August 19

 

Read Jeremiah 19

 

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 Temple who had put him in stocks for speaking God's Word. Refusing to be intimidated, Jeremiah prophesied: Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself, and to all your 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 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 20:4,6).

 

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 thus confirming 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 they began a campaign to discredit Jeremiah before the king and the nation. Jeremiah sat alone in prison and was momentarily discouraged as he recorded: Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. But His Word was in my 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 for many succeeding centuries. Our Creator has assured us: My Word . . . shall not return to Me void (without result), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).

 

Regardless of circumstances, everyone who is devoted to teaching the Word of God personally or provides the money to make it possible for others to teach His Word, and who lives by it has laid up treasures in heaven. Jesus promised: For every tree is known by its own fruit. . . . A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good . . . for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:44-45).

 

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 to the Son (John 5:22).

 

Word Studies:

 

19:3 his ears shall tingle = will be utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness = anguish, distress; 20:3 Magormissabib = terror on every side; 20:11 mighty terrible one = awe-inspiring one, heroic champion.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for · The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Linda Kennon · Country: Lebanon (4 million) in the Middle East · Major languages: Arabic and French · Limited religious freedom · 67% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 10% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for grace to overcome temptation, and God will reward you (James 1:12).

 

Optional Reading: I John 1

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Thessalonians 1:9