TNT_Jeremiah-17v5-14_Dr. Gary Hill
7:44AM Nov 23, 2020
Dr Gary Hill
Jeremiah 17 is the text, verses 5-14. He's going to be talking about the subject of hope that's explicitly brought out in this passage in verse 13. We begin with a biblical definition of hope.
It literally means in Hebrew, when something is wound. When you wind around something, and it's wound up. So if you take, for example, a rope, and you only have a single strand, and you put a lot of pressure on it, you have to let go. But if you put a second strand in that's intertwined, wound, then a third strand, a threefold cord is very difficult to break. If you tie it in a granny [knot], it's apt to slip out but, if you tie it in a square knot, the stronger that you pull it, the tighter and stronger the knot becomes and, because it's threefold, it doesn't give way.
So on that imagery, Jeremiah gives us three strands of hope, the three primary strands of hope. And how he goes about it is antithetically: He tells you what it's not, [rather] than what it is, three times. And through each stage of the development in Jeremiah five, right here we have, it's going to develop hope. It's going to mature it so that we don't have a superficial hope. I mean, in the world, we say, do you hope for something we just mean it's wishful thinking. [Right]
In the Bible, Hebrews 11:1, Faith is the substance of things hoped for. So accounts in the Bible is faith-hoping, hoping driven by what God has said, as we perceive in the soul. Otherwise, you're just leaning on a cobweb. So what Jeremiah is going to do in this passage is, he's going to mature, develop, a biblical definition of hope, of how it's a threefold cord, wound into something strong, getting us, you might say, ready to be pulled into the perfect place that God has [for] us.
In Hebrews chapter 6, it says that Jesus resurrected is the anchor of our soul, is our hope. And what they used to do back in the day, is when you went into a harbor, you could crash on either side where the rocks were. So they would take a smaller boat, lower it down, put a big anchor in it with big flukes (those things that dig into the bottom of the ocean). They'd roll that boat into the harbor safely, drop the anchor, it would dig down into the sands of the ocean bottom, and then they would pull the boat in safely. It says Jesus is on the other side, as the anchor of our soul, as our hope, in Hebrews 6. So hope’s got the ability to pull you along, and it doesn't break, but you’ve got to have the right hope, and with the right strands. So let's take a look at it.
The first strand, stated negatively in each case, and then positively. [Do you mean...] Yeah. Jeremiah 17, verse 5 and following. [Verse 5?] Yeah. Normally, you want to start with a very motivational positive, upbeat, and get people hopeful. The way scripture does it, is it tells you what it isn't [laughs]. And don't be leaning on something that will give way and therefore leave you hopeless because you trusted in something you shouldn't. So in verse 5, it starts off with the word “cursed” in relation to the discussion of hope, and it's very emphasized – meaning “this doesn't work”. (Is everybody tuning in?) If you want to be a hopeful person (and we do) [Yes], don't do this [laughs]: Curséd is the man who trusts in “adam”, which we [get] the word “Adam” from.
Yeah. The word "trust" is “to lean on, to put your weight on”. If you put your weight on the divine image so gloriously instilled in man (men and women is mankind), but you trust it, in and of itself… The divine image is so impressive - humanity, the way God's built us out of his image - that it can seem to run on its own steam (very impressive, actually). How many [do] you know, ... a lot of smart people that are on the dark side; they're very, very smart; very impressive. But, if you trust in that, says verse 5, and you make “flesh” (your “forearm”, the word “strength” is “forearm”) what you put forward to boom, lower down the boom and get your way). And your heart turns away from the Lord.
Then verse 6, on the metaphor, this kind of hope, which unfortunately fills our media today, and so much of the political process (and incidentally, I'd like to direct our discussions tonight, not only to hope for the individual, which is so important, but our hope for the nation).
So you'll be like a bush in the desert. This is a bramble bush; get the picture in your mind. It says that, when prosperity comes, you won't be able to see it. You'll be like living in stony places of the wilderness, a land of salt, without inhabitant. A person that doesn't get hope right, ends up all by themselves in a salty, kind of arid, fruitless place. They struggle for their existence, without a green leaf (and the word that's used here in the plant is "a thorny thing"). They don't get along with others; they're prickly; they're dry, and they're brown, and they have no fruit that they give, in a parched land. Why?
