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Jeremiah 26-27

by Chuck Smith

Jeremiah 26 through 30.

In the twenty-second chapter of Jeremiah the Lord had ordered Jeremiah to go to the king’s house, Zedekiah, and prophesy unto him. So these prophecies were those that Jeremiah gave to Zedekiah who was the last of the kings of Israel prior to the Babylonian captivity. And as he is speaking there in Zedekiah’s court, he is bringing up prophecies that the Lord had given him in previous years to other of the kings. And so as we get into chapter 26, as he is giving this message in the court of king Zedekiah, he tells him that,

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; and diminish not a word (26:1-2):

Many times I think that we have a tendency to diminish from the Word of God. There are a lot of people today who have taken issue with some of the subjects in the Scriptures. And because they have taken issue with them and the subjects have become rather controversial, there is a tendency on many parts to seek to diminish from what God has said. But I think that it is a dangerous thing to diminish or seek to diminish the message of God because we oftentimes then give people a sense of false security.

Now, nobody really dislikes the subject of eternal punishment more than I. And yet, it would be absolutely derelict of me to diminish from what the Lord has said in the Word concerning the fate of the sinners. To give them a false hope, a false comfort.

And so God is saying to Jeremiah, “Now look, you say everything that I tell you to say and don’t soft-pedal it, Jeremiah. Don’t diminish from the Word.” Now there are two things we are really told not to do. We’re not to add to it, nor are we to take away from it. When God gave His law to Moses, He gave the warning, “Now be careful that you don’t add to it or that you don’t take away from the words of this book.” And, of course, when the final book of Revelation was written and God was sealing up His revelation, He said, “Any man who adds to the words of this book, to him shall be added the curses that are in the book. And if any man shall take away from the words of this book, his name shall be taken out of the book of life” (Revelation 22:18-19). So that is how firm God is in His desire that we speak His Word plainly as He has declared it. Not seeking to add to it. Not seeking to take away or to diminish from it. And so the Lord is warning Jeremiah, “Now look, don’t diminish a word.”

If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings (26:3).

Now God is saying, “Lay it on them. Don’t diminish it. It may be that they will hearken unto what I have said.” And always the purpose of God giving His message is that people might have the opportunity to respond. You say, “Well, doesn’t God know if they're going to respond or not?” Yes, God does know if they're going to respond or not. “Well, if God knows they're not going to respond, then why does God speak to them?” Because God wants to be righteous when He judges. And no one will be able to stand before God and say, “Well, I didn’t know or I never heard or I didn’t have a chance.” So God says, “Don’t diminish a word in order that they might hearken.” If they will hearken, if at this point they would turn they would be saved. In order that, God said, “I might repent Me of the evil which I purpose to do.”

Now, we have to use human words to describe the actions of God. And so when we speak of God repenting, that’s because we have just the limitation of the choice of human language in order to describe divine actions. But even in this word itself in the original, the root of it is to sigh. And it is sort of a sigh of relief. If the people will turn to Me, then God can sigh in relief for not having to bring the judgment upon them. How many times I’ve sighed when I’ve seen the change in the attitude of my children. “Oh, dad, I’m sorry.” All right. You know you feel good. Now that they come with that attitude you can deal with them. You don’t have to spank them or you don’t have to punish them. They come with a repentant attitude asking forgiveness and it causes you to say, “Ahhh,” you love it. You’re thankful that you’re not going to have to bring punishment upon them. And so God is saying, “Don’t diminish your words. Speak the word that I tell you. Don’t diminish it in order that they might turn and repent in order that I can sigh for relief of not having to bring this punishment upon them.”

God said to the prophet Ezekiel, “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die. For behold, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, saith the Lord” (Ezekiel 33:11). How it grieves the heart of God to see the wicked die. Gives them every opportunity to turn and to know Him and to love Him. Turn, turn, for why will you die? God is not willing that any should perish. God has extended His patience, His long-suffering, His grace to man. And so God sends the prophet, even after it’s really too late. “But still go and speak. If so be they will hearken and turn every man from his evil way that I may sigh for the evil which I’ve purposed to do unto them because of their evil doings.”

