READ: Jeremiah 36-37
THINK: Have you ever been pressured or even persecuted because of your faith in God or your trust in His Word? How did you feel-or how would you feel-in this situation? When we experience opposition and rejection for our faith, it's easy to take it personally. But those who oppose God's people are really opposing God himself. Understanding this can keep you from taking matters into your own hands and retaliating toward others. God can defend himself, and ultimately He will judge those who reject Him. It's our responsibility to continue standing for the truth, but also to reach out with compassion to those who do not yet know Jesus.
RESPOND: What was the purpose of having Baruch read the prophecies in the temple at that time (36:5-7)? How did the officials in the temple initially respond to the prophecies (36:15-19)? (See 36:16 note.) What did the king do with the scrolls as Jeremiah's prophecies were read to him (36:22-23)? (See 36:23 note.) What was the king's attitude toward the prophecies (36:24), and Who and what was the king really rejecting by his actions? (See 36:23 note.) Even though we may not attempt to destroy God's Word as Jehoiakim did, how might we show similar disregard for the Word? What did God command Jeremiah to do after the king burned the scrolls (36:28), and what additional message did God have for Jehoiakim (36:29-31)? (See 36:30 note.) Who appointed Zedekiah "king," and how did he regard Jeremiah's prophecies (37:1-2)? (See 37:1 note.) Why do you think Zedekiah still asked Jeremiah to pray for the people? (See 37:3 note.) Why do people expect God to respond to their prayers, even though they pay little or no attention to Him or His Word? What did the officials do to Jeremiah after hearing Irijah's accusations (37:13-15)? (See 37:15 note.) How do you think you would have responded under these conditions, and why?
PRAY: Pray for strength to stand up for the truth of God's Word, even when others deny, reject or neglect that truth. Pray for diligence to always apply to your life what God shows you from His Word.
ACT: Is there something God has shown you in His Word that you've neglected and failed to apply to your life as you know you should? Don't cut yourself off from the blessing and fulfillment of living by God's Word. Put into practice in very specific ways what God shows you from His Word every day.
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