Jeremiah 33-49.The outstanding loyalty character quality of Jeremiah was real impressive to me. Wow what a man! I was amazed at his unconditional love and concern of Jeremiah for a group of people who insisted on worshipping the "queen of heaven" and making up their own plans in spite of the messages from God. It seemed when counseled to do something they did the opposite. Every word of counsel we have should be carefully followed. After one beating, I think I would have been ready to give up. He took jailing after jailing.
Brave, courageous Jeremiah. This prophetís courage and love for the disobedient is so impressive. He is like God in His love for those who hate the truth. Jeremiah had unconditional love and he knew about FORGIVENESS. He continued to love when he was thrown into prison time after time. He did not stop hoping for their conversion.
Times were bad for Israel. God told Jeremiah to advise peaceful surrender to Babylon. They beat him up and threw him in prison. Then they were curious what was coming next and asked for word from God. They burned the written message. Then the king had a secret meeting to discover what was coming next.
Faithfully, Jeremiah delivered message after message. He was put in prison, then taken out. He was dumped into the muddy dungeon which was probably sewer from the palace. He did not give up hope but reminded himself all the times God had blessed him. A kind man from the country of Ethiopia pleaded with the king for Jeremiahís release. His Ethiopian deliverer was rewarded later for his bravery by special favors from the Babylonians . The Babylonian king said he would protect Jeremiah and he could live wherever he wanted.
Faithful Jeremiah was old and could have chosen prosperity and comfort but he wanted to be with the rebellious bunch who had been so cruel to him. Why did he still love them? Like a faithful pastor or shepherd, he still had fatherly concerns for the flock no mater how mean they were to him.
He went to live at Mizpeh where the Babylonian king had appointed a Jew as governor over the few poor people left. Instead of peace and comfortable living there was fighting. War among the Jews caused the death of this governor. Then there was a plan to run to Egypt to hide. Again Godís advice through Jeremiah was disobeyed. Jeremiah was carried off with these people to experience more trouble. Why did he not give up and seek comfort and ease in his old age. What held him to keep loving. What a picture of God he portrays.
We must keep on loving and praying for the difficult people in our lives. It
is amazing how Jeremiah did not look at results of his efforts and doubt that
his messages were from God when nobody seemed to love him or obey Godís messages. They just kept being mean to him.
He definitely practiced Godís way of forgiving seventy times seven and then even more times. He had to get this attitude from God. It is not very common on this earth to see people act as forgiving and hopeful as Jeremiah. While sinking up to his arm pits in stinking mud, he is tempted to feel discouraged but he begins reminding God of all the deliverances in the past.
Let us be forgiving and eager to help others even if they are mean to us.