Now that evil that God has purposed, of course, is allowing the king of Babylon to come and to destroy them. It isn’t evil in the sense that God is doing an evil thing. Nor is it repentance and God’s pardon that God is repenting or that He has done something. For the Bible tells us that “God is not a man that He should repent nor the son of man that He should change. Hath he not spoken and shall He not do it?” (I Samuel 15:29) God said through the prophet, “Behold, I am the Lord God, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). The immutability of God.

Yet the grace and the mercy of God. God said through Isaiah, “Did not I create evil?” And that is the evil judgments that come to pass against the people, but not evil in the sense that God is in any way in league or in harmony with evil.

And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If you will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but you have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth (26:4-6).

Now, Shiloh was the place where the tabernacle was first placed when they came into the land, but Shiloh now has become a desolate ruin. And Jeremiah the prophet is saying, “If you don’t hearken to God, He’s going to make this place, the temple here, just a desolate ruin like Shiloh is.” Well, the priests got very upset with Jeremiah at this point because he is talking now about their temple and he’s saying that the curse of God is going to be upon it. It’s going to be made a desolate area.

So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of his speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die (26:7-8).

So the people following now the inspiration and the leading of the priests and the prophets grabbed Jeremiah and were determined to put him to death because he dared to speak against the house of God, declaring that the temple was going to be destroyed. And they said,

Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? (26:9)

So he’s accused of speaking against the temple and against the city as he pronounces the judgments that God is going to bring upon them.

And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. Now when the princes of Judah (26:9-10)

Now you’ve got a third group. You see, you have the prophet and the priests and they’ve grabbed him and said, “We’re going to kill you.” And the people joining with the prophet and the priests, “Yes, let’s kill him. He has spoken against the temple and he has spoken against the city.”

So the princes of Judah,

heard these things, then they came up from the king's house (26:10)

They heard that there’s a tumult going on down there in the temple. They’ve grabbed Jeremiah. Come. And these princes come rushing from the king’s palace.

unto the house of the LORD, and they sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house. Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears. Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying (26:9-12),

And he’s ignoring now the prophet and priests, but he turns to the princes and the people. He said,

The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him [or sigh] of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. As for me, behold, I am in your hands: do with me what seems right to do (26:12-14).

God sent me to say these things. Now turn from your ways, your wickedness, in order that God might not have to bring this judgment on you. But I’m here as a messenger of God. God has sent me with this message. Now I’m in your hands, do what you want. You want to kill me, go ahead. Your business.

But know this for certain, that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears. Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the Jehovah our God (26:15-16).

Now notice how fickle the people are. They're ready to put him to death with the prophets and the priests because he has spoken against this house and against this city. There is that Latin phrase, “vocus populus est vocus Dios”—the voice of the people is the voice of God. That’s not true. The crowd many times makes terrible mistakes. And here the people are siding with the prophets and priests. “Let’s put him to death.” The princes come down, the people say with the princes, “Hey, no, he shouldn’t be put to death. He has spoken in the name of God.”

Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and they spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Now did Hezekiah king of Judah and all of Judah put him to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls (26:17-19).

So they’re saying, “Look, this has happened before in the time of Hezekiah. This guy Micah, remember, he came along and he spoke that God’s going to bring desolation on this city. And rather than killing Micah, they hearkened and they repented.” And then they said,

And there was also that man, Urijah from Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah (26:20):

You remember Urijah did the same thing.

And when Jehoiakim the king, with all of his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and he fled, and went into Egypt; And Jehoiakim the king sent unto Egypt, some men, Elnathan, and certain men that were with him and they got him out of Egypt. And brought him to Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. Nevertheless, the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death (26:21-24).

