Summary: James exhorts New Testatment Christians to observe and follow the example of the prophets, as examples of patience and we will first observe things about Jeremiah, who was treated horrible.
1. Open your bibles to James 5:10.
2. In a previous lesson we discussed three things from James 5:7-9 that exhort Christians to be patient.
Exhortation #1, v. 7a&8, We must be patient until the Lord comes!
Exhortation #2, v. 7b, We must follow the example of patience demonstrated by Farmers!
Exhortation #3, v. 9, We must stop blaming one another for our problems!
3. Let’s move on to discuss another exhortation that James gives us.
4. Exhortation #4, JAMES 5:10 EXHORTS CHRISTIANS TO BENEFIT FROM THE EXAMPLE OF PATIENCE BY THE PROPHETS.
(1) Let’s read James 5:10, “10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.”
(2) An interesting study would be to go back into the Old Testament and study the suffering of all the prophets, however for now we will only study some of the suffering and patience of one of the prophets.
5. In this lesson we will study the example of the suffering and patience of Jeremiah. Jeremiah went through so much suffering that he became knows as “the weeping prophet”.
I. FIRST, TURN TO JEREMIAH 18:18. THIS PASSAGE REVEALS THAT JEREMIAH SUFFERED VERBAL ABUSE AND REJECTION.
1. Turn to Jeremiah 18:18. This reveals that the people of Judah attacked Jeremiah with their words and refused to listen to him. Let’s read Jeremiah 18:18, “18 Then they said, “Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us attack him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.”
2. This treatment directed toward Jeremiah is an example showing that proud sinners do not like hearing about God being in control and the fact that God is going to bring judgment on the disobedient.
(1) They think that if they silence the messenger they will silence the Lord. However, Ps.2:4 says in regard to those who would oppose God and Christ: “He [God] who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision(mockery/ridicule).”
(2) Their argument: We have plenty of priests, prophets, & elders. We can do without Jeremiah.
(3) “With the tongue” Jeremiah’s enemies plotted a “smear campaign” consisting of lies about him. In v. 18, the people of Judah say, “let us attack him with the tongue”.
The plot probably included quotes from his messages that suggested he was a traitor to Judah. They probably said that he was a traitor because he was speaking against Judah.
3. An illustration that can help us to appreciate a truthful preacher like Jeremiah. “If a doctor detects cancer is he nicer to not burden you with such bad news?” By not telling us the truth the doctor may not put us in a state of shock, but he not showing to be a helpful doctor.
4. Turn to John 16:33. In this verse Jesus reminds faithful teaches and preachers to learn to expect opposition and rejection from out listeners. Christians will never enjoy opposition but they do need to learn to expect it!
In Jn.16:33 Jesus says “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
5. Like, Jeremiah, if we encounter verbal abuse and rejection, we must learn to patiently keep on doing what we know that God wants us to, despite the abuse and rejection.
II. SECOND, TURN TO Jeremiah 20:1&2. HERE WE LEARN THAT JEREMIAH WAS HIT BY A RELIGIOUS ASSISTANT TO THE HIGH PRIEST.
1. Listen to a little background information about Jeremiah 20:1&2. This passage reports that Jeremiah was struck or smote by an assistant to the high priest. This would have been a terrible display of disrespect toward Jeremiah since it came from one that was suppose to also be a servant of God. Commentators think that maybe Pash’hur had some one to lash Jeremiah with 40 stripes. That was the normal practice in those days.
(1) The priest, a servant of God, but one that was not willing to accept truthful prophecies that foretold that Judah was going to receive condemnation.
(2) And then to bring more disgrace and shame to God’s spokesmen, Jeremiah, Jeremiah’s hands and feet and neck were fastened in stocks. “Stocks” was a wooden device where there were holes to fasten one’s hands, one’s feet and one’s neck.
1) As one was fastened in stocks they were in a bent over and a very uncomfortable position.
2) Jeremiah was fastened in the stocks near the temple and in a very obvious place for everyone to see him. His opponents were trying to bring as much shame to him as they could. Let’s read Jeremiah 20:1&2. “1 Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. 2 Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.”