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 Morning Meditation - 9/24/08

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PostSubject: Morning Meditation - 9/24/08   Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:03 pm

JEREMIAH’S TESTIFIES IN HARD TIMES
Jer 16:19

Verse 19 says, “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.”
John Gill says of this chapter: “In this chapter the ruin and destruction of the Jews is set forth, and confirmed by the prophet’s being forbidden to be merry, or to go into the house of feasting or mourning, with the reasons thereof; also the sins of the people, the cause of it, are pointed at; and afterwards a promise of their restoration is made; and the chapter is concluded with a prayer of the prophet, pressing his faith in the divine protection, and in the calling of the Gentiles.”
Jeremiah was a prophet during the time of the dispersion. He remained in the land and saw the devastation that took place. He knew and prophesied of the restoration of the Jews to the land after 70 years. But it would not be in his day. How does one function in the will of God in a situation that you did not cause and serious problems about which you could do nothing? There were things that Jeremiah suffered that could have easily made him bitter. He was imprisoned because He was a man of God with a message. He was not allowed to take a wife (9:2) so he was robbed of life’s normality because of the sins of the people. Of course you can see where God was actually saving him from serious grief (vs 3) but it remains that Jeremiah was denied a normal life.

As we think about this let’s look first at,

THE TESTIMONY OF JEREMIAH

He says in our text, “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.” Jeremiah acknowledges “the day of my affliction” but he testifies in his prayer, “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge . . .” The word “LORD” is the unpronounced name of God. Most Etymologists claim this name should be pronounced Yahweh but that is also a guess. It is Jehovah and the name means “without limits.” Jeremiah believed the LORD to whom he prayed was without limits. This really makes a difference. Does the God to whom you pray have limits? Is there anything He can’t do. Your faith will be the size of the God to whom you pray.
This is what makes liberals and modernist. They have to explain the creation with the hypothesis of evolution because their god is not big enough to speak the creation into existence. They reject the miracles of the Bible because their god is not big enough to do the things the Bible describes as having happened. The reason they have a following among Christians is because they appeal to the natural man with which Christians have problems all the time. Faith is a constant trial. Faith is a discipline. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

You may think this verse is just talking about the unsaved man. But the truth of the matter is that all saved people are not “spiritual” (pneumatikos) as 1 Cor. 2:13 says. When a saved person walks “after the flesh” (Rom. 8:5) he reasons with his fleshly mind and that is the same principle on which the world operates. He is a carnal Christian and Paul says, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor. 3:3).
The next thing Jeremiah says is that Jehovah is “my strength.” The word “strength” translates the Hebrew word “oze” and means, “might, strength, material or physical, personal or social or political.” Jehovah is without boundaries, without limits, which means that there is no measure of His strength, wisdom and knowledge, and is Jeremiah’s strength both material and physical. He gives wisdom to deal with the difficult issues of that day and the knowledge needed to survive in the midst of his enemies. All I can say is WOW! What an awesome trust in GOD who is without limits.
We need to see that the greatness of these Old Testament prophets was not in their own personal knowledge, wisdom, and strength. It was because their God was WITHOUT BOUNDARIES. There was nothing that He could not provide to the one who would dare believe Him. God said to Moses, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” (See Exo. 6:3). Armed with that name Moses was used to deliver Israel from Egypt, the world power of that day, i.e., the impossible was as nothing before the GOD without limits!

Jeremiah had no strength of his own but he had FAITH in the LORD whose name means, “without limits.” Jeremiah survived and preformed all the will of God as a testimony to the LORD.

Jeremiah also testifies using the words “my fortress” that translates “ma‘owz” and means, “a place or means of safety, protection, refuge, a harbor, stronghold.” If the LORD who is without limits is one’s fortress, there is safety in the most dangerous places. Many believe that the rock city of Petra in the land of Jordan will be the place of refuge for the Jews during the last half of the tribulation. I am told that it is a natural fortress, easily defended because of the way it is situated, and could well be the place. However, even that does not have a roof over it! The LORD is not limited in that way. Paul tells us we have a Fortress: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3). Amen.

Jeremiah also uses the words “my refuge” and this translates, “manowc” and means, “ a place of flight, a refuge in which the enemy could not come, a place of escape.” Can you imagine the persecutors of Jeremiah and the confusion they experienced when he seemed to be doing well in spite of all they did to him. Jeremiah 37:16 says, “When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days.” They put him in confinement many times. They tried to kill him but God protected him. Yet he says that the LORD is “my refuge.” What a great testimony that this great prophet gives in this verse. Is God our refuge?
Can we give such a positive testimony in the midst of the turmoil of our day? We can enter the holiest in prayer daily and receive strength to survive with a testimony (Heb. 10:19-22). Next let’s notice,

THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH

Our text says, “the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth.” Is this a Millennial prophecy and does it include the Gentile Church of our day. I personally believe that it includes the gathering of the Gentiles in one body today. There will no doubt be a greater fulfillment in Revelation 7 and during the Millennium, but a host of Gentiles have been grafted in, in these days of the Church (Rom. 11:17).
Did Jeremiah understand what he was saying about the Gentiles being grafted in? I doubt it. But that does not take one thing away from the truth of his prophecy. The Bible today is not any less infallible because I do not understand some of it. Our understanding is not what makes the Bible true, it is what makes it valuable.
Prophecy is one of the things that authenticates the inspiration of the Scriptures. It is beyond understanding to the natural mind that God can predict events thousands of years before they happen and the accuracy be perfect beyond question. Only a intellectually dishonest person will deny the accuracy of prophecy recorded in the Word of God. That gives us great confidence in the Bible. Then last Jeremiah speaks of,

THE REPENTANCE OF THE GENTILES

He says in our text that the Gentiles will come, “and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.”
The words “inherited lies” means that the Gentiles will be VICTIMS of former generations of LIES. My friend, this could be said of our days. Liberalism and a general departure from the faith finds it roots in the early days of the Church. The reason most of the church Epistles were written was because of the infiltration of LIES and FALSE DOCTRINE in the early Church. It finally developed into the Catholic Church and others movements that operated alongside of this false church as the ages progressed. The Gentile world was and is affected by the false doctrine.
Jeremiah says there will come a time when the Gentiles will SEE THE LIE and admit it. The word “vanity” means that the lies are completely empty and have no profit whatsoever when it comes to knowing God.

The gospel is the only message that will save. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Then the gospel is defined by the Word of God in 1 Cor. 15:1-4:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” And to narrow it down further Paul says in 1 Cor. 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with the wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” Paul clearly separates baptism from the definition of the gospel. Even though baptism is important as an act of obedience after one is saved, it is not included in the definition of the gospel which one MUST BELIEVE TO BE SAVED. For one to deny this he will have to tell you the Bible does not mean what it says.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
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