Old Testament: Jeremiah 30:1-31:26
Jeremiah 30:1-31:26 Jacob’s Trouble
Chap. 30 Jeremiah is now in jail. Hananiah, the false prophet, had prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would be gone within two years. Seven years now have passed and Hananiah has been gone for . . . about seven years. Things look bleak. Jeremiah tries to cheer up everyone. He says things will be much worse. Let me explain. Jeremiah can see into the future of Israel, minus the the history of the Church. He can see that there will be a horrendous time of distress he calls, “the time of Jacob’s Trouble” (v. 7, KJV). In putting everything together, not the least of which will be Daniel 7:24-27 and Revelation 16 -19 (also Matt. 24:21-31; Mark 13:19-27), we will see that the Church will be removed and Israel and the world will suffer a veritable “hell on earth.”
“That day” in verse 8 is the same “day of the Lord” we saw recently in 1 Thess. 5:8 which encompasses the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Millennium. It is the time of the culmination of all things in which God will prove His sovereignty over all things and beings.
We do not yet see the promises to Israel fulfilled regarding spiritual and physical health (v. 17), the restoration of Jerusalem and Israel (v. 18) or the Messiah on His throne fulfilling the promise to David (v. 21). We also do not see Israel in spiritual fellowship with Yahweh (v. 22). But we shall see all these things, showing God’s Word to be literally fulfilled.
Chap. 31: 1 – 26 God loves Israel with an “everlasting love” (v. 3). It applies to us but it applies primarily to Israel. He loves them with an “everlasting” love. God has not abandoned Israel. His love is “everlasting,” forever. He loves us that way, too. He never abandons us. The word for “lovingkindness” in v. 3 is hesed. It is used in Hosea 2:19 to indicate betrothal which in Judaism is legally the same bond as marriage (cf. Mary and Joseph in the New Testament in Matt. 1:19). Hesed is unfailing, steadfast, covenantal love. God will not fail us nor forsake us (cf. Heb. 13:5, Josh. 1:5; Deut. 31:6).
This hasn’t happened yet but Israel is going to be very happy (cf. vv. 13-14). Verse 15 is used by Matt. (2:18) to refer to Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. It’s primarily a reference is to the mother of Jacob, Rachel, weeping over the returning captives. Verse 22 could possibly refer to the Virgin Birth, “a woman encompasses a man.” It’s possible it refers to the Millennium when a woman will supply all the security that is needed during that time.
New Testament: 1 Timothy 2:1-15
1 Timothy 2:1-15 Women In The Church
Do you ever pray for politicians? No matter what you may think of them they are ministers to us to keep order in society (cf. Rom. 13:3-4). Paul exhorts us to pray for them (vv. 1-2). They are the reason that we are able to live peaceably. Things seem to be coming apart at the seams right now. All the more reason that we should be praying for our leaders. God wants a peaceable atmosphere for the gospel to be proclaimed (v. 3). Notice God is again called “Savior” here, a reference to Jesus.
God wants all men to be saved. Notice that Paul uses the term “all.” All in the Greek actually means “all.” It means He wants all men to be saved. The Greek word is pantas which is defined in the standard dictionary of New Testament Bauer, Danker, Arndt and Gingrich as “totality with focus on its individual components, each, every, any.” Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not one of the “elect.” You are never excluded from being one of the elect unless you exclude yourself. God wants you to be saved as He wants everyone to be saved. If you haven’t trusted Christ yet, you need to exert your will and choose Christ. “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
There is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ (v. 5). Jesus said He was the way, and the Truth and the Life and that no one came to the Father apart from Him (John 14: 6). That is because He is the mediator. He was the only One who could be the mediator. He is God and so can represent perfection and sinlessness. He is man and so can represent sinful man and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins (v. 6). He is the mediator between us and God.
Paul was appointed as an apostle to the Gentiles to explain the plan of salvation and the gospel to everyone (v. 7, cf. Rom. 11:13). As Apostle to the Gentiles and was teaching “faith and truth” (v. 7), he asked that everyone pray in unity and peace (v. 8).
Ut, oh. Here comes the controversial part for our day regarding women. I want you to know that I like women. I want them to have every opportunity they can to live a fulfilling life in the Church. But Paul has some stipulations. I will do the best I can with what he says.
