Today, we started on Jeremiah 3, where Jeremiah uses a metaphor that compares Israel, the northern 10 tribes to a prostitute and warns the kingdom of Judah that it is going down the same path.
A question that Pastor John addressed were about the northern and southern kingdoms. The following is a list by land apportionments: 1. Reuben, 2. Judah, 3. Issachar, 4. Zebulun, 5. Dan, 6. Naphtali, 7. Gad, 8. Asher, 9 Benjamin, 10. Ephraim (son of Joseph), 11. Manasseh (son of Joseph). Neither Simeon or Levi received territorial allotments, but had scattered cities within tribal portions. (Genesis 49:5-7) The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, and Manasseh. The Northern Kingdom was referred to as Israel and had been conquered by Assyria in 547 BCE led by Sennacherib, during the reign of King Hezakiah in the Kingdom of Judah. At that time, Hezakiah strengthened the defenses of Jerusalem to keep the Assyrians from conquering them as well despite the fact that the Assyrians laid siege to Jerusalem. The Southern Kingdom consisted of Judah and Benjamin and Levi which had not received a land commitment but were the tribe of priests and were scattered in both kingdoms, but were mostly attributed to and present in the Southern Kingdom. http://jewsandjoes.com/blog/what-tribes-made-up-the-northern-kingdom-of-israel/
Why did God forsake Israel and “Cause” the Assyrians to conquer them? So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
The Southern Kingdom, or Kingdom of Judah was occupied by Babylon and they pillaged Jerusalem and took 10,000 of the best and brightest Jews back to Babylon. This was done by the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. This was not done because the Jews rebelled against Babylon, but rather Israel rebelled against God. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 422 BCE.
Jeremiah was called to speak to the people in Israel who had forsaken God and worshipped many other Gods such as Baal, yet God in his mercy still extended his loving hand to his “unfaithful bride.” Some have said of Jeremiah’s writings that they were looking forward to the arrival of the messiah, Jesus. Some mentions of circumcision of the heart seem to refer to more of a virtual presence rather than a physical sign on the body. There are other similar references. The Old Testament was in many ways an attempt to get on God’s good side and then the people would receive the blessings that God could bestow on them. The Lutheran Study Bible talks about Luther’s understanding of Jeremiah and called the epistle of James, the epistle of straw because of its emphasis on works and Luther knew that didn’t work for him. A question was asked in terms of God causing the Assyrians and the Babylonians to conquer the Jews of that day of there were people who said that the holocaust was caused by God and if so, what were the Jews of that era doing that would cause God to such a horrific thing? I think there are certainly limits to this kind of thinking and the holocaust is not something caused by God!!!