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Jeremiah: In the Potter’s Hands (5 of 20)
Introduction: What if a present-day preacher stood in his pulpit and announced that God was on the side of Saddam Hussein or Ossama Ben Laden? That God was against America and that he was raising up worldwide terrorists to serve his purposes and be his servants? That God cared nothing for the Declaration of Independence or the American Constitution or the long heritage of religious worship that our nation has had? In fact, that the things we emphasize were an offense to God?
And what if this preacher even advocated that Christians renounce their loyalty to their country and join the other side? And what if the preacher -- subjected to house arrest, or flung into prison, or slapped in the face in public and his writings burned, or half-drowned in a pit of slime -- would not only stubbornly refuse to take back one word of what he had said but only repeated it again? This is the situation recorded in the book of Jeremiah. Only it wasn't America and it wasn't Iraqi sponsored terrorists. It was 7th century BC Judah and invading armies from Babylon (present day Iraq). Jeremiah was called of God to declare that very message.
Jeremiah, the last prophet of Judah, lived in the last days of a decaying nation. Judah, the southern part of Israel after the division following Solomon's reign, continued on after the ten tribes of the north had been carried into captivity under Assyria. Isaiah, which we looked at last week, prophesied about sixty years before Jeremiah. He had told Judah that Israel's fall should be a warning to them. But they ignored the warning.
Jeremiah enters the stage of history at the close of the reign of the last good king of Judah, the boy king Josiah. Josiah led a spiritual revival of the nation that was too little too late. It was the one last chance for Judah to get it right before the curtain of judgment fell on the nation and they were carried away into capt ...
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