Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Jeremiah 1 9/8/19
“Do not be dismayed by them…” God gave this exhortation specifically because up to this point in history, this is what has happened to His people each time God has set them apart for service and worship - and it continues up to today…
From the dictionary the word dismay means - dismay: verb [dis-mey] -to break down the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble; to dishearten thoroughly; The surprise attack dismayed the enemy. -to surprise in such a manner as to disillusion; She was dismayed to learn of their disloyalty.
-to alarm; The new law dismayed some of the more conservative politicians.
This is the effect those who oppose the gospel want to inflict. The world wants us to be dismayed. These are the kinds of tactics the enemy will use against anyone who brings a uniquely godly message to an ungodly world. They are not going to welcome us with open arms.
I believe we’ve lived through a time when Christianity in the U.S. was the “Special of the Day” and no one looked past that item offered on the front of the menu. As a country we want to now try other things. Looking at the menu of world views, we’ve “moved past” a uniquely godly view… We are living in that post-Christian world. Over the last few decades a lack of clarity about good and evil has allowed us to ask questions like: "What else is there? Wait! What’s that?! No one told me there was another page to the menu! “Let’s try that! Oooh, and that! "
So many other options, there can’t only be one that is special. We can’t eat the same thing everyday – reminiscent of the children of Israel grumbling about the manna. What followed for them was going after other gods - was worshiping other gods - was forsaking the one true God - was making offerings to other gods through the work of their hands. At the core of this lining up at the buffet of other gods and sampling their fare is a wandering heart - if not a literal wandering people, never content with what God has provided. It shows a basic distrust of God, not being satisfied with what He gives or has given, or more simply, not satisfied in Him alone.
This is a recipe for judgment. It is the judgment God was surely bringing to Judah and it will surely be the judgment brought to bear on the U.S. … unless there is a revival among the collective people that far exceeds that of king Josiah’s personal revival and newfound love for God’s word. But that is where it will start. A new found desire to be satisfied with God’s intentions for us as revealed by His word. We should never actually expect our surrounding culture to align with us. It never truly will. But we, the church, must be totally satisfied with God’s word for us, regardless of the reports and accusations around us about how the church is out of step with the progress of the world. Of course it is! What the world sees as progress often does more harm than good.
What God sees as progress is people offering themselves daily to God, and allowing themselves to be renewed according to His word - in the hearts, souls and minds – thus proving what the will of God is in their daily lives.
Follow Through Questions: 1. Should we really think then God will respond as if we have been praying all along if we are people who only pray before and, especially AFTER bad things happen?? The world tells us when to pray now, usually only after disasters. Of course, now it’s common to hear that praying is no longer of any value. Those who really care “do something”, they don’t just pray. What is OK is to ‘Send good vibes’ ‘Think good thoughts.’ ‘My thoughts are with you’ Do these sentiments do any actual good?
2. Are we called to be prophets in this culture? Should we be making demonstrative statements along the lines of a Jeremiah? What does it mean to be a prophet? What does it mean to be prophetic? Are they the same thing?
3. Can we expect God to be with us and to empower us to accomplish what He is calling us to do? Paul sitting in a jail cell, courageously wrote as much Philippians 1:6 and again in chapter 4 verses 13 and 19. He knew things and saw things about God’s perspective of success and progress we do not yet see or know. Don’t expect this provision or empowerment for something you are not called to do.
We cannot /should not expect the culture to be with us on any issue or in any cause. 4. What is God’s four word promise we must stand on? _ __ ____ ___