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Bible Pathways 08/19/2002

August 19

Read Jeremiah 19 -- 22

In Today's Reading:

The nation of Judah as a broken bottle; Jeremiah smitten and imprisoned by Pashur; Jeremiah's grief expressed to God; King Zedekiah warned; the destruction of Jerusalem foretold; the way of life and the way of death.

Verses for Today:

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).

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).This points out that a religious position does not necessarily mean that a person is godly. 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). 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 consequences 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).

As a result of this opposition, Jeremiah was put in prison. As he sat alone, he was momentarily discouraged and 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 (1 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 has been 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 God's eyes. Jesus promised: 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 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 = utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness = anguish; distress; 20:3 Magormissabib = terror on every side; 20:11 mighty terrible one = heroic champion.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Sen. Fred Thompson (TN) · Pray for one another · Country: Serbia and Montenegro (11 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe · Major language: Serbo-Croatian · Religious conflict · 41% Serbian/Montenegrin/Macedonian Orthodox; 33% Catholic; 11% Muslim; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you strength for today's need (Ephesians 3:14-16).

Optional Reading: 1 John 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:4

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