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Discover the Book - Feb. 24, 2008

  • 2008 Feb 24

The Discipline of Scripture


Let’s look together at some of the Biblical characters that faced hard times. Look with me at what kept these men going.


Joseph had a Stress-Filled Life (deserted by all) Psalm 105:17-19 He sent a man before them— Joseph—who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.

  • Spoiled by his dad;
  • Hated by his brothers;
  • Abused, enslaved, sold, and deported for the financial gain of family members;
  • Used, set up, unjustly accused, and imprisoned by his own employer;
  • Chained, tormented, and forgotten in jail;
  • Vindicated, elevated, and used by God.
  • Because his life passed the test of God's Word.


David had a Rough Life (bloody man killed more) Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

  • David started killing predators (bears and lions) at a young age;
  • David graduated to killing a giant while still a teen;
  • David went on to slay “his ten thousands” while in his twenties;
  • David was such a swordsman, a slinger, a spearman, and a deadly warrior – that God said he was too much a “man of blood” to build the Temple of God.
  • Yet he was the man after God’s own heart.


Paul had a Dangerous Life (beaten more) Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

  • Paul was stoned, ship wrecked, and sleepless;
  • Paul was hunted, hounded, and heckled;
  • Paul was imprisoned, impoverished, and
  • Paul was bruised, beaten, and banished;
  • But he never stopped hoping in God’s Word.


Jeremiah had a Tragic Life (weeping prophet wept more) Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.


But maybe one Biblical figure was the neediest. He is known as the weeping prophet, partly for his compassion, and partly for his condition of sadness.

Jeremiah[1] must have had an incredible childhood. The Scriptures tell us God had chosen him before his birth to be a prophet. His family was notable in their service for the LORD. Life was exciting for the son of a high priest. Jeremiah 1:1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, (NASB)

One of the great blessings of Jeremiah’s life was that his dad was the one who found the lost book of the Law. How Jeremiah’s love for the Word showed through in his life as God’s prophet. He was the “son of Hilkiah” (Jer. 1:1) and as 2 Kings 22:8 records: “And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.” Note also Jeremiah’s uncle was Shallum husband of Huldah the prophetess. Jeremiah 32:7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it. (KJV)

Jeremiah’s woes were unimaginable to our relatively peaceful lives. He lived through the death throes of the final generation of the nation of Judah.

  • From an earthly perspective Jeremiah’s life was a failure. During his lifetime he watched the decay of God’s chosen people, the horrible destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the nation to Babylon.
  • He preached for 40 years and saw no visible result among those he served. Instead those countrymen he warned for God sought to kill him if he wouldn’t stop preaching doom (Jer. 11:19-23). He had virtually no converts to show for a lifetime of ministry.
  • He had no one to find joy and comfort with as his own family and friends were involved in plots against his (12:60).
  • He never had the joy of a godly home because God never allowed him to marry, and thus he suffered incredibly agonizing loneliness (16:20).
  • He lived under a constant threat of death as there were plots to kill him in secret so no one would find him (18:20-23).
  • He lived with physical pain while he was beaten severely and them bound in wooden stocks (20:1-2).
  • He lived with emotional pain as his friends spied on him deceitfully and for revenge (20:10).
  • He was consumed with sorrow and shame and even cursed the day he was born (20:14-18).
  • His life ended with no relief as he was falsely accused of being a traitor to his own country (37:13-14). Jeremiah was arrested, beaten, thrown into a dungeon, and starved many days (37:15-21). If an Ethiopian Gentile had not interceded on his behalf he would have died there. In the end, tradition tells us he was exiled to Egypt, where he was stoned to death by his own people.


In conclusion look again at Jeremiah 15.16. What kept Jeremiah going through the pits? The Discipline of Scripture!



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[1] Sources used are: The Word of God; Baxter, Explore the Book; Scroggie, The Unfolding Drama; Christ in all the Scriptures; The Criswell Study Bible; Walk through the Bible; The Compact Guide to The Bible, Lehman Strauss, CHM, MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel, p. 76-77, Sanders, Spiritual Discipleship, P. 129-136.

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