Verse 5: They trusted, they leaned on the divine image, operating without divine blessing. We see it all the time: brilliant senators, brilliant house representatives, brilliant neighbors - that they can't think their way through a paper bag; but they're just so impressive, on radio and, you know, all these kinds of things that we bump into. Their heart is turned away from the Lord. So curs'ed, they can't win.
And one of the great themes of hope is, the reason you can hope and not lose hope, is because God truly is always winning. On his calendar, he put COVID and he allowed for corruption (two C's - he CCd God's people, COVID and corruption on his calendar); used to awaken the church today. The church has been asleep: It's been frigid, cold, listless, full of inertia. And God is doing something (This is a great time to live right now). Because there are certain seeds, when you plant them in the ground, they don't do much for a long time; they take a long time underground; and then they come up real fast - the plant. We've been kind of like that. God's been doing something, very strongly. And now it's going to manifest itself on the evening news, on the newspapers and news outlets and elections. It's gonna happen real quickly.
This is a great time to be alive, to watch the manifestation of God work for his church. And the reason I'm glad we're dealing with hope tonight is that we're going to be taking this through the eyepiece of God's people. I'd like to advance the conviction that the best way to understand the news is not on the latest political currents. It's grasping what God is doing with his people. That's the portal. He's moving all of history around what he's doing for his blood-bought church. That's the lens. Wise be the person that makes that the eyepiece they look through.
So he says here, they're going to live in a stony waste in the wilderness, this salty place.
Now the positive correlative in the first alternation on the strands of hope, on the first strand, finishing off this strand on the positive: But bless'ed
Right. Now it turns. Right?
Yes. On the positive side of strand number one, on the threefold cord of hope: Bless'ed (that is, when you become surrendered). Oh, what a great position the person is in who willingly surrenders as they trust - and, this time, it's not in their own divine image capacity apart from God, but in the Lord himself, in Yahweh himself, they do the leaning and the trusting. In fact, their trust has solidly, as a historical record, been in the Lord.
Added to this, he will be (and "he" is the word for men and women in the Bible; it's called 'the common'); he will be, for sure, like a tree, instead of in the barren wilderness, planted by the water, and its roots are deeply extended, next to the stream into the refreshing waters. And when the heat comes, they don't fear; their leaves stay green when it's next to a stream with the roots going down, tapping down below. And when everybody else is anxious in the year of drought, of no water, it continues to bear fruit.
Ecclesiastes 7:18 says, Hold on to the one; don't let go of the other; and the wise person comes forth with both considerations of matter: the front and the back side, not just one.
So as we're looking at hope here, we've got to really dial in the negative. If you want to be a hopeful person, live in the power of God's hope. What can't we do in verse 5? Trust in who we are, in and of ourselves [Amen], making flesh, however beautiful or powerful or influential, our forearm, and experience turning aside from the Lord.
So the hopeful person can hope because he's not like that bush in the desert (I'm just reviewing). They're not prickly and dry and brown and all alone. But rather, by in-Yahweh-trusting (and that's been their record), they get a refreshment of the Holy Spirit that comes to them when the heat comes (and we got lots of heat coming, don't we?) [Yes]. We have an epic political war. Even in the church, we can expect tremendous war. Because the average local church is comprised of two groups, you might say: There's the true remnant, born again, often sleepy but truly born again. And then the kind of moral majority of a logical sort, who want to be on the winning side: They cast their vote with the redeemed, but they're not under the lordship of Christ; they're left of the center; they have socialistic tendencies; they're not for the freedom foundations that are the Bible, and our country's been...; they're not part. And this is going to be separated.
So God's using COVID and corruption - not where we're hopeless, but to separate sheep and goats. [So true.] It's necessary to prepare the bride for heaven. God is winning. And the centerpiece of hope is that God triumphs - always, no exceptions - like the jujitsu person that leverages the person's weight coming at him. We can be sure God's working this out, and what's been on his calendar will not be removed. So President Trump to be unseated is on God's calendar. Be assured, whatever loose ends: those that have trusted in their own flesh - the Bible says, Your sin will find you out. God knows how to be the best investigative reporter ever.
So we are full of confidence, though in the war, of what's upcoming, hopeful - with strand number one: blessedness of surrender to the Lord; not negatively as the previous text. And how it will be like the tree by the water.
