Saturday, June 19, 2004

Jeremiah 31 - To The Rescue!

Jeremiah 31

There is a time for victory in our lives. God will do it. Not the arm of the flesh or the will of man... not by might nor by power, says the Lord, "But by My Spirit!" We must depend on Him alone and not ourselves or others. And He is a God of FAMILIES! He has a vision for our family! He is the one who establishes our family NAME! Will we be His?

1 "At that time," declares the LORD, "I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people."

It is always in the desert of our soul... in the places of temptation in the wilderness... where we must learn to lean on Him.

2 This is what the LORD says: The people who survived the wars have found favor in the desert. Israel went to find its rest.
3 The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, "I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness.

This is a vision of family in wholeness. This is a vision of Fathers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters REJOICING IN GOD!!! "Without a vision - people perish." Hold fast to your visions of wholeness. Don't give ear to the bitterness and shame. Have ears to hear the gracious, loving Savior.

4 Once again I will build you up, and you will be rebuilt, my dear people Israel. Once again you will take your tambourines, and you will go dancing with happy people.
5 Once again you will plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria. Those who plant them will enjoy the fruit.
6 There will be a day when watchmen on the mountains of Ephraim will call out this message: 'Arise! Let's go to Zion, to the LORD our God.'"

Sing! No, I mean ACTUALLY SING! Sing to God about your victories, yes, of course. But also sing with intercession for those who need freedom from their habitual sins... because it is the LORD who does all. How awesome it is when souls return to the Living God of Israel in the Messiah Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), Savior of the World.

7 This is what the LORD says: Sing a happy song about Jacob. Sing joyfully for the leader of the nations. Shout, sing praise, and say, "O LORD, rescue your people, the remaining few from Israel."
8 "I will bring them from the land of the north. I will gather them from the farthest parts of the earth. Blind people and lame people will return together with pregnant women and those in labor. A large crowd will return here.
9 They will cry as they return. They will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams on a level path where they will not stumble. I will be a Father to Israel, and Ephraim will be my firstborn.

"I will be a Father to Israel... and Ephraim will be my firstborn." The Father heals all. He lifts the weary and fills them with purpose.

He will gather us out of our desert areas.

10 "You nations, listen to the word of the LORD. Tell it to the distant islands. Say, 'The one who scattered the people of Israel will gather them and watch over them as a shepherd watches over his flock.'
11 The LORD will free the descendants of Jacob and reclaim them from those who are stronger than they are.

And the joy of our salvation will return. This extends into the depths of our family... and into the depths of our mission in life (priesthood).

12 They will come and shout for joy on top of Mount Zion. They will stream to it to enjoy the LORD's blessings: fresh grain, new wine, and olive oil, lambs and calves. Their lives will be like well-watered gardens, and they will never suffer again.
13 Then young women will rejoice and dance along with young men and old men. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them. I will give them joy in place of their sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with rich food. My people will be filled with my blessings," declares the LORD.

The weeping women will be fulfilled. This is, perhaps, the deepest agony... that of a mother having lost her children... and GOD can help and heal even THAT!

15 This is what the LORD says: A sound is heard in Ramah, the sound of crying in bitter grief. Rachel is crying for her children. She refuses to be comforted, because they are dead.
16 This is what the LORD says: Stop your crying, and wipe away your tears. You will be rewarded for your work, declares the LORD. You will return from the land of the enemy.

And, as men, we can see Rachel as the spirit within us who has yearned for recovery from our own sinfulness! The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak... and the Holy Spirit can join with our spirits and make us CONQUERORS! Our vision-children CAN return!

17 Your future is filled with hope, declares the LORD. Your children will return to their own territory.

Ephraim is the picture of the youthful lusts. We must "grow up - become a man - put away childish things!" The lust was trained into us as youths - it does NOT belong to us!!!

18 "I have certainly heard Ephraim mourn and say, 'You disciplined me, and I was disciplined. I was like a young, untrained calf. Turn me, and I will be turned, because you are the LORD my God.
19 After I was turned around, I changed the way I thought and acted. After I was taught a lesson, I hung my head in shame. I was so ashamed and humiliated, because of all the stupid things I have done ever since I was young.'

God turns on a DIME when we (truly, humbly) turn from our habits and cry out for TOTAL VICTORY!

20 Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? Even though I have often spoken against him, I still think fondly of him. That is why my heart longs for him, and I will certainly have compassion on him," declares the LORD.

And the Father is wise. He encourages us to remember the vision of Wisdom (Proverbs 9) that called us away from the Harlot. And to set up signs for ourselves that remind us of our giftings and callings in Jesus!

21 Set up landmarks! Put up road signs! Remember the highway, the road on which you traveled. Come back, my dear people Israel, come back to your cities.

22 How long will you wander around, you unfaithful people? The LORD will create something new on earth: A woman will protect a man.
(King James - "A woman shall encompass a man")

Will YOU fulfill GOD's desires for companionship? This is, indeed, the PURPOSE of the Bible to mankind. To tell the story of the BrideGroom God, Jesus, and share with us His vision for a spotless Bride who has made herself ready to REIGN with Him in His Kingdom!

Consider here, the premise of Ephesians 5:

25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26 He did this to make the church holy by cleansing it, washing it using water along with spoken words. 27 Then he could present it to himself as a glorious church, without any kind of stain or wrinkle--holy and without faults. 28 So husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No one ever hated his own body. Instead, he feeds and takes care of it, as Christ takes care of the church. 30 We are parts of his body. 31 That's why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will be one. 32 This is a great mystery. (I'm talking about Christ's relationship to the church.) 33 But every husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and wives should respect their husbands.

We START by loving our wives with unconditional love. They finish by respecting our vision for the Kingdom of God on earth. But we must start it... as God did. Likewise... we must live in obedience to God who is Love (agape)! If we give them their knight in shining armor (by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit - NOT by our own strength!), then they will give us a mighty respect that will make us feel that we can do ANYTHING! This is the mystery, the "something new on the earth" of a woman encompassing a man... and GOD WILL DO IT! (Lest we should boast!)

Jeremiah 31 again...

23 This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: When I have brought them back from captivity, they will once again use this saying in Judah and in its cities: "The LORD will bless you, home of righteousness, holy mountain."
24 Judah and all its cities will live there together. Farmers and shepherds will also live there.
25 I will give those who are weary all they need. I will refresh everyone who is filled with sorrow.

This can bring that divine satisfaction - a good night sleep! It doesn't need to be a rare thing anymore!


26 At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant.

As if it were a dream... and yet this isn't a dream. Jeremiah's sleep was pleasant because of the Redemption of God made clear in his vision.

This is the way we overcome a sick world-system, the carnal nature we seek to tame and the devils that would have us fail! ... that is if you believe any of that stuff is a threat! (I do.)