Tag Archives: Jeremiah

WHAT DID JEREMIAH DO THAT WAS SO RIGHT?


William Andrew Dillard

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah is the author of the book that bears his name as well as the book of Lamentations. He is renown as “The weeping prophet.” Just what did Jeremiah do that was so right? Think with me!
Jeremiah lived about 80 years from about 650 B. C. to around 570 B. C. He was the son of a priest, and was set aside by the Lord for his unique ministry from his birth. His active ministry began around 625 B.C. and spanned the reign of five kings of Judah.
The times of Jeremiah parallel in some ways those of today. The Jewish nation has abandoned the Sabbaths, were in love with materialism, and honored idol gods. But these were the covenant people of God who were to play important roles in the progress toward the Savior coming into the world, and to the future of God’s people in the millennium and new earth. God would deal with them in ways most unpleasant, but sufficient to bring them back to the narrow way of faith. Jeremiah would be the faithful warning of what was to come
Humanly speaking, it is not pleasant to preach, beg, plead with people who consistently reject the message. Moreover, the message would not go unchallenged by the religious panderers seeking popularity and gain from a people committed to their own way. Jeremiah stood firmly against the false prophets, and felt the disdain his countrymen had for him. Still he continued faithfully to warn of the nations impending judgment.
At one point the prophet was cast into a mud pit as a reward for his unbending faithfulness to deliver God’s message. At another point in his ministry, it is recorded, “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” 20:9.
The prophet lived to see the Judgment of God fall on Judah. Nebuchadnezzar sent the forces of Babylon who destroyed Jerusalem, and carried away the young and talented people to serve him in that land. Doubtless Jeremiah’s heart was broken, but he understood the events by the messages God gave to him.
God still wants His people to speak His truth even if it is unpopular. His judgment is pending upon a Christ rejecting world, and we have this wonderful Old Testament prophet as an encouraging example of how our conduct should be in these evil times. Jeremiah was so right, and it is our privilege to be so right, delivering God’s message as he did!

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IN THE ENDING OF SUMMER OF LIFE ARE YOU SAVED?


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Jeremiah is renowned as “the weeping prophet.” In tears he preached to the hardened inhabitants of Judah, and Jerusalem in particular. Did they love and appreciate him for warning them of looming disaster? Quite the contrary. They cast him in a dungeon, and treated him shamefully in other ways. Still, he preached on. Why did he do this? Because he knew, and knew that he knew, that the forces of Babylon would soon descend upon his beloved city and people unless repentance was imminent. God had both informed the prophet of this doom and commissioned him to preach to his hardened, backslidden people.
Some who dared to believe the prophet had fled to Egypt for supposed safety rather than repent. As time raced toward a deadline for the people of Judah to repent, their condition was thus summarized, “The harvest is past , the summer is ended , and we are not saved” Jeremiah 8:20
Is this actually a page from the annals of ancient history or a present commentary on our people today? Truly, and doubtless the clock of human history is wound down to very near the stopping point. Jesus is coming again! Judgment is coming! A new world order of Heaven’s rule is coming! Life is fleeting! The window of change narrows to a tiny crack! This is not just good preaching, it is God ordained, Biblically established fact about to happen, just as doom came upon an un-repentant people of Judah so long ago.
The summer is gone, and fall races toward us. How easily that is seen. But the same is true of life. So many have passed the summer and are already into the late fall of life, and they are not saved. God help us to not grow cold and hardened as the ancient people of Judah, but to be as the prophet who though not seeing a spirit of repentance in his people continued to cry out and to warn of imminent judgment. People are precious. They are made in the image of Almighty God, and there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun! In this late summer of life, are you saved, is your hope in your works or in the grace of our wonderful Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus????

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Whom Do You Trust?  


Jeremiah 17:5-8
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, . . .  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters,”  Jeremiah 17:7, 8.

Trust implies that one feels vulnerable without the help of another. Children, of necessity, have to trust their parents. Employees must have confidence that their employer will come through with the paycheck. The boss must trust that the employees will produce a quality product or service. God has designed the world of humans with a herding instinct. If the ones we trust run off the cliff, many follow to their doom.

