Confess Your Sins and Hope in God
The Lord said to Jeremiah that Judah mourned and her cities languished with dismay, sin and backsliding during drought. He asked that God not forsake them as their Hope and Savior in distress. The Lord said His people loved to wander and punished them for their sins. He told Jeremiah not to pray for their well-being as God would not accept them. He destroyed them with sword, famine and plague. Prophets lied and told delusions from their own minds about lasting peace. Everyone perished by sword and famine they deserved. God overflowed with tears for His people who suffered a grievous wound without healing. They confessed their sin and put their hope in God who brought rain (Jer. 14:1-22). Confess your sins and hope in God to experience healing during judgment of wars, famine and plagues.
Let God's Word Be Your Joy and Delight
God destroyed Judah with death, sword, starvation and captivity because they rejected Him through constant backsliding. He made their terrified widows more numerous than the sand of the sea. He enslaved and gave their wealth as plunder without charge because of their sins. Jeremiah suffered persecution and reproach for God's sake. His words were the joy and delight of His heart as he ate them. His wound and pain were grievous and incurable. By repenting and saying worthy words, God restored Jeremiah to serve Him as His spokesman. God made him a wall of bronze so His people could turn to him. They fought against Jeremiah but God rescued and saved him from the wicked (Jer. 15:1-21). Allow God's word be your joy and delight when disobedient believers persecute you.
Make God Your Strength and Refuge
God told Jeremiah not to marry or have children because they would die by sword and famine. He withdrew blessing, love, joy and gladness from His people because their fathers worshiped other gods and followed their stubborn and evil heart instead of obeying God. He threw them in an unknown land to serve their gods without God's favor. Someday He restored them to the land He gave their forefathers. But now He repaid them double for their sins because they defiled His land with vile images and detestable idols. Nations acknowledged that God was their refuge in time of distress and their fathers possessed false and worthless idols. He taught them His power and might so they would know the Lord (Jer. 16:1-21). Make God your strength and refuge so you can teach nations to know His power too.
Place Confidence in God's Word
Judah engraved sin with a flint point on the tablets of their hearts and high places. Because of sin, they lost wealth, God's inheritance and freedom. Cursed was the one who trusted in man and depended on flesh for his strength by turning away from the Lord. He was like a bush in the wastelands not seeing prosperity when it came. He dwelled in a desert where no one lived. Blessed was the man who placed his confidence in the Lord like a tree planted by the water that sent its roots by the stream. It did not fear when heat came, its leaves were always green without worries in a year of drought and never failed to bear fruit. No one understood a deceitful heart that was beyond cure. The Lord searched the heart and examined the mind to reward a man according to his deeds. Jeremiah asked God to heal and save him. People asked where was God's word so it could be fulfilled. Jeremiah continued being His shepherd knowing that God was His refuge in the day of disaster. Unless Judah obeyed the Sabbath by not doing work, God consumed Jerusalem's fortresses (Jer. 17:1-27). Place confidence in God's word to heal deceitful hearts and desolate cities.
Continue Teaching God's Word and Call People to Confess Sin
Israel was like clay in the potter's hand. If a nation repented of evil, God did not destroy it. He reconsidered doing good if a nation disobeyed God. Jeremiah warned Judah of God bringing disaster unless they turned from their evil ways. God told Jeremiah to ask the nations if they heard anything like Israel forgetting God, worshiping worthless idols and stumbling in the ancient paths causing destruction and scorn. People attacked Jeremiah with their tongues and paid no attention when he said the priests and prophets lost the teaching of the law. Because his accusers tried to kill Jeremiah, he asked God to bring famine and death against them (Jer. 18:1-23). Continue teaching God's word and call people to confess sin reminding nations of the outcome when people disobey Him.
Warn Church of Devastating Consequences of Forsaking God
God told Jeremiah to buy a clay jar and say to Judah's kings and Jerusalem that He would bring disaster upon them because they forsook God, shed innocent blood and burned their sons on the high places of Baal without His command. God ruined their plans, killed them before their enemies and devastated Jerusalem making it an object of scorn. They ate one another's flesh during the stress of the siege by enemies who sought their lives. Jeremiah broke the jar to represent how God smashed Judah and Jerusalem. He said that the Lord Almighty would bring every disaster Jeremiah pronounced because they did not listen to his words (Jer. 19:1-15). Warn the church of devastating consequences if it forsakes God, sheds innocent blood and adds to His word.
Share God's Word that Burns in Your Heart
Pashhur, the chief officer in the Lord's temple, had Jeremiah beaten and put in stocks. He said Babylon would carry Judah and their wealth into captivity. Those who prophesied lies died in Babylon. Jeremiah complained about ridicule and mocking because he proclaimed violence and destruction. God's word brought insult and reproach everyday. The word in his heart was like a burning fire shut up in his bones. He was weary holding it in. But the Lord was like a mighty warrior to defeat and disgrace his persecutors. Jeremiah praised God who rescued him from the wicked, but cursed the day of his birth because of trouble and sorrow (Jer. 20:1-18). Share God's word that burns in your heart and trust Him to fight against your persecutors.
Which of the following outcomes of God's word in discipling nations that you must embrace today. What action will you take?
1. God's word heals during judgment of wars, famine and plagues
2. God's word is your joy and delight during persecution
3. God's word is your strength and refuge to teach nations His power
4. God's word heals deceitful hearts and desolate cities
5. God's word warns nations of devastating consequences when they forsake God