Sunday, August 26, 2012


Jeremiah 16:14-21

God told Judah, through Jeremiah, that he would thrust the people of Judah out of the land for their sin. But in these passages we study today, he also told them he would bring them back.

The New Exodus

The Exodus was the defining event of the Lord’s relationship with Israel. He repeatedly described himself in the Old Testament as the Lord who brought them up out of Egypt. It was the founding event of the covenant. Before he entered into the covenant with Israel, he said “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” (Exodus 19:4)

The Exodus was God’s redemption of Israel. He redeemed them and then he entered into a covenant relationship with them. It also serves us as a picture, or type, of redemption in Christ.

In these verses, the Lord first portrays the future return from Babylon as a second Exodus. He puts it in terms of an oath. People then swore an oath by the Lord who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. But later they will swear an oath by the Lord who brought them up out of the “north country”, which is Babylon.

This is a big statement. He says he will bring them out of Babylon with his power and save them. They will not save themselves.

Second, the Lord emphasized how he would seek them out by saying he would send hunters and fishers all over to find them. 

The Lord Who Sees

The Lord could find them all because his eyes were on them and he saw their ways.  This had a positive and a negative outcome. The positive outcome is that he could find them anywhere and bring them home. The negative outcome is that he saw their iniquity. 

This also demonstrates another attribute of God. He is omnipresent. He is everywhere present. We, in contrast, are present only in one place at one time. Since God is everywhere present, he can see all the Israelites wherever they are. He has no spatial limitations. In Jeremiah 23:23-24 he said “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” Psalm 139:7-10 also deals with this.

A related attribute is also that God is timeless. Psalm 90:2 says “from everlasting to everlasting you are God”. He calls himself the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come. (Revelation 1:8) He called himself I AM in Exodus 3:14 when he revealed himself to Moses. He is the eternal “I AM”, the one who eternally exists.

Because he is timeless, he sees all time equally. Psalm 90:4 says “for a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past or as a watch in the night”. 2 Peter 3:8 says “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day”. We see time one day at a time. God sees all time all the time. So, God could see the people of Judah heading for exile and he could see the remnant he would bring home.

Punishment Comes First

God reminds them that, although he will bring the nation back, he will punish the nation first. In fact, he said he would doubly repay their iniquity and sin.  I believe the use of the word “doubly” here means “fully” as opposed to exactly twice the amount of their sin. There is some use of the Hebrew word in non-biblical writings to mean “equivalent”. There may also be a sense of God, having refrained from fully expressing his wrath over the years, now pours it on fully for all the sins of the generations that worshipped idols.

Isaiah 40:1-5 uses this same term and carries the same message. The perspective of this verse is different than Jeremiah 16:18, for it is spoken as if the exile is over. In Isaiah, God says her (meaning Israel) iniquity is pardoned because she received double for all her sins. This means Israel was fully punished for her sins by her exile and she could now come home. That period turns out to be 70 years. We will study that in chapter 29 of Jeremiah.  

The Long Term Plan

Jeremiah mentioned God’s long term plan to bring the Gentiles into the family. He said ”to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth”.(19) This is a further statement of the Lord’s promise to Abraham: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”. (Genesis 12:3)  We know that word was not fulfilled in the return of the Jews from Babylon, for the nations did not come to them, except to conquer them.

Rather, that promise saw fulfillment first in the ministry of Jesus. His ministry in Galilee spread his fame throughout Syria, the Decapolis and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25) The Decapolis was a confederation of 10 cities that were in Semitic countries but adopted the Greek life style. The cities were:

  1. Gerasa in Jordan
  2. Scythopolis in Israel,
  3. Hippos in Israel
  4. Gadara in Jordan
  5. Pella  in Jordan
  6. Philadelphia, modern day Amman, the capital of Jordan
  7. Capitolias in Jordan
  8. Canatha  in Syria
  9. Raphana in Jordan
  10. Damascus, the capital of modern Syria.
The cities contained people from many countries. They practiced Greek culture. That is why you see people keeping pigs in Gadara or Gerasa where Jesus drove the demons from the man in Mark 5/Matthew 8:28 et seq.
Jesus healed the son of a Roman Centurion in Matthew 8:5-13.