So some of the older men said, “Hey, this has happened before and Hezekiah didn’t put him to death.” They said, “Yeah, but it happened before and Jehoiakim did put him to death.” So there was this division. But the prince Ahikam sort of prevailed and Jeremiah was spared death from the hands of the false prophets, the priests and the people.


Chapter 27

Now Jeremiah goes on to declare that,

In the beginning (27:1)

He’s speaking this to the king Zedekiah.

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck (27:1-2),

So Jeremiah made this wooden yoke and he put it over his neck. A yoke like they put over an ox, and it was a sign of servitude. So he put this yoke over his neck and walked around every place he went. Here he had this old yoke over his neck, and people are saying, “What in the world have you got on your neck there? What is that yoke? Why are you wearing that thing for?” He said, “So is the Lord going to bring Israel into bondage because of their iniquities. God’s going to lead us into captivity because of our sin.” And so it was something that sparked a question in the minds of the people, but gave to Jeremiah the opportunity to share with them the word of the Lord. Now he said...

So he made a bunch of these little yokes. One that he put on his own neck, but others that he sent to the various kings that surrounded Judah. Now at this particular time they were preparing to rebel against Babylon. And they were planning a confederacy that they might get Edom, Moab and the king of Tyre and Sidon that they might all join together against Babylon in hopes of breaking the yoke of Babylon from them. And so God says, “Now make a little yoke for each of these kings and send it to them with a message.” 

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and I have given it unto whom it seemed right unto me (27:4-5).

Now God is here declaring His sovereignty, really, over His creation. “I’ve created the earth. I’ve created man. I have created kingdoms and I have set upon the kingdoms those whom I will. Those who seem good to Me.” Now it is interesting that at this point the Babylonian kingdom had arisen to world dominance. It was a world-dominating empire. And Nebuchadnezzar who God had placed upon the throne of Babylon was boasting of the greatness of the Babylonian kingdom. “Is this not the great Babylon,” he said, “that I have built?” And a voice came from heaven and said, “The watchers have been watching you, boy, and you’re in big trouble.” And so he came to Daniel and said, “What does it mean?” He said, “Look, you walk carefully. You are in big trouble. Don’t let your heart be lifted up with pride, but walk softly before God.”

You see, he had had this dream. He had seen in the dream this great image. Daniel interpreted the dream as to represent the kingdoms that would rule over the earth. “You, Nebuchadnezzar, are the head of gold. But your kingdom is going to fall to an inferior kingdom, the chest of silver, the Medo-Persian. Which will fall to the Grecian Empire, the stomach of brass. Which will fall to the Roman Empire, the legs of iron. Which will fall to the Grecian Empire, the stomach of brass, the legs of iron, the Roman Empire and the feet of iron and clay with the ten toes.” Now Nebuchadnezzar made a proclamation, “Be it known there is no God in all the earth like the God of Daniel who is able to reveal dreams,” and all this kind of stuff. And then he turns right around and defies the dream. For he had built in the plains of Dura a huge image, ninety feet tall, of all gold. This was a statement of Nebuchadnezzar.

The statement is, “The Babylonian kingdom will never fall. It’s not going to be replaced by the chest of silver and by the stomach of brass and legs of iron. Babylon will live forever.” And he ordered that at the sound of the music, everybody bow down and worship this image that he has set up in the plains of Dura to dedicate themselves to this concept--Babylon will last forever. So he is defying the plain revelation of God. So you know the story of the three Hebrew children who refused to bow and were cast in the burning fiery furnace without any harm. After they came out of the fire he said, “There’s no God... I, Nebuchadnezzar, make a proclamation--there is no God in all the earth like the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who is able to deliver from the burning fiery furnace.” But then he was still filled with pride. “Is this not the great Babylon that I have made?” And, of course, then the angel speaks to him and tells him, “Hey, the watchers have been watching you.” The watchers from heaven.

