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

Part IV: Prophecies Concerning Judah
O. Overcoming The Ungodly Viewpoints Of Influential Colleagues
(Jeremiah 15:10-21)
  1. Introduction
    1. Godless religious peer pressure is really difficult to handle at times, and it can influence us to doubt what is true and to adopt the false, for we are created to need and to enjoy fellowship with others.
    2. Well, if a difference arises between God's view and that of our colleagues, we are accountable to discern and adopt God's right view over their false one, and just how we are to be ABLE to DO this versus our natural tendency to conform to our colleagues is seen in God's work with Jeremiah in Jeremiah 15:10-21:
  2. Overcoming The Ungodly Viewpoints Of Influential Colleagues, Jeremiah 15:10-21.
    1. Jeremiah knew painful pressure from fellow priests and even fellow relatives not to herald his message that the Babylonians would invade Judah for her sins: Jer. 11:19 with 12:6a respectively show fellow priests in Anathoth (Jer. 1:1 with Josh. 21:15-19) and even his relatives meant to kill him for his message!
    2. God thus told Jeremiah not to trust EVEN his relatives though they spoke well of him, Jer. 12:6b NIV.
    3. Yet, Jeremiah focused on the weight of his persecution to his great discouragement, so God ministered to counter that dismay first by encouragement and then by discipline, cf. Jeremiah 15:10-21:
      1. Jeremiah became distraught that his colleagues cursed him though he had not even lent or borrowed from them, practices that most often led to such ill will (Bible Know. Com., O. T. , p. 1149); thus, he "rued the day he was born," Jeremiah 15:10 (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Jer. 15:10-11).
      2. Accordingly, the Lord sought to encourage Jeremiah as follows, Jeremiah 15:11-14:
        1. God promised He was arranging for Jeremiah to see his opponents plead to him for help when the invasion finally arrived, Jer. 15:11 with Jer. 37:1-10 et al., cf. Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.
        2. Indeed, God reassured Jeremiah his message was correct, repeating the truth that Babylon would not be stopped, that she would spoil Judah and take her people captive for her sins, Jer. 15:12-14.
      3. Regardless of God's encouragement, Jeremiah still focused on the persecution pain he felt from his priestly colleagues and relatives, so he again urged God to take vengeance on such foes, Jer. 15:15-17.
      4. In continuing to focus on his persecution pain, Jeremiah said God's waiting to take vengeance made God appear to aid his foes in thus extending his pain and so to fail him as "a deceitful brook", 15:18.
      5. Since Jeremiah was close to sinning in unbelief with this latter statement, God SWITCHED from ENCOURAGING Jeremiah to WARNING him, Jeremiah 15:19-20:
        1. God warned Jeremiah himself to repent, for he had just expressed worthless words of unbelief in His character similar to those of the sinful people of Judah, 15:19a; Jeremiah was not to adopt their unbelief, but they were to return to his message from God and adopt it instead, Jeremiah 15:19c.
        2. So, implying Jeremiah was close to being removed from his prophetic ministry for unbelief in God's goodness, God told him to utter what was true so he might remain in that ministry, Jer. 15:19a,b.
        3. Indeed, God used words reminiscent of the words He used in His INITIALLY calling Jeremiah INTO the ministry in Jer. 1:18-19, cf. 15:20-21; this shows God would help Jeremiah deal with his foes providing he went back to heeding God's initial leading to heed Him and herald HIS Word.
Lesson: When Jeremiah felt the weight of persecution from his colleagues and even his relatives for heeding God, the Lord (1) ENCOURAGED him to hold to righteousness by (a) telling him NOT to TRUST (b) or HEED his colleagues or relatives, (c) by promising him vengeance and (d) by reassuring him his message was TRUE. Yet, as Jeremiah kept focusing on his persecution pain to where his faith faltered, (2) God (a) WARNED him to repent or suffer loss of his ministry, (b) reminding Jeremiah of his ministry CALL that VERIFIED he could handle such persecution WERE he to HEED the LORD!

Application: In handling pressures by colleagues and relatives for doing God's will, there is a battle for our FOCUS, for THAT to which we give our FOCUS eventually influences our VIEW, and THAT will affect our STAND: so, IF we FOCUS on GOD'S past calling and leading, on GOD'S encouragement and GOD'S Word, we will weather opposing pressures from colleagues and relatives. Yet, if we focus on THEIR views, we will falter. May we watch WHERE we put our FOCUS, cf. 2 Tim. 3:13-14; 4:1-5!