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Bible Pathways 8/15/2000

August 15

Jeremiah 4 -- 6

The prophet Jeremiah began his public ministry about the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah of Judah (Jeremiah 1:2). Jeremiah exposed the stubborn sinfulness of the Israelites as a foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and see not; who have ears and hear not. . . . having a revolting and a rebellious heart . . . The Word of the Lord is a reproach (an object of scorn) to them; they have no delight in It (5:21,23; 6:10; compare Luke 8:10). Prior to this time, Josiah's grandfather Manasseh had reigned 55 years (II Kings 21:1) and his father Amon had been assassinated after reigning just two years (21:18-19,23). Both Manasseh and Amon were wicked kings who had led the people to forsake God and encouraged the worship of false gods. It is recorded that Manasseh and Amon filled the streets of Jerusalem with innocent blood (21:6,16,19-23; II Chronicles 33:2-9,20-23). Furthermore, Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations (heathen) whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel (II Kings 21:9).
However, Amon's son, Josiah, did right in the sight of the Lord (22: 2). No doubt Jeremiah was a great encouragement to Josiah. In the 18th year of his reign, Josiah began repairing the Temple and restoring worship to the One True God (II Chronicles 34:8). He then initiated a Passover unequaled in Israel's history (II Kings 23:22).
Following the death of Josiah (23:30-32), the nation reverted to the wicked ways of Manasseh and Amon. Sadly, all of godly Josiah's sons were evil, despite his example. Their evil influence and leadership made Jeremiah's ministry very unpopular.
Many prophets were afraid to speak out against sins that were popular. Others had given way to greed and covetousness (Jeremiah 6:13), merely speaking words of flattery which the people wanted to hear in order to maintain their popularity. Because of this, the "Word of the Lord" was ignored. This led to the nation's downfall and finally to its physical destruction and captivity.
It is sad to say that today there are church members who loyally support its budget, but are too occupied with other things which have crowded out the time needed to read daily through the Bible. It is apparent that these busy people also have no delight in the Word of the Lord. Even as the people of Jeremiah's day, they have not listened to (obeyed) . . . My Law, but have rejected it (6:19). Just as in the time of Jeremiah, a refusal to live a life of true righteousness and obedience to the Word of God will eventually lead to eternal hell.
Some see a parallel between the fall of Judah and America's rapid moral decline, its growing number of homosexuals and false religions. This may be due, in part, to the decrease in the attendance at evening worship services and an even greater decrease at the midweek prayer meetings, even in our evangelical churches (see Hebrews 10:25).
Rejecting the Word of God as our standard for both moral and spiritual guidance is a major step toward apostasy. Although there may be good attendance and much activity, without a knowledge of the Bible it becomes an abandonment of the faith. It was foretold by the Apostle Paul that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. . . . They shall turn . . . from the truth, and shall be turned to fables (II Timothy 4:3-4). Preceding the return of Jesus Christ, there will be a great falling away -- literally, the apostasy (II Thessalonians 2:1-3).
A true Christian delights in worshiping the Lord with other believers where there is reading and studying of the Word of God. It is more to be desired . . . than much fine gold (Psalms 19:10).
Christ Portrayed:
By Jeremiah, whom God commissioned to try the ways of His people (Jeremiah 6:27). Jesus shall one day judge all mankind. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. . . . Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is (Romans 2:16; I Corinthians 3:13).
Word Studies:
4:6 retire, stay not means go in haste, don't delay; 4:15 publisheth afflictions means announces disaster; 4:19 bowels means emotions; 4:22 sottish means devoid of spiritual understanding; 5:6 evenings means desert wasteland; 5:10 battlements means branches; 5:13 wind means full of words, but speaking nothing from God; 5:28 overpass means surpass; 5:30 wonderful means horrible; 6:6 mount means mound for fortification; 6:22 sides means remote areas; 6:30 reprobate means impure, rejected.


Government Officials: Rep. Judy Biggert (IL), Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), Rep. Thomas Sawyer (OH), and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) · BPM Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on Radio Paradise, Nevis, West Indies · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Ronald Grau · Country: Argentina (33 million) in southern South America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant; 1% Muslim; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will enable you to be a generous, cheerful giver to Him (II Corinthians 9:6-7).
Optional Reading:
I Peter 5

Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 1:9

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