Boy, did you know that there’s watchers in heaven watching you? And so he was in great fear and for a year he walked carefully. He was very careful. But after a year he was walking through his gardens and looking at these beautiful hanging gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. “Is this not the great Babylon that I have built?” The voice said, “That’s it. You’ve had it.” Pow! Something snapped. He went insane. He began to go out in the fields and eat grass with the oxen. He lived like a wild man. His hair grew like feathers and his nails like claws. And he had a period of insanity for seven seasons until he would acknowledge that the God of heaven rules and reigns over the kingdoms of man and sets on the thrones those whom He will. He was brought to the acknowledgment God reigns. He came out of this period of insanity. “And I, Nebuchadnezzar, make a proclamation: No God in all the earth like the God of heaven Who establishes the kingdoms who He desires and sets upon the thrones those whom He would. And those He will exalt He can exalt and those He wants to bring down He can bring down. I command that all men worship this God.”

Now he came to this acknowledgment. It is interesting that here in Jeremiah we have the very same thing that is being declared. That God gives in authority those whom He would. He raises up the powers that He would. And so God has raised up Babylon. So it is foolish for you, little kings, to think of rebelling against Babylon. God has raised it up as His instrument. God has raised up the Babylonian kingdom.

And now [God says] I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant (27:6);

I’ve done it. God is the One that raised up Nebuchadnezzar. God is the One that set him on the throne. Nebuchadnezzar came to realize this in time. But here we find the same acknowledgment in the book of Jeremiah before the experience that Nebuchadnezzar had, recorded in the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar, my servant,

and the beasts of the field have I given also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son (27:6-7),

Interesting. He goes down to his grandson, and his grandson was Belshazzar. And it was during the time of Belshazzar’s reign that the kingdom of Babylon fell to the Medo-Persian Empire. So God carried it. His son, Nabonidus , took over after him and then his grandson Belshazzar and during his reign Babylon fell. So I’ve given it to him and to his son and to his son’s son. Here God accurately predicts really the time of the Babylonian fall.

until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him (27:7).

So a multiplicity of nations, the Medes and the Persians will join together and destroy him. And so here’s interesting prophecy long before the actual fact took place.

And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand (27:8).

So if you seek to rebel, then you’ll be destroyed. God said, “I’m the One that has set this fellow up. I’m the One that’s given him the kingdom. I’m the One that’s given him your kingdoms. And if you fight against it, you’re only going to be destroyed.” And that is so true. Fighting against the will or the work of God only destroys you.

Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, You will not serve the king of Babylon (27:9):

Don’t listen to these men.

For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and that you should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein (27:10-11).

Now if you’ll just submit then you won’t be carried off captive. You’ll be able to remain right in your land. You won’t be destroyed but you can stay right where you are and farm your own ground and all. All you have to do is pay tribute to him, but I’ve given all of you to serve him now.

And so it was, because Judah sought to fight against him Judah was destroyed and carried away to Babylon. Whereas these other kings who hearkened to the voice of Jeremiah, in submitting to Babylon were able to remain in their own lands and till their own territories.

So he said, Jeremiah speaking,

So I spoke also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live (27:12).

Just surrender. Don’t try to fight. Don’t rebel. Just surrender to him and live.

For why will ye die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, You will not serve the king of Babylon: for they are prophesying a lie unto you (27:13-14).

Now we’ll be coming to Habakkuk a while later down the road, another prophet. Habakkuk was prophesying and about this same period as was Jeremiah. And Habakkuk begins his little book by praying unto the Lord and he says, “O Lord, please don’t show me anything else. I can’t take it. God, this whole system is going down the tubes and You’re not doing anything about it. There’s all kinds of corruption in government. There are all kinds of bribery and evil men are reigning. And God, things are getting worse and please, I would just rather not even have an insight into what’s going on because I can’t take it anymore, Lord. To see all of these things happening and You’re not doing anything about it.” And God said to Habakkuk, “Habakkuk, I am doing something about it. But if I told you what I was doing, you wouldn’t believe Me.” Habakkuk said, “Well, try me, Lord.”