The second strand of hope, that also has to do with a metaphor and a contrast and alternation. Starting negatively again before the positive. The first impossibility is leaning on yourself in the strands of hope. The second impossibility is thinking that the heart apart from God is reliable. As wonderful as the human heart is - the ability to feel deeply and to have aspiration, and preferences - the heart, according to verse 9, is more utterly deceitful than all else. It's desperately sick. So to say with Karl Marx and communism and socialism, that man is essentially good. And let government play out in light of that, without safeguards without a police force, without moral law on the books. No one can figure it out. So the advice of the Scripture here is: Don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out the darkness of the human heart. It's got an irrationality and a depth of abject moral blanket darkness. It's beyond us [Desperately wicked] Desperately.
What's the positive side of strand number two, to have hope? I, the Lord, let me search constantly, your heart. Let me really get down to it. Say yes. And test the mind as to what really holds up, cast iron. Because when he gives the each person according to their ways, he will show them so glorious according to the results of the deeds. Blessedness is everything, surrenderedness to the living God.
Now the third strand of hope: (I think he has a prophetic messaging for us. I'm going to go out on the limb and apply this, that it's not only true in general, but it's true of what's actually going to happen in the Steal the Election Campaign.)
It says in verse 11, under the metaphor of a partridge bird. A partridge bird, in Jewish culture and observation of Palestine, is a bird (just to give a little background). It goes to where eggs are laid in another nest, chases off the true mother, sits down on the eggs and claims them wrongfully as her own. But when the eggs hatch, they innately know who's their mother and who isn't, and they reject the partridge bird. So the partridge bird seizes what is not her own, only to lose it is things grow up, hatched out of the shell. So verse 11, negatively, in the third strand, as the partridge that hatches eggs that it's not laid, so is he who makes a fortune (the millions of dollars that can go with throwing election even) but unjustly; in the midst of his days, it will leave him behind and, in the end, he will be a fool.
I think that if anyone has participated in massive graft, with computer systems, absentee ballots, how big cities rig elections, we go right down the line. This is not new, the rot has been in the wood for decades. Be assured it will forsake them and leave them a fool. No one beats God or his purposes.
In the early 1700s, we had a religious awakening in America, the first of our religious awakenings. We had another one, then another and then another and, in the course of our history, we've had four: the last one in the 1960s and 70s. I think we can be confident that God has the fifth great religious awakening under way. He's going to shock the sleeping church: the true remnant, the real bride that he died and bled for, the reason history turns. History, if you break it up (you've heard it before) is his-story. Nothing changes what's on the books. God didn't protect the Puritans, the pilgrims, with religious liberty for this country, to lose it to a bunch of gangsters. [Yup]
What's the positive alternative in verse 12? Instead of sitting on eggs that aren't yours, claiming votes that are not yours, or delegations or tax monies or, as the pharma industry is trying to do with generating so much money on vaccines (I found a quoting Rand Paul, our senator and medical doctor for Kentucky, add up all the evidence, and he says, and he's got all these charts and everything: Masks work against spreading COVID; they make it worse; social distancing is not going to cure it; neither is lockdown.) God has authorized COVID on his calendar. It's doing a separation work. Just as he's allowed the corruption to happen in order to bring awareness, awakening.
Let's give God the credit here. There are times in history where God leads his people to withdraw from a battle for a time. May I advance to you a watch list that, in this particular go-around, when you're watching the news, there's going to be victory after victory for the church, in particular, and for the Conservative platform upholding biblical values. Watch it; watch it play. Watch how the Afro-American segment of the true church, along with Latino and the white, there's gonna true unity, not the old false unity. One person said, If you tie two cats, their tails together, and throw them over a telephone wire and they dangle they'll be unified, but they don't have unity - scratching at each other. This is going to be a true unity. Even celebrities are going to risk their prestige to come forward.
It's going to be a grand and glorious, hopeful time, if we have the three strands and where God is pulling us, as the anchor of hope. So instead of the partridge trying to seize unlawfully what is not theirs by just theft, stealing the eggs.
Go to the glorious throne on high, verse 12. Make your way to the throne of God. It's limitless; it's unbeatable; and, from the beginning, is our place of dwelling and sanctuary-safety.
So he's going to end with a prayer: here in verses 13 and 14. (And we're going to ask each our own hearts here, as we conclude.) Oh Lord, you're the hope. (D'you see that verse 13?) You're the wound strand we wind around, and all who forsake you are going to be put to shame; they bet on a lie.
