Summary: Jeremiah displayed a persistent, faithful quality. He was tenacious in his mission to a hard-hearted people.
(A Poem by Dr. Seuss)
Did I ever tell you about the young Zoad - who came to a sign at the fork of the road?
He looked one way and the other way too - the Zoad had to make up his mind what to do.
Well, the Zoad scratched his head, and his chin, and his pants. --
And he said to himself, "I'll be taking a chance.
If I go to Place One, that place may be hot... so how will I know if I like it or not.
On the other hand though, I'll feel such a fool if I go to Place 2 - and find it's too cool
In that case I may catch a chill and turn blue.
So Place One may be best and not Place Two.
"Play safe!" cried the Zoad,
"I'll play safe, I'm no dunce. I'll simply start off to both places at once."
And that's how the Zoad who'd not take a chance
Went no place at all with a split in his pants.
APPLY: Decisions... we all have to make them. Most of the time, our decisions are mundane as which road to take, or which box of cereal to buy at the grocery store, or which movie to watch at the theatre. These are decisions based upon personal taste.
But every once in a while, we're faced with making a decision... and we know what we should decide. We know what the right choice should be. BUT we realize that -- if we make that choice -- it could ultimately cost us something we hold dear.
2. The Northern Nation of Israel has gone into Assyrian Captivity [Map
3. Judah was about to go into Babylonian Captivity [Map
4. God made an attempt to rescue the nation through the tenacious preaching of his prophet, Jeremiah
I. The Consequences of Corruption [Debt Clock
A. The People and the Words of God
1. The People Rejected the Words of God -- Jeremiah 6.16
2. The People Ignored the Words of God
a. Baal and Asherah
b. Co-mingling of Religions to the point God rejected their offerings (6.20)
3. The People Defiled the Words of God
a. Scroll of Jeremiah -- 36.1-9
b. Jehoiakim's knife and fire -- 36.20-26
4. The People Chose the Wrong
One day a wasp flew in the window, and the boy - seeing its brilliant colors - began to cry for it.
At last the mother called to the servant who was tending the child "What is the boy crying for? Whatever it is... let him have it?"
So, the servant returned to the boy, and a few minutes there's a loud scream.
The mother is shocked and yelled out "What's the matter?"
The servant peeked back into the room and calmly said: "He got what he wanted"
If we determine that we're going to embrace sin in our lives, God lets us have what we want. And we are NOT going to like what we get!
B. Overthrow of Judah -- 2 Kings 24.1-4
In his days, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him.2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldeans and bands of the Syrians and bands of the Moabites and bands of the Ammonites, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by his servants the prophets.3 Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the LORD, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he had shed. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD would not pardon.
1. Jehoiakim -- Jeremiah 36.30-31
2. Reminder of Romans 1
Effects of Sin
I read recently a couple of interesting facts about skunks.
* A skunk can spray 6 to 10 feet
* Its odor can be smelled up to 2.5 miles away
The unique thing about a skunk's odor is once you've been sprayed, nobody wants to be in the same room with you. Not for a long time.
Now the Bible tells us is that our sin has the same kind of effect to God. When sin dominates our lives it creates a stench about us that's hard to overlook.
II. The Persevering Prophet of God (An Act of Grace)
Several years ago, the Country Gazette in Franklin, Massachusetts had this listing in its classified section: "Unknown item for sale. We know it's valuable; we don't know what it is. If you can identify it, we'll sell it for $250."
APPLY: Now isn't that interesting? They had no idea what this thing was. But they knew - somehow - that it had value. AND they realized that (only someone who knew what it was) would understand how valuable it truly was.