08 August 26, 2012 Jeremiah 37 & 38 Persevere In Obedience


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08 August 26, 2012 Jeremiah 37 & 38 Persevere In Obedience

  2. 2. This lesson is aboutpersevering in serving theLord by refusing tocompromise godlyconvictions no matterwhat the cost to you or tothose around you.
  3. 3. John Bunyan was born in1628 in Elstow, England.After marrying in his 20she became a Christian,joined a Baptist church &soon became concernedabout his lack of progress
  4. 4. in the Christian life.At age 27, shortly after hebegan preaching, Englandoutlawed preachingoutside the auspices of theChurch of England.
  5. 5. He refused to quitpreaching and spent over12 years in prison.After his release, hecontinued to preach andwas imprisoned a secondtime.
  6. 6. He was released againand kept preaching untilhis death at age 60 in1688.Bunyan refused tocompromise hisconvictions even if it
  7. 7. meant imprisonment andgreat suffering for himand for his family.He wrote The Pilgrim’sProgress during hisimprisonments.
  8. 8. At one time, The PilgrimsProgress was consideredthe most widely read andtranslated book in theEnglish language apartfrom the Bible.
  9. 9. Protestant missionariescommonly translated it asthe first thing afterthe Bible.
  10. 10. This lesson focuses on theproper response to trials,disillusionments, troublesand disappointments –the response that pleasesGod – persevering faithand obedience.
  11. 11. On August 5th we learnedof Jeremiah’s call, on the12th of his broken heartover the sins of Judah andthen last week of hischallenge to overcomediscouragement.
  12. 12. This week we learn moreabout his courage to obeyGod in the face of deadlyopposition.
  13. 13. Jeremiah’s ImprisonmentJeremiah 37:11-1711 “When the Chaldean(kal DEEuhn/Babylonian) armywithdrew from Jerusalembecause of Pharaoh’s
  14. 14.  12 Jeremiah started toleave Jerusalem to go tothe land of Benjamin toclaim his portionthere among the people.”
  15. 15. In Jeremiah 32, Jeremiahhad purchased someproperty from his cousinand now that there was alull in the action, hedecided to take a shorttrip to Anathoth to “claim
  16. 16. his portion there amongthe people.”Jeremiah knew that therewould be rough economictimes ahead so heintended to redeem thefamily property.  
  17. 17. 13 But when he was at theBenjamin Gate, (the gateon the north side ofJerusalem that led to theterritory of Benjamin),
  18. 18. an officer of the guardwas there, whose namewas Irijah (eye RIGH juh)son of Shelemiah, son ofHananiah, and heapprehended Jeremiah theprophet, saying,
  19. 19. “You are deserting to theChaldeans.”Irijah’s task apparentlywas to protect the cityfrom spies or anyone whoappeared to threaten thesecurity of Jerusalem.
  20. 20. 14 “That’s a lie,” Jeremiahreplied.“I am not deserting to theChaldeans!” Irijah wouldnot listen to him butapprehended Jeremiah &took him to the officials.
  21. 21. 15 The officials were angryat Jeremiah and beat himand placed him in jail inthe house of Jonathan thescribe (secretary of state),for it had been made into aprison.
  22. 22. 16 So Jeremiah went into acell in the dungeon andstayed there many days.”Are you willing to beobedient to God even if itmeans getting beaten up?
  23. 23. This imprisonment wasmuch worse than the twoprevious ones and he wasemaciated by the time thisimprisonment ended.
  24. 24. 17 “King Zedekiah latersent for him and receivedhim, and in his houseprivately asked him,“Is there a word from theLord?”
  25. 25. “There is,” Jeremiahresponded, and hecontinued,“You will be handed overto the king of Babylon.” 
  26. 26. King Zedekiah (“Yahwehis my righteousness”) wasa coward and saw this asan opportunity to giveJeremiah another chanceto change his message.
