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

Part V: Prophecies Concerning Judah's Kings
A. Taking Encouragement To Trust God When He STARTS To Fulfill His Word
(Jeremiah 21:1-10 with 20:1-6, 12-13)
  1. Introduction
    1. When we take righteous stands for the Lord that align with His Word, for some time, the Lord may not provide evidence that He is going to make that stand worthwhile, and we may need to trust Him anyway.
    2. However, in His grace, there are times God may begin to give practical evidences that our stand IS right and WILL be vindicated, and there is a reason for this that applies to us as Jeremiah 21:1-10 et al. shows:
  2. Taking Encouragement To Trust God When He STARTS To Fulfill His Word, Jer. 21:1-10 et al.
    1. For forty years, God's prophet Jeremiah predicted and was persecuted for his message from God that Jerusalem would be invaded and destroyed by Babylon for not repenting of her idolatry, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., "Introduction To The Book Of Jeremiah: The Prophet," p. 1045; Jeremiah 1:14-19.
    2. Yet, God began to vindicate Jeremiah's ministry when Babylon surrounded Jerusalem, a point noted in how Jeremiah arranged his book's material according to theme and not chronologically (starting at ch. 21):
      1. Starting at chapter 21, Jeremiah began to turn from ministering to the nation as a whole to address individuals who were influential in leading the nation into sin, Bib. Know. Com., O. T., p. 1155.
      2. The first group he addressed were Judah's kings, descendants of David who should have known God's law and followed the godly example of their great ancestor, king David, Ibid.
      3. Well, Jeremiah starts by addressing the last king first, king Zedekiah, the king under whom Jerusalem fell to Babylon (Ibid.). Though the chronological order of the kings in this prophetic book is reversed here, the address of this king's error FIRST is given to highlight God's vindication of Jeremiah's prophetic ministry when viewed with the events of Jeremiah 20 immediately before it (as follows):
        1. In Jeremiah 20:1-6, 12-13, the temple court official named Pashur, the son of Immer had beaten, imprisoned and humiliated Jeremiah before the people for his words of judgment for Judah's sin!
        2. Jeremiah had there predicted when Babylon attacked, this Pashur would know "terror on every side" for mistreating Jeremiah and promoting the lie that Babylon would not harm the city, 20:4-6.
        3. Well, Jeremiah 21:1-2 records ANOTHER man named "Pashur," the son of Malkijah along with a priest named Zephaniah coming from Judah's king when the Babylonians had surrounded the city, and these men had come to ask Jeremiah for God's possible help in overcoming the Babylonians!
        4. Thus, the presence of the two "Pashur" men provides "continuity", showing how God began to vindicate Jeremiah for all he had faced when Babylon had actually surrounded Jerusalem, Ibid.
    3. Thus, Jeremiah would have found courage from this turn of events to be BOLD in warning Judah's king and subjects to repent or surely suffer the judgment he already had been predicting all along, 21:3-10:
      1. God via Jeremiah promised to turn events around from what they had been, cf. Jeremiah 21:3-7:
        1. God via Jeremiah warned He would turn back Judah's defenses against the Babylonians, 21:3-4b.
        2. God via Jeremiah warned He would give Zedekiah and his supporters to experience much trauma and death so there WOULD indeed be "terror on every side" for all of them as Jeremiah had predicted would be experienced by the first man, "Pashur" who had beat him, 21:4c-6 with 20:3-6!
        3. God promised to turn Zedekiah's people over to the control of their enemies in humiliation and lethal pain as "Pashur" had publicly humiliated and inflicted pain on Jeremiah, 21:7 with 20:1-2.
      2. The best route for them to take would be to do what would fulfill Jeremiah's prophecy to Pashur to the FULL; they would have to leave the city and surrender to being surrounded by the enemy with true "terror on every side" if they wanted to be spared death by the invasion of the Babylonians, 21:8-10.
Lesson: When God BEGAN to FULFILL Jeremiah's LONG MINISTRY of warning of judgment for sin, God began to TURN the TABLES as seen in Jeremiah's contrasting interactions with two men named "Pashur", a turn that emboldened Jeremiah to even greater faithfulness to God's calling!

Application: When God begins to FULFILL His promises for our OBEDIENCE to Him, especially if our obedience has come at a PRICE as it had for Jeremiah, it is GOD'S way of ENCOURAGING us to KEEP ON "keeping on" in our walk. May we HEED such encouragements and STAY FAITHFUL!