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Loneliness , What can we learn from the life of Jeremiah?
The prophet Jeremiah lived in the final days of the crumbling nation of Israel. He was the last prophet that God sent to preach to the southern kingdom, which included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. God had repeatedly warned Israel to stop their idolatrous behavior, but they would not listen, so He ripped the 12 tribes apart, sending the 10 northern tribes into captivity at the hands of the Assyrians. It was then that God sent Jeremiah to give Judah the last warning before He cast them out of the land, demolishing the nation and sending them into captivity in Babylon.
Jeremiah was a faithful, God-fearing man, and he was called to tell Israel that because of their unrepentant sin, their God had turned against them and was now prepared to remove them from their land at the hands of a pagan king whom God called “My servant” (Jer.25:9; 27:6).
Jeremiah was only about 17 when God called him, and he no doubt had great inner chaos because of the fate of his people, and he begged them to listen. He is known as “the weeping prophet,” because he cried tears of sadness, not only because he knew what was about to happen, but because no matter how hard he tried, the people would not listen (Lamentations). He found no human comfort. God had forbidden him to marry or have children (Jer.16:2), and his friends had turned their backs on him. Because Jeremiah had the huge burden of the knowing God’s looming judgment, he must have felt extremely lonely. God told him how horrible the conditions would be in a very short time . . . babies, children and adults would die “grievous” deaths, their bodies unable to even be buried, and their flesh devoured by the birds (Jer.16:3-4). It is only common sense to realize that knowing what was to come, and that no one would listen to him, any godly person would weep!
The Israelites had become so hardened by the numbing effects of sin that they no longer believed God, nor did they fear Him. I feel such deep fear for people today, because history is repeating itself! Not only Israel, but ALL nations of the world are included today. Just like Israel in Jeremiah’s time, people today are hardened by the numbing effects of sin that they no longer believed God, nor do they fear Him.
Jeremiah preached for 40 years, and NOT once did he ever see any real success in changing or softening the hearts and minds of his stubborn, idolatrous people. Israel’s other prophets had seen some successes, at least for a little while, but not Jeremiah. It was as though he was speaking to a brick wall . . . but . . . his words were not wasted. Jeremiah’s words were as pearls being cast before swine (Mat.7:6), and his words were convicting every person who heard them and refused to pay attention. The Word of God is what will judge people on Judgment Day!
John 12:44-48 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV)
Isaaih 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (KJV) . . . God has kindly provided us with the Written Word (the Bible). It is the means by which God communicates with believers today, and the New Testament speaks of the Bible’s importance many times. In Isaiah 55:11, His Word is that which will not return void, and is none other than that which the human inspired authors have recorded in Scripture (2 Tim.3:16).
The only Word that God guarantees is the Word that proceeds from His mouth. Any other word, (such as the multitude of ‘newer versions of the bible’), from any other source does not carry this type of authority. http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_bibles_corrupt1.htm
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth . . . ‘my word’ may be understood either of Christ Jesus, the eternal Word, who is called the Word of God (John 1:1), and may be said to go forth out of His Mouth, being spoken of by all His holy prophets, since the world began, whose Coming was like the rain or snow (Hos.6:3). He came from Heaven, from His Father there, and as a free gift of God to us (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8-9). The Word of the Gospel, which is of God; comes from Heaven; is a blessing of God’s grace; does not tarry for the expectations, desires or rewards of men; falls on the world in great abundance; and is an absolute Blessing wherever it comes. The Word of the Gospel, which is of God, is the only way to soften hard hearts; cool the conscience set on fire by the Law, and calming the heat of God’s wrath there; and refreshing and reviving weary souls. The Word of the Gospel brings forth fruit in good works; bread to the eater (the believer), for it furnishes us with the bread of life to feed upon by faith. It shall not return to God void.
It is accompanied with divine energy; it is the power of God to salvation: and it shall accomplish that which God pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto He sends it . . . be it the savor of life unto life, or the savor of death unto death . . . whether it the quickening of sinners and reviving of saints; or whether it hardens men, and leaves them without excuse to perish in their sins, both in the Jewish and Gentile world. BEWARE!!!
Jeremiah tried to make the people understand their problem was a lack of belief, lack of trust, lack of faith in God, and worse, a total absence of fear of God. The SAME condition exists today. It is worse today because there are far more people in the world now than then.
I find that the vast majority of people never consider eternity. They are SO far away from God, they never even consider WHAT He is capable of doing! So many do not even think that there is a God!
There IS a God! http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Basics/is_there_a_god.htm
It is SO easy to be lulled into a false sense of security, especially when the focus is not on God. The nation of Israel, just like many nations today, had stopped putting God first, and had replaced Him with false gods, those that would not make them feel guilty or convict them of sin. God had delivered His people from bondage in Egypt, had performed miracles before them, and had even parted the waters of the sea for them. In spite of all the displays of God’s power, they returned to the false practices they had learned in Egypt, even making vows to the false “queen of heaven,” and performing other rites and rituals that were part of the Egyptian culture and religion. God finally turned them over to their idolatry (Jer.44:25-30).
Jeremiah’s constant loneliness and isolation finally got the best of him, and he became discouraged. He sank into a mire where many believers seem to get stuck when they think their efforts are not making a difference and time is flying by. Jeremiah was even to the point of doubting God (Jer.15:18), but God was not done with him yet.
Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. (KJV) . . . God was saying to Jeremiah, come back to Me, and I will restore to you the joy of your salvation. These are similar to the words penned by David when he repented of his sin with Bathsheba (Ps.51:12).
What can we learn from the life of Jeremiah? Even the great prophets of God experienced rejection, depression and discouragement in their walk with the Lord. Jeremiah was given the task of delivering an unpopular, convicting message to Israel, one that caused him great mental anguish, as well as making him despised in the eyes of his people. God says that His Truth sounds like “foolishness” to those who are lost, but to believers it is the very words of life (1 Cor.1:18). He also says that the time will come when people will not tolerate the truth (2 Tim.4:3-4). Those in Israel in Jeremiah’s day did NOT want to hear what he had to say, and his constant warning of judgment annoyed them. This is SO true of the world today, as believers who are following God’s instructions try to warning the lost and dying world of impending judgment (Rev,3;10). Even though most (the vast majority) are NOT listening, we must hang in there in proclaiming Truth in order to rescue some from the terrible judgment that will inevitably come on Judgment Day. http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_coming.htm
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A Personal Relationship With God
A Spiritual Famine Coming
A Quiet Time With God
A Secret Place Needed
A Stable Relationship Takes Time
Alone With God
Being Alone With God Is Necessary
Being Introverted, Is It Good?
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Christian Meditation, What Is It?
Conditions In Our Lives Today
Ears Should Pay Attention
Ears That Do Not Hear!
Ears That Refuse to Hear!
False Prophets Are Dangerous
God Is Still Speaking To us Today
Israel's Hard Heart
Jacob Wrestling With God
Jesus Felt Forsaken
Loneliness of Jeremiah
Meditating, How to
Meditating on God's Word Misunderstood
Meditating, on What Things?
Seeking The Kingdom of God
Solitude in the Old Testament
Solitude, What Is It?
Some Things Are Hard to Hear
The Laodicean Church
Warning, of NOT Hearing!