How to Be Faithful Regardless of Opposition

Norman Geisler, as a child, went to a DVBS because he was invited by some neighbor children. He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays. Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver. Week after week he attended church, but never made a … More

Faithfulness

Jeremiah was faithful regardless of the opposition. He reports for duty and the first order of the day was to preach sermons to the people: and cry in the ears of Jerusalem (vv. 1-3). This first message (2:1-3:5) confronted Jerusalem with her waywardness. The Lord brought them into a plentiful land, but they defiled it with idolatry and the sacrifices of their own children (vv. 4-7). Not only had they turned against Him but the three primary classes of leaders established by God turned against Him.

  1. The priests (v. 8) were to expound the law (Mal. 2:6-7) yet they were silent.
  2. The rulers (v. 8) were not the religious but the civic leaders. Their duty was to lead the people in the way of the Lord, yet they themselves transgressed His way.
  3. The prophets (v. 8) were to reclaim the people from apostasy, yet they encouraged it by pretending to have oracles from Baal, the Phoenician god.
Jeremiah used the example of a courtroom scene to focus on the seriousness of Israel’s sin (vv. 9-12). The idolatrous nations were more faithful to their false gods than Israel was to the true and living God (v. 11). Israel had committed two sins. The first was that of omission; she had forsaken her God. Her second sin was one of commission; she had replaced her true God with false idols (v. 13). Israel had lost her freedom and had become a slave, to Assyria and then to Egypt (vv. 14-19).

Application

In different periods of my life I have been tempted to seek security through possessions, people or my own abilities? There is no lasting security apart from God and following His plan for my life.

Jeremiah 2:1-19 (English Standard Version)

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, "I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD." Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD: "What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? They did not say, 'Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?' And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit. "Therefore I still contend with you, declares the LORD, and with your children's children I will contend. For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing. Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. "Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey? The lions have roared against him; they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head. Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when he led you in the way? And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates? Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts."

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