Matthew said Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 42 “and in his name the Gentiles will hope”.

Then Jesus commanded the disciples to bring about greater fulfillment, telling them to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19) Peter first went to the Gentiles when he preached the gospel to Cornelius, another centurion, in Acts 10. Converted Jews who left Jerusalem under persecution preached the gospel to Greeks in Antioch in Acts 11. Paul then became the full time apostle to the Gentiles, going the island of Cyprus, Asia and Europe. In Colossians 1:23, Paul said the gospel had been preached in all creation under heaven.

These Gentiles would come to worship God in Christ. They would abandon their idols. That is what God said would happen here in Jeremiah 16:19-20.

They Will Know Who the Lord Is

Not only would all these peoples come to God, they would know him. In fact, the Lord said he will “make them power and my might and they shall know that my name is YHWH”.

Jesus said: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

And we do!

Sunday, August 19, 2012



In this chapter, God gives two object lessons to teach Jeremiah what he will do to Judah and why.  The first is a linen loincloth and the second is a jar of wine.

13:1-11 Object lesson 1: The Linen Loincloth

The Lord told Jeremiah to buy a linen loincloth and put it around his waist.  There is some debate about that this is. Some think it is a type of underwear.  Others think it is a sash or belt.  Linen was a fine fabric.

So Jeremiah bought the loincloth and wore it. 

But then, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah again and told him to take the loincloth to the Euphrates River and hide it in the cleft of a rock. The Euphrates is the river that ran through Babylon. So, we have to think God is making a point about Babylon as well as Judah.

After a long while, the Lord sent Jeremiah back to get the loin cloth. (6). He dug it up and, no surprise, found it ruined and rotten. (7)

So Jeremiah is standing there at the river and looking at this piece of rotten linen and the Lord explains his purpose. He said, as the dirt spoiled this piece of linen, so will I spoil the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. (8-9) The Judahites had become proud and arrogant. They refused to obey the Lord. They had become evil. The Bible tells us repeatedly that the Lord does not like pride in his people. He values obedience and love.   He also promised to break their pride: I will break your proud glory (Leviticus 26:19).

Here is how the Lord described them:
1. they refused to hear his words,
2. they were stubborn,
3. they followed their own hearts,
4. they worshipped other gods, and
5. because of these things, they were good for nothing.

What does this tell us?  First of all, those who stubbornly do what they want and do not worship and obey God are worthless to him.  I would hate for God to tell me “you are useless to me, you are good for nothing”. 

The other thing that stands out to me is that God was unhappy that his people “followed their own hearts”. I found that telling, for that is a thing we are encouraged to do by many. It is a thing I object to in Disney movies.  The theme is often “children must be free to follow their hearts and parents should not get in their way”. This was the primary theme of Little Mermaid. At the end of the movie, a character sees the happy ending and says this to us. This happy ending only came about after the Little Mermaid’s father sacrificed himself to free her from the consequences of her mistakes. But the ending does not glorify the sacrifice, only the rebellion.

It will not turn out that way for us.  Disney does not get to remake the message of the Bible. The Bible glorifies obedience to God as a measure of our love for him. In the New Covenant, it is a matter of gladly living to glorify God who sacrificed himself to free us from our slavery to sin and its consequences. Obedience is valued over rebellion. Sacrifice is valued over self centeredness. 

One reason we follow the Word of God rather than our feelings is that our hearts cannot be trusted. In chapter 17, the Lord will say this plainly. You cannot trust your feelings because they are an expression of your desire. But the Word of God tells us the will of God. We seek that rather than ourselves.

Notice in verse 11 what God offered the people of Israel. They could be for God a people, a name, a raise and a glory. If they had lived in obedience and love, they would have brought glory to the name of the Lord and enjoyed the blessing of his favor.

The Father offers that today to those who believe in and obey his Son. He called them “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”. 1 Peter 2:9.

