Intro: Jeremiah is in prison for preaching an unpopular message: (v. 2, 3)
1. No matter what, it is predetermined by God that they would be carried off into captivity. (v. 3)
2. One day they will be delivered from captivity and the land restored. (v. 15)
3. The people should go ahead an surrender so that they will be alive to enjoy the promise.
Jeremiah’s cousin Hanamel came to see him in prison to sell Jeremiah a farm located in Anathoth, which is in enemy territory in the hands of the Chaldeans.
JEREMIAH BOUGHT THE FARM because God told him to. (v.7 ,8). He had preached himself into a corner. If he really believed what he had been preaching, He had to put up shut up. JEREMIAH IS BETTING EVERYTHING ON THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD.
I. TESTING THE REALITY OF OUR FAITH.
A. An untested faith is a worthless faith. You never know if what you are calling faith is really faith or not. If my lifeboat has holes in it, I want to know before my ship sinks.
1. You only learn to trust God by trusting God.
2. Most of us will never trust God until we have to.
3. God sees to it that we have to trust Him.
Illustration: Israel camped by the Red Sea and all the Egyptians in the world are swooping down on them. God told Moses to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord and go forward”, but forward was the Red Sea. THEY WERE FORCED TO TRUST GOD.
B. God is a Refiner, not an Arsonist.
II. THE RELAPSE OF OUR FAITH (v. 16-25)
Jeremiah has signed the deed and then he has been left alone. He is having Buyer’s Remorse. “Ah Lord God” (v. 17). This is the sigh of a man who is worried.
A. Faith is believing in spite of the doubt.
1. Father of demon-possessed boy – “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief’.
2. The church meeting in Mary’s home praying for Peter’s release from prison in Acts.1 1-12 and yet when he was released and knocking at their door they didn’t believe it was him.
B. There are three things you can do with doubt:
1. Publish them – DON’T! Jeremiah waited until he was alone to pray.
2. Keep them to yourself – DON’T! They will fester deep in your soul.
3. Take them to the Lord – DO! (Psalm 73.)
Jeremiah is saying “Lord, everything you‘ve said has come to pass, SO FAR “ (v. 17) and he begins to rehearse all that the Lord has done. A PRAYER OF UNBELIEF
FAITH IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF DOUBT, IT IS THE OVERCOMING OF DOUBT.
III. THE REASSURANCE OUR FAITH.
A. The Word of the Lord came to Him WHEN he prayed and admitted his unbelief to the Lord. (v. 26)
B. When God brought reassurance to Jeremiah, He didn’t tell him anything he didn’t already know. (v. 27), “Is there anything too hard for me”. He simply repeated what Jeremiah had said to Him in verse 17. GOD WILL NOT ABANDON YOU.
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2003