In this passage of Scripture, Jeremiah contrasts those who trust in men with those who trust in God for protection and provision. Trusting in God, one draws on the resources of the One who created the universe. He would never put a bug in our burger. Trusting in men is trusting in dust falling through the hourglass. When the storms of life come, the one trusting God is firmly planted where his soul is nourished. When the storms pass, like the tree, he may be bloody and scratched up but his leaf is still green. A hothouse tomato plant must be nourished in the shade and slowly toughened in the hot sun a little more each day for the business of bearing fruit. A few storms might twist it around, but it only gets tougher and grows more roots. It will bear more flavorful fruit and bear longer than one that is not cared for by a compassionate gardener.

JUST SAYING
It is a law of nature—those who trust in God for nourishment come through stronger and wiser in the end (Phil. 4:11-13).
Robert Brock

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Hebrew Words – Face


 

Face (Countenance) (2)

 

pāniym

 

Your face . . . is as a book, where men may read strange matters,” said Lady Macbeth to her husband. How true it is that people can often read our faces like a book. As noted yesterday, what the heartfeels, the facereveals. Let us each ask ourselves, then, what does my countenance tell others?

 

First, a “hard face” is the face of rebellion. As God sent Jeremiah through Jerusalem seeking a single person who “executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth” (Jer_5:1, July 30), we also read that “they [had] made their faces harder than a rock” and “refused to return” (Jer_5:3). Every parent has seen this face on their child, the face of defiance and revolt.

 

Sadly, most pastors have also seen this face. When the Word of God is preached, people often rebel, preferring to continue in sin rather than submit to truth. This is precisely why God told Jeremiah earlier, “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD” (Jer_1:8). Some will frown, fuss, and fume, so God needs men who will not fear the people’s faces.

 

Second, a “fallen countenance” is the face of rage. Cain is our example here (Gen_4:5-6). Spewing forth from offended pride, Cain’s anger exploded, being intended for God, whom he could not hurt, but aimed at Abel, whom he could hurt. Likewise, rebellion and rage are always a reaction against God’s revealed truth, whether or not we are even aware of it.

 

Third, a “fierce countenance” is the face of ruthlessness. Babylon itself is the model here, “a nation of fierce countenance” (Deu_28:50) that swooped down on Israel because of her rebellion. How we need to realize that God will not long tolerate rebellion!

 

Fourth, in stark contrast, is not the face of rejoicing to be much preferred? As Solomon encourages, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Pro_15:13) and, “God giveth to a man that is good in his sight [pāniym] wisdom, and knowledge, and joy” (Ecc_2:26), and still again, “A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed” (Ecc_8:1). And finally, the psalmist declares, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psa_42:11).

 

Scriptures for Study: What does the hardened face indicate (Pro_21:29)? What can godly friends do for one another (Pro_27:17)?

 

 

 

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TATTOO OR NOT? ANSWER ISN’T REAL SIMPLE


This article is taken from The Missionary Baptist News. Dr. Joseph Brown (assistant Editor) wrote this article and I was very impressed with how he handled this subject.

TATTOO OR NOT? ANSWER ISN’T REAL SIMPLE.

By Dr. Joseph Brown

To tattoo or not to tattoo, that is the question. The question seems simple enough, so what is the answer? The answer is a bit more difficult. The things we do in seeking to satisfy our desires are evident in life’s questions. We turn our world upside down to find the answer that will satisfy our “wants” and our Lord at the same time. So off we go in quest of the perfect answer – to satisfy our flesh as well as our spiritual man. But notice what Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18).

It is difficult to ask the tough questions, isn’t it? Many don’t want to ask the tough questions because they are afraid that the answer does not align itself with their own personal desires. And when they muster the courage to ask the tough questions, the world just shrugs and tells them that “you” must search “your” heart and find “your” own answer. This leaves those who have the courage to ask not knowing which way to turn, because they have searched within and have asked the world and have come up empty.

Concerning the question, “To tattoo or not to tattoo?” the more serious questions we need to ask” 1. What is my mindset for wanting a tattoo? 2. What is my motivation for getting a tattoo? 3. What is my message having a tattoo?

WHAT IS MY MINDSET?

Am I following the Lord’s or the world’s example? Tattoos are not Christian neutral. Tattooing is not just an issue of what kind or where we allow it to be placed, but more importantly, it is an issue of the heart. Solomon declared, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Today when we reach wits end as we look for direction in life, we must understand that we need an inward direction only God can give. Many look to the world or to their own hearts for guidance. But Jeremiah cautions us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). When we ignore or minimize the deceitfulness of our own heart, we become like fish trying to live on land or humans trying to live on a planet that has no oxygen.

