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Jeremiah, Prophet of God

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Jeremiah, Prophet of God

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Jeremiah, Prophet of God

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Almighty God gave His faithful prophet a very difficult and yet vital commission. Let’s review the highlights of the life and times of Jeremiah and examine his personality, thoughts and inner feelings. In addition, we’ll examine what we can learn from his great service to God and his fellow man.

Transcript

[Mr. John Labissoniere]: Almighty God gave the prophet Jeremiah one of the most difficult and yet important commissions of any of His prophets. He is historically associated with the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC in the beginning of the Babylonian exile. It was Jeremiah's harsh task to predict the downfall of the nation of Judah and to witness and lament the fulfillment of that prophecy. The biblical book that bears his name, not only reveals his prophecies but also his fears and his feelings. The Book of Jeremiah is a large one. There's much that's said in it. But today, we're going to take a look at the highlights of the Book of Jeremiah and also the life and times of Jeremiah himself.

We'll also look at his personality. We'll also take a look at his thoughts and inner feelings, which he reveals in Scripture. Later, we'll describe what you and I can learn from this service that he gave to God and mankind. The sermon title today is “Jeremiah, Prophet of God.” Jeremiah was born around 645 BC in the village of Anathoth, which is two miles Northeast of Jerusalem. Although Jeremiah's father was a priest, it's not known if Jeremiah himself received formal religious training. One thing that is for certain though, Jeremiah grew up in precarious times, filled with idolatry and self-indulgence and lawlessness and corruption. That is for sure. Judah's King Manasseh, the wicked King Manasseh had pagan altars installed. And during his time of rulership, human sacrifice began. Two years after Manasseh's death, his son King Amon was murdered. Afterwards, Amon's eight-year-old son, Josiah came to the throne. In 628 BC, Josiah launched a number of reforms. Robust efforts to cleanse the nation of pagan influences. And it was a monumental task to do that. At that time, Judah was actually a vassal state of Assyria, a neighboring state, yet Assyria's power was at a low ebb and it appeared that Judah's future was optimistic.

Now, did this occur? Well, we'll see. But first, let's examine Jeremiah's calling. Let's turn to Jeremiah 1:4 Jeremiah 1:4Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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. It was during King Josiah's time in 627 BC that Jeremiah began. Maybe he was about 20 years old and God called him into service as one of his spokesmen to the nation. However, Jeremiah didn't receive his call with a great deal of eagerness, you might say. Jeremiah 1:4 Jeremiah 1:4Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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says this,

Jeremiah 1:4-10 Jeremiah 1:4-10 [4] Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, [5] Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations. [6] Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. [7] But the LORD said to me, Say not, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatever I command you you shall speak. [8] Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with you to deliver you, said the LORD. [9] Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. [10] See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
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– “Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I sanctified you. I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ Then said I, ‘Ah Lord, God, behold, I cannot speak for I am a youth.’” How did God respond? Here in verse 7 we’ll read, “But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say I am a youth for you shall go to all to whom I send you. And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord. And the Lord put forth His hand and touch my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.’” Then God gave Jeremiah His vital commission. He says here in verse 10, “‘See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and pull down, to destroy and to throw down, and to build and to plant’” That was His commission. So, Jeremiah's task was to deliver a strong message of repentance and warning to the leaders and the citizens of Judah. However, as Jeremiah found hands down, people didn't want to hear the word that, they didn't want to hear those words. They refused to repent. They refused to turn to God. As a result, Jeremiah witnessed Judah's downfall and later God used him to plant the seeds of the nation's renewal and rebirth.

Let's go to Jeremiah 7. Jeremiah 7:30 Jeremiah 7:30For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, said the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
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. The Book of Jeremiah is primarily... Well, it's a message of prophecy, but it's also a message primarily of judgment upon Judah for rampant idolatry. Let's look at a few passages that spell out this judgment and its results. Here in Jeremiah 7:30 Jeremiah 7:30For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, said the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
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, we read this. We're going to be staying in the Book of Jeremiah the entire sermon today.