And the Lord said, “I am preparing the king of Babylon and he is going to come with his bands and he’s going to take this land captive.” “God, You can’t do that. We’re evil, sure. I recognize that. But man, they’re even worse than we are. Now why would You use a nation that is worse than we are to punish us?” God said, “I told you you wouldn’t believe it.” But Habakkuk’s problem was the method that God was going to use to bring judgment. By using another nation that was even more evil than they were. But God used them as His instrument of judgment.

You say, “Well that doesn’t sound quite right that God would use a more evil nation.” For instance, would God use Russia to bring judgment upon the United States? Quite possibly. He would be following a pattern that He has used in times past. But why would God use an atheistic country that doesn’t even acknowledge God to punish a country that is a Christian nation? Wait a minute. You see, knowledge brings responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required. To sin against knowledge is worse than to sin in ignorance. To him that knoweth to do right and does it not, that’s sin. “He that knew the will of God and yet did not the will of God will be beaten with many stripes. Yet he who did things that were worthy of many stripes, because he did not know the will of the Master will be beaten with few. For unto whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:47-48). And God in the past has used wicked nations as an instrument of judgment against His people who have turned their back upon God.

The United States does not have any real security apart from God and apart from a commitment to God. The world in which we live today is a very insecure world. The present position of the United States is an extremely insecure position. General Lewis Walt, four-star Marine general, wrote a book, The Eleventh Hour. It was published last year. In which he warns of the tremendous peril that the United States presently faces as the result of Russia’s tremendous military strength. General Keegan, I have a speech of his in my office in which he again warns the tremendous peril that the United States is facing at this time because of Russia’s military superiority. General Rogers, the supreme allied commander in Europe, in a Reader’s Digest article last December, warns of the great peril that we are facing at the present time, again pointing out the military weakness of the United States in ratio to Russia.

And each of these generals, Walt, Keegan, Rogers, have pointed to the year 1982 as the crisis year in the history of America. Henry Kissinger has been saying the same thing, that we are facing a tremendous crisis. The Pentagon this week asked for 1.5 trillion dollars over the next five years for military budgets in order that we might begin to close the gap of the disparity that exists between Russia’s power and ours. These men are worried. These men are concerned. General Lewis Walt in the preface of his book The Eleventh Hour said, “I’ve never sent...” He said, “I’ve always had one unbreakable rule and that is I’ve never sent the Marines into battle until I first of all told them the truth as I knew it.” He said, “That’s what I want to do in this book.” He says, “The truth is this: you and your family are facing the greatest peril at this time than any other time in the history of the United States. For whether you live or die, it’s right now being determined by the leaders of the Kremlin. And if they should choose tomorrow that you and your family should die, there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” And he goes on in the book and warns of the peril that faces the United States at this time.

You say, “Well, yeah, but God, that isn’t fair.” I am praying that God will bring our nation to its knees. I’m praying that God will stir us as a nation to return to God, because right now we dare not to trust in our military abilities. They are inferior to Russia’s. We must put our hope and our trust in God if we’re going to survive. That is the only hope the United States right now has. Our strength is not in our military might. Our strength is and must be in the Lord. So Jeremiah brought the message in order that the people might turn to God, in order that God might breathe a sigh of relief and say, “All right, don’t have to destroy.” And God is sounding out a message to the United States today. And it is getting much the response that Jeremiah’s message got.

