READ: Jeremiah 19-22
THINK: Can you recall a time when you were humiliated? Perhaps you made an embarrassing mistake or failed miserably in front of others. Maybe someone set you up or put you on the spot when you weren't prepared. But have you ever endured humiliation for a worthy cause-particularly for your faith in God? Jeremiah's faith brought him a life riddled with rejection and public humiliation. Yet he stood strong because he knew God was with him. When experiencing opposition or rejection for our faith, it's natural to feel that we don't deserve such treatment. But we have little if any control over how others respond to Jesus. In fact, the more we emulate Christ, the more we will encounter hate and rejection. Jesus himself told us to expect as much (Matthew 10:22; John 15:18).
RESPOND: What happened in the Valley of Ben Hinnom (19:2ff), and why did Jeremiah deliver God's message there? (See 19:2 note.) What happened to the clay pot in this story, and what did it represent? (See 19:1-15 note.) How does 19:9 reveal the depth of moral corruption among the people? (See 19:9 note.) According to 19:15, why would God ultimately bring disaster? When the priest heard Jeremiah, what did he do to publicly humiliate him (20:1-3)? (See 20:2-3 note.) How did Jeremiah respond to this treatment? What was Jeremiah's complaint in 20:7- 10? (See 20:7 note.) How had Jeremiah's faithfulness to God affect his life? What do you think Jeremiah meant that God's message was like "a fire shut up in my bones" (20:9)? (See 20:9 note.) What do you think accounted for the seemingly drastic emotional swing between 20:13-14? How did God reply to Zedekiah's request, and what ultimately happened to him? (See 21:1-7 notes.) To whom did Jeremiah prophesy in chapter 22, and what was God's message to them? (See 22:1-30 notes.) What did these kings do and not do to bring judgment?
PRAY: Pray for faith and boldness to endure pressure, opposition and humiliation for the cause of Christ.
ACT: Is there any way in which pressure, opposition, persecution or humiliation have caused you to back away from something God wants you to do or pushed you to do something God is not pleased with? If so, be bold, rely on God, and do what He desires, regardless of what others think, say or do.
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