13:12-14 Object Lesson 2: Jars filled with Wine

In this passage, the Lord says he will fill all the leaders with drunkenness so that they will turn on each other. Then he says he will destroy them without pity.

While I can see a Baptist preacher taking off on a drinking sermon here, I do not think this is about drinking and drunkenness.  Rather, there is a play on words within the object lesson.  There was a saying “every jar will be filled with wine”, meaning we expect great prosperity. It is the equivalent of the French king saying he would make France so prosperous, every peasant would have a chicken in his pot on Sunday. The American Democrats later adopted the saying.

So the Lord plays off this saying and contradicts it, saying you will not be prosperous, in fact it will get bad and everyone will turn on each other to survive. This will be part of the destruction I will pour out on you.

The additional image is likely the use of wine for wrath, the pouring out of wrath. For example, Revelation 14:9-10 says “if anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur…”

13:15-17 Jeremiah Calls Judah To Repentance

After hearing these terrible words of warning from the Lord, Jeremiah calls the people to repent of their pride and to bring glory to God.  (15) Yet, he knows they will not listen. So he wept because of their pride that kept them captive to sin. This is why Jeremiah is often referred to as the weeping prophet.

13:18-27 Jeremiah Speaks to Royalty

In this section, Jeremiah addressed the king and the queen mother (the mother of the king). Jeremiah may have delivered this message to Jeconiah, the son and successor of Jehoiachin and his mother, Nehushta, when the Babylonian generals had camped out near Jerusalem, but did not besiege it until Nebuchadnezzar arrived with the great body of the army. (2 Kings 24:8-16)

He told them they were really not ruling anymore because the cities of the Negeb were shut up and the country taken into exile. This seems to be looking forward to the exile as a forgone conclusion. The Negeb is in the south, so Jeremiah was saying that the Babylonians did not just get the people of the north, as the Assyrians did, but all the way through the country.

Notice in verse 20, Jeremiah refers to the flock. The king was supposed to be a shepherd for the people, leading them to obey God and keep the covenant. Long before Israel had a king, the Lord gave instructions that the king was to copy the book of the law for himself, read it every day and obey it. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20) He would lead the people in knowledge and obedience. And in fact we see that Israel prospered under Godly kings and suffered under evil kings.

The final part of this chapter deals with the Lord’s intent to shame or humiliate Judah. “lifting up your skirts” speaks to great humiliation. These people wore long robes.  The exposure of their bodies was intensely humiliating. So, not only will Judah suffer defeat and desolation and exile, it will suffer humiliation at the hands of the Babylonians.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


"The person who wants to be justified by works must do more than produce just a few good deeds. He must bring with him perfect obedience to the Law. And those who have outstripped all others and have progressed the most in the Law of the Lord are still very far from this perfect obedience."  John Calvin

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A "chip off the old block":

one daughter, one grand daughter and One Sovereign God!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Jeremiah’s Complaint

In chapter 12, Jeremiah complained to the Lord.  It is a complaint most of us have made. He asks “why do the wicked prosper?” The corollary question is “why do I not prosper when I am faithful?”

Notice that Jeremiah asked the question respectfully.  He began his question by stating that the Lord is righteous.  Righteous means to act according to a standard.  Jeremiah confessed that God always acts according to his holy nature. He is not capricious, that is he does not act according to different standards on different occasions. 

So, it is not that Jeremiah is accusing God of being unrighteous. Rather, he says “I know you are righteous, so please explain why this happens. I do not understand it.”

Jeremiah was not talking about the Babylonians, either.  He was talking about the wicked people of his own country, his own priestly line and his family.  Remember that God just told him the men of his city were plotting to kill him. (11:18)

Jeremiah described them as wicked and treacherous. They do not love God.  We all know people like this and we all know some prosperous people like this.

Why do I Not Prosper?

Jeremiah says, Lord you know me and my heart toward you.  He means you know I love you. I am faithful. I am obedient.  Yet, everyone hates me.  People want to kill me. 

