The book of Jeremiah is not written in sequence – we have met King Zedekiah before! Zedekiah had been left in charge of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar when Nebuchadnezzar first took exiles away to Babylon, but after some years he became full of his own importance, ignoring Jeremiah’s warnings from God. He began making decisions to suit himself and to defy the Babylonians. He was bolstered by the hope of Egyptian help, which proved to be not forthcoming. He is told through Jeremiah that this would not happen (v6-8). The Babylonian return for the destruction of he city of Jerusalem is predetermined by God and proclaimed by Jeremiah. (V9-10)
Faithful Jeremiah again suffers – he’s misunderstood. – – he’s disbelieved. – and now imprisonment !
Zedekiah, however, secretly wanted to know God’s purpose and so turned in private to Jeremiah, knowing that in he past Jeremiah had brought to other Israelite kings the true word of God. Even though, as we have been reading in previous chapters, this was discounted in favour of false prophets who proclaimed peace! God’s directions and warnings were ignored.
God’s ways cannot ultimately be ignored.
Two people stand out for us today – Jeremiah, faithful in spite of physical mistreatment and disregard and – Zedekiah, privately seeking God’s prophetic word even though tomorrow we’ll find, like Pilate, he was unwilling to stand for right against the crowd. Wait for it!
Romans 14:19 – 15:7
Towards the end of this wonderful letter to the Roman church comes a huge challenge for the believers in Christ!
14:19 we are to do things that promote unity (among believers)
14:21 we must be sensitive to what others believe and not offend them, because faith in Christ is what REALLY MATTERS.
15:1 we are not to please ourselves
15:7 we must accept one another (in the same way that Christ has accepted us)
However we were again challenged by v3 & 5
– to have the same attitude of mind towards each other as Christ Jesus had!
Is that possible for ordinary people?? It is a challenge to measure our attitude to and behaviour towards others, not by the standards around us, or even those in the church, but by Jesus Christ. This is how God will be glorified. v6
Well, we don’t know about you, but this is a perspective that demands a reality check! God help us to ‘be as Christ to you’ not just when we are singing The Servant Song in church but in every encounter Monday – Saturday. It is God’s command, are we willing?
[Originally posted on 7/11/2015 by pesmart.]