Jeremiah 7:30 Jeremiah 7:30For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, said the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
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– “‘For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,’ says the Lord, ‘they set their abomination in the house, which is called by My name, to pollute it.’” God continues in verse 34 by a warning. He says this, “‘Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.’” Very ominous, isn't it? Let's go to Jeremiah 10. Now, Jeremiah 10:2 Jeremiah 10:2Thus said the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
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, a few chapters ahead. Let's look at a custom regarding idolatrous worship that people were worshiping idols as Jeremiah was warning them about. And God condemned this through His prophet. It says here in Jeremiah 10:2 Jeremiah 10:2Thus said the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
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,

Jeremiah 10:2-5 Jeremiah 10:2-5 [2] Thus said the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. [3] For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. [4] They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. [5] They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
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– “Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles. Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are futile, for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold. They fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright like a palm tree, and they cannot speak.’” Idols like this cannot speak. “They must be carried because they cannot go by themselves.”

Once we just read this ancient practice of cutting and decorating trees was associated with idolatrous practices clearly describing, are they today? In fact, the very day we meet now. God had a message for the people then, which was not to learn the way of the Gentiles, the pagans, and the same message applies today some 2,500 years later.

Therefore, today's Christmas traditions with its deep roots in pagan customs are long associated with winter solstice and astrology and false gods. God did not like that. He doesn't like it today either. Besides the Christmas tree, other Christmas customs, such as the Yule wreath, the Yule log, tree, ornaments, mistletoe, gift-giving, believe it or not. And Christmas candles and lights. And we can't forget Santa Claus have pagan origins, which must not be followed. God must be worshiped only in ways that He approves, which is John 7:17 John 7:17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
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says must be in spirit and truth. Very important.

Jeremiah 16:12 Jeremiah 16:12And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me:
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, if you turn there. Jeremiah 16:12 Jeremiah 16:12And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me:
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. Let's move ahead several chapters to see more about what God said through Jeremiah to the Jewish leaders and citizens about their unyielding disobedience to Him. Jeremiah 16:12 Jeremiah 16:12And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me:
American King James Version×
says this,

Jeremiah 16:12-13 Jeremiah 16:12-13 [12] And you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not listen to me: [13] Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that you know not, neither you nor your fathers; and there shall you serve other gods day and night; where I will not show you favor.
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– “And you have done worse than your father's, for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart so that no one listens to Me.” God said that through Jeremiah. Is it any different in our society today? You wonder. “‘Therefore, I will cast you out of the land into a land that you do not know neither you nor your fathers and there you shall serve other gods day and night where I will not show you favor.’” Obviously, He was showing them favor, but now it's going to be going away if they didn't repent.

Move to Jeremiah 7:22 Jeremiah 7:22For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
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, if you would. Jeremiah 7:22 Jeremiah 7:22For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
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, as we page forward in the history of Judah at that time, we learned just how God will bring about this chastisement that He warned about if repentance did not occur. He says here in Jeremiah 22:7 Jeremiah 22:7And I will prepare destroyers against you, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down your choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.
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,

Jeremiah 22:7-9 Jeremiah 22:7-9 [7] And I will prepare destroyers against you, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down your choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. [8] And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, Why has the LORD done thus to this great city? [9] Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.
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– “I will prepare destroyers against you, every one with his weapons. They shall cut down your choice cedars and cast them into the fire. And many nations will pass by this city. And everyone will say to his neighbor, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this great city?’ Then they will answer because they'll answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and worshiped other gods and served them.’”

Let's go to Jeremiah 32:29 Jeremiah 32:29And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
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. We're kind of skipping around in the book today, several more chapters ahead. Well, this is an awful situation that the people faced. The people sins and God had to... was promised that He would bring down upon them a very brutal enemy if they didn't repent. To implement these punishments, they would have to do that. If you're in Jeremiah 32:29 Jeremiah 32:29And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
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, we read,

Jeremiah 32:29-30 Jeremiah 32:29-30 [29] And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. [30] For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, said the LORD.
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– “And the Chaldeans,” -better known to us as the Babylonians- “who fight against this city shall come and set fire to this city and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal.” -One of the false gods. “And poured out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger, because the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only evil before Me from their youth.” Look at that. They wouldn't listen at all. He said that before He remembered from their youth, “‘For the children of Israel have provoked Me to anger with the work of their hands,’ says the Lord.”