Jeremiah’s Remedy

Jeremiah called for God to punish them.  He actually asked God to kill them. He said pull them out for slaughter.  This is not an attitude I recommend, but the guy is honest. And we’ve all thought that. God why do you not just take this bad person out that is bothering me?

We heard David make this same plea in the Psalms. He was often surrounded by enemies and cried to the Lord for help. In Psalm 28:4, he spoke of the wicked and said “give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds”. Like Jeremiah, he wanted God to bring judgment on his wicked enemies soon.

Peter wanted to call down fire on a village that did not receive Christ. (Luke 9:51-56)

Jesus, however, prayed for his enemies: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

God Answered

The Bible records several instances of people questioning God.  His response varied with the situation.  For example, Job endured all of his suffering well. But at the end, he questioned God.  In chapter 31, Job extols all the good things he has done.  He asserts himself as blameless and then demanded that God answer him and tell him why all this happened. (31:35) He said “let the Almighty answer me”. 

What happened?  Well, first his friend Elihu got onto him because he justified himself rather than God. This went on from chapter 32 through chapter 37.  That is a long rebuke!

But after that, God answered Job by asserting God’s sovereignty and Job’s lack of standing to question his ways.  This went on from chapter 38 though chapter 41!

Fortunately, Job’s response was to repent and all went well from then on. 

Here, Jeremiah did not make any demands.  More importantly, he did not defame God’s character.  So, God answered.

It is a good thing for us to remember this approach.  When you do not understand something, do not accuse God of being unjust or unrighteous.  That is blasphemy. We know he is just and righteous because he has said so in his word. So confess that he is just and righteous, but that you do not understand what he is doing.  He may reveal what he is doing or why, or he may not. He may require you to simply trust him and follow him.

It is also good to remember that God does not owe you an answer. He may require that you simply trust him. A good verse to memorize is Deuteronomy 29:29. It says:

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

God is sovereign. He is working in the world to accomplish his plan and his will. He will reveal some of that to us. Some he will keep secret. That part you trust him for. There is a song that says I will live by faith even when I cannot see.  But the fact is, you only live by faith when you cannot see. When you can see, you live by sight, not faith.

The Lord lets Jeremiah know this is also a tragedy for the Lord.  Look at verses 7-9 and notice all the first person pronouns (I and my). Israel had grieved him more than it had grieved Jeremiah.  Further, Israel rejected Jeremiah because it rejected the Lord. 

Jesus told the same thing to his disciples.  He said “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death and you will be hated for my name’s sake”. Matthew 24:9. He also said “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18.

The First Answer (12:5-6)

God’s first answer, however, was not to explain himself.  Instead, he pointed out Jeremiah’s lack of endurance. He basically said, if you are panicked now, what are you going to do when the going really gets rough.  The implication here is that Jeremiah must trust the Lord no matter what, and not listen to those who criticize or blaspheme God. But, he should know that the worst is yet to come. This is the metaphor of verse 5. God was saying, if the men of the little village of Anathoth wear you out, how will you deal with the kings and priests in Jerusalem. Because they would later persecute him greatly. 

The Second Answer (12:7-13)
What God Will Do To Wicked Israel

God told Jeremiah he would indeed punish the wicked in Israel.  The time was not quite ripe, but he would do it. He had already started it.  He has forsaken his house, meaning the temple. (12:7) Since the Lord’s presence inhabited the temple, that was a big thing.  He had also abandoned Israel as his heritage.  That means he would no longer protect them and keep them in the land. 

In our time, we would like God to punish the wicked.  In many countries, the church is persecuted.   In our country, we are seeing the culture move away from God at an alarming pace.  We see increased government opposition to the church.  The New Testament is clear that there will be judgment at the end.  Some may be removed or punished in our time, but most will continue on until God decides the time of mercy is over and the time of judgment has come.

