No promise land (Ezek 20:15-20:16)

“Moreover

I swore to them

In the wilderness

That I would not

Bring them

Into the land

That I had given them.

That is a land flowing

With milk and honey,

The most glorious of all lands.

Because they rejected

My ordinances.

They did observe

My statutes.

They profaned

My Sabbath.

Their heart went

After their idols.”

Yahweh swore to them in the wilderness that he was not going to bring them into the land that he had given them, that land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. They had rejected his ordinances. They did not observe his statutes. They profaned the Sabbath. Their hearts went after their former idols. Things did not look good for these wilderness wanderers.

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The promise of the glorious land (Ezek 20:6-20:7)

“On that day

I swore to them

That I would bring them

Out of the land

Of Egypt

Into a land

That I had searched out

For them.

This is a land flowing

With milk,

As well as honey.

This is the most glorious

Of all lands.

I said to them.

‘Cast away

The detestable things

Your eyes feast on!

Everyone of you!

Do not defile yourselves

With the idols of Egypt!

I am Yahweh

Your God!’”

Yahweh reminded Ezekiel that he had sworn to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that he had searched out for them. This new most glorious of all lands would be flowing with milk and honey. Yahweh, however, told them to cast away the detestable things that their eyes had feasted upon. They were not to defile themselves with the various Egyptian idols. After all, he was Yahweh, their God.

The sinful ancestors (Bar 1:19-1:20)

“From the time

When the Lord

Brought our ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt

Until today,

We have been disobedient

To the Lord,

Our God.

We have been negligent,

In not heeding

His voice.

So to this day,

There have clung to us

The calamities,

The curse,

That the Lord declared

Through his servant

Moses

At the time

When he brought

Our ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt

To give us

A land flowing

With milk and honey.”

The Lord brought their ancestors out of Egypt. However, even from the beginning of this relationship, their ancestors were negligent, not listening to the voice of God. They would rather be cursed and live in calamity than follow their God. Moses his servant was clear. God was going to lead them into a land flowing with milk and honey. How many times have you heard that? Their ancestors had set the stage for the later disobedience and negligence towards God.

The Promised Land failure (Jer 32:22-32:23)

“You gave them

This land!

You swore

To their ancestors

To give them

This land!

This was a land

Flowing with milk

And honey!

They entered it.

They took possession of it.

But they did not obey

Your voice.

They did not follow

Your law.

Of all that you commanded

Them to do,

They did nothing at all.

Therefore you have made

All these disasters

Come upon them.”

Jeremiah’s prayer continues with Yahweh overseeing the Promised Land.   Yahweh had promised their ancestors this wonderful land that was flowing with milk and honey, rich and easy to till. Once they entered and took possession of this land, they did not obey the voice or law of Yahweh. Instead of following the commandments of Yahweh, they did nothing. Thus Yahweh sent disasters to this Promised Land.

The words of the alliance (Jer 11:3-11:5)

“‘Cursed be anyone

Who does not heed the words

Of this covenant

That I commanded your ancestors,

When I brought them

Out of the land of Egypt,

From the iron furnace,

Saying,

‘Listen to my voice!

Do all that I command you!

So shall you be my people!

I will be your God!

Thus I may perform the oath

That I swore to your ancestors.

‘I will give them a land

Flowing with milk and honey,

As it is until this day.’

Then I answered.

‘So be it, Yahweh!”

Here are the words that Yahweh wanted Jeremiah to proclaim to his people. Anyone who does not heed the words of this commanded covenant will be cursed. Yahweh had brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt that was like an iron blast furnace. Jeremiah was to be clear. They were to follow his commands. They will be his people and he will be their God. Yahweh had sworn this to their ancestors since he said that he would provide a promised land of milk and honey. Jeremiah responded that he was up to the task as he said the famous Amen, or so be it.