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Bible Pathways - Aug. 21, 2008


August 21

Jeremiah 26

Highlights In Today's Reading:

How would you like to be in Jeremiah's position? If he didn't predict the downfall of the nation he was disobeying God and if he did the people were going to kill him! How does he escape? Read Chapter 26! Can you see Jeremiah walking around in public with a cow's yoke around his neck? Do you know why he has a yoke on (27:2-8)? He caused quite a stir! Look who took it off and broke it (28:10) and what happened to him (28:17)!

About twenty-two years before the defeat and destruction of Jerusalem, God commanded Jeremiah to speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's House (26:2) at Jerusalem. God's judgment was compared to that of Shiloh. He warned that this House (the Temple) would be left as empty as Shiloh (26:6). Shiloh was the place where the Tabernacle was first erected by Joshua after he entered the promised land (Joshua 18:1). But God eventually forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh because of the nation's persistent sinning (Psalm 78:56-60). In Jeremiah's time, Shiloh was nothing but empty ruins and today no one is sure of its exact location — a reminder of how sin destroys a nation (Jeremiah 7:12-14).

Jeremiah faithfully delivered a fearful, devastating message from God: This House (Temple) shall be like Shiloh. He was arrested and all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the House of the Lord (26:9). The priests and prophets said: This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears (26:11).

Jeremiah was ready to die rather than to allow fear of his outcome to keep him from being faithful to God (26:14-15). He did not let any concern for himself keep him from foretelling the destruction, desolation, and curse that was upon the Holy City. As for me — what became of him was wholly unimportant compared to his nation's greater danger. Jeremiah's stand equals Paul's martyr spirit: I am ready . . . to die at Jerusalem. . . . I could wish that myself were accursed . . . for my brethren (Acts 21:13; Romans 9:3). Self was unimportant when he considered his people were nearing destruction. Urijah prophesied according to all the words of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:20) and this repetition made the king determined to silence the prophet and his message. Urijah fled to Egypt for protection but was caught there, brought before King Jehoaikim, and slain. But Jeremiah did not flee and, as he was promised when he was called (1:8), his life was spared.

Today Christians in many countries face fierce persecution for no other offense than pleading, like Jeremiah, with the wicked to forsake their sins and idols and to worship the One True God.

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the Truth (II Timothy 2:25).

Thought for Today:

Are we willing to stand for what God says in His Word regardless of the dangers or will we take the easy way of compromise?

Christ Portrayed:

By Jeremiah, who was falsely accused by the priests and the false prophets (Jeremiah 26:8-9). Our Lord was threatened and falsely accused by the religious rulers of His day. The elders . . . and the chief priests and the scribes. . . . began to accuse Him, saying, We found this fellow perverting (misleading) the nation, and forbidding to give tribute (tax) to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King (Luke 22:66 — 23:2; also John 8:48,59).

Word Study:

26:14 meet =b> right; 27:19 the sea =b> the bronze laver at which the priests cleansed their hands and feet before entering the Temple; residue =b> remainder.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Brian Stortz • Staff: Al Joslyn • Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Crioulo • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer continually and depend on His strength (I Chron. 16:11).

Optional Reading: 1 John 3

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:18

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