Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20050126.htm
JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part IV: Prophecies Concerning Judah
M. Our DIRE Need To FLEE Prideful Complacency In Our Walk With God
Lesson: Though God had taken Judah and Israel to Himself in close relation like a man would wear a clean undergarment, her SIN would cause Him to have to RUIN her pride in her close relation to God like an undergarment that has been buried in the damp, dirty ground for many days. WORSE, Judah had become COMPLACENT in her pride so she WOULD NOT repent, SEALING her doom!
- When Jesus in Luke 18:9-14 noted the publican who smote his breast in anguish of guilt left God's temple more just than the Pharisee who thanked God he was not evil like the other man, Jesus touched on a critically important issue every believer must consider: there is a great danger of becoming complacent in a false pride about one's walk that can translate into a hardening blindness that ends in God's discipline.
- This truth is illustrated and explained at length for our benefit in Jeremiah 13:1-27 as follows:
- Our DIRE Need To FLEE Prideful Complacency In Our Walk With God, Jeremiah 13:1-27.
- By way of a powerful object lesson, God illustrated how He would ruin the complacent pride of Judah who thought God so favored her that nothing bad could ever happen to her even for her sin, Jer. 13:1-9:
- Jeremiah was told by God to take a "thigh-length undergarment that clung to the body, symbolizing the closeness of Israel to God's heart" and wear it close to himself before putting it in a hole of the rock either at the Euphrates River or in the town of Parah, 3 miles from his hometown of Anathoth, Jer. 13:1-4; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Jer. 13:1-11. [The Hebrew town of Parah "in the expression 'to the Euphrates'" in verse 4 takes on "an identical form in Hebrew" to the Euphrates River, Ibid.]
- Then, after many days, Jeremiah was to take this undergarment out of the hole in the rock; when he heeded this command, Jeremiah found the girdle ruined and he could no longer wear it, Jer. 13:5-7.
- God then revealed this object lesson showed how the people of Judah, though held close to God as a man might wear such an undergarment, would be sent to Babylon (by the Euphrates River) and there have its complacent pride similarly ruined! (Jeremiah 13:8-9)
- God explained this illustration meant Judah had become complacently proud in her relationship with God, assuming nothing bad would happen to her even if she sinned; yet, her assumption badly erred, 13:10-14:
- The people of Judah had become evil, refusing to hear God's words and following their own hearts in adopting false idol worship in place of the Lord, Jeremiah 13:10a,b. Their pride would become ruined in the Babylonian invasion like the girdle so it could no longer be worn close to the body, Jer. 13:10c.
- To explain, God revealed He had initially taken the people of Israel and Judah to Himself in close relation under the Mosaic Covenant like a man might put on a clean undergarment, Jeremiah 13:11a,b.
- However, God's people had rejected Him, becoming sinfully proud and rebellious, Jer. 13:11c, 15.
- Accordingly, God would give them shocking trouble for their proud complacency like what happens when people at ease begin to taste fine wine only to suffer troubling drunkenness, Jer. 13:12-13. This unedifying drunkenness would be God's judgment in the Babylonian invasion, Jeremiah 13:14.
- Armed with this "wake up call" illustration, Jeremiah called on Judah to repent, Jeremiah 13:15-22:
- Jeremiah called on Judah to glorify God in place her sinful pride before God's judgment fell, 13:15-17.
- He called on Judah's royalty to humble themselves and for the people to repent before that judgment fell and when they would wonder why God had allowed it to come upon them, Jeremiah 13:18-22.
- However, most tragically, Judah's COMPLACENCY in her PRIDE of her initial relationship with God had HARDENED her AGAINST such repentance from idolatry, so it was USELESS for Jeremiah to admonish Judah, 13:23: the Ethiopian could not change his skin nor the leopard his spots, so Judah could not repent when she was so pridefully complacent about her relationship with God, 13:23.
- Jeremiah then returned to announce the reality of Judah's impending judgment, for her sin was too great for God not to judge severely in the coming Babylonian invasion, Jeremiah 13:24-27.
Application: May we always FLEE prideful complacency re: our Christian walk that we ALWAYS be ready to REPENT when God exposes sin in us! Then we can KEEP enjoying His blessings in our lives!