Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part III: God's Sure Guidance For His Servants Amidst Evil Peer Pressures To The Contrary
(Jeremiah 1:1-19)
  1. Introduction
    1. When a believer must do God's will in the presence of strong personalities who operate in darkness, their influence can tempt him to doubt if he performs God's will in his life let alone if he even knows it!
    2. God equipped Jeremiah to handle that challenge in Jeremiah 1:1-19, so we view it for our edification:
  2. God's Sure Guidance For His Servants Amidst Evil Peer Pressures To The Contrary, Jer. 1:1-19.
    1. God called Jeremiah to work before strong, evil peers who could tempt him to loose his spiritual bearings:
      1. God called Jeremiah to his prophetic ministry just before sending Judah into captivity for sin (Jer. 1:2-3, 16), so God's priests like Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1) were so disrespected that he responded to God's call with an objection, claiming he could not speak because he was but a child, Jeremiah 1:6.
      2. As God assured Jeremiah he was ordained before his birth to be God's prophet (1:4-5) and that God wanted him not to fear his hearers who would reject his words (1:7-8, 18-19), we know Jeremiah would face such strong foes in his ministry that he might even doubt if he knew God's will.
    2. Thus, in grace, God went beyond gifting and directing Jeremiah to give him a practical means of gaining ASSURANCE that he was doing God's will in his prophetic ministry unto dominating, evil peers:
      1. Besides ordaining, gifting and directing him for his prophetic ministry (1:4-10), God arranged for Jeremiah to obtain a vision from the Lord to provide confidence God was sovereignly willing and able to direct Jeremiah to speak the words of God's truth regardless what his peers might claim, Jer. 1:9-12:
        1. God first touched Jeremiah's mouth, saying He was putting His words into his mouth, Jer. 1:9-10.
        2. Then, God demonstrated just HOW He sovereignly accomplished this reality in his ministry: (a) God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond rod with a question that used the personal pronoun, "you" by itself for emphasis; God thus asked him, and we paraphrase: "What do you yourself see, Jeremiah?" (Jer. 1:11a with Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 703) (b) Jeremiah's response came in an equally emphatic way as follows: "I myself (again, the personal pronoun is used by itself) see a rod of an almond tree," Jer. 1:11b, Ibid., Kittel. (c) We before learned that "almond tree", shaked in Hebrew, comes from the verb, shoked, "watch/wake" (Bible Knowledge Com., O. T., p. 1131); thus, as God then explained that this vision meant He was "watching to see that My word is fulfilled" (1:12 NIV), the Lord revealed that HE Himself (again, the pronoun is used by itself for emphasis) by giving Jeremiah this vision and asking him the question the way He had, God had thereby elicited from Jeremiah the very words that He had wanted Jeremiah to say, Jeremiah 1:12!
        3. Besides, the fact that the vision was of an almond rod in a context where Jeremiah, a priest of God was being called to minister to strong, apostate countrymen offers Bible based assurance the vision itself is from God, for it "easily" brought to mind Num. 17 (H. A. Ironside, Jeremiah, p. 25); there, God approved Jeremiah's ancestor, the high priest, Aaron when his rod yielded almonds overnight to show God's support for his role that was opposed by his peers in his era, Jer. 1:1, 19: by thinking on these facts, Jeremiah would be encouraged that the God of Numbers 17 had given this vision of the almond rod to him, meaning Jeremiah had Bible based assurance he was called of God and would be just as surely led by God to give His truth to his strong, evil peers as was Aaron in his day!
      2. In the second vision, that of the boiling pot, God revealed He would have Jeremiah say God's correct message, the word that judgment would come from the north via Babylonian invasion, 1:13-16. Again, we see this message fits with past Bible revelation in Deut. 28:15, 36-37, 49-52 re: God's judgment.
      3. Thus, God promised if Jeremiah would not fear his peers, but heed God's clear and Biblically ratified leading, God would sovereingly cause Jeremiah to proclaim God's truth to his peers, Jeremiah 1:17-19.
Lesson: God's ASSURANCE that Jeremiah would be IN God's will in the face of doubts that strong, evil peers might claim to the contrary would come to Jeremiah PROVIDING he did not heed the strong views of his evil peers, but focus on God's leading that was in accord with past Biblical revelation.

Application: For GOD'S ASSURANCE that we are DOING His WILL as we face strong, evil peers, let us heed God's CLEAR SIGNALS in our LIVES that align with His WORD versus heeding evil PEERS.