Even worse, sometime we see wicked people right in the middle of church.  Jesus will judge the wicked who infiltrate the church as well, but not until the end.  Jesus told parables about it.  We know the parable in America as the “wheat and tares”. Weeds, known as tares in Biblical times, grew up among the wheat stalks.  Jesus said at the harvest the weeds will be separated from the wheat and burned.  This is a parable of judgment of the wicked. (Matthew 13:24)

The Third Answer (12:14-17)
God Will Judge the Neighboring Nations

The last part of God’s answer to Jeremiah is that he will also punish the wicked nations who help Babylon destroy Israel. This is in verse 14. There are a couple of word plays here. First, the word “pluck”. He will pluck Israel from its land. And if the nations do not repent, he will pluck them up out of their land.

This was fulfilled, I believe, as Nebuchadnezzar swept across the continent. Josephus wrote that Nebuchadnezzar subdued Syria, Ammon, Moab and finally Egypt.  [Josephus, Antiquities, 10:9.7]

But notice God’s grace and mercy.  Even as he will return Israel to its land, he will have mercy on the nations if they repent.  He said in verse 15 he would punish those nations who harmed Israel by driving them out of their lands, but if they repented he would bring them back. And, if they learned from Israel how to worship God, they will be built up in the midst of God’s people. (16) This is the second word play. Israel learned bad things from living in the midst of these countries. (16) But these countries can find salvation in the midst of Israel, God’s people.

I believe this word is fulfilled in Christ and the church. Jesus commanded the church to take the gospel to all people.  As people from all over the world received Christ as savior and lord, this word to Jeremiah was fulfilled.  They learned to worship God through Christ and will inherit the kingdom and the world just as the Jews who received Christ. 
Ephesians 2:13-20 deals with this concept.  Jesus brought the non-Jewish nations (the Gentiles of the New Testament) to God through the blood of Christ.  He made Jew and Gentile one body through the cross. Gentiles became fellow citizens of the House of God and all believers together became the temple through the work of the Holy Spirit.

That is why racial prejudice among Christians is wrong.  According to Christ, there are no races.  There are only his family, his house, his temple, and those who reject him and are part of “the world”. 

Revelation 7:9 records John’s vision of the throne of Christ.  He saw a great multitude from all tribes and peoples and languages standing before the throne crying out “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” The church on earth should reflect the church in eternity.  Men and women of all races, colors, nationalities, languages and ages should stand together in worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012



In this chapter, the Lord makes plain the problem.  He entered into a covenant with Israel and Israel broke that covenant.  God told Jeremiah to tell that message to Judah and Jerusalem.

God Made A Covenant With Israel

The Lord told Jeremiah to repeat the covenant to the people. (2) He wanted to covenant spoken to them and he wanted them to listen.  He was so serious about it, he said any who does not hear the words of the covenant is cursed. (3) The NIV reads “terms” instead of “words”. Every other version reads “words”. 

As he almost always did, the Lord first reminded them of his great work of redemption.  Before he made a covenant with them, he brought them out of Egypt.(4) He brought them out of the “iron furnace”, the slavery they endured there with its hard work.  “Iron furnace” is a metaphor for their bitter affliction.  This is what we read about in the book of Exodus.

Next, the Lord reminded them, through Jeremiah, that he brought them to himself and told them they must obey all of his commandments and, if they did, he would be their God and they would be his people.(4-5)  Additionally, if they obeyed him, he would give them a prosperous land. That is what he means by a land flowing with milk and honey.  This is recorded in Exodus 19.  This blessing was conditional.  The blessing of the land was conditioned upon obedience to the covenant law.

And Jeremiah said “so be it, Lord”.  He obeyed the Lord’s command to speak the terms of the covenant to the people. But he also obeyed the covenant itself. 

One thing you might note here is that the Lord did not enter into the covenant with the people he was addressing through Jeremiah.  Rather, he made that covenant with the Israelites that lived years before.  And that covenant was a partial fulfillment of an even older covenant, the one the Lord made with Abraham in Genesis 15.  (Genesis 15:18)

So the Lord kept his covenant with successive generations of Hebrews after making that covenant with their ancestors.  Likewise, the successive generations of Hebrews were bound to obey the covenant laws and ordinances even though they were not parties to the original transaction.

Side Note – God is a God of Covenant

One thing we have done in this study of Jeremiah is to note when God reveals something about himself.  That is because we want to know God. To know God, we must know his character and how he relates to us. 