Now, let's back up a bit and review some of the biblical and historical events leading up to God's judgment and ultimate punishment upon the nation. Jeremiah 2, let's go to the very beginning of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 2:20 Jeremiah 2:20For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and you said, I will not transgress; when on every high hill and under every green tree you wander, playing the harlot.
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. You know, after the death of King Josiah, again, the last righteous King of Judah who were there very few, by the way, as you know. The nation had almost completely abandoned God and His commandments. I mean, there were just so few that would even listen. And considering the population, it's almost like no one, you know, if you want to put it that way. Through His prophet, God unhappily had to compare Judah to, of all things, a prostitute who plays the harlot with other gods who ignore Him as the true God, the eternal God, the Giver of all life. Jeremiah 2:20 Jeremiah 2:20For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and you said, I will not transgress; when on every high hill and under every green tree you wander, playing the harlot.
American King James Version×
says this,

Jeremiah 2:20 Jeremiah 2:20For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and you said, I will not transgress; when on every high hill and under every green tree you wander, playing the harlot.
American King James Version×
– “For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds. And you said, ‘I will not transgress,’ when on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down, playing the harlot.” Honoring these false gods. You say you're not doing that? Let's move on ahead to the next chapter, Jeremiah 3. Now here, we read more about this subject of sexual sin you might say, which is obviously contemptible in God's eyes because it's essentially the attack on the God-ordained family structure. First, while this passage refers to the nation, you know, bowing itself to these false gods can also apply to illicit human physical relationships as well. But look at this, Jeremiah 3:1 Jeremiah 3:1They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return to her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, said the LORD.
American King James Version×
, let's read it.

Jeremiah 3:1-3 Jeremiah 3:1-3 [1] They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return to her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, said the LORD. [2] Lift up your eyes to the high places, and see where you have not been lien with. In the ways have you sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your prostitutions and with your wickedness. [3] Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; and you had a whore's forehead, you refused to be ashamed.
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– “They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and become becomes another man's, may he return to her again?’ Would not the land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers, yet return to me, says the Lord. Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see, where you have not lain with men. By the road, you have sat for them like an Arabian in the wilderness. And you have polluted the land with your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore, the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot's forehead. You refuse to be ashamed.” That's a load, isn't it? A load that those people carried in opposition to their great Creator.

Let's pause for a moment, consider what this means for our society today. With these overwhelming mountains of sexual immorality, including unrestrained fornication, where is the condemnation of that today? Where's the condemnation of cohabitation without marriage, homosexuality, transgenderism, all these things? If God to Jeremiah warned the people of ancient Israel about punishments for this, what can this society expect? Let's face it. In this regard, we should consider Malachi 3:6 Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
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, you don't need to turn there. It says God does not change so that His commandments have relevance for our society today as they did in the past.

Let's look at what God said to His people long ago, when He took them out of Egypt, and ask, doesn't this apply to our nation today? You don't need to turn here. I'll just read this to you from Leviticus 26:14 Leviticus 26:14But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments;
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, beginning there.

Leviticus 26:14-17 Leviticus 26:14-17 [14] But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments; [15] And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant: [16] I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. [17] And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you.
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– “But if you do not obey Me and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you. I will even appoint terror to you, wasting in disease and fever, which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemy shall eat it. I will set My face against you and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee and no one pursues you.” That was then, but what about today? Do we have wasting in disease? Consider COVID-19 and all that that's gone on for almost over two years now. Have we experienced defeat by our enemies? Consider Afghanistan most recently.

Let's turn to Jeremiah 1:11 Jeremiah 1:11Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what see you? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
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, back up a little bit here. Back to the story about Jeremiah. So far, we've read that he warned Judah again and again and again, that God's judgment was forthcoming. But because repentance didn't come, God's patience and tolerance finally ran out. He had had it up to here. God gave Jeremiah two visions to explain what was about to occur to Judah. Jeremiah 1:11 Jeremiah 1:11Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what see you? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
American King James Version×
says this,

Jeremiah 1:11-14 Jeremiah 1:11-14 [11] Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what see you? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. [12] Then said the LORD to me, You have well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. [13] And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, What see you? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. [14] Then the LORD said to me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land.
American King James Version×
– “Moreover, the Word of Lord came to me saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch on an almond tree.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.’ And the Word of the Lord came to me the second time saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a boiling pot and it is facing away from the north.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘Out of the north, calamity shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land.’”

