Sunday, July 19, 2020

And One More Thing

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

As stated before, Jeremiah’s 30th through 36th chapters are the prophet’s writings, but they have been taken out of sequence. It was Chapter 29 that brought us the Prophet’s warnings of the nearing captivity. In the next few chapters, he takes us from King Zedekiah’s Accession, to the Captivity. Zedekiah has made concessions to Pharaoh of Egypt rather than to go peacefully into Babylon. Jeremiah sees what is happening, and turns to his home town of Anathoth. It seems there is nothing left for him to do in Jerusalem. 

Once in Anathoth, he is recognized, falsely accused, and for the fourth time, Jeremiah is put into prison, this time in the household of one Jonathan. For his speaking the Words of the Father, he is held captive. For doing good, he is looked upon as a traitor.

Perhaps you have experienced similar things: it seems that no matter what you do, there is no good outcome. That’s called being put between a rock, and a hard place. No one benefits in situations like this. It’s “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Jeremiah is accused of the treasonous action of turning to the Chaldeans.

People assume what they want to assume. Sometimes it’s to seek a scapegoat, sometimes it’s observations from which wrong conclusions are drawn. For whatever the reason, it’s extremely hurtful towards the one being lied about. Even appealing to the King proves to be an exercise in frustration. 

But even as judgment is pronounced against Jeremiah, God has seen fit to cause Zedekiah to make sure that Jeremiah will be taken care of in a safe place, and fed daily. Now, understand this: turmoil surrounds the land. The Chaldeans have retreated upon hearing of Pharaoh’s Army coming. Who is in charge? Who carries authority? What’s going to happen to Jerusalem? Only God knows the answers to these kinds of questions.

Though Jeremiah’s ministry is not finished ! ...
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. ~ 2Timothy 4:7,8 ~

Today's Audio Message: "And One More Thing"

Throughout the book of Jeremiah we have learned about a stiff necked people who had hardened their hearts towards the things of God. They had refused his word, and His prophet, and followed after their own sinful desires. Not even the warning of a coming judgment could get their attention. 

Sound familiar? We’ve all known folks like that. They go on in their sinfulness, ignoring the Lord until their lives begin to fall apart. Quickly they get in touch with someone they know is “tight with the Lord” and ask them for prayer. This is what is going on in Jeremiah 37. Here we find Jeremiah falsely accused and thrown into prison, the king sends for him, and seeks assurances that all will be well. Jeremiah does not hold back, he gives King Zedekiah the whole truth, not exactly what the king was looking for.  Well, Jeremiah has been giving them God’s word for decades. They want deliverance, but they don’t want to repent. Jeremiah doesn't quit, he remains faithful to the Lord in his calling. 

God will take care of His own.  Jeremiah spoke God's word with boldness,  and God gave Jeremiah favor in the eyes of the king. 

Like Jeremiah, Paul was a faithful minister of the Gospel, faithful to the very end. And at the end of his life, he had no regrets. He was able to look forward to hearing his Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” He was able to affirm, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

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