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Keep Teaching and Trust God

Of all the men who faced discouragement in the Bible, Jeremiah’s name must rise to the top. Here is a prophet who preached to the people of Judah for over forty years and yet he was mocked and persecuted by his own people. Many prophets wept for God’s people, but Jeremiah cried so often that he is called the “weeping prophet” of the Old Testament. He became so discouraged that he wished for a lodging in the wilderness to get away from the sinful people he was trying to teach (Jer. 9:1-2). He even became so discouraged that he decided to stop preaching (Jer. 20:7-9), but he said the Word of God in his heart was like a burning fire in his bones and he would not quit. The aim of his preaching was to bring the people to repent and to prevent their being destroyed by the Chaldeans. But God’s people did not want to hear what Jeremiah said.

It may seem like Jeremiah was the only faithful man of his generation. It may appear that his decades of preaching did no good. But let us remember some facts about this time:

  • Josiah was one of the kings of Judah during Jeremiah’s work of preaching. Jeremiah began his ministry in year thirteen of Josiah’s reign (Jer. 1:2). Five years later Josiah began a religious reform unlike anything the Jews had ever seen (II Kings 22:3). The Bible says there was no king before or after Josiah who sought the Lord with all his heart (II Kings 23:25). We do not know how much Jeremiah influenced Josiah. We know that Jeremiah mourned when Josiah died (II Chron. 35:25). At least we know Jeremiah was not the only man in Judah who wanted to do what was right.

  • Ezekiel was a priest and prophet of God in Judah who was taken to Babylon in the captivity (Ezek. 1:1-3). He was a man of God who was sent to preach to the people.

  • Daniel and his three companions Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were faithful Jews in the Babylonian captivity.

  • Daniel studied the prophecy Jeremiah had made about the seventy years of bondage (Dan. 9:2). The words of Jeremiah had been committed to “books” that Daniel read years later in Babylon during the reign of Darius.

  • The Chaldean authorities, including the king himself, had heard of Jeremiah. They knew he was a man of integrity. When the Chaldean army attacked Jerusalem, the captain let Jeremiah go free (Jer. 39-40).

Many since Jeremiah’s death have read his words and have drawn strength in times of distress.

How could we think Jeremiah was the only faithful man of God or that his preaching did no good?

Do not be weary today.

Kerry

West End Bulletin 8/9/20

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