wearing the choker
Jeremiah 27:1-22 (JDV)
Jeremiah 27:1 At the first part of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Yahveh:
Jeremiah 27:2 This is what Yahveh said to me: “Make chains and chokers for yourself and put them on your neck.
Jeremiah 27:3 Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon through messengers who are coming to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 27:4 Command them to go to their masters, saying, ‘This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Tell this to your masters:
Jeremiah 27:5 “By my great strength and outstretched arm, I made the land, and the people, and animals on the face of the land. I give it to anyone I please.
Jeremiah 27:6 So now I have placed all these lands under the hand of my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. I have even given him the wild animals to serve him.
Jeremiah 27:7 All nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until the time for his own land comes, and then many nations and great kings will enslave him.
Jeremiah 27:8 ” ‘ “As for the nation or kingdom that does not serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and does not place its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish by sword, famine, and plague – this is what Yahveh declares – until by him I have destroyed it.
Jeremiah 27:9 So you should not listen to your prophets, diviners, dreamers, fortune-tellers, or sorcerers who say to you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon! ‘
Jeremiah 27:10 They are prophesying a lie to you so that you will be removed from your land. I will banish you, and you will perish.
Jeremiah 27:11 But as for the nation that will put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave it in its own land, and that nation will cultivate it and reside in it. this is what Yahveh declares.” ‘”
Jeremiah 27:12 I spoke to King Zedekiah of Judah in the same way: “Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, serve him and his people, and live!
Jeremiah 27:13 Why should you and your people die by the sword, famine, and plague as Yahveh has threatened against any nation that does not serve the king of Babylon?
Jeremiah 27:14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you.
Jeremiah 27:15 ‘I have not sent them’– this is what Yahveh declares – ‘and they are prophesying falsely in my name; therefore, I will banish you, and you will be destroyed – you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.'”
Jeremiah 27:16 Then I spoke to the priests and all these people, saying, “This is what Yahveh says: ‘Do not listen to the words of your prophets. They are prophesying to you, claiming, “Notice, very soon now the articles of Yahveh’s temple will be brought back from Babylon.” They are prophesying a lie to you.
Jeremiah 27:17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live! Why should this city become a ruin?
Jeremiah 27:18 If they are indeed prophets and if the word of Yahveh is with them, let them intercede with Yahveh of Armies not to let the articles that remain in Yahveh’s temple, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem go to Babylon.’
Jeremiah 27:19 You see, this is what Yahveh of Armies says about the pillars, the basin, the water carts, and the rest of the articles that still remain in this city,
Jeremiah 27:20 those King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take when he deported Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 27:21 Yes, this is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says about the articles that remain in the temple of Yahveh, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem:
Jeremiah 27:22 ‘They will be taken to Babylon and will remain there until I attend to them again.’ this is what Yahveh declares. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.'”
wearing the choker
Serving the king of Babylon did not sound like the thing to do for someone committed to God and his covenant. It sounded like the opposite of the right thing. But God had a plan for history that required all the nations to bow the knee to this foreign king. After a while, it would be Babylon’s time to be ruled by someone else. But, for now, Jeremiah told all the nations to wear the choker, because it was God’s will.
There are a number of things that we have to do now that are not in line with God’s eternity. But we do them now, and we wait for better times to come, when we will not have to do them.
Lord, give us wisdom to tolerate those things in life we cannot change, as well as the courage to change the things you want us to.