October 21, 2012
"In Dangerous Times, Trust God"
Read Jeremiah 36:1-8.
There are situations in which standing for the Lord is difficult. Jeremiah faced
such a situation.
>First, we see a pressured prophet (36:1-8). 1) The situation is set up when
God gives Jeremiah a command (36:1-3). 2) Note Jeremiah's courage in standing
for God under pressure (36:4-8).
Second, we see the situation becoming worse. 1) When the scroll (God's Word)
is read before the king, he commands that the scroll be burned (36:23). 2)
The government and the people showed no fear (36:24-26). 3) After the Communists
took over China at the end of World War II, the government tore up copies
of the Bible and used the pages to wrap fish in the market. The people bought the
fish and read the Bible. Christianity in China grew and is still growing in spite
of the government's vow to destroy the church in China.
Third, the Lord commanded Jeremiah to write God's response to the king's rejection
of His Words (36:27-32). 1) We see the clash of two worldviews. 2) Israel was founded
on a Biblical foundation but by Jeremiah's time the nation had rejected that foundation.
3) We live in a nation that was founded on a Biblical foundation which is now being
Fourth, how did Jeremiah survive under such extreme pressure? 1) He had received
a divine call: his authority was God Himself (1:5-7 & 2 Peter 1:20-21).
His call was prenatal but he shrank from the work because of his youth and inexperience
(1:5-6). He was not excused from service (1:7). The cost of disobedience is far
greater than the cost. God assured him of divine guardianship (1:8). He then
received the personal touch of God (1:9) and His divine message (1:10). 2) Jeremiah
also knew that everything that he endured had a purpose (1:17-18) and that purpose
was to build in him a character of steel (cf. John 15:16). 3) He knew that nothing
could touch him that God had not approved (1:19). In Lamentation 3:19-23, Jeremiah reflects on the pressure he had been put though and how God had
worked through to achieve His purpose. Compare Jeremiah's experience with that of
the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:12-14.
In Difficult Situations, Stand for God!