Well, on the first vision, the sight of a branch from an almond tree, which was always the first to bloom in the springtime disclosed to Jeremiah, that God is going to bring His judgment upon the earth. It's going to happen. In the second vision, God showed Jeremiah, this boiling pot tip to the north, which was about to spill its contents. This meant that the powerful Chaldean Empire, the Babylonians would be God's instrument of punishment upon the Jewish nation.

As I mentioned earlier, Josiah instituted various reforms in an attempt to root out the paganism that had polluted the people's minds. However, after Josiah's death, Jehoiakim came to power. What did he do? He totally disregarded Josiah's reforms and paganism again spread rapidly through the nation. Let's go to Jeremiah 26:4 Jeremiah 26:4And you shall say to them, Thus said the LORD; If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
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. Jeremiah 26:4 Jeremiah 26:4And you shall say to them, Thus said the LORD; If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
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. Early in Jehoiakim's reign, God told Jeremiah to declare that unless Judah repented, Solomon's temple itself would be destroyed. Well, this would be unbelievable to the people. It would be a terrible blow to the nation. What does it say here in Jeremiah 26:4 Jeremiah 26:4And you shall say to them, Thus said the LORD; If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
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?

Jeremiah 26:4-6 Jeremiah 26:4-6 [4] And you shall say to them, Thus said the LORD; If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, [5] To listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent to you, both rising up early, and sending them, but you have not listened; [6] Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
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– “And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “If you will not listen to Me to walk in My law which I have set before you, to heed the words of My servants and prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them, but you have not heeded, then I will make this house,”’” -meaning the temple- “‘“Like Shiloh, and will make this city, Jerusalem a curse to all the nations of the earth.”’”

Well, He mentioned Shiloh here because after the Israelite conquest of Canaan, after 40 years of wandering in the Sinai desert, the arc of the covenant was placed in that city. And it stayed there for many, many, many years. However, due to the Israelites' sins, including trusting in the presence of the arc, rather than in God Himself, God allowed the Philistines to capture it and take it away. So, through Jeremiah, God says that the temple will be destroyed because of the sins of the people. Because they had this belief that the temple was what they could rely on to say, “Well, listen, God is with us and He's going to protect us.” Sorry, not going to happen that way. Well, this particular prophecy of Jeremiah set off the people like you would not believe. I mean, a riot occurred. Jeremiah nearly lost his life because of that. And the priest and the people shouted this in verse 9, we read,

Jeremiah 26:9 Jeremiah 26:9Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
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– “Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord saying this house shall be like Shiloh and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant. And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.”

Only the intervention by some of the nobles prevented Jeremiah from being killed by this mob. Well, following these and other instances in which leaders and the people refused to heed Jeremiah’s warnings – God's warnings, He began to carry them out. Starting when the Chaldean armies under Nebuchadnezzar began marching against the city of Jerusalem. Although the siege began, it was temporarily halted. The Chaldean military had to halt because they had to turn against the Egyptian armies who were moving into Palestine suppose they were thinking that the Chaldean were going to attack them. Anyway, Jeremiah insisted to the now new King Zedekiah that his people submit. Submit to the Babylonian forces and accept their God-ordained fate. In doing so, he had to counter the words of false prophets. Jeremiah had to do that, who were encouraging the people to fight against the Babylonians and resist captivity.

Jeremiah 27:12 Jeremiah 27:12I spoke also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
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. Next chapter, we read this here, Jeremiah 27:12 Jeremiah 27:12I spoke also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
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.

Jeremiah 27:12-14 Jeremiah 27:12-14 [12] I spoke also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. [13] Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? [14] Therefore listen not to the words of the prophets that speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie to you.
American King James Version×
– “I also spoke to Zedekiah King of Judah according to all these words, saying, ‘Bring your necks under the yoke of the King of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live. Why will you die? You and your people by the sword, by the famine and by the pestilence, as the Lord has spoken against the nation that will not serve the King of Babylon. Therefore, do not listen to the words of the prophets who... these false prophets who speak to you saying, “You shall not serve the King of Babylon.” For they prophecy to you a lie.’” So Jeremiah had to constantly battle the deceptive words of these false prophets and the resistance that they were telling them to go up against the Chaldeans.

