Jeremiah 18-20

Prophets are very visual in their presentations, and no one shows that any more than Jeremiah. The Lord paints pictures which demonstrate His message. Sometimes they are word pictures and sometimes they are actual demonstrations.

Jeremiah is now geting into demonstrations.

He is directed to go to the potter’s house and watch the potter at work. The vessel is “spoiled in the hand of the potter”  (18:4), so he destroys it and remakes it. The Lord says that this is the way He sees His relationship with Israel. They have their position in the earth  because of God’s blessing. Yet they have turned away from their Creator. What an abomination.

So to take the message to the next level, Jeremiah buys an earthernware jar and gathers some elders and priests. Taking them to the Valley of Ben-hinnom, he breaks the pot, shattering it to pieces. This is a demonstration of God’s dealings with Judah. If they don’t turn back to Him, He will no longer bless them. They will be destroyed.

With such an unpopular message, it’s no surprise that Jeremiah is hated by many. In fact, Pashhur the priest has the p[rophet beaten and puts him in stocks.

Though Jeremiah knows that the message he is delivering wil bring him harm – and isolation from his friends – he can’t help it. The Word of the Lord is like “fire shut up in his bones” (20:9). He can’t stop speaking what the Lord has for him to say.

It’s a hard, dark time in the nation of Israel. The Lord is holding nothing back to keep His peopole from suffering the fate which is coming their way. But they won’t listen. The more Jeremiah pleads, the more he is hated.

Even when the message is not one which we want to hear, we have to be willing to listen to the word from God. And if we love Him, we will obey.

II Timothy 3

The thoughts in Jeremiah take us right into this chapter. Paul speaks of the end times, and surely we are there. If you see the list of traits of the ungodly, you can’t help but recognize the times. “Lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant,..lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (V.2-4).

So what can we do about it? For one thing, we must get our marching orders from the Bible and Holy Spirit, rather than from the world. That’s always been true, but even more so when the culture around is so counter to His ways. Our standard is Jesus; not the world.

Then when we run counter to the world, we suffer rejection from some. Those who don’t want to run with God malign those who do. Paul warns of this when he says that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (V.12)  That’s just part of it.

When we fall in love with Jesus, pleasing Him is more important than anything else. With that perspective, standing strong and tall – as lights in a dark world – is our goal. We want to represent Him and not ourselves – or anyone else.

So what if everyone doesn’t like our stance? We are pleasing our Lord and that’s all that’s important.

Our faithful God will reward us with His presence and his refreshing here – and eternal rewards in the hereafter.

It’s all worth it.