TEXT: JEREMIAH 18:18-23.
🔑KEY VERSE “Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them” (JEREMIAH 18:20).
The poor mother of a boy had prepared the only food left at home for the child as he got ready to go to school. On noticing that there was nothing else for the mother to eat, the boy started crying out of compassion for his mother. Meanwhile, as he could not explain why he was crying, the mother misunderstood it for ingratitude and started to beat him. When he came back from school, he was able to explain to the mother while he cried that morning. She hugged him and asked for his forgiveness.
Jeremiah was also often misunderstood for his messages of judgement from God which he must deliver to his people. But he had concern and sympathy for their well-being and continued preservation. Meanwhile, his people whose good he sought, misread him and buffeted him with imprisonment, starvation and threats of death. He cried to God for retributive judgement against those persecutors.
While vengeful prayers were common under the Old Testament dispensation, it is no longer so in the New.
Our perfect example, Jesus Christ, did not only teach His followers to love their enemies but also to pray for them (Luke 23:34).
Steven also prayed for those who stoned him, which led to the salvation of Paul the apostle. Truly, persecution can at times overstretch the patience of the believer. But he is ordered to rejoice because of the future glory that awaits him (Revelation 2:10).
Are you suffering persecution today for Christ’s sake? Cheer up, and look unto Him, “who for joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” Sooner or later, you will be with Him in glory if you do not give up.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Persecution may be fierce, but he that endures shall be saved.
BIBLE IN A WEEK: ROMANS 4-6.
Budget for the Truth
- To be on the side of the truth is to always live out the truth, speak the truth, stand on the truth, contend for the truth, propagate the truth and die for the truth (if need be), with the purest motive, love and divine wisdom.
- There is a price to pay for being on the side of the Truth. Unlike Jeremiah, you must budget (count the cost) and receive grace for it in order to endure to the end.
- Some of the things you should prepare for are:
a. Hurting and secret devices by the enemies of the truth v18.
b. Harmful and injurious “strive of tongues” against the innocent e.g. lies, false representation etc v18.
c. Hardened and deviant attitude against the truth in order to prove a point to those holding on to the truth v18.
d. Heartless and needless contention against the possessors and professors of truth v19.
e. Horrible plans to silence, injure or bury the destiny of the truth bearer(s) v22.
f. Hidden agenda to ensnare and entangle the vocal truth bearer through his words, works, women (men), etc v22.
g. Hatred and other manifestations of hatred by haters of truth.
Note: Jesus Christ, though experienced all these, was totally victorious because He prepared His mind for it and had the grace to endure all contradictions of sinners Hebrews 12:2,3, John 16:33.
- Wrong attitude during persecution vv21-23.
a. Anger and bitterness.
b. Discouragement and withdrawal from consecration.
c. Unnecessary prayers.
Jeremiah’s “prayer” was unnecessary and vain. Why?
Jeremiah himself had prophesied by inspiration that those things will happen to them if they did not repent, e.g. see Jeremiah 11:22,15:7,6:26. Since they refused to repent, the evil will still happen to them without Jeremiah’s negative prayers. If they repented, no amount of negative prayers will work against them. See Romans 12:17,19,20.
Lord, give me abundant grace to always manifest all the virtues of those on the side of the Truth.
Lord, let all the plans of haters of truth against my destiny always and forever fail
Give me the love that will never be bitter or revenge the evils of the wicked
Lord, visit your Church and purge all hidden traits of hatred for truth from every member
HYMN So send I you
- So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for Me alone.
- So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O’er wand’ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary-
So send I you to suffer for My sake.
- So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart ahung’ring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-
So send I you to know My love alone.
- So send I you to leave your life’s ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you-
So send I you to lose your life in Mine.
- So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.