Learn From Jeremiah

You would think the calling on your life would be a 'piece of cake', all blessings, no crisis of belief,

no sufferings, just accept Him and holler 'Grace' and you can say and do whatever you want. Right?

Throughout America and the world, God is raising up modern spokesmen, prophets, and messengers sent like apostles to warn His children and the lost of impending judgment and shaking that is coming upon this earth.

People like David Wilkerson, until his death in a car crash a few years back, who spoke such warnings, suffered much as the Lord revealed to him what was and is coming to pass on the earth.

Out of a deep, passionate love affair, not only with their Savior, but those brothers and sisters and the lost, they speak so they could be made aware, to wake up, and to see that the Lamb of God is returning as the Lion of Judah and not just the lamb of God. He is calling us to make straight our paths in light of His coming. Just as John the Baptist spoke, so the Spirit of Elijah has again been speaking through His called out ones today.

These people have spent every waking hour, even through the reaches of the late hours, in deep travail over the condition of our hearts in light of God's deep, abiding love for us and in our present spiritual broken down condition throughout our land.

I had the opportunity of speaking to one gentleman over the telephone who shared his feelings.

“They won't listen”, he stated. They just call me names and say that I'm a gloom and doomer, a false

prophet because God loves us and would never do that. But, they fail to realize that even early Israel refused to listen and see what happened to them, taken into captivity due to their rebellion and sin.”

It is to such as these that I want to share a night of deep prayer and travail concerning this ministry. Throughout the whole night, I interceded, cried out to God, “What is wrong?” “No one is listening and, in fact, don't seem to want to change at all.” “It's like I've hit a brick wall.” “My friends seem to have left me.” “Have I done something that has stopped the anointing on my life?” “What is it, Lord?”

Have any of you ever come to that point in your walk with God?

Well, the Good News is God hears us when we cry out to Him. And, the still-small voice of the Lord came and spoke this simple reply...”You are just like Jeremiah.”

I said, “Say what?” How? Wasn't he the 'weeping prophet? How could he be in anyway related to our talk through the night.

So, I Googled Jeremiah...

Here is what I learned...

Question: “What should we learn from the life of Jeremiah?”

Jeremiah the prophet lived in the final days of the crumbling nation of Israel. He was approximately the last prophet that God sent to preach to the southern kingdom, which comprised the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. God had repeatedly warned Israel to stop their idolatrous behavior; but, they would not listen, so He tore the l2 tribes asunder, sending the l0 northern tribes into captivity at the hands of the Assyrians. Then God sent Jeremiah to give Judah the last warning before He cast them out of the land, decimating the nation and sending them into captivity in the pagan kingdom of Babylon. Jeremiah, a faithful, God-fearing man, was called to tell Israel that, because of their 'unrepentant sin', their God had turned against them and was now prepared to remove them from the land at the hands of a pagan king whom He called “My servant” (Jeremiah 26:7).

No doubt Jeremiah had great inner turmoil over the fate of his people and he begged them to 'listen'. He is known as “the weeping prophet”, because he cried tears of sadness, not only because he knew what was about to happen, but because no matter how hard he tried, the people would not listen. Furthermore, he found no human comfort. Even his friends had turned against him. So, along with the burden of the knowledge of impending judgment on the horizon, he must have felt very lonely. God knew that this was the best course for Jeremiah, because He went on to tell him how horrible conditions would be in a short time, with babies, children, and adults dying “grievous” deaths, their bodies unable to even be buried, and their flesh devoured by the birds..(Jeremiah l6:3-4).

Obviously, the people of Israel had become so hard-hearted and hardened by the numbing effects of their rebellion and sin that they no longer believed God, nor did they fear Him or desire to obey Him. Jeremiah preached for 40 years, and not once did he see any real success in changing or softening the hearts and minds of his stubborn, idolatrous people. The other prophets of Israel had witnessed some successes, at least for a little while, but not Jeremiah. He was speaking 'to a brick wall'; however his words were not wasted. They were pearls being cast before swine, in a sense, and they were convicting every person who heard them and refused to heed their warning.

Jeremiah tried to make the people understand their problem was lack of belief, trust, and faith in God, along with an absence of fear which caused them to take Him for granted. It is very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security, especially when the focus is not on God. The nation of Israel, just like many nations today 'had stopped putting God first', and had replaced Him with false gods and idol worship, those that would not make them feel guilty or convict them of the daily sin remaining in their lives. The Lord had delivered His people from bondage in Egypt, had performed miracles before them, and had even parted the waters of the sea for them. In spite of all these displays of God's power, they returned to the false practices they had learned while in bondage in Egypt, even making vows to the

'queen of heaven' along with performing the other rites and rituals that were part of the Egyptian culture and religion. God finally turned them over to their idolatry, saying, 'Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows!”...(Jeremiah 44:25).

Jeremiah's constant loneliness and isolation finally got the best of him, and he became discouraged. He sank into a quagmire where many believers seem to get stuck when they think their efforts are not making a difference and time is ticking away. Jeremiah was emotionally spent, even to the point of doubting God..(Jeremiah l5:l8); but, God was not finished with him. Jeremiah l5:l9 records a lesson for each believer to remember in those times when he feels alone, useless, and discouraged and whose faith is wavering. 'Therefore, this is what the LORD says, “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.” God was saying to Jeremiah, 'Come back to Me and I will restore to you the joy of your salvation'. These are similar to the words penned by David when he repented of his sin with Bathsheba (Psalm 5l:l2).

What we learn from the life of Jeremiah is the comfort of knowing that, just like every believer, even great prophets of God can experience rejection, depression, and discouragement in their life with God.

This is a normal part of growing spiritually, because our sinful nature fights against our new nature, that which is born of the Spirit of God, according to Galatians 5:l..'For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature, so that you do not do what you want.' But just as Jeremiah found out, we can know that the faithfulness of our God is infinite, even when we are unfaithful to Him. He remains steadfast (2 Timothy 2:l3).

Jeremiah was given the task of delivering an unpopular, convicting message to Israel, one that caused him great mental anguish, as well as making him despised in the eyes of his people. God says that His truth sounds like 'foolishness' to those who are lost, but to believers it is the very words of life... (1 Corinthians l:l8). He also says that the time will come when people will not tolerate the truth.. (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Those in Israel in Jeremiah's day did not want to hear what he had to say, and his constant warning of judgment annoyed them. This is true of the world today, as believers who are following God's instructions are warning the lost and dying world of impending judgment (Revelation 3:l0). Even though most are not listening, we must persevere in proclaiming truth in order to rescue some from the terrible judgment that will inevitably come. Amen.

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