The people with hope are on the Lord's side, Savior. Those who turn away from the Lord are being written down. See, this is why the Lord's orchestrating history the way he is; we're not losing. This will be, I believe, a grand sweep. Trump will defeat social media in lawsuits. Not because Trump himself is so wonderful, but he's blowing the shofar, assembling the people: the moral majority, you might say, particularly how the redeemed remnant - who's got to separate, by the way, from the logical left to the center, progressive Conservatives, as it were. [Right.]
It's all about separation to himself for his purpose of going to Calvary and purchasing his bride in blood. He won't be defeated. And those who turn away - what does it say in verse 13? They're going to be written down. This is why it's all happening. He's putting people on record. Right now, there's a window of opportunity, where God will soften hearts and he's easy to be found, right now. And people who pass by that window are going to geometrically accelerate in the hardening of their heart and the veiling of their eyes in the separation of sheep and goats. This is no time to try to be neutral. The media is not going to allow it; the kingdom of God is not going to allow it.
So which side will be on the hope-filled side? Follow the three strands, making up hope in this passage. Be wound up, ready to go, wound around. Because they have forsaken - they'll have to be put in the books- they have forsaken the fountain of living water, indeed, the Lord.
Let us rather opt to be that tree next to the river of God. There are times of refreshment coming from the church of the Lord Jesus Christ [clap-clap sound]. That was the most sensational thing we've seen. I'm old enough - after being in the ministry for half a century now - I'm old enough to remember the revival of the 60s and 70s; I was in it. The refreshings were wonderful, the gusts of wind of the Holy Spirit. Now, it's not gonna be for everybody. This is a qualitative movement, not a quantitative movement. I'm not saying we're going to get huge numbers. But when Israel was sent to Babylon for not repenting, 500,000 of them, Isaiah prophesied that only a tenth would come back, though Cyrus gave the choice for all to come back. They got comfortable in exile. But one out of 10 did return; it was a reviving. They took a risk.
And we're gonna see the gusts of Holy Spirit wind, the refreshing waters of the river of God, miraculously! This is going to be a slow win for the retention of the White House by the Republicans but it's something that, as God is the shield, there's no defeating it. It's certain in the books - slow, bloody, ultra-militaristic, for God considers it worthy.
So what's the concluding prayer we should say, if we've wrapped these three strands around each other, and we're filled with faith-driven hope? Verse 14: Heal me, Lord, with the real result of divine healing, nothing short, nothing less. Save me and bring me to the other side that I may be really saved. Because you are my praise. (And the Hebrew word for this "praise" means when you take it all the way out to being dangerously specific.) This shofar horn that's going to be blown from the White House and the Republican Senate and so forth, is going to be very specific. And, in the end, we're to glorify the Lord.
And we must have persistence during the Covid - the deeply exaggerated ways that some have a desire to have a police state and undermine our liberties and all the way that's happening - we've got to be persistent, friends. Don't think it's gonna be slow and easy. But there'll be miracle after miracle after miracle, refreshments.
When you say that we must be persistent, what do you mean?
It won't happen in hours or days. [Okay.] And, when Giuliani says that he can't even get lawyers because their families are being threatened, and their children, this is gloves-off. But we've already seen it with the looting the cities and everything. But we will prevail. That's not a religious platitude.
God's going to keep this in place by the might of his own shield, that is, himself. If we hear of collusion, it may go from Greece, it may go to Iran; it can go through the pharma industries; it'll be all kinds of accusations, and what all - but the church will prevail with Christ as shield, if we pray, "Heal me, oh Lord".
Now to be healed, it takes this "blessedness of surrender". It takes forsaking the first three elements of those strands.
So we recorded this because this text is so dense with meaning. I recommend that you really go through these verses one by one again, and a third time. Use resources like BibleHub.com or the Discovery Bible software, all the many things you can get on the internet, but go through it. Really give it some attention. Let's be strong; let's be pulled to the place of safety as God is our shield.
So I conclude with this one thought. The spotlight is not on the White House, ultimately. It's not on the bad guys and the good guys. It's on what God is doing to gather his cleansed bride-church to himself, of which we are part, if we are living in the hope of these three strands - dimensioned, not a superficial, little wishful thinking. There's lots of moral fiber in this text, isn't there? There's a real place for courage, steadfastness, boldness, faith, risk-taking, being a verbal and vocal witness - but, most of all, surrendered from the inside out.