So, for a two-year period, it's interesting that God gave the king a way out of this thing, a way out of this mess in a way while Nebuchadnezzar forces were occupied elsewhere, but then because Zedekiah and the people refused to listen to God, that's when the hammer came down. The hammer came down, Nebuchadnezzar resumed his conquest of Jerusalem. And yet during even that time, Jeremiah continued to employ the king to surrender. Well, this provoked a lot of outrage that he was seized by the nobles at that time and thrown into a deep muddy pit. You probably know that, in a cistern. He was thrown in there to die.

However, God rescued him by the hand that Ebed-Melech, an Ethiopian who asked that king for mercy upon Jeremiah. After that, Jeremiah was placed under house arrest. Let's turn to Jeremiah 32 now, Jeremiah 32:14 Jeremiah 32:14Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
American King James Version×
. Incredibly with all the stresses and strains in society at large, Jeremiah does something strange. He buys a plot of land in his hometown of Anathoth. Why did he do that? Let's read it and understand what God says here through Jeremiah. Jeremiah 32:14 Jeremiah 32:14Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
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,

Jeremiah 32:14-15 Jeremiah 32:14-15 [14] Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days. [15] For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.
American King James Version×
– “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Take these deeds, both this purchased deed, which is sealed and this deed, which is open and put them in an earthen vessel that may last for many days. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, houses and fields and vineyard shall be possessed again in this land’” It's going to happen again. Now, I'll turn to Jeremiah 33:14 Jeremiah 33:14Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
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next chapter over.

So, even though much of Jeremiah's message was about repentance and this coming punishment, it was also, importantly, about hope and restoration. That was part of his message as well. That was part of the command, the commission that he was given. God's optimistic message even extended far into the future. Here we read in Jeremiah 33:14 Jeremiah 33:14Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
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Jeremiah 33:14-17 Jeremiah 33:14-17 [14] Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. [15] In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up to David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. [16] In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name with which she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. [17] For thus said the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;
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– “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will perform that good thing, which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time I will cause to grow up to David, a Branch of righteousness. He will execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In those days, Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name with which she will be called. The Lord is our righteousness. For thus says the Lord, David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.’” So what we just described there, what we just read is all about the future, following Jesus Christ’s second coming. And that's when the real restoration is going to take place.

But in the time of Jeremiah, punishment came onto people. Regretfully, it had it happened. Go ahead to Jeremiah 38:17 Jeremiah 38:17Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, Thus said the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If you will assuredly go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house:
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now, if you would. Jeremiah 38:17 Jeremiah 38:17Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, Thus said the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If you will assuredly go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house:
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. After Jeremiah was pulled from the cistern and placed under house arrest, he again warned King Zedekiah to surrender to the Chaldeans. I mean, he didn't give up, did he? And he was relentless this Jeremiah sort of like what we need to be like too, right, today with our message to the world. Jeremiah 38:17 Jeremiah 38:17Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, Thus said the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If you will assuredly go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house:
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Jeremiah 38:17-18 Jeremiah 38:17-18 [17] Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, Thus said the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If you will assuredly go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house: [18] But if you will not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand.
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– “And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, “If you surely surrender the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live.”’” He's giving him an out here for his life, for his family. “‘“This city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the king of Babylon's princes, then this city shall be given unto the hand if the Chaldeans. They shall burn it with fire and you shall not escape from their hand.”’”

But just as before, Zedekiah, stubborn as he was, he wouldn't relent. He wouldn't listen. He didn't want to hear these words from this outlandish prophet. As a result, the Chaldeans blockade against Jerusalem tightened and the city ran out of food. With famine, prevailing people died of starvation, and there was cannibalism taking place in the city. July 587 BC, the walls of Jerusalem were finally breached and the Chaldean's forces swarmed into the city.

