Learn to Obey the Lord

Explore the Bible Series

April 3, 2005

 

Background Passage: Jeremiah 11:1-15:21

Lesson Passage: Jeremiah 11:6-14

 

Introduction: The study of Jeremiah proves very difficult!Godís utter disgust with the persistent sin of Judah had reached a crescendo by the time Jeremiah came on the scene, and this book reflects the intensity and persistence of Godís displeasure.To change the analogy, Jehovahís warning of impending judgment cascades over the reader, wave after wave.Only brief promises of mercy give respite from the torrent, and the reader may recoil from the ďnegativeĒ emphasis of the text.Clearly, Jeremiah struggled with the force of Godís message to him.The people of Judah hated the prophet and his message.The difficult situation threatened to overwhelm Jeremiah; yet, he remained faithful, despite his weaknesses, and continued to obey God.This weekís lesson continues our study of Godís indictments against his backslidden people.

 

Outline of the Background Passage

I.                    Judahís Broken Covenant with God (11:1-17)

A.     A reminder of Judahís covenant responsibilities (vv.1-8)

B.     Judahís conspiracy against the Lord (vv. 9-10)

C.     Godís pledge to bring judgment, and his refusal to hear the cries of Judah (vv. 11-13)

D.     Godís command that Jeremiah should not pray for Judah (vv. 14-17)

 

II.                 Jeremiahís Life Threatened (11:18-23)

A.     Jeremiahís innocence and ignorance of the conspiracy (vv. 18-19)

B.     The prophetís plea for vengeance (v. 20)

C.     Kinsmen in Anathoth conspired against the prophet (v. 21)

D.     Godís coming judgment against Anathoth (vv. 22-23)

 

III.               Jeremiahís Perplexity with the Lordís Ways (12:1-13)

A.     The prophetís question concerning the prosperity of the wicked (vv. 1-2)

B.     The prophetís plea for justice (vv. 3-4)

C.     Godís response to the prophet (vv. 5-13)

1.      More difficult days will come (v. 5)

2.      Jeremiah could not even trust his own kinsmen (v. 6)

3.      God had judicially forsaken his people (vv. 7-9)

4.      An indictment against the leaders of Judah (vv. 10-13)

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IV.              Godís Promise of Life or Death for the Nations Surrounding Judah (12:14-17)

A.     The Lord will pluck Judah from among the nations (v. 14)

B.     A promise of future mercy toward Judah (v. 15)

C.     A pledge of Godís conditional mercy to the nations (v. 16)

D.     Godís promise of conditional judgment if the nations disobey (v. 17)

 

V.                 Two Symbols of Judgment (13:1-14)

A.     The Linen Sash (vv.1-11)

1.      Jeremiahís acquisition of a clean linen sash to place around his waist (vv. 1-2)

2.      The ruin of the sash by Jeremiahís burying it near the Euphrates River (vv. 3-7)

3.      Godís explanation of the symbol of the ruined sash (vv. 8-11)

B.     The Wine Jars (vv. 12-14)

1.      Judahís leaders will be like drunken men (vv. 12-13): This appears to refer to the wine of wrath, and Judah will drink its fill of Godís displeasure.

2.      God will shatter the leaders of Judah like drunken men might smash empty wine jars (v. 14)

 

VI.              Judahís Sin of Pride (13:15-27)

A.     Jeremiahís grief for the pride of Judah (vv. 15-17)

B.     The pride of the king and queen mother of Judah (vv. 18-19): J.A. Thompson and F.B Huey believe this refers to Jehoiachin and his mother.

C.     Destruction will come from the north (vv. 20-27)

VII.            Judahís Inability to Discern the Chastening of the Lord (14:1-22)

A.     The nation languished under a terrible drought (vv. 1-6)

B.     Jeremiah interceded for the people (vv. 7-10)

C.     God forbade Jeremiah to pray for Judah (vv. 11-16)

D.     Judah pleaded for mercy (vv. 17-22)

 

VIII.         Godís Refusal to Hear the Pleas of Judah (15:1-21)

A.     No lament will reverse the Lordís judgment on Judah (vv. 1-9)

1.      Even intercession by Moses and Samuel would not turn Godís hand from judgment (vv. 1-2)

2.      Four forms of judgment (vv. 3-4): the sword, the dogs, the birds, and the beasts

3.      Judah will be without pity (vv. 5-9)

B.     Jeremiahís brokenness for the destruction of Judah (vv. 10-21)

1.      Jeremiah lamented that he had ever been born (v. 10)

2.      The Lordís message troubled Jeremiah (vv. 11-14)

3.      The prophet pleaded for the Lord to remember him (vv. 15-18)

4.      The Lord encouraged Jeremiah (vv. 19-21)

 

 

 

Lesson Passage: (Jeremiah 11:6-14)

I.                    The Nature of the Prophetís Commission (v. 6)

A.     The Prophetís message: ďProclaim all of these wordsÖ Hear the words of this covenant and do them.Ē The prophetís task focused on the proclamation of a specific message.God did not call Jeremiah to creativity or inventiveness.Furthermore, the Lordís commission forbade the prophet to tailor his message to the peculiar tastes of his audience; rather, the assignment called for Jeremiah to proclaim faithfully the word of the Lord to a recalcitrant people.The message was nothing new; indeed, God insisted that Judah return to the old paths of the covenant he made with Israel in the Exodus from Egypt (See Exodus 10:4-5; 24:1-8; 34:10-28).

B.     The Prophetís audience (v. 6): ďÖin the cities of Judah and the streets of JerusalemÖĒThis phrase indicates that Jeremiah may have had an itinerant ministry to the cities of the region.

 

II.                 The Lordís Complaint Against Judah (vv. 7-10)

A.     Judah had forgotten the Lordís goodness to Israel in delivering the Jews from bondage in Egypt (v. 7).God pleaded earnestly, clearly, and persistently with his people to follow his commandments.

B.     Judah followed the wicked impulses of their hearts rather than obey the Lord God (v. 8).

C.     Judah conspired against the Lord by uniting their hearts to serve the pagan gods their fathers worshipped (v. 10), and, in doing so, they had broken their covenant with God.

 

III.               The Lordís Judgment on Judah (vv. 11-14)

A.     God promised to bring inescapable calamity on Judah (v.11-13).When disaster struck Judah, no one would come to their relief.Jehovah would turn a deaf ear to them, and their pagan gods, though as multitudinous as the cities of Judah, would provide no help for Godís disobedient people (vv. 12-13).

B.     Again, God prohibited Jeremiah from interceding for Judah (v. 14). The Lord commanded Jeremiah to refrain from praying for Judah in 7:16, and he restates the prohibition in this text.This directive will appear again in 14:11.

 

 

 

Conclusion:Godís persistent threats of judgment make for hard reading for a contemporary audience.This particular section of the Prophecy of Jeremiah seems unusually severe.Apparently, the people of Judah had sinned so greatly that God would not grant them the gift of repentance.Furthermore, God prohibited his godly prophet from praying for the people, and they were left to await the execution of Godís justice.Many godly preachers call sinners to Godís grace every Sunday.Some of these sinners turn a deaf ear to the gracious melody of mercy, and they continue in unbelief and rebellion against God.Perhaps some of them reason that they have plenty of time to repent, and they presume that God will always evidence a gracious disposition toward them.This passage indicated that Godís patience is not inexhaustible.If you have not repented of your sins and trusted Christ as your Savior, call upon the Lord today.Do not tarry. Flea to Christ with quick dispatch and cast yourself upon his mercy.