First, he doesn’t want women to use their natural charm and femininity, which is very powerful, to gain power. They are to come to church in modest attire without a show of jewelry or overly expensive clothes (v. 9). In contrast, they are to be known by the work they do for the Lord and their kind of nature that models godliness (v. 10, cf. 1 Pet. 3:3-5).
Secondly, Paul lays down what appears to be a universal rule. He does not allow a woman to exercise authority over a man but is to be silent in regards to matters of ultimate dominance in church. I think Paul makes it clear that everyone should be submitted to everyone else no matter what their role may be in church or at home (cf. Eph. 5:21). There most likely was a problem in the Ephesian church that caused Paul to single out women for submission. Wiersbe points out that the word “quiet” could also be translated “peaceable” as it is in 1 Tim. 2:2. The context may have been new believers who were causing disturbances by talking when they shouldn’t have. Women are allowed to speak in church however . . .
Paul would not allow a woman to teach or have authority over a man in regards to Scripture exposition, in other words as “pastor-teacher.” That was an exclusive domain of a man (v. 12, cf. Eph. 4: 11, also 1Tim. 3: 2). It would appear to be a universal rule and not just for a particular place and time in Ephesus. He says Adam was created first and then Eve (cf. Gen. 2:18). Further, he says Eve was deceived not Adam and caused the falling into sin (v. 14, cf. (Gen. 3:6). Since Adam and Eve preceded everyone and everything else, and the rule is traced back to them, it would seem the rule is be taken literally for all time. Women are not allowed to have authority or teach men in the church. This does not mean that women can never speak in church but they can not have total authority at any time over a service. They obviously can also serve as deacon (or I would say, “deaconess,” cf. Pheobe in Rom. 16:1, also 1 Tim. 3:11). Women were also allowed to prophesy or pray (cf. 1 Cor. 11:5). These rules also do not pertain outside the church in business or politics, for example.
Paul says that despite what might seem like a spurning in the church, women have a unique opportunity to grow their spiritual lives by raising godly children (v. 14).
Psalm 87:1-7 An Eye On Zion A Song Of Jerusalem By The Sons Of Korah
Proverbs 25:18-19 Don’t Join The Club
Groucho once said famously that he never wanted to join a club that would allow him to be a member. But he wasn’t talking about the kind of club mentioned in verse 18 here.
Verse 18 is another verse warning us not to “badmouth” others (see Don’t Badmouth!). Why does Scripture issue another warning about dissing others? It’s because God doesn’t like it.
Are you trash talking others? God really doesn’t like it. Even worse is telling lies about others (v. 18b). Of course, badmouthing is usually exaggeration and innuendoes which are forms of lies anyway.
It hurts others like beating them with a bat or stabbing them with a sword or shooting them with an arrow (v. 18a).
You wouldn’t ever want to trust someone who would do that to you (v. 19b).
You’d probably rather get a toothache or a clubfoot (v. 19a).
Choose Life: Scripture: Jeremiah 31:3 NASB “All You Need Is Love?”
“The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.’” Jeremiah 31:3 NASB
The Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love” but seriously what did they know about love? They ended by breaking up and suing each other! Jesus said that love was the most important thing. “By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). He also boiled the Old Testament down to two commandments, loving God and loving others (Matt. 22:37-38).
Those of us who are focused on reading our Bible and learning theology can tend to overlook that the thing God most requires most of us is love. We are to love others but most of all we are to love God. If we love God, we will be loving others because we want to please Him. Then also we will be learning doctrine and we will be studying the Bible.
Today’s verse said that God loves us with a steadfast, covenantal love. God is faithful in His love.
As you’re studying today keep in mind that God is a loving God and we are to be like Him.
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Why weren’t the Beatles able to love each other and stay together till the end? Perhaps they really didn’t understand what love was. Their early songs were all about love but what kind of love? They were all about emotional love and feelings. The Beatles didn’t seem to have any respect for the Bible or the eternal standards that it contains. So when the when the going got tough, they just got going and separated. They chose themselves over the group. The Bible tells us that love is self-sacrificial. That is the meaning of agape, the word most used for love in the New Testament. Christ modeled that kind of self-sacrifice. He “gave Himself up for us” (cf. Gal. 2:20, Eph. 5:2, 25).
When you wonder if you love someone today, ask yourself, “Am I ready to sacrifice myself for this person?” Then you will know if you really love them.
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Jacob’s Trouble