Read Jeremiah 19 -- 22
During the last days of the Kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah courageously faced the chief governor of the high priest and said: You, Pashur, and all that dwell in your house shall go into captivity . . . to Babylon, and there you shall die, and . . . 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 (God) (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 (20:4). Babylon was identified as the enemy from the North. Soon the people of Judah learned of the defeat of Assyria and then Egypt. With Nebuchadnezzar's victory in the battle at Carchemish, Babylon emerged as the dominant world power. This confirmed what Isaiah had foretold about 100 years earlier (Isaiah 39:6-7).
Even after being fully informed of the results of ignoring the Word of God, the religious leaders would not repent, but began a campaign to discredit Jeremiah before the king and the nation. They said: Come, and let us devise schemes against Jeremiah. . . . let us smite him with the tongue (slander him), 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 sat alone in prison and was momentarily discouraged when he said: I will not . . . speak any more in His Name; but it wasn't long before he said: His Word was in my heart as a burning fire . . . and I could not stay (remain silent) (20:9).
Jeremiah may have thought that he had failed to communicate to the people the importance of obedience to the Word of God. Most spiritual leaders have at some time felt that they failed in fulfilling their God-given responsibility. Even Moses once said to God: Why is it that You have sent me? (Exodus 5:22). Elijah thought himself 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). But, far beyond all his own expectations, Jeremiah's birth was a great blessing to millions of believers all over the world to this very day.
No one who is devoted to proclaiming the Word of God, who reads the Bible and lives by it is a failure in His eyes. 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).
Christ Revealed: 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).
Word Studies: 19:3 his ears shall tingle means utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness means anguish; distress; 20:3 Magormissabib means terror on every side; 20:11 mighty terrible one means heroic champion.
Government Official: Sen. Fred Thompson (TN) · Pray for Luis Palau Evangelism Association · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Letha Hash's brother, Henry Rogers · Country: Tanzania (31 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Swahili and English · Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy · 33% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 19% animist; 15% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for safety in your travels (Romans 1:8-18).
Optional Reading: I John 1
Memory Verse for the Week: John 5:24