IN PAIN REALIZE
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JEREMIAH
Today we are going to look at the life of Jeremiah. How did he handle prolonged and adverse circumstances? What was he like when he was alone with God? Canon Cook says this concerning the Prophet, Jeremiah,
"His character is most interesting. We find him sensitive to a most painful degree, timid, shy, hopeless, desponding, constantly complaining and dissatisfied with the course of events, but never flinching from duty...Timid in resolve, he was unflinching in execution; as fearless when he had to face the whole world as he was dispirited and prone to murmuring when alone with God. [selected from Smith Bible Dictionary]
Can you relate to that? Somehow the truth seems to come out when ever we have a private audience with the living God. Like Peter we are reduced to humbly declare, in a most relieving sense, Lord, thou knowest all things; John 21:17
I think Jeremiah could be considered the Paul of his days. Having been a chosen vessel of God to proclaim the truth, he was persecuted, hated, and rejected by the priests, the governing officials, and even His own country men. So fierce was this persecution that he "cursed the day he was born" and was tempted to walk away from his God given responsibility.
But regardless of the intensity of the battle God never seemed to cut Jeremiah any slack. He would hear none of his excuses. Instead, like a manager that slips his prize-fighter smelling salts and and pushes him back into the "fight", God kept prodding and poking Jeremiah until he could no longer resist His will. Let's take a look a few of those times.
first passage we will look at is found in Jeremiah 1:4-6:
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
RESPONSE TO JEREMIAH:
But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them
What can we learn from this? Romans 11:29 tells us, "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance." And then we read in 1Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. You see, It's not a matter of our limitation or our being inadequate to handle our circumstances, but, what God desires to do through us.
As God's children we must not shrink from any duty that he calls us to. Jesus tells us in Luke 19:13, Occupy till I come, And that is what He intends for us to do! Isn't it reassuring to know that God is faithful and that we can expect His divine presence and quickening in our lives as we step out (even though at times pushed) in obedience to Him? And isn't it great that God is Sovereign and although He understands our weaknesses, He doesn't allow us to live in them or be governed by them?
In our next time together we will look at the next example in Jeremiah's life. We will find this in chapter twelve, where the Prophet questions the Lord by saying, "Yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?" Come back for our next lesson in this series to find God's response to this timely accusation.
GET READY FOR THE GRACE THAT IS HEADED YOUR WAY!
The Glory Of His Name
Whether By Life Or Death
THINK ON THESE THINGS - ACT ON THESE THINGS