The Bible shows us that God relates to mankind through covenants.  Each of these covenants are between a sovereign and a vassal.  The sovereign tells the vassal what he has done for him, tells him what he must do, sets out the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience. God has made several covenants with men that are recorded in the Bible. Let’s take a quick look at these.

God made a covenant with Adam.  Some argue this was not a covenant.  Hosea 6:7 seems to say it was.  The terms of the covenant were that Adam would take care of the Garden, have children, find his food there, but not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The blessing is that he gets to stay in the Garden, live in God’s presence and not die.  The curse for disobedience is death.  This death includes physical death and spiritual death, shown by Adam’s expulsion from the Garden.  This is set out in Genesis 2:15-17. Romans 5 shows us that Adam was the representative of all mankind in this covenant.  We are all sinners, estranged from God. We all die.

God made a covenant with Noah after the flood.  This is in Genesis 8 and 9.  Noah was to be fruitful and multiply. God would not curse the ground again or destroy everything by flood. 

God made a covenant with Abraham. God took Abraham out of a wilderness of idolatry and brought him to Canaan.  This is in Genesis 12-15.  He promised to give the land to his descendants, to make him a great nation and to bless all the peoples of the earth through him.  Abraham and his descendants were to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. (Genesis 18:19)

God made a covenant with Israel. We see this in Exodus 19-20.  Additionally, the books of Exodus and Leviticus spell out the covenant ordinances.  Deuteronomy restates the covenant for Israel before the go into Canaan.  God brought Israel out of Egypt and gave them a place to live in his presence.  They had to obey his ordinances to stay in the land and prosper.  This is the covenant Jeremiah is preaching in this chapter.  This is what we often call the Old Covenant.

God made a New Covenant with believers to provide salvation and eternal life to those who believe in Christ and obey him.  He also made a covenant with his Son, Jesus, that Jesus would die to pay the penalty for sin, and the Father would give him a people who believe and follow him.  Then he would exalt him above all.

The Covenant Curses

In these verses, the Lord told Jeremiah to remind the people of the covenant curses.  When he brought Israel out of Egypt, he warned the people of the penalty for disobedience. 

Certainly you could infer the penalty from the promise.  If the promise is conditioned upon obedience, you could infer that disobedience would negate the promise.  In other words, if you do not obey, you will not have a land flowing with milk and honey.

But the Lord did not leave it to inference.  He spelled it out in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.  And in Deuteronomy 8:19 he said it very plainly and succinctly: “And if you forget the Lord your god and go after other gods and serve them and worship them I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.”

But the Israelites did not heed the warnings.  The Lord said they walked in stubbornness of an evil heart. (8)

Because they broke the covenant, God said he would bring “all the words” or curses of the covenant upon them.  Again we see that God is faithful.  He does what he says he will do, for good or for ill.

The Conspiracy

The Lord said there was a conspiracy.  All the people agreed to return to the idolatry of their forefathers.  Israel and Judah both broke the covenant through idol worship.  They had other gods before the Lord in violation of the first commandment. 

In verse 13, the Lord said Judah had as many gods as cities.  There is a great word of warning for the church today in this.  We are assailed on all sides by other religions and cults.  We must not pollute the Biblically based worship of our Lord with their practices and concepts and gods. 

No Intercession Was Available

The Lord told Jeremiah not to pray for Judah.  He would allow no intercession.  They had gone too far.  Even their sacrifices could not remove their sin. (15) Psalm 15 tells us who can got to the temple and live in God’s presence.  The Lord demands exclusive worship. He takes the violation of this demand very seriously.

The Plot Against Jeremiah

Jeremiah did not know his own family of priests plotted against him.  The Lord revealed it to him to protect him.  They intended to kill him and his family (19).  But Jeremiah trusted God to take vengeance on them.

And the Lord said he would.  He forbid them to prophesy.  He said they would die by the sword and famine.  None of the priests of Anathoth would survive.

God knows the hearts of men and women.  He knows when evil  people plot against the church.  He is not surprised by that.