Text: Jeremiah 9:1-26
If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be this — “An Assembly of the Treacherous.” That is what the LORD calls adulterous, idolatrous Judah, in Jeremiah 9! The Hebrew for “treacherous” is bagad, and it means “to act covertly” (so as to hide what you are doing). It is to deal deceitfully. Yet He had been faithful to them, and had openly and clearly exhorted them to repent and warned them of the consequences of their sin, again and again!
Jesus Christ also calls the infants in today’s so-called church an assembly of the treacherous, for they do what Judah did. They try to hide what they are doing from Him. They try to deceive Him, mechanically worshiping Him while their hearts are far from Him.
They think He does not see their sin, but nothing is hidden from His eyes (Hebrews 4:13)! Again and again, Jesus has sent many to speak for Him, exhorting them to repent and warning them of the consequences of their sin. But the infants in the so-called church — from denominational leaders to those in the pews — scoff at and mock them.
Verses 1-2 —
Jeremiah says —
Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the desert a wayfarers’ lodging place; that I might leave my people and go from them!
For all of them are adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
Many famous false preachers who have megachurches have said to their congregations, “Look! Jeremiah had clinical depression,” or “Look, Jeremiah was bipolar! So do not feel bad that you have these things — even the Lord’s prophets suffered with them!” How foolish! Their words reveal that they do not know the Lord. He gladly sets free those who are sick, spiritually and in their bodies, if they will believe Him and come to Him!
Jeremiah wishes that he could weep day and night for the slain of his people, including the residents of Jerusalem. But he cannot. He wishes his head was filled with waters, and his eyes were a fountain of tears. But they are not. He is grieved by their actions, not grief-stricken. There is a difference!
To be grieved is to be galled, irritated, exasperated, and vexed! They refuse to listen to the words the LORD gives him. He sees them running full-tilt toward a bitter end — death for some, captivity for those who do not resist the Babylonian invasion.
Jeremiah would like to simply leave his people and travel to a lodging place in the desert — one that is built for those who are traveling from one point to another. Anything would be better than staying and watching them destroy themselves! But he will stay and speak the words the LORD gives him. And he will see them go into exile, and he will see them try to escape and be destroyed.
They continue to worship false gods, thereby committing adultery against the LORD who made them, and trying to hide what they are doing from the eyes of the LORD! They think He cannot see them, but as I have said, He sees everything!
I am greatly grieved about today’s so-called church full of infants. They do not listen, stubbornly continuing to follow and loving the words of false ones who lie to them and encourage them to worship the god of self. For the most part, the exhortations and warnings that the Lord gives me and others like me are ignored, mocked, and scoffed at.
We see the coming destruction that they will bring upon themselves. We would love to step back, but we cannot. Jesus Christ commands us to continue to exhort and warn, even though they will not listen. We will speak until He commands us to stop speaking.
Verses 3-4 —
“They bend their tongue like their bow; lies and not truth prevail in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” declares the LORD.
4 “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, and do not trust any brother;
because every brother deals craftily, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.”
His peoples’ tongues are bent, crooked, and poised to unleash lies like a bow releases arrows. They do not see that their “bows” are pointed directly at themselves, so they mortally wound themselves!
There is no truth in the land — just lies. They go from one wicked act to another, each act more wicked than the last. And they do not know the LORD! They only know about Him, and believe they can sin and still be saved, because they are His people.
No one is trustworthy, because they all lie. Everyone deals craftily, so as to overthrow their brothers. Every neighbor slanders their neighbor, making up false stories about them by which they falsely accuse them, in order to steal their neighbor’s reputation and property.
It is the same today, in the so-called church filled with infants. Their sin natures are alive and well, instead of crucified (Galatians 5:24). Therefore, their hearts are rebellious, instead of obedient. And they love the sin that they do, just as Jeremiah’s people loved their sin.
Many infants say they love Jesus, but they say it with crooked tongues, for if they loved Him, they would obey Him. Remember the Father’s words — those who do not love Jesus Christ do not obey Him (John 14:24).
So, rather than repenting and staying and waiting to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), they speak with crooked tongues, release lying arrows at themselves, and mortally wound themselves. Jesus Christ does not trust such ones. They are not worthy of trust, because they lie. They falsely accuse their fellow infants, causing church wars that defame the name of Jesus Christ. I am grieved!
