August 19

Read Jeremiah 19 -- 22

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah beaten and imprisoned by Pashur; Jeremiah's grief; destruction of Jerusalem foretold; the way of life or death

During the last days of the kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah courageously faced the son of the chief governor of the high priest and said: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies . . . and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. . . . And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies (Jeremiah 20:4,6). Jeremiah faithfully foretold this message from God, Who had previously said: I will utter My judgments against them touching (concerning) all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands (1:16).

Soon the people of Judah learned of the defeat of Assyria and then of Egypt. With Nebuchadnezzar's victory in the battle at Carchemish, Babylon emerged as the new dominant world power. This confirmed what Isaiah had foretold about 100 years earlier (see Isaiah 39:6-7).

Even after being fully informed of the results of rejecting the Word of God, the religious leaders not only refused to repent, but began a campaign to discredit Jeremiah before the king and the nation.

Jeremiah sat alone in prison and was momentarily discouraged when he said: I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay (hold it in) (Jeremiah 20:9).

Jeremiah may have thought that he had failed to communicate to the people the importance of obeying the Word of God. Most spiritual leaders have, at some time, felt that they failed in fulfilling their God-given responsibility. But, far beyond all his own expectations, Jeremiah has been an inspiration to millions of believers all over the world for many centuries. Our Creator has assured us: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).

No one who is devoted to teaching the Word of God personally or by providing the money to make it possible for others to teach His Word and who lives by it is a failure. Jesus promised: Verily . . . I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who pronounces judgment upon evildoers and those who refuse to hear or obey His Word (Jeremiah 19:15). For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).

Word Studies:

19:3 his ears shall tingle = he shall be utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness = anguish; distress; 20:3 Magormissabib = terror on every side; 20:9 with forbearing = of refraining myself; 20:11 mighty terrible one = heroic champion.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Pray for Intercessors For America · Government Official: Rep. John Hostettler (IN) · BPM Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Country: Nigeria (114 million) in western Africa · Major languages: English and Hausa · Government permits all types of religious activity · 36% Muslim; 19% Protestant; 15% animist; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and give thanks to the Lord for your brothers and sisters in Christ (Colossians 1:2-3).

Optional Reading: I John 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:24