Summary: PENTECOST 5(A) - Believers give praise to the Lord for freedom because wickedness loses and God is victorious.
GIVE PRAISE TO THE LORD FOR FREEDOM
Jeremiah 20:7-13 - July 4, 2004
Pentecost 5 / Independence Day
7O LORD, you persuaded me, and I was persuaded; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.
8Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long.
9But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
10I hear many whispering, "Terror on every side! Report him! Let’s report him!" All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, "Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him."
11But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12O LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.
13Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Freedom! It is a wonderful word. As we have learned over the years and have especially seen in the past year, freedom is also an awesome word. We live in a country that the rest of the world envies. Every citizen in the United States enjoys freedoms that are unparalleled in any other nation in this world. The Lord reminds us today as believers with that word "freedom," there also comes a responsibility --- a responsibility to use that freedom to God’s glory. We are going to talk about our divine freedom responsibility this morning. Jeremiah points to us the fact that we can give praise to the Lord for our freedom. We are reminded of what Paul says in Galatians: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (GALATIANS 5:1). Of course, Jeremiah is talking about spiritual freedom. This is our greatest freedom that we enjoy in this nation, a spiritual freedom that God gives us first of all and the government freedom to worship where and when and whatever God we want. Today we worship the only true God, the triune God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We GIVE PRAISE TO THE LORD FOR FREEDOM
I. reminded that wickedness loses.
II. knowing that God is victorious.
I. WICKEDNESS LOSES
We need to refresh our memory about Jeremiah the Prophet. The Old Testament prophets were often sent by God to proclaim God’s judgment. Jeremiah was another such prophet. In fact he was a prophet during the reign of six kings during the history of Israel. Now if you may remember about the kings of Israel, not all of them were good kings. In fact if you look at the kings side by side, you will find very often that there were more bad kings than good kings. These kings did not care about giving glory to God, but they cared about giving glory to themselves. They did not care about God’s Word, as some of them even introduced idol worship. Doing that as a king or a ruler of a nation of God was not a good king. Jeremiah faced these bad kings. Jehoiakim, one of the kings who ruled when Jeremiah was prophet, despised Jeremiah and also the word of God that Jeremiah brought to him. We are told that at one time Jeremiah sent the word of God on the scroll to Jehoiakim. As God’s Word was read to him, Jehoiakim took a knife and cut it into small pieces and burned it in his own personal firepot in order that he might keep warm. So the king thought he would put an end to Jeremiah, God’s prophet, and God’s Word. Later God also inspired Jeremiah to write the same words down – God’s word cannot be stopped.
That is why in our text it starts with almost a lament by Jeremiah: 7O LORD, you persuaded me, and I was persuaded; you overpowered me and prevailed. If Jeremiah had his choice, he would not be the one to stand in front of kings and proclaim God’s judgment. Jeremiah states this: 8Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. His message was a message of God’s Law. It was a message of God’s Law, because God’s people had simply turned away from God over and over. They turned away so much that when it came to the king who should set an example, Jehoiakim took the word of God and burned it. The king tried to destroy it.