Monday, April 19, 2021

The OTHER Voices (Jeremiah's Opposition)

 Jeremiah preached 40 years to the nation of Judah - 1st. messages = to repent and return to God or were going into exile.  Last messages changed to say "repent and return to God.  BUT, too late to avoid exile."

When you stand for God's word, will have opposition to that belief.
The false prophets, priests, people in power telling the people:

#1.  "no harm will come to us" - Jer. 5:12 - (this = before the first deportation), because --
(1)  we're the chosen people  (this is also Jeremiah's city, His temple)
(2)  Jeremiah is a  crotchety old prophet - doom and gloom

Lord's response = Jer. 14:13-14 - prophesying lies in my name
                            Jer. 5:20-21 - not open to the Word, to the Spirit

#2.  "Jeremiah is seeking the nation's ruin" - Jer. 38:4 - (is absurd - NO Jew wanted that!!!)

#3.  "this is just a temporary setback" - Jer. 27:16 - this = AFTER the 1st. deportation!

Lord's response = Jer. 27:19-22
Compare with Jeremiah's letter to the Exiles - Jer. 29:4-10 - settle down, build house, have families, etc.  Will be 70 years, not 2 years.

#4.  "people who preach these things should be silenced" - Jer. 11:19 - (common to the prophets!)  Matt. 23:37 - only held in high esteem after the fact.

Lord's response = Jer. 11:21-23

OBSERVATIONS - From then and FOR NOW!  with application both National and Personal!

(1)  People (generally) don't take God's Word seriously
example:  then = discovery of Law in the temple (Josiah)
example:  now = Bible reading stats - STATS from 2020

How often do American adults read from the Bible?
4 or more times a week? - 3%
once a week? - 9%
once a month? - 9%
once or twice a year? - 11%"
Never - 34%
(not all categories are recorded here - hence less than 100%)

Summary:  only 12% or American adults claim to read the Bible - weekly!
                 only 21% claim to read it monthly!

Gallup Poll - 2014
Bible = actual word of God to be taken literally -- 28%

Bible is the inspired Word of God but not everything in it to be taken literally - 47%

Bible is ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man - 21%

(4% - no opinion)

Hence (consequently)
(2)  People (generally) don't take sin seriously.
it follows:  if don't take His revealed will seriously, THEN won't take sin seriously!!
Christians are very prone to this.  Tend to measure sin according to what you think.

(3)  God's Word will stand whether you take it seriously or not!
Most didn't believe Jeremiah's words.  What did that change??
Chapter 36 - Jehoiakim burns the scrolls of Jeremiah.  What did that change?  Destroying and denying doesn't change anything.  Truth is truth, and God's Word will stand.
Example:  Bumper sticker ' "God said it, I believe it, that settles it".  Take out the middle.  "God said it, that settles it!" 

(4)  Sin will do its destructive work whether you take it seriously or not  example = the exile
This applies ... individually, nationally
Jer. 5:30-31 - God's Word WILL challenge your behavior, lifestyle, assumptions, beliefs, opinions...
Question:  will you side with TRUE prophets?  or with False prophets?
2 Tim. 4:1-5 - What Jeremiah was preaching then, now Paul telling to Timothy.  Human tendency comes back around.

Closing Scripture:  Rom. 12:2

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