The political cartoonists are having great time with it. The Daily Pilot today, junky thing, had this political cartoon of this Bible and a snake coming out of the bottom of the Bible marked “Moral Majority” and it takes a big bite out of the constitutional rights as though the moral majority were trying to violate our constitutional rights. It’s just hogwash. But the thing that upsets me is that there are people stupid enough to believe that. People don’t think for themselves. And there are people stupid enough to think that the moral majority is a threat to our constitutional rights. And they're trying to say, “Oh, you know, trying to make America theocracy.” No, we’re only trying to make America a decent place for our children to grow up and our grandchildren to grow up.

I would like my little granddaughter to be able to walk down the street without the fear of her being assaulted and raped and molested. I would like to see some moral decency and moral purity again in this nation. I’d like to be able to send them to the store without them having to see all kinds of magazines and newspaper stands and so forth with nudity all over the place. God, can’t we keep their minds pure at least for a while? Must we put pollution all around? Can’t decent people have the right to live decently? Does constitutional freedom mean that we have to expose everybody to the filth and the pollution of perverted minds? I hope not. Or I’m for changing the Constitution and establishing some basis for morality rather than the nothingness and the vacuum that is being created by the humanists today.

Jeremiah was warning the nation Israel. Conditions existed then in Israel that can exist today in the United States and there’s such a parallel here. Israel was known as God’s nation, the people of God, but they had turned from God. They were filled with immorality. The priests and the prophets were false shepherds and they were leading the people astray. They were bringing the messages of comfort and they were ridiculing the prophets of God who were warning the people of the judgment that was to come. And they were saying, “Oh, they are just a bunch of doomsday prophets,” and making light and fun of the issues. So he wrote, so he spoke to Zedekiah and he said, “Hearken not to those prophets saying that you’re not going to serve the king of Babylon, because that’s a lie.”

For I have not sent them, saith the LORD (27:15).

Verse 15, chapter 27:

yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that you might perish, you, and the prophets that prophesy unto you. Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that are prophesying unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD'S house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they are prophesying a lie unto you (27:15-16).

These prophets are going around saying, “Thus saith the Lord. Oh, the vessels that Nebuchadnezzar took, the golden vessels, they’re soon going to be brought back. They’ll be sitting here in place again, thus saith the Lord.” And Jeremiah says, “Don’t listen to that. That’s a lie.”

Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: for why should this city be destroyed? But if they are true prophets, and the word of the LORD be with them, then let them now make intercession unto the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left here in the house of God, and in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem, are not also carried away to Babylon. For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning this brass sea (27:17-19),

That was made by Solomon that sat there, the big brass sea that was on the twelve oxen and so forth where the priests bathed.

and concerning the bases, and concerning the remaining of the vessels that are in this city, Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all of the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; yes, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are remaining in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem; They also will be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; and then I will bring them up, and restore them to this place (27:19-22).

So hey, the false prophets are coming along and saying, “Ah, the vessels will soon be brought back.” That’s a lie. The vessels that are here, those that haven’t been taken away, will soon be taken away. They’ll be taken away also. Don’t believe their lies. If they're really prophets, let them intercede that the rest that hasn’t been taken away won’t be carried away. Well, when Nebuchadnezzar came back, it was proved that Jeremiah was the true prophet. He took the brass, the pillars and all of the rest of the valuables that were left in the city and carried them away captive to Babylon. They did not return until the time of Nehemiah who received orders from the king Artaxerxes to come back and restore and rebuild. Ezra, during that period, they brought back the treasures. And the king says, “Now take back all these treasures to the house of your Lord.” And Ezra was embarrassed, because man, he had so much gold and silver and precious metals that he was fearful because the area between there and Jerusalem was full of bandits and everything else. We got all this treasure. But he was embarrassed to ask the king for a guard of soldiers to go with him because he’d been telling them how great his God was. “Now the God that we serve, He rules everything.” And now he’s really in a pickle because he’s got all of this vast treasure and he’s worrying now about getting it back there safely after he’d been bragging about God so much. But he said, “We put our trust in the Lord and we started out.” And, of course, the Lord brought them safely in.

Chuck Smith

Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in 1965, with just twenty-five people.