Saturday, September 1, 2018

Jeremiah 20 & 21

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 20 & 21. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Following Jeremiah's message that all of the Israelites will be destroyed because of their wickedness, Pashur, the priest in charge of the Temple of God, responds by whipping Jeremiah and placing him in stocks.
  • As a result, Jeremiah goes to God and prays a mixed message of complaints and praise. He opens by saying that he doesn't enjoy being the laughing stock of everyone around him and has been tempted to stay silent about preaching the truth. Jeremiah says however, that he is always able to overcome the temptation because God's word burns too deeply in his heart. He follows by praising God that He is still with him but closes his prayer by wishing he had never been born.
  • Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, begins attacking Israel. Zedekiah, king of Israel, sends two of his priests to Jeremiah, asking if God will have mercy but Jeremiah says He will not. He goes on and explains that God is using Nebuchadnezzar to completely destroy Jerusalem and that the only hope of anyone surviving is by leaving the city and surrendering to the Babylonians.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Jeremiah stayed loyal and true to God even when it was painful and humiliating. He delivered God's message to the Israelites even when that meant all of his friends would turn against him. Jeremiah didn't necessarily want to preach the truth to the Israelites because he constantly experienced how miserable it was, but he did it anyway. Jeremiah's prayer to God in chapter 20 is full of complaints and pain, but he still manages to find ways to praise Him and thank Him for His goodness. His prayer is also an example of the authenticity and honesty that should be present when we talk to God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How is your prayer life? Would you say that you are open and honest to God when you talk with Him? Prayers never have to be scripted because God wants our authentic hearts laying out everything to Him- good, bad, and ugly.
  • Have you ever been tested? No one wants to go through painful circumstances but if you are experiencing some, use this as a time to pray to and lean on God with your whole heart.