  27. 27. Jeremiah, who wasanything but a coward,refused to compromisethe Lord’s message or toforsake his calling.Jeremiah retractednothing and it was clear
  28. 28. he would nevercompromise hisconscience.He serves as an excellentmodel for us ofpersevering faith whenthe Lord’s enemies attack
  29. 29. us with false accusationsand persecute us when wespeak God’s truth tothem.
  30. 30. What are some modernday examples of Biblicaltruths we need to speakout on?
  31. 31. The siege was on andfolks were dying ofdisease and starvation.Jeremiah 38 takes placejust before the destructionof Jerusalem.
  32. 32. Jeremiah 38:44 “The officials then saidto the king, “This manought to die, because he isweakening the morale ofthe warriors who remainin this city and of all the
  33. 33. people by speaking tothem in this way.This man is not seekingthe well-being of thispeople, but disaster.”
  34. 34. Zedekiah had movedJeremiah from thedungeon to “the guard’scourtyard” – part of theking’s palace whereproblem characters werekept under the watchful
  35. 35. eye of the king.Zedekiah moved Jeremiah to the guard’s courtyardfor Jeremiah’s protection.Just as Paul preachedfrom prison, so didJeremiah.
  36. 36. The officials decided thatthe only way to silence aman like Jeremiah was tokill him (the sameconclusion that thereligious leaders of Jesus’day came to concerning
  37. 37. Christ) so they appealedto Zedekiah again and theweak king caved in againto their wishes.Zedekiah was more aprisoner of the princesthan Jeremiah was.
  38. 38. 5 King Zedekiah said,“Here he is; he’s in yourhands since the king can’tdo anything against you.” Jeremiah 38:5 
  39. 39. Zedekiah was scared todeath of the princes eventhough he was the king! The fear of the sneer of the peer!
  40. 40. Zedekiah was the king.He could have deliveredJeremiah if he had justhad a little backbone.The reason that the lionsdidn’t eat Daniel wasbecause they didn’t want
  41. 41. to eat something that hadthat much backbone.We are to stand firm andyou need some backbonein order to stand firm.
  42. 42. Matthew 27:2424 “When Pilate saw thathe was getting nowhere,but that a riot was startinginstead, he took somewater, washed his handsin front of the crowd, and
  43. 43. said, “I am innocent ofthis man’s blood. See to ityourselves!” Matthew 27:24
  44. 44. Matthew 27:2626 “Then he releasedBarabbas to them. Butafter having Jesus flogged,he handed Him over to becrucified.”
  45. 45. King Zedekiah handedJeremiah over to hisenemies just like Pilatehanded Jesus over tothose who wanted Himdead.
  46. 46. Jeremiah 38:66 “So they took Jeremiahand dropped him into thecistern of Malchiah theking’s son, which was inthe guard’s courtyard,lowering Jeremiah with
  47. 47. ropes. There was no waterin the cistern, only mud,and Jeremiah sank in themud.” Jeremiah 38:6
  48. 48. All over Jerusalem,cisterns caught waterduring the rainy season tobe used during the drymonths (May – October).The fall of Jerusalemoccurred in July 587 B.C.
  49. 49. Therefore, the water inthis cistern had been usedup by July and there wasonly mud left in thebottom.
  50. 50. Few people knew thatJeremiah was at thebottom of the cistern sothe princes hoped that noone would bring him foodand he would soon starveto death.
  51. 51. Have you ever felt stuckin the mud?
  52. 52. One day a farmer´s donkey fell down into a well. Theanimal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried tofigure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal wasold and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it justwasn´t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt intothe well. At first, the donkey realized what washappening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone´samazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked downthe well and was astonished at what he saw. With everyshovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doingsomething amazing. He would shake it off and take astep up.
  53. 53. As the farmer´s neighbors continued to shoveldirt on top of the animal, he would shake it offand take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkeystepped up over the edge of the well and trottedoff. Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds ofdirt. The trick to getting out of the well, is toshake it off and take a step up. Each of ourtroubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of thedeepest wells just by not stopping, never givingup! Shake it off and take a step upward! 
