Thesis: When God speaks, everyone should listen.
1. Illust. Do you remember that old brokerage firm commercial by E.F. Hutton? A bunch of people are in a swimming pool at a fashionable resort. Two men are talking while others are diving, swimming, and so forth. One man says, "Well my broker is E.F. Hutton and E.F. Hutton says ..." At that moment the camera moves way back to reveal everyone in the pool listening intently to what E.F. Hutton says. Commercial closes with: "When E.F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens."
2. Unfortunately, God doesn't always receive the same consideration.
a. This AM we want to hear the story of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, as told in Jer. 36.
b. Jehoiakim refused to hear Jeremiah; he is an example/model/prototype of all who refuse to hear the WOG.
I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND.
A. Dismal days for Judah and the Southern Kingdom.
1. Israel (NK) had fallen to Assyria a century before (721 B.C.).
2. There had been a succession of wicked kings & pagan practices.
3. Prophets, like Jeremiah, were routinely predicting destruction by Babylon.
B. These were the days of JEREMIAH.
1. Like most of the prophets, Jeremiah was not a popular guy!
2. Because of his message (3 elements):
b. Call to repent.
c. Warning of destruction if Judah refused to repent.
3. Jeremiah was definitely not a "feel-good" kind of guy!
a. Repeatedly jailed, attempts on life, sad, lonely.
b. He is often called, "The Weeping Prophet."
C. Background to Chapter 36:
1. Jeremiah instructed to write down his message from God.
a. Dictated to Baruch (scribe/secretary).
b. Baruch read it to people in Temple during a day of fasting.
2. Read 36:11-26.
< Jehoiakim's reaction to the Word of God was not that unique! >
II. THE WOG IS GIVEN SO THAT MEN MIGHT REPENT (36:1-3).
A. What God Wants People to Repent Of:
1. Following after False Gods (2:27-28).
a. In our culture we don't take idea of false gods seriously.
b. Extremely practical definition of a false god in 2:27-- Anything that keeps us from turning our faces to God!
2. Making False Excuses (2:20-25).
a. How often do we excuse ourselves:
1) "I just can't help it, that's just the way I am!"
2) "I'm only human, you know--nobody's perfect!"
b. We do have a choice! We can repent!
3. Playing games with God (3:3-5).
a. Claimed a close relationship with God.
b. But their lives remained unchanged.
4. Stubborn refusal to change what needs to be changed (6:16-17).
a. Usually KNOW what's right--don't need someone to tell us.
b. We just don't WANT to do what's right.
1) Not a matter of intelligence.
2) Not a matter of conviction.
3) It's a matter of stubbornness and hardness of heart.
5. Resting in a false security (7:2b-8).
a. Jews: "This is the TOTL! TOTL! TOTL! We're God's chosen people! We're in God's Temple! We are O.K.!"
b. Us: "We're in Church! (3x) We're God's people! Everyone else is this godless society is going to Hell, but we're O.K.!"
c. Jeremiah says that is trusting in deceptive words.
B. What People Do Instead of Repenting.
1. Reject the Word.
a. No, don't cut it up & throw in fire--reject it in other ways.
b. Take a lackadaisical/lethargic approach to Bible classes and the preaching of the Word.
1) Neglect to bring our Bibles or open them if we do.
2) Consistently come late as if church was not as important as work or school.
3) Make little attempt to follow teacher's presentation.
c. No, we wouldn't throw WOG in the fire; we're much too sophisticated for that! However, we can still reject WOG.
2. Reject the Messenger (26).
a. How credible is a preacher whose pulpit is in jail?
b. Not necessary to throw preacher in jail to discredit him!
1) "He's just a preacher, they're SUPPOSED to say stuff like that!"
2) "He's too serious ... or ... He's not serious enough!"
3) "He's too liberal ... or ... He's too conservative!"
4) "He's got too much education ... or ... not educated enough!"
c. Inasmuch as my (or anyone else's) words reflect the truth of Scripture .... Just as authoritative as if Jeremiah himself were
d. Luke 10:16 ... "He who listens to you listens to me; he who
rejects you rejects me."
1. None of us reach a point when God's Word has nothing to say to us.
a. No matter who the presenter is.
b. No matter how boring the presentation is.
c. No matter if it is at home, upstairs during assembly time, or downstairs during Bible study.
2. When God speaks ..... will everybody listen?
(The outline for this lesson came from a speaker at a seminar in Louisiana in 1986)