from pun to punishment

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from pun to punishment

Jeremiah 23:33-40 (JDV)

Jeremiah 23:33 “Now when these people or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of Yahveh? ‘ you will respond to them, ‘What is the burden? I will throw you away! this is what Yahveh declares.’

Jeremiah 23:34 As for the prophet, priest, or people who say, ‘The burden of Yahveh,’ I will punish that man and his household.

Jeremiah 23:35 This is what each man is to say to his friend and to his brother: ‘What has Yahveh answered? ‘ or ‘What has Yahveh spoken?’

Jeremiah 23:36 But no longer refer to the burden of Yahveh, because each man’s word becomes his burden and you pervert the words of the living God, Yahveh of Armies, our God.

Jeremiah 23:37 Say to the prophet, ‘What has Yahveh answered you? ‘ or ‘What has Yahveh spoken?’

Jeremiah 23:38 But if you say, ‘The burden of Yahveh,’ then this is what Yahveh says: Because you have said, ‘The burden of Yahveh,’ and I specifically told you not to say, ‘The burden of Yahveh,’

Jeremiah 23:39 I will surely forget you. I will throw you away from my presence – both you and the city that I gave you and your fathers.

Jeremiah 23:40 I will bring on you permanent disgrace and humiliation that will never be forgotten.”

from pun to punishment

I have a couple of friends who are always posting puns on social media. Most of the puns are eye-rollingly stupid, but that is what makes them funny. Yet, to their credit, they both always manage to find new material to post, because there is nothing more tedious than an overused pun.

In Jeremiah’s day, the people started using a pun for a subject that they should not have touched: God’s oracle, coming from the prophet. The Hebrew word massa’(מַשָּׂא) can mean oracle: something pronounced, or it can mean burden: something carried. When people asked Jeremiah what the current massa’ was, they always did it with a wink, because they intended the pun.

Both Jeremiah and God were fed up with hearing that bad pun. God told the people to stop it. He was going to visit hardship and punishment on them for their careless attitude about him and their abuse of his prophet.

Lord, teach us reverence and humility when it comes to the things you hold sacred.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !
This entry was posted in discipleship, holiness, humility, prophecy, reverence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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