  54. 54. Obedience to God’s wordcan be very costly to youand to those around you.Jeremiah did not give into the pressure to tell folkswhat they wanted to hear.Obeying God was #1.
  55. 55. How does our desire tohear the message that wewant to hear sometimescause us to miss God’sbest for our lives?
  56. 56. Why do we sometimesthink we are outsmartingGod when we aredisobedient to Him?He will not rewarddisobedience.
  57. 57. What are some things inour age group that wouldtempt us to take the easyway out instead ofstanding strong in ourobedience to God?
  58. 58. The easy way is often thecowardly way.
  59. 59. Jeremiah 38:7-107 “But Ebed-melech, aCushite (a black man) courtofficial employed in theking’s palace, heard Jeremiahhad been put into the cistern.While the king was sitting atthe
  60. 60. Benjamin Gate,  8 Ebed-melech went fromthe king’s palace andspoke to the king:9 “My lord the king, thesemen have been evil in allthey have done to
  61. 61. Jeremiah the prophet.They have dropped himinto the cistern where hewill die from hunger,because there is no morebread in the city.”
  62. 62. 10 So the king commandedEbed-melech, the Cushite,“Take from here 30 menunder your authority andpull Jeremiah the prophetup from the cistern beforehe dies.”Jeremiah 38:7-10
  63. 63. The official’s death planwas foiled by acourageous unsung heroof the Bible, Ebed-melech.He is a fine example to usof taking a stand withGod’s servants to help
  64. 64. them to persevere duringdifficult times.Barnabas, Son ofEncouragement, stoodwith Paul when thechurch leaders thought hewas a dangerous spy.
  65. 65. Because of Barnabas beingwilling to stand with Paulduring a difficult time, thechurch leaders acceptedPaul who went on tobecome the greatestmissionary the world has
  66. 66. ever seen and whom Godused to write over half ofthe New Testament!
  67. 67. Has God gifted you with aministry ofencouragement?The word"encouragement" isclosely linked to the HolySpirit, Who is known as
  68. 68. the Comforter/Helper.The words"encouragement"(paraclesis) and"Comforter" (paracletos)are essentially the same inthe Greek language.
  69. 69. The Holy Spirit is theEncourager.Have you ever thoughtthat one of the ministriesof the Holy Spirit is toencourage you?
  70. 70. Have you ever prayed forthe Holy Spirit toencourage you in times oftrials and tribulations?Does God want to use youto encourage someoneelse as He used Ebed- 
  71. 71. melech and Barnabas?In what ways can we offersupport andencouragement toyounger people who arefacing situations wherethey must stand alone?
  72. 72. Is there a minister who is“stuck in the mud” andneeds your support andneeds you to lift them outof the pit?
  73. 73. As we get older, does itbecome more difficult oreasier to stand alone forwhat we know to beright?
  74. 74. Jeremiah 38:1414 “King Zedekiah sent forJeremiah the prophet andreceived him at the thirdentrance of the Lord’stemple. The king said toJeremiah, “I am going to askyou
  75. 75. something; don’t hideanything from me.”
  76. 76. The third entrance of theLord’s temple was aspecial entryway forroyalty and provided asafe place for the king tomeet Jeremiah without theprinces knowing about it.
  77. 77. Jeremiah 38:15-1815 “Jeremiah replied toZedekiah, “If I tell you,you will kill me, won’tyou? Besides, if I give youadvice, you won’t listen tome anyway.”
  78. 78. 16 King Zedekiah swore toJeremiah in private, “Asthe Lord lives, Who hasgiven us this life, I will notkill you or hand you overto these men who want totake your life.”
  79. 79. 17 Jeremiah therefore saidto Zedekiah, “This is whatthe Lord, the God ofHosts, the God of Israel,says: ‘If indeed yousurrender to the officialsof the king of Babylon,
  80. 80. then you will live, this citywill not be burned down,and you and yourhousehold will survive.
