“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).
When our bodies are injured, we know to go to the nearest hospital for help. When our souls are sick, where do we go? We will find no help at the Regional Medical Center. Only God can help the soul and His hospital for the sin-sick is the church. Eugene Peterson was right when he said, “The Sunday morning congregation is a hospital” (Hos. 6:1; Mk. 2:17; Lk. 4:18). How is the church like a hospital?
Male circumcision requires the amputation of the foreskin in order to expose the glans of the penis. The Bible mentions that this procedure was common not only among the Israelites but also in Egypt, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and among “all who live in the wilderness” (Jer 9:25-26); conspicuous by its absence is any mention within Mesopotamian cultures. Consequently, when the Lord spoke with Abraham about circumcision (Gen 17:1-14), any familiarity he had with the procedure probably was gleaned during his Egyptian stay rather than from his experience in his former homeland.
Times of misfortune are also likened to the unexpected and inescapable nature of a trap: “Makeover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them” (Eccles 9:12). These harsh times could be the product of their own making, as in the case of the exile of God’s people from the Promised Land that entrapped them (Isa 42:22; Lam 4:20; Ezek 19:8).
Ancient hunters used four different trapping devices to catch game animals and birds: the pit trap, the snare, the entangling net, and the fowler’s net. In the case of the pit trap, the hunters dug a hole on a game trail that was big enough to hold the animals and deep enough to prevent its escape once it had fallen in. A net was stretched over the top of the pit and disguised so that it looked like solid ground. When an animal stepped on the net, the apparently solid ground collapsed, tripping the animal (Psa 35:7; Jer 18:22). The snare was also set along a game trail. It consisted of a cord with a loop on one end that could tighten around an animal’s foot. The
God always listens to prayers, That does not mean, however, that He is always going to answer them or necessarily be pleased that the person is praying. In Jeremiah 14, God had already made up His mind that He was going to punish Israel for their sins. He told Jeremiah not even to bother praying for the people. Furthermore, He told Jeremiah that He wasn’t going to listen to the cries of the people.
The idea that one Israelite could permanently own another was completely ruled out; and though debt slavery was permitted, it was limited in duration to six years (Exod 21:1-4; Lev 25:39-55). What is more, each slave was invited to participate in the religious life of God’s people, including Passover and the Sabbath day of rest (Exod 12:43-44; 23:12). This took on an even more mature tone when Paul taught that slavery was not a barrier to becoming a
This verse is part of Jeremiah’s declaration that God would bring down the Egyptians because of their idol worship, “No” refers to Thebes, the thriving capital of Upper Egypt that was clustered on both sides of the Nile River. The Hebrew word translated as “multitude” by the King James Version actually refers to the Egyptian god Amon, the chief deity of the city of Thebes.
Because there were always some who suffered more quickly and more deeply from the onset of famine, it also tested the willingness of God’s people to show charity to those who were less fortunate. Believers living at the time of both Nehemiah and Paul responded