Monday, July 27, 2015
Jerusalem to be Like Tophet
“Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.” (Jeremiah 19:1-3)
God directs Jeremiah to go obtain a pottery bottle or jug. He is then to take some of the oldest and most respected leaders and priests to the valley of the son of Hinnom, located just east of Jerusalem. It was the place where children had been burned to death as sacrifices to the god, Molech for centuries. When they arrived, He was to tell them what God said, to prophesy. He was to warn them that even hearing the prophecy would make their and their hearts hurt.
“Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.” (Jeremiah 19:4-6)
God was going to bring judgment on them because they had used the valley for the worship of other gods than the one who brought them out of Egypt. They had sacrificed innocent children there to Molech and Baal. They had set up altars to Baal and offered those sacrifices even when god had forbidden them to do so. As a result, the instead of being called the valley of the son of Hinnom, it would be known as the Valley of Slaughter, the valley of killing.
“And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.” (Jeremiah 19:7-9)
In the process, God will make all the plans for defending Judah and Jerusalem worthless, so that their enemies defeat and kill them, leaving their bodies lie for the scavengers to eat. The city will be destroyed and abandoned and everyone who goes by will mock what has happened and the results. Instead of sacrificing their children to Baal or Molech, they will eat them themselves to survive. It will get so bad they will even murder their friends for food. It is a horrible picture.
“Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee. And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet: And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods. “ (Jeremiah 19:10-13)
About thirty years before, King Josiah had destroyed the town of Tophet in the valley of the son of Hinnom because it was the main center for the worship of Molech. Jeremiah is to break the pottery bottle as an illustration of what God will do to Jerusalem. The bodies will be buried at Tophet until they run out of places to bury them. Jerusalem will be a completely destroyed as Tophet had been. Their houses will be destroyed and the roofs caved in because so many of them had been used to offer incense to the stars and angels of heaven and offer sacrifices to other gods.
“Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house; and said to all the people, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.” (Jeremiah 19:14-15)
After finishing his prophecy at Tophet, Jeremiah returned to the temple court, where he warned everyone there that god was going to fulfil all judgments he had prophesied against Jerusalem and Judah, because they had been stubborn and refused to listen to the warnings.
I cannot but worry that the United States refuses to listen to the warnings.