  81. 81. 18 But if you do notsurrender to the officialsof the king of Babylon,then this city will behanded over to theChaldeans.They will burn it down,
  82. 82. and you yourself will notescape from them.’” Jeremiah 38:15-18
  83. 83. Judah was definitelygoing to fall to Babylonbut the fate of the city andthe temple was inZedekiah’s hands.Many deaths and greatdestruction would be
  84. 84. avoided if Zedekiahbelieved God’s word asdelivered throughJeremiah to him for years.Zedekiah and his familywould also be spared.
  85. 85. Zedekiah was being calledupon to believe God andto do the opposite ofconventional wisdom buthe continued to make thewrong decisions and it ledto the disaster Jeremiah
  86. 86. had predicted.The rest of the story is sadand ugly.At Riblah the king ofBabylon slaughteredZedekiah’s sons rightbefore his eyes and then
  87. 87. blinded him so that thelast thing he ever saw wasthe brutal death of hisown family.Zedekiah was put inbronze chains and died onthe way to Babylon.
  88. 88. Judah being defeated bythe Babylonians was partof God’s disciplinaryprocess.Since Israel had brokenthe covenant, she must bedisciplined in order to
  89. 89. bring her back into rightrelationship with God andmade more amenable toHis purposes.The carrying forth ofGod’s great purposes wasmore important than the
  90. 90. preservation of the state(Israel did not become arecognized state againuntil 1948).The Davidic dynasty wasresponsible to God foroverseeing justice in the
  91. 91. society in keeping withGod’s law (Exodus 22:20-23).If the government doesnot uphold God’s law,judgment comes on thegovernment and on the
  92. 92. entire country.Godly government isindispensable to the well-being of a nation.When it goes – life fallsapart!
  93. 93. We have experiencedGod’s blessings on thisgreat nation through theAbrahamic Covenant -Genesis 12:33 “I will bless those whobless you,
  94. 94. I will curse those whotreat you with contempt, and all the peoples onearth will be blessedthrough you.” Genesis 12:3
  95. 95. If we continue to removeGod from our culture andif we cease blessing Israel,God will remove Hisprotective hand from theUSA and He will stopblessing us and we will go
  96. 96. the way that ancient Israelwent into defeat and intocaptivity.God will not rewarddisobedience but He willreward our faithfulness.
  97. 97. Hebrews 11:6 NIV6 “Without faith it isimpossible to please God,because anyone whocomes to Him mustbelieve that He exists andthat He rewards those
  98. 98. who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIVHebrews 11Group A: verses 33-35aGroup B: verses 35b-38
  99. 99. Hebrews 11:33-35aGroup A:33 “those who by faithconquered kingdoms,administered justice,obtained promises,shut the mouths of lions,
  100. 100. 34 quenched the raging offire, escaped the edge ofthe sword, gainedstrength after being weak,became mighty in battle,and put foreign armies toflight.
  101. 101. 35a Women received theirdead—they were raised tolife again.” Hebrews 11:33-35a Group A
  102. 102. Hebrews 11:35b-38Group B35b“Some men weretortured, not acceptingrelease, so that they mightgain a better resurrection,
  103. 103. 36 and others experiencedmockings and scourgings,as well as bonds andimprisonment. 37 They were stoned, theywere sawed in two, theydied by the sword, they
  104. 104. wandered about insheepskins, in goatskins,destitute, afflicted, andmistreated. 38 The world was notworthy of them.They wandered in deserts
  105. 105. and on mountains, hidingin caves and holes in theground.” Hebrews 11: 35b-38 Group B
  106. 106. Hebrews 11:39-4039 “All these wereapproved through theirfaith, but they did notreceive what waspromised,
  107. 107. 40 since God hadprovided somethingbetter for us, so that theywould not be madeperfect without us.” Hebrews 11:39-40
  108. 108. God does not promise us78 years of health andhappiness but He doespromise to never leave usnot to forsake us.He will reward those whoearnestly seek Him.
  109. 109. Success = obedience toGod regardless of the costto you or to those aroundyou.
  110. 110. Next weekMatthew 5:1-16