Next chapter here in Jeremiah 39:1 Jeremiah 39:1In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it.
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, we read this,

Jeremiah 39:1-12 Jeremiah 39:1-12 [1] In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. [2] And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up. [3] And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon. [4] And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain. [5] But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment on him. [6] Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. [7] Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon. [8] And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. [9] Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained. [10] But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time. [11] Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, [12] Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do to him even as he shall say to you.
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– “In the ninth year of Zedekiah King of Judah, in the 10th month, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it. In the 11th year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the city was penetrated.” Well, the Jewish people suffered immensely, let's see the horrendous punishment that King Zedekiah personally experienced, something that he didn't have to go through if he had only listened to Jeremiah, God's words through him. All this could have been completely avoided had he surrendered as Jeremiah told him to. Verse 4, “So it was, when Zedekiah the King of Judah and all the men of the war saw them, that they fled and went out of the city by night, by way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls. And he went out by way of the plain. But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had captured him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgment on him. Then the King of Babylon...” -look at this- “killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah. The King of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah. Moreover, he put out Zedekiah's eyes and bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. And the Chaldeans burned the King's house and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.” What a very sad ending, didn't have to happen. Although many people were carried off into captivity, Jeremiah was allowed to stay in Jerusalem since he had advocated surrender all along. Verse 11, “Now, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, ‘Take him and look after him and do not do him no harm, but do to him just as he says to you.’” Shortly thereafter, Jeremiah traveled to the new capital of Judea in Mizpah for Gedaliah. He was a newly appointed Jewish puppet governor of the Babylonians, he began his reign there. And it wasn't long before Gedaliah himself was murdered by patriots who fled to Egypt, taking Jeremiah and his friend and scribe, Baruch, with him.

And it's here where we lose track of Jeremiah in biblical history. Of course, there's secular history that says he went to other places. And that's something for another time. So, up to now, we covered some of the events of Jeremiah's life. And I said, there's so much there, we can't cover it all. It's like a survey today. But what about the man, Jeremiah? What about him? What about his thoughts? What about his conflicts and his personality? Let's go to Jeremiah 20:7 Jeremiah 20:7O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and have prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocks me.
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, back up several chapters if you would. From the start of his ministry, Jeremiah faced loneliness. He faced many enemies and he had this terrible knowledge of the country's bitter destiny. He knew it. God showed it to him. He was very plain.

And he really hated to have to bring this message of potential destruction to his people. But God's Word burned within him like a fire. He had to bring it to the people. At times, Jeremiah was so worn down by persecution and abuse from the nation's leaders and citizens who he was only trying to help. That's all he was trying to do, but they just rejected him, turned away from him. So he just cried out to God here in chapter 20 and verse 7, it says,

Jeremiah 20:7-17 Jeremiah 20:7-17 [7] O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and have prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocks me. [8] For since I spoke, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach to me, and a derision, daily. [9] Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. [10] For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. [11] But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. [12] But, O LORD of hosts, that try the righteous, and see the reins and the heart, let me see your vengeance on them: for to you have I opened my cause. [13] Sing to the LORD, praise you the LORD: for he has delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers. [14] Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bore me be blessed. [15] Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born to you; making him very glad. [16] And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; [17] Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.
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– “Oh Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded. You are stronger than I and have prevailed. I am a derision every day, everyone mocks me.” How would you like to say that? “For when I spoke, I cried out. I shouted violence and plunder because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily.” Yep. Jeremiah faithfully persisted in his God-given obligation to speak God's words. Verse 9, he said, “And then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him nor speak any more in His name.’” Okay. What's next? “But the word in my heart was like burning fires. Shut up in my bones. I was weary of holding back and I could not.” These were God's words and he had to tell the people to warn them. Isn't it sort of like today? Isn't that what we're trying to do to the world out there to help them to see to clear their ways and return back to God. Isn't that what we're doing? The relationship Jeremiah had with God was very deep, very respectable, and very personal. Jeremiah 20:11 Jeremiah 20:11But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
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, “But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore, my persecutors will stumble. They will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten. But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous and see the mind and heart, let me see Your vengeance on them. For I have pleaded my cause before You. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for He has delivered the life of the poor from the hand of evildoers.” Even so, all of this, Jeremiah, you know, he had these conflictions and he knew he had to do what God wanted to do, but he was kind of didn't like being, you know, he is human, just like all of us. And he didn't like to be put down and hurt like that. He had feelings. He had emotions just like us. You know, he wasn't married, so perhaps he felt the pain of separation, and loneliness, and a persecuted life. We know that he felt that way. Verse 14, it says, “Cursed be the day which I was born. Let that day not be blessed, which my mother bore me. Let the man be cursed who brought the news to my father saying, ‘A male child has been born to you,’ making him very glad. And let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew and did not relent. Let him hear the cry in the morning and the shouting at noon, because he did not kill me from the womb.” See how much anguish he felt. God called him and he carried it out. But he's had these human emotions just like all of us do. “That my mother might have been my grave. And her womb always enlarged with me. Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed in with shame?”

