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Jeremiah エレミアの書

Today we continue our six or seven year series on the books of the Bible – one a month. We started with Genesis in January ’13, last time reached the major prophets (Isaiah), and today we have reached the book of Jeremiah.

Overview and place in history 歴史的概観と位置づけ

It’s interesting that as we have recently been looking at joy, today we are looking at a man who was known as ‘the weeping prophet’. It’s sad that this book of struggles and loss (Jeremiah) is the longest book in the Bible (most words).最近喜びについて触れましたが今日は「涙の予言者」として知られたある男について見ていきます。困難や喪失について書かれたこのエレミアの書は聖書の中で最も長いのです。
Primarily a prophet of doom, Jeremiah was as unpopular in his day as he was faithful. He only had a few friends. And he had his faithful secretary, Baruch. 当初、運命の予言者エレミアは信仰深かったですがあまり知られた存在ではありませんでした。彼にはわずかな友人しかいませんでした。彼には忠実な秘書のバルクがついていました。

Jeremiah and his prophecies were intricately tied into the time and place of his ministry.
[Image] Looking at the timeline, we can see that his prophetic ministry began in 626 b.c. and ended sometime after 586 b.c.
We can see here who his fellow prophets were: Habakkuk was a contemporary, and Obadiah may have been also. Ezekiel (who we’ll look at next) was a late contemporary of Jeremiah.

[Image] We can see here which kings Jeremiah ministered to: Josiah (640–609 b.c.), Jehoahaz (609), Jehoiakim (609–598), Jehoiachin (598–597) and Zedekiah (597–586). It was a period of storm and stress when the smaller states of western Asia were being swallowed up in the power plays of the three giants of the region: Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. And Judah was one of those smaller states that were swallowed up. エレミア王が助けた人たちを見ていきます:ヨシュア(640–609 b.c.)、ヨアハズ(609)、エホヤキム(609–598)、ヨヤキン(598–597)、ゼデカイア(597–586)です。この時代は、小さい西アジアの国家が3つの強大な地域の力に飲み込まれた、激動の時代でした:エジプト、アッシリア、バビロンの3つです。ユダ王国は征服された小さな国家のうちの一つでした。

In 605 b.c., Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king (46:2) captured Jerusalem, and carried off the Israelites into exile into Babylon, including Daniel and his three companions. (Da 1:3–6). Others in Judah feared the Babylonians and quickly fled to Egypt, taking Jeremiah and Baruch with them (43:4–7). 紀元前605年に、バビロニアの王ネブカドネザルはエルサレムを征服し、イスラエル人をバビロンへと連れ去りました、その中にはダニエルと3人の仲間もいました。ユダ王国の他の者はバビロニア人を恐れたため、エレミアとバルクを伴って急いでエジプトへと向かいました。

In short, Jeremiah prophesied at a time of great turmoil and loss. Everything that the Israelites had fought and lived for and believed and hoped was now lost. The Israelites were now a defeated people. A finished nation. The promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had, it seemed, gone. The Promised Land had been taken from them. Everything now looked utterly hopeless. 要するに、エレミアはこの壮絶な混乱の時代に予言を行ったのです。イスラエル人が命を懸けて戦ったもの、信じたもの、願ったものは全て失われました。イスラエル人は敗者となりました。国家は滅びました。イサクとヤコブがアブラハムと交わした約束は消失したかのようでした。約束の地はバビロニアに奪われてしまいました。全てのことが絶望的に思えました。

Three key issues in the ministry of Jeremiah. (As we look at these, be reminded that every book of the OT points to Jesus. Everything is part of the God’s great redemptive program.)

​1​Jeremiah hated false prophets エレミアは偽の予言者を嫌った

I’m not going to get into the details of the rot that Jeremiah had to deal with in his day.
But Jeremiah and Jesus shared the same feelings. 当時エレミアが対処しなければならなかったくだらない問題の詳細を言うつもりはありません。しかし、エレミアとイエスは同じ感情を持っていたのです。
Matthew 7:15,16 (21) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them.
(21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.)
マタイの福音書 にせ預言者を警戒せよ。彼らは、羊の衣を着てあなたがたのところに来るが、その内側は強欲なおおかみである。 16 あなたがたは、その実によって彼らを見わけるであろう。茨からぶどうを、あざみからいちじくを集める者があろうか。
(21 わたしにむかって『主よ、主よ』と言う者が、みな天国にはいるのではなく、ただ、天にいますわが父の御旨を行う者だけが、はいるのである。)

In his book on ‘Breakthrough Prayer, the Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Jim Cymbala puts a face on modern false prophets. He calls out ‘seed faith’ teachers who guarantee you a financial blessing if you support their ministry. Other ‘hot new ministries’ include chanting, praying and mentally imaging that ‘money is on the way’. Others call it ‘Giving to a new level of anointing’ and other spiritual terms that sound impressive but are just greed in disguise.
We are to bring our titles and offerings into the church where there is order and transparency. But beware the false prophets who want to line their own pockets.