Verses 5-6 —
“Everyone deceives (cheats, disparages, insults) his neighbor and does not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. 6 Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit (defrauding, cheating, trickery) they refuse to know Me (treat with scorn and protest the idea of knowing Me intimately, as a husband knows his wife),” declares the LORD.
Every brother, every neighbor, everyone! The wickedness of Judah is pervasive. It is present everywhere, widespread, and common. No one speaks the truth.
They have taught themselves to speak lies. They weary themselves as they commit one perverse sin after another.
The LORD tells Jeremiah that he dwells in the midst of deceit. He is completely surrounded by lies told by liars. They attempt to trick the LORD, but He knows their hearts (Jeremiah 17:10). They scorn and protest at His command for them to know (yada) Him intimately, as a husband knows his wife — though He is their Maker and has always been their Husband (Isaiah 54:5)!
Today’s so-called church filled with infants is the same. They do not hesitate to lie about anyone, insult, disparage, cheat, defraud, and trick their fellow infants. They strike each other with evil fists (Isaiah 58:4). Those who come to church to seek to know Jesus quickly turn around and leave, exclaiming, “If this is Christianity, I do not want any part of it!” Shame on you, O infant church!
Verses 7-8 —
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I will refine (melt) them and assay (examine) them; for what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit. With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, but inwardly he sets an ambush for him.”
Therefore, Judah leaves the LORD no choice. He will melt them in the fire of His judgment, and examine what is melted for impurities —
Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.”
Again, the LORD asks a rhetorical question. What else can He do, because of the evil upon evil that they do? Their tongue is like a deadly arrow, as He has said in Verse 3. They use it to kill one another with lies. They speak peace to their neighbors, but behind their neighbors’ backs, they set an ambush, waiting for the moment when they can attack!
O infants, Jesus Christ is poised to judge you — that is the meaning of His refining and assaying. He will find you to be impure, for you have not obeyed His commandment to be filled with His Spirit, so your hearts are purified (Acts 15:9)! What else can He do? You have chosen to sin against Him and refuse His cure for the impurity of your hearts!
Today’s infants slay each other with their tongues, saying, “I love you” to their fellow infants, and then killing them with the lies they speak about them, behind their backs. Those pastors who come to them and speak the truth that offends them are not exempt from their ambushes. Shame on you! Repent!
Verse 9 —
“Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the LORD. “On a nation such as this, shall I not avenge Myself?”
He asks another rhetorical question. Of course He should punish them for rebelling against Him, worshiping false idols, and trying to trick Him. Of course He should return on them all that they have done to defame His name and commit adultery against Him.
He will ensure that the names of all the inhabitants of Judah are defamed, as all the nations around them witness their murder or capture by Babylon. It is His righteous judgment, for they have defamed His name.
As for the lying leaders and teachers in today’s so-called church, He will expose their lies, and the lies of their lying leaders who have cried, “Once saved, always saved! You are fine! Do not worry about your sin! Jesus Christ understands!”
And He will pour His vengeance out upon them, because of what they and their followers have done to Him. He will cause their names to be defamed. It is His righteous judgment, for they incessantly defame His name by their words and actions!
Verse 10 —
“For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing, and for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
and the lowing of the cattle is not heard. Both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled; they are gone.”
Jeremiah could not weep for his people. But he wept and wailed for the pastures and the wilderness, for he saw that they would be ruined to such a degree that they were impassible.
The lowing of cattle was no longer heard, for they were killed or captured by Babylon. The birds and wild animals fled because the Babylonian army so thoroughly destroyed everything in its path. It had been the Beautiful Land (Daniel 8:9, etc.), a bountiful land, but now its beauty was obliterated. So, for the land and the animals, which were innocent, Jeremiah wept and mourned.
It is the same for me, when I look at what the church has become! I look back at called-out ones of the Book of Acts, and mourn over what the church used to be! In his second letter to Timothy, Paul prophesied and warned him of the so-called church —
2Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult (fierce, as in the demon-possessed man in the Gerasenes) times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. Avoid such men as these.
All such ones will stand before Jesus Christ in the day of judgment, and He will condemn them. Therefore, repent!
Verse 11 —
“I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals (serpents); and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation (an astonishment), without inhabitant.”
The LORD vowed that He would make Jerusalem a heap of ruins (dung). It would be so desolate and destroyed that its only inhabitants would be serpents, and I believe that demons are in view here.
All of Judah’s cities would become a desolation and uninhabited. Everyone would be killed or captured. Those who passed through would be astonished at the degree of ruin.