It's not easy being a prophet. And Jeremiah was just one of many. There are others at the same time there in Judah who were preaching. Let's back up a few chapters to Jeremiah 15:15 Jeremiah 15:15O LORD, you know: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your long-suffering: know that for your sake I have suffered rebuke.
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. Jeremiah 15:15 Jeremiah 15:15O LORD, you know: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your long-suffering: know that for your sake I have suffered rebuke.
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, because of the message that he had to bring to the people from God, Jeremiah, you know, he remained a loner, an outcast. Although he was troubled by his personal state of isolation, he maintained something very important, that relationship with God, that personal close relationship with God. Jeremiah 15:15 Jeremiah 15:15O LORD, you know: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your long-suffering: know that for your sake I have suffered rebuke.
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Jeremiah 15:15-18 Jeremiah 15:15-18 [15] O LORD, you know: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your long-suffering: know that for your sake I have suffered rebuke. [16] Your words were found, and I did eat 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. [17] I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of your hand: for you have filled me with indignation. [18] Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? will you be altogether to me as a liar, and as waters that fail?
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– “O Lord, you know, remember and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake, I have suffered rebuke. Your Words were found, and I ate them. And Your Word was with me, the joy and rejoicing of my heart. For I am called by Your name O Lord, God of hosts.” Even while he experienced great joy, he felt that sadness due to all the sufferings he endured. In this regard, he expressed himself boldly and reverently to God. He said here in verse 17, “I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers or did I rejoice. I sat alone because of Your hand, for you have filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream as waters that fail?” Boy, he was speaking pretty boldly, wasn't he to God? But he had that personal relationship with him. Back up one more chapter to Jeremiah 14:17 Jeremiah 14:17Therefore you shall say this word to them; Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
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.

Also, Jeremiah didn't play the role of a detached spectator with all these things. He brought that message of destruction and repentance and destruction to the people if they didn't repent. He did that personally. He suffered deeply for that both mentally and emotionally, with his knowledge and his lack of response from the people. Jeremiah 14:17 Jeremiah 14:17Therefore you shall say this word to them; Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
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Jeremiah 14:17 Jeremiah 14:17Therefore you shall say this word to them; Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
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– “Therefore, you shall say the word to them. Let my eyes flow with tears.” He even cried about this, night and day. “And let them not cease for the virgin daughter of my people has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow.”

Again, you can just see what he feels, and just going back and forth. He's just an emotional wreck in some ways, but a very strong man in many ways. He had that relationship with God. Actually, even though Jeremiah loved God, this inner turmoil that he had often just welled up with him inside of him. You know why? Because he loved his people. He loved the people he lived with. The Jewish people, he loved them. Sort of like us we love our neighbors, our friends. We don't want to see things happen to them. We want them to repent. We want them to turn back to God. Don't we? Same thing. We don't want to see this destruction come upon our nation.

So the tension and pain is noted in these verses here in verse 18, “For if I go to the field and behold those slain with the sword, and if I enter the city, then behold, those sick from famine. Yes, both prophet and priest go about in a land they do not know. Have You utterly rejected Judah?” He says to God, “Has Your soul loathed Zion? Have You stricken us so there is no healing for us? We looked for peace and there was no good. And for the time of healing, and there was trouble. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers for we have sinned against You. Do not abhor us for Your namesake. Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory. Remember, do not break Your covenant with us. Are there any among the idols of the nations that cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are You not, O Lord, our God? Therefore, we will wait for You since you have made all these.”

