising sword of the Spirit of God. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stiff necked [stubbornly self-willed] any longer. Deu 10:16... For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, who 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. Rom 2:28-29.
The outward circumcision was only the beginning step: to receive the favor of God and then be able to hear his voice, obey it, and with persistence to receive the circumcised heart; then and only then is one able to love the Lord with all your heart, and all your soul: The LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed [children], to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live. Deu 30:6.
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