We have other wolves today in sheep’s clothing: pedophile priests who have brought so much disgrace to the name of Jesus that churches and believers have become objects of ridicule.
We have cycles of divorce and remarriage amongst high-profile preachers in the west.
Pastors deciding to accept and condone homosexual practice in the church.

Jesus sent us to convert the world, not conform to it.
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, had his work cut out for him converting the world.
Jesus, the man of sorrows, faced the same.
So do we today. Like Jeremiah and Jesus, we must have contempt for Christian leaders who spew false teaching.

​2​Jeremiah confronted the sin of the people エレミアは罪のある人々と直に向き合った

Jeremiah lashed out against the sins of his countrymen (44:23), scorning them severely for their idolatry—worshipping anything other than God.
But Jeremiah loved the people of Judah in spite of their sins, and he prayed for them (14:7,20) even when the Lord told him not to (7:16; 11:14; 14:11).

This is something we must do today with those in the Christian family. We must confront sin but we must love and pray for the sinner. これは今日の私たちがクリスチャンの家族とともにしなければいけないことです。私たちは罪に向き合う必要がありますが、罪びとを愛し彼らのために祈ることが必要です。
We mustn’t expect redeemed behaviour from those who have not been redeemed – those outside the church, unbelievers. We’re not to judge them. But for those in the house of God, for those who call themselves Christians, we must be a holy people and purge sin from the house of God. 私たちはまだ罪から救われていない人々が罪から救われたかのような行動を取ることを期待してはいけません-教会の外や神を信じていない人たちです。彼らを裁いてはいけません。しかし神さまの家に住む人たち、自分をクリスチャンだという人たちに対しては、私たちは聖なる人々であり神さまの家から穢れを取り除くする必要があります。

Three common areas today – sexuality immorality: fornication, pornography, homosexual practice and other forms of sexual immorality 現代横行する3つのこと-性に関する不滅のこと:姦淫、わいせつな写真、同性愛、他の形態の卑猥なもの。
1 Cor 6:9,10 Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. まちがってはいけない。不品行な者、偶像を礼拝する者、姦淫をする者、男娼となる者、男色をする者、盗む者、 ・欲な者、酒に酔う者、そしる者、略奪する者は、いずれも神の国をつぐことはないのである。
​•​Greed (for money) disguised as spirituality (see above)
– Pride – in an age of individuality and personal rights, we have a learned tendency to put our welfare above that of others.

In a recent church mail I talked about the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience. Someone replied, having read through the whole passage, and asked me why there were twice as many curses as blessings. Doesn’t this mean God is twice as harsh as he is kind? No. This imbalance of blessings and curses reflects our sinful nature, not God’s.

Jeremiah’s weeping and mourning is not merely over what is lost. It’s the same mourning that Jesus spoke of in the sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
Mourn what? Sin. Grieving over our sin. Really sorry for our sin.
We are so unpracticed at mourning sin today.
What we are practiced at is making excuses for sin or downplaying sin.

Conversely, we sometimes give up and fall into depression over our sinfulness. But this too is to misunderstand the nature of mourning for sin and the nature of God and His redemptive plan. The purpose of mourning our sin is not for condemnation, it’s for restoration. The purpose of mourning our sin is for restoration.

​3​Judgement and redemption 審理と贖罪

There is an undeniable relationship between sin and its consequences, 罪とその結果の疑いようのない関係、
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
This was so visible to Jeremiah as he watched his beloved Judah in her death throes. It made him a fiery preacher of righteousness, and his oracles have lost none of their power over the centuries.
This principle of reaping and sowing just as visible today.この種をまきそれを刈り取ることの原則は現代と同じことです。
Jeremiah was called to the unhappy task of announcing the destruction of the kingdom of Judah. It was his commission to deliver God’s indictment against his people and proclaim the end of an era. This made him a traitor in the eyes of many in Jerusalem, especially most of the prophets who were falsely predicting a victory for Israel.

But here’s the key thing. God’s judgment of his people (and the nations), though terrible, was not to be the last word, or the final work of God in history. Mercy and faithfulness would triumph over wrath. Beyond the judgment would come restoration and renewal.

Jeremiah’s message illumined the near horizon as well as the distant.
He prophesied an impossible redemption from 70 years of exile.
And that foreshadowed a much greater redemption that would come 600 years later when Jesus delivered all of humanity from spiritual exile.
This is a redemption that is still available today.