The so-called church and its infants will be the same. Because of their rebellion against the Lord, they will become a desolation and an astonishment to all who look at them. The onlookers will be shocked and speechless as they survey the total destruction of those who have rejected the truth and yet called themselves Christians. None will be exempt from His judgment.
Verses 12-14 —
Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? 13 “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness (twistedness, lust) of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.”
Again, this is a series of rhetorical questions. None were wise in Judah. They were stupid children who had no understanding, who were skillful at doing evil, but did not know how to do what was right in His eyes.
None had any ability to perceive the LORD, for they did not know Him. The LORD did not speak to or through any of them, though many false prophets continually declared and decreed that they would not be killed or captured.
But because Judah loved the words of the false prophets, they ignored the words of those He sent to exhort and warn them. The stripping and ruin of the land, and its utter destruction, was the result of their rebellion.
The LORD responds to the rhetorical question of Verse 12. The land would be ruined, like a desert wasteland that is destroyed so entirely that no one can travel through it, because they forsook Him and His law, and did not obey His voice or live according to what He spoke to them, through His prophets.
Instead, they walked after the twistedness and lust of their own hearts. They walked after the family of false gods whose father was the false god, Baal, just as their fathers did.
They learned nothing from those who were struck down in the wilderness in the days of Moses. They learned nothing from those who were struck down in northern Israel.
So, they did just what their fathers did — they committed adultery against the LORD, enslaving themselves to false gods that are nothingness and empty. Therefore, their land became nothing and empty, and they became slaves in a land that was not theirs. As the LORD says later, through Jeremiah —
Jeremiah 25:14 “They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
It will be the same for today’s so-called church and its infants. They do not obey Jesus Christ’s voice. Why? They do not know His voice. How do I know that? They have gladly followed the voice of strangers who do not know Him! Jesus Christ says His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27), and they know Him, and follow (obey) Him!
The hearts of todays infants are twisted. They lust, wanting what they want when they want it. They walk after the god of self, which springs from their sin nature.
They refuse to come to Christ for its crucifixion, for they love their sin and the words of the liars who teach them. Both the liars and those who love their lies reveal they are not Christ’s, because they defy the truth that all who are in Christ have crucified the sin nature, with its lusts and desires!
They all reject Him and His truth, so He will reject them, when they stand before Him in the day of judgment. This is His righteous judgment. Therefore, repent!
Verses 15-17 —
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them. Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come;
and send for the wailing women, that they may come!”
Now the LORD of hosts, the God of rebellious and adulterous Israel, issues His judgment. They have poisoned their hearts because they have chosen to enslave themselves to false gods and believe the lies of their false prophets. Therefore, they will drink poisoned water — they have chosen to do it. It is His righteous judgment.
They have chosen to scatter themselves away from Him. Therefore, He will scatter them away from the land, and they will be scattered throughout the Babylonian Empire. It is His righteous judgment.
They have worshiped strange gods, so they will be captives in a strange land which neither they nor their fathers knew. It is His righteous judgment.
They have murdered each other with their tongues, and by their actions, they have destroyed His reputation, as if running it through with their swords. Therefore, He will send a sword — that is, Babylon — against them, until He has utterly destroyed them, by the murderous hands of the Babylonian army. It is His righteous judgment.
The LORD orders them to call the women who are professional mourners, to mourn and wail over the punishment of Judah, and to consider the truth that He will surely bring their destruction to pass! He says, “Prepare to mourn and wail!”
Today’s infants have chosen to scatter themselves away from the Lord, instead of obediently following Him. So, He will judge them, scattering them away from Him! He will hand them over to destruction, until there is no trace of them on the earth. You have two choices, O so-called church — repent, or prepare to mourn!
Verses 18-19 —
“Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may shed tears
and our eyelids flow with water. 19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion, ‘How are we ruined (destroyed)! We are put to great shame (are ashamed, disappointed), for we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.’”
The people of Judah would quickly seek the professional mourners, telling them to hurry so they may all weep together. But still, they will refuse to repent!
The voice of wailing from Jerusalem will be heard near and far. They will cry, “How we are destroyed! How we are shamed! We have left the land, because our homes are destroyed.” Note that there is not one word of repentance from His people!
The Babylonians would soon would destroy every home. Yet His people claimed that they had to leave the land because their homes were destroyed, not because it was the LORD’s judgment of them! Again, they refused to repent!
