In Today's Scripture 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 high priest and said: Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy 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 thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast 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. This confirmed what Isaiah had foretold about 100 years earlier (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 discouraged when he recorded: I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. But His Word was in mine 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 centuries. Our Creator has assured us: My Word . . . shall not return unto Me void (without result), but . . . it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
Regardless of circumstances, everyone who is devoted to the Lord and to teaching the Word of God or provides the money to make it possible for others to teach His Word has laid up treasures in heaven. Jesus promised: For every tree is known by his own fruit. . . . A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good (Luke 6:44-45). Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20).
As the One who pronounces judgment upon those who refuse to obey His Word (Jeremiah 19:15). For the Father . . . committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
19:3 his ears shall tingle =b> will be utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness =b> anguish, distress; 20:3 Magor-missabib =b> terror on every side; 20:11 mighty terrible one =b> awe-inspiring one, heroic champion.
Pray for Country: Ecuador (13 million) in South America, crossed by the equator Major language: Spanish Religious freedom 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Remember that nothing is too hard for the Lord (Genesis 18:14).
Optional Reading: I John 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 4:13