Back up one more chapter to Jeremiah 13:16 Jeremiah 13:16Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
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. But again, the people, you know, they just wouldn't respond, they wouldn't repent. And it cut Jeremiah to the quick right to the heart. And again, as I said, he wept for them. Jeremiah 13:16 Jeremiah 13:16Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
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, it says this,

Jeremiah 13:16-17 Jeremiah 13:16-17 [16] Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. [17] But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and my eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock is carried away captive.
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– “Give glory to the Lord, your God before He causes darkness. And before your feet stumble in the dark mountains, and while you are looking for a light, He turns it into a shadow of death and makes it dense darkness. But if you will not hear it, my soul will weep in secret for your pride. My eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears because the Lord's flock has been taken captive.” So he really loved the people. He just poured out his heart to God, you know, his feelings.

And isn't that what we should do too when we see so many things happening in our country today and around the world? It's sad to see these things. And it's so unnecessary as it was in that day as well the people had just repented. As painful as it was for Jeremiah to deliver this consistent message of judgment, he was fully obedient to God. That's the important aspect here. And he did what he was told to do. He carried out his commission very well. And through it, all Jeremiah hoped and prayed for God's mercy upon his people. But more so, he trusted that God would be just and righteous in the end.

Now, finally, as we wrap up, what lessons, takeaways can we learn from the life and work of Jeremiah? Here are three points. As we learned, Jeremiah lived in a time of abysmal, idolatry and self-indulgence, and corruption. And God commissioned him to warn the nation Judea that unless repentance occurred, the nation would be vanquished. Likewise, God has commissioned His church today. You and all the other people in our congregations today to preach the gospel, the good news of the Kingdom of God. And warn the modern-day descendant's nations of ancient Israel about the ramifications of sin, which includes invasion and destruction. It's going to happen unless people repent.

So just like Jeremiah, we must not waiver in our responsibility as we rapidly enter a time, as Jesus said, would be as sinful as the days of Noah if we've not already entered those days, maybe we have. In all of this, we also have to have that compassion upon people. They are blind. They don't understand. So our neighbors, we ought to have compassion on them as much as we possibly can and pray that they would come to repentance. It's not just the job of the church to do this. It's our job, all of us. Each of us individually ought to have that feeling for our neighbors, that we want to see them know what we know. That's the important thing.

And another point, Jeremiah loyally maintained a deep personal relationship with God through it all. All the stress, all the strain, all the painful times, he still had that personal relationship with God. And he spoke, as I said, several times, you could see how he spoke boldly to God. And we can do that too when we talk to Him in respect.

And on our third takeaway, we can gain from the life of Jeremiah is found in Jeremiah 10:23 Jeremiah 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.
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, we go there. Jeremiah did not rely on his own strength but on that of his heavenly Father. So the same must apply to you and me today. Our strength is nothing. When we go to God, He will hear our prayers. And He loves to hear the prayers of His people. He loves to hear that. So we ought to go to Him and tell Him our feelings especially. Jeremiah 10:23 Jeremiah 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.
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, Jeremiah writes,

Jeremiah 10:23 Jeremiah 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.
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– “O Lord, I know the way a man is not in himself. It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” So Jeremiah understood all of these things. He didn't rely on his own strength. He didn't not rely on knowing what way to go, what path to take he was following God completely.

Jeremiah 17:7 Jeremiah 17:7Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
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. Jeremiah 17:7 Jeremiah 17:7Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
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. Furthermore, Jeremiah knew that God offered a great reward to him and all those, including you and me today, who faithfully trust and rely on Him. Here we read this Jeremiah 17:7 Jeremiah 17:7Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
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,

Jeremiah 17:17 Jeremiah 17:17Be not a terror to me: you are my hope in the day of evil.
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– “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord.” Not in physical things, not in other people, but in the Lord. “For, he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river. And will not fear when heat comes. But its leaf will be green. It will not be anxious in the year of drought nor will cease from yielding fruit.” That's talking about us here. We can be like that.

Finally, let's turn to Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
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, several chapters ahead. Here are God's words to you and me and all people who love, respect and obey Him. God says here in Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
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, the wonderful promise. He says this,

Jeremiah 29:11-13 Jeremiah 29:11-13 [11] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. [12] Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. [13] And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
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– “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then, you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.’” God hears our prayers. “‘And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’” So this is the wonderful promise held out for us. So, let's remember and follow the tremendous example of faithful prophet, faithful Jeremiah, prophet of God.