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

Part IV: Prophecies Concerning Judah
T. Handling Persecution With Trust In God's Foreordination And Infinite Power
(Jeremiah 20:1-18 with 1:4-8 and 2 Timothy 1:6-9)
  1. Introduction
    1. Paul predicted all who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, 2 Timothy 3:12.
    2. Well, persecution is difficult to face: even the prophet, Jeremiah cursed the day of his birth and wondered why he had been born when he faced persecution pressures for doing God's work, Jeremiah 20:14-17, 18.
    3. Accordingly, Jeremiah 20:1-18 in light of 1:4-8 relate God's provisions for persecution's drain, provisions 2 Timothy 1:8-9 applies to us in our persecution trials today (as follows):
  2. Handling Persecution With Trust In God's Foreordination And Infinite Power, Jer. 20:1-18 et al.
    1. For heeding God's call to herald judgment on Judah in Jer. 19:14-15, Pashur, the official in charge of law and order in God's temple, arrested, beat and confined Jeremiah, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to Jer. 20:1, 2.
    2. God then kept His Jer. 1:8, 18-19 promise to equip Jeremiah publicly to keep standing for his message as he then condemned Pashur for promoting the lie that Judah would not thus be judged, Jer. 20:3-6.
    3. Nevertheless, Jeremiah privately struggled with this persecution, and God's means for victory in each of his battles over the matter was supplied as follows: (Jeremiah 20:7-18)
      1. Round One - Jeremiah overcame his temptation to QUIT heralding God's Word by God's, Jer. 20:7-9:
        1. He was so upset at the persecution he faced for giving God's Word, Jeremiah complained God had deceived him in allowing him to be beaten and ridiculed for this ministry, Jeremiah 20:7-8.
        2. Thus, Jeremiah tried to avoid speaking God's messages anymore to avoid future persecution, 20:9a.
        3. However, the power of God's Spirit within him made Jeremiah continued to preach it, Jer. 20:9b.
      2. Round Two - Jeremiah overcame his struggle with the persecution of having the words he spoke thrown back at him to antagonize so as to trip him up, and that by seeing God's power afflict his foes:
        1. When Jeremiah predicted Pashur would be renamed, "Terror on every side" to show the fear Pashur would face when God's judgment fell, foes threw those words back at Jeremiah, trying to get him to speak rashly and entrap him so as to discredit him to his harm, Jer. 20:10; Ibid., ftn. to Jer. 20:3.
        2. However, Jeremiah witnessed God's power not only equip him to stand true to his message under fire, but work in events so that his foes themselves were tripped up and humiliated, Jeremiah 20:11.
        3. Jeremiah thus asked God to take vengeance on these persecutors (Jer. 20:12), a request he followed up with a brief expression of praise in hope that God would answer his prayer, Jeremiah 20:13.
      3. Round Three - Jeremiah then relapsed into depression, focusing on his persecution to curse the day of his birth; this last battle could be won were Jeremiah to recall God's previously revealed foreordination:
        1. In weakness, Jeremiah cursed the day of his birth, wondering why he had been, Jer. 20:14-17, 18.
        2. However, God's initial call for Jeremiah to minister in Jeremiah 1:4-5 revealed BEFORE Jeremiah had been formed in the womb, God had known, sanctified and ordained him to be formed and born and minister in the face of such difficult persecution!
        3. This insight had been given with the revelation that Jeremiah would be opposed by others, but that God would deliver Jeremiah as he heeded the Lord, Jeremiah 1:7-8, 17-19.
        4. Thus, Jeremiah was to have recalled these facts announced by God in his call to the ministry and trust God's foreordained provisions and power for help to keep going in that calling!
Lesson: The persecution Jeremiah faced for his ministry had not only been known by God BEFORE Jeremiah had even been FORMED, but it had all had been ADEQUATELY ANTICIPATED by God's eternal plan and power. Jeremiah was to recall God's insight on this matter given at his initial call to the ministry to bolster his faith in God's help in his persecution, and he was to draw encouragement to trust God as He confound Jeremiah's foes and energized him to be bold before his foes in the process!

Application: If facing persecution for doing God's will, (1) may we trust (a) God's eternal plan (b) as is often certified via past events [as in Jeremiah's initial call] and (2) rely on God's power, 2 Tim. 1:6-9, and (3) God will encourage us by (a) making us bold before our foes and (c) causing them to flounder.