Jeremiah 19 -- 22
During the last days of the Kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah, the faithful prophet of God, courageously faced the chief governor, who was head of security for the high priest, and said: You, Pashur, and all that dwell in your house shall go into captivity: and you shall come to Babylon, and there you shall die, and shall be buried there, you, and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies (Jeremiah 20:6). Jeremiah had foretold the judgments of God against the Israelites for all their wickedness, those who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works (idols) of their own hands (1:16).
As a result of their sins, the Lord revealed to Jeremiah: 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 (20:4). For the first time, Babylon was identified as the enemy from the North. Soon they learned of the defeat of Assyria, then Egypt, with Nebuchadnezzar's victory in the battle at Carchemish and the emerging of Babylon to dominant world power. This confirmed what Isaiah foretold about 100 years before (Isaiah 39:6-7).
The Lord revealed to Jeremiah that, even after being fully informed of the results of their evils, the people would not repent and return to the Lord to avert their own destruction. Jeremiah never waivered in his faithfulness to God. As a result, the religious and political leaders began a campaign to discredit Jeremiah before the king and the nation by organizing men to watch his every move. They said: Come, and let us devise schemes against Jeremiah. . . . let us smite him with the tongue (slander), and let us not give heed to any of his words (Jeremiah 18:18). With growing opposition to Jeremiah, Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the House of the Lord . . . smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks (20:1-2). This points out that a religious position does not necessarily mean that a person is godly.
Jeremiah was alone in prison and momentarily discouraged when he thought: I will not . . . speak any more in His Name (20:9); but it wasn't long before he said: His Word was in my heart as a burning fire . . . and I could not stay.
Jeremiah may have thought that he had failed to communicate to the people the importance of the Word of God. Most spiritual leaders have at some time felt they were not capable of fulfilling their responsibility. Even Moses once said to God: Why is it that You have sent me? (Exodus 5:22); Elijah also thought he was a failure, even after calling fire down from Heaven (I Kings 19:4).
In his moment of deep humiliation and rejection, Jeremiah said: Cursed be the day on which I was born. . . . Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A son is born to you; making him very glad (Jeremiah 20:14-15). Such a comment sprang from a momentary thought that he had failed the Lord. But, far beyond all his own expectations, Jeremiah's birth was a great blessing to his people and to millions of believers all over the world to this very day.
Despite fierce antagonism against Jeremiah, he was never tempted to reject the Lord, to cooperate with false prophets, or to condone the evils that were so popular in his day. He was truly a man of unquestioned loyalty to the Lord and His Word.
No one is ever a failure when he is devoted to proclaiming the Word of God; and no one who reads the Bible and lives by it can be a failure. Jesus promised: He that hears My Word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24).
As the One who pronounces judgment upon evildoers and those who do not obey His Word (Jeremiah 19:15). For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
19:3 his ears shall tingle means he will be utterly stunned by the news (compare II Kings 21:12); 19:9 straitness means anguish; distress; 20:3 Magormissabib means terror on every side; 20:10 my familiars means my friends; halting means downfall; 20:11 mighty terrible one means heroic champion; 21:9 falleth means surrenders; prey means prize of war; 22:24 signet means ring signifying authority.
Government Officials: President Bill Clinton and Sen. Fred Thompson (TN) · Pray for Worldwide Evangelization For Christ International · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Country: Azerbaijan (7 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia · Major languages: Azeri and Russian · Religious freedom · 80% Muslim; 3% Russian/Armenian/Georgian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Boldy and confidently go to God in prayer through Jesus' Name (Ephesians 3:12).
I John 1
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 1:9