God told Israel, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28). He gave this command to the Israelites around 1444B.C. (right after the parting of the Red Sea) to forbid them from practicing the idolatrous customs they’d witnessed in Egyptian captivity. Their captors slashed themselves to express grief and to appease their plethora of imaginary deities. The Egyptians also tattooed their bodies with symbols of pagan gods.

The heart of God’s message isn’t about tattoos, but about reminding the Israelites they belong to him. They weren’t to adopt social norms of their time, an neither are Christians today. This passage in Leviticus, including the surrounding text, is specifically dealing with the pagan religious rituals of the people living around the Israelites. God’s desire is to set his people apart from cultural norms. The focus of the commandment is prohibiting worldly living, pagan worship and heathen witchcraft. God forbids His holy people to engage in practices which imitate the lost people of the world.

The Bible tells what happens to us when we have a genuine encounter with the Lord. Paul wrote, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

Today many are searching their own hearts but where are the searches leading them? We must prepare our hearts to receive God’s instructions. This is no easy task. But God is willing to help.

WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION?

Am I seeking to glorify God or draw attention to myself? We are currently in an age of Christian narcissism. From worship styles, clothing, social drinking, bodily piercing and tattooing, many Christians are concerned with “Me, My, I and Myself.” They live out a life of – “It’s all about me – my wishes, my desires, my wants and my needs.” A mistaken belief is that a narcissist is in love with himself, but in reality he is in love with an image of himself. An image he creates and believes about himself that is based upon his perception of how he perceives that other people view him.

The Roman Caesar often had a slave as his constant companion, and the slave’s duty was to whisper in his master’s ear, “You are human.” Christians must constantly remind themselves of the change that has occurred in their lives. The word “human” is not enough. We need to remember Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian church, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Remember the focus of Christianity is not on “me,” it is on Jesus. The Christian life is not merely about what we do in life, it is about who we are in Christ.

Unfortunately, “Christians” often make God in their own image whenever the God of the Bible conflicts with what they desire to do. Though they agree with some parts of the Bible, they reject or ignore other parts that conflict with what they want to do. When you are faced with an important decision, you must remind yourself, “My body and soul belongs to Jesus. I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. I must do, think, and say that which is pleasing to my Lord who owns me.” Don’t let society, the culture or other people’s sense of what is in vogue at the moment determine what’s right for you – let Jesus do that!

WHAT IS MY MESSAGE?

Will my tattoo advance the Gospel or my own agenda? Remember, Jesus intended for His disciples to have the maximum impact possible. He told them to go into the whole world and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything He had commanded them. God wants His church to have the maximum impact. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).

To have maximum impact salt must be pure. Much of the salt of the time of Jesus was impure – mixed with grit. On a picnic it only takes a few grains of sand to ruin your lunch. It only takes a few grains of impurity to ruin a witness. That is why we are committed to excellence in all we do as a Christian.

When writing to the Corinthian church Paul related the Christian life to the Isthmian Games, which were held every other year in Corinth. He declared, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself shoud be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:25-27). Paul pictures an athlete and the great self-control he exhibits in training. He gives up the normal pleasures of the day to condition his body for the race. he looks beyond the momentary pleasures of the body to something greater.

The words “striveth for the mastery” meant that the runner was willing to train hard, run hard and strain every muscle and nerve – every fiber of his being to win the race. you’ve got to be willing to pay the price. Christian achievements don’t “just happen”; there are no shortcuts to discipleship.

When running the race of life there should be no doubt that you’re running for Christ. Paul declared that he kept his body under subjection. The word “subjection” speaks of being a slave. he made his body a slave to spiritual desires rather than allowing his body to make him a slave to fleshly desires.

Paul fought with his fleshly desires until he knocked them out and let the Spirit of God control him. Are you that determined – that disciplined?

Whether we like it or not all of our lives are on public display. People are watching as we run the race of life. Paul warns us not to become a castaway. The word castaway speaks of someone being disqualified or disapprove. Paul didn’t want anyone to look at his life and say Christ and Christianity are a failure. It is possible to be disqualified in the Christian race because your testimony and life no longer impact those around you.

To tattoo or not to tattoo, that is the question. Avoiding tattoo parlours doesn’t make you spiritual. Nor does having a tattoo make you unspiritual. If you have one or more tattoos, do not quit working in the kingdom of God. you are not disqualified from the Lord’s work. In the end, the important question that we must all answer is, “Would Jesus tattoo?”

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