When the so-called church full of infants is judged by the Lord, their wailing will be heard across the earth. He will cast down everything they have depended upon, and they will not find a dwelling place with the Lord, for they have refused to obey Him. They will be destroyed and ashamed, for they have refused to repent! Therefore, repent!
Verses 20-21 —
Now hear the word of the LORD, O you women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up through our windows; it has entered our palaces to cut off the children from the streets, the young men from the town squares.
The LORD commands them to teach their daughters to wail and sing a funeral song. There will not be enough professional mourners to supply their needs. They would need to enlist their own children to join in the mourning.
Death would come, entering through windows of houses and even palaces. No one would escape it. All who try to escape Babylonian captivity would die — even children and young men in the streets and town squares. The younger generation, who the older generation trusted and relied upon for Judah’s future, would also be destroyed.
Thus, their future would be cut off and destroyed. They had not trusted in and relied upon the LORD, so He would allow Babylon to destroy that which they trusted in and relied upon. It is His righteous judgment.
It is the same with today’s so-called church filled with infants. They trust and rely upon the next generation to carry forth the banner of the ways and wisdom of this world, which they have trusted in. They trust and rely upon the lies taught by their teachers and leaders, which they love.
They have not trusted in and relied upon the Lord, but upon man. So, all that they trust in and rely upon will be destroyed. Unless they repent, they themselves will be destroyed in hell. It is His righteous judgment.
Verse 22 —
Speak, “Thus says the LORD, ‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field, and like the sheaf after the reaper, but no one will gather them.’”
Judah will also mourn over the corpses of men. They will not be buried on the day they die, as the Law of Moses requires, but will lie like excrement in the open fields. They will lie like the sheaf of grain after the reaper has come through, but their reaper is Babylon. So, no one will gather them or bury them. Everyone who does not perish at the hands of Babylon will be taken into captivity in Babylon.
In the day of judgment, many who think they stand will fall, in today’s so-called church. They will be judged by Him, and will perish. No one will gather their destroyed bodies. They will be eternally destroyed in hell, says Jesus Christ (Mark 9:44-48)! Therefore, repent!
Verses 23-24 —
Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands (gives thought to) and knows Me (as intimately as in a marriage), that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
Judah’s supposedly wise men have boasted of their wisdom. Judah’s strong warriors have boasted of their might. Judah’s rich men have boasted of their riches. These are the things they have trusted in and relied upon.
On the contrary, the LORD says that His people should boast that they know (understand and wisely follow) Him. He is pleased to extend His lovingkindness (chesed), His justice, and His righteousness to such ones. NOTE: The New Testament equivalent is His agape, the same love the Father has for the Son!
O so-called church filled with infants, You boast of man’s wisdom — science and psychology, sociology, and business practices. In doing so, you worship the world system that defies God. You think you are strong, and boast of your buildings and the size of your congregations! You boast in your natural prosperity!
You trust in and rely upon these things! But like the infant church at Laodicea, you are wretched and miserable and naked and blind and poor (Revelation 3:17)! No one boasts that they know and understand the Lord, because no one gives thought to and intimately knows Him by experiencing Him personally!
But Jesus Christ would gladly heal them of their rebellion if they would repent and obey His commandment to be filled with the Holy Spirit! He commanded the Laodicean infants to repent (Revelation 3:19). Therefore, repent!
Verses 25-26 —
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised — 26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.”
Judah went through the ritual of circumcision of male children on the eighth day of life. But their hearts were uncircumcised. Instead of being responsive to the Lord, they were hardened by their sin.
All the nations in Verse 26 practiced outward circumcision as a ritual. Judah had made circumcision an empty ritual, but that was not the purpose of His Law concerning circumcision. He had warned them that unless they circumcised the thick covering they had formed over their hearts so they no longer rebelled against Him, He would send them into exile. They had refused, so they were no different from the pagans in the nations that surrounded them. It is a stinging rebuke from the LORD!
It is the same with today’s so-called church filled with infants. He will punish you because you were set apart for Him, but your hearts are uncircumcised. They still have a thick covering over them, so His truth does not penetrate and convict you!
The Lord issues you a stinging rebuke! Though you have been baptized in water, you have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11)! Therefore, your heart remains hardened and you remain rebellious. How foolish! Do you not know that in His eyes, you are no different from the unbelieving world? Therefore, repent!
Lord Jesus, I have taught these truths just according to Your direction. Send them forth in Your power, that some might hear and repent! Amen.