The Bible says in Jeremiah 13:15-19, Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock is carried away captive. Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory. The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive. Notice the phrase in verse 15, be not proud. Verse 17 says that the Israelites ended up suffering for your pride. And verse 18 says, Humble yourselves. One of the problems that the Israelites had was their pride. This should not surprise us because pride and arrogance are a common problem with the human race. Pride manifests itself when people are self-absorbed, unsympathetic to others feelings and needs, and unwilling to turn to God. A proud person thinks they have all the answers and therefore do not see their need of turning to the Lord Jesus. Pride is a sin. It says in Proverbs 6:16-19, These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 13:20-24, Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail? And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. Whenever something really bad happens in your life, you should always ask the question, Is this the result of some sin that I need to repent of? The way to keep that from even being possible is to always repent of your sins as soon as you know that you have sinned. Do not let sin go on in your life un-repented of or un-confessed. Of course, not all sorrows are the result of sin, but these sorrows that were taking place among the Israelites certainly were. As it says in Jeremiah 13:22, And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare.
One of the problems for a person who does not repent of sin and who does not turn from their sins on a regular basis can be seen by considering Jeremiah 13:23 that says, Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Sin is habit forming, and human beings are creatures of habit. A person can sin so much that they get to the point where that sin is so much a part of who they are that they cannot change and they cannot stop. Of course, the grace of God through Jesus Christ can change them, but they themselves will not change. In most cases, find out what a person does today, and you will know what they will do tomorrow. Knowing this fact should motivate you to repent quickly and to turn from your sins immediately. There is a lot of truth to the old saying, Sow a thought, and reap a deed; sow a deed and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap a destiny. As it says in Jeremiah 13:23, Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 13:25-27, This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be? In these verses we are told two great sins that were committed by the Israelites that resulted in their downfall and in the judgments that came against them. The first sin that they committed was as the Lord said in verse 25, thou hast forgotten me. It is amazing how much of true Christianity simply involves your mind: what you think about. If you think about the things you ought to think about, then you will serve God. If you do not think about what you ought to think about, then you will not serve God. Jesus said in Mark 12:30, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment.
A great part of what you think about
has to do with what you remember and what you forget. For every person there
will always be things they should remember and things they should forget. It
can cause great problems if you keep thinking about things that you should
forget. Learn to let the past go into the past. Let bygones be bygones. That is
one of the benefits of learning to forgive the way the Lord told us to forgive.
Do not dwell on the past. Instead look forward to the future where there will
always be new opportunities, new challenges, and new blessings. But there are
things you should remember. You should remember the good things that have
happened to you, and in that regard you should especially remember the good
things that God has done for you. If you are a true Christian, then you can
always remember with thanksgiving the fact that Jesus showed His love for you
by dying for you on the cruel cross of
Concerning the importance of how we use our mind and its part in the Christian life, notice some of the Bible verses on this subject. It says in Philippians 3:5, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. It says in Romans 12:2, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The Apostle Paul also wrote in Philippians 3:15, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. The Apostle Peter wrote in First Peter 1:13, Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. It also says in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 14:1-6, The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth. Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up. And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass. And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass. The word that is translated dearth in Jeremiah 14:1 refers to a drought or lack of rain. Much of this chapter describes how terrible the conditions were because of this drought. All of the people and the animals suffered. How dependent we all are on the cycle of rain, followed by sunshine, followed by more rain. God created this cycle when He established the earth and put life upon it. As we read in Jeremiah 10:13, When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. In the New Testament it says of Jesus in Mathew 8:27, But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him? God controls everything in the world, and He certainly controls the weather. There can be natural disasters and calamities no doubt for many reasons. One of the reasons is simply that life on this earth is fraught with difficulties and troubles. Another reason is that God might just be bringing a chastisement upon a land like He did to the Egyptians when they persecuted the Jewish people, and like He did here in Jeremiah chapter 14 to the Israelites themselves because of their sins.
In Jeremiah 14:7-9 we are given a prayer that Jeremiah made to the Lord when Jeremiah was thinking about these judgments that came against the people. Jeremiah asked two questions and both of the questions started with the word WHY. It says, O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. It is not surprising that Jeremiah asked the question, Why, when these great calamities came upon the nation of Israel. That is a normal human reaction to great distresses, and it is a common reaction. If you have never lifted your voice to heaven and asked mournfully and tearfully, Why, then there probably will be a day when you will. In Jeremiahs prayer he did give a good answer as to what can comfort us in such times, and Jeremiah had the proper reaction. Even before he asked his why questions, Jeremiah confessed his sins. He said to God in verse 7, our iniquities testify against us, our backslidings are many, and we have sinned against thee. Whenever a believer has great troubles come into his or her life, it is good to ask the question, are my sins confessed? Maybe there simply needs to be a confession of sin.
At the end of his prayer in verse 9 Jeremiah made two great statements that are important for any believer to remember to help get them through difficult times. He said, thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and Jeremiah said, we are called by thy name. Remember that the Lord Jesus is with you. Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. The presence of the Mighty God with you has many benefits. It means that Jesus will comfort you, it means that He will guide you, and it means that He will protect you. The fact that we are called by the name of Jesus and by the name of God is a reminder that we belong to Him. Out of all the people in the world, we are His prized possessions. Jesus loves us. The fact that we bear His name wherever we go means that He will have a jealous regard to our well-being not only for our sake, but for His own names sake. When we pray, do we not pray, Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Copyright; 2012 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved