The Fruitless Prophet
Lesson 06 – Parables & Persecution
Jeremiah 16:1-20:18
Date: 18 November 2020 – Jer20
Dates and chronology are based largely on Used by permission.
1.         Jeremiah’s Restrictions, Jer 16
a.          He was NOT to marry (16:1-4).
1)         This act of remaining single was a picture to Judah to reinforce in their minds the terrible coming destruction of their wives and children (16:2-3).
2)         It was better not to marry and have children than to have them killed in such a manner (16:4).
It is very sad that the sins of parents often bring misery upon their children. Likewise, the sins of children will bring grief and sorrow to their children. We do not live unto ourselves. (Proverbs 17:25) “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.”
b.          He was NOT to mourn (16:5-7). God forbid Jeremiah to mourn for the people, because He had removed His peace from them. There comes a time when God knows that judgment cannot be avoided.
c.           He was NOT to be merry (16:8-9). Jeremiah was not to attend feasting or joyful parties.
1)         God said, when the people ask why, tell them all the evil they have done (16:10-13).
2)         In judgment, God will send fishers to catch them and hunters to hunt them (16:16). They must learn that God’s name is JEHOVAH (16:21). He is the self-existent, eternal being who must be feared.
One of the most important things that we can learn about God is who He is. When we truly grasp who He is, it will change the way we live before Him.
2.         Judah’s Sins, Jeremiah’s Persecution, Sabbath Reminder, Jer 17
a.          Their sins were indelible (i.e., unable to be erased) (17:1). People of ancient times were far from ignorant. They knew how to cut diamonds and to use them for engraving.
b.          God cursed their human dependence (17:5). All attempts to seek help from Egypt or others will fail.
c.           In all this, God again offered them hope if they would trust Him (17:7-8). Of what do these verses remind us? Yes, of Psalm 1.
d.          Man’s heart is deceitful and incurable (17:9). God, who searches the heart, will give judgment according to man’s ways (17:10). It is a blessing to know that God always judges with full knowledge of all the facts and that His judgments are always just.
e.          Jeremiah asked God to destroy his persecutors (17:15-18).
f.            Sabbath Day restrictions reviewed (17:19-27).
3.         Judah is as the Potter’s Clay, Jer 18
a.          God sent Jeremiah to the potter’s house to gain a sermon illustration (18:1-10). The potter had the right to reform his clay if he was not pleased with its form.
As our Potter, God can do as He pleases with us His clay. We may not always understand His ways, but we must learn to trust His judgments.
b.          The people refused to change their evil hearts (18:11-12).
c.           The people again persecuted Jeremiah and sought to kill him (18:18-23).
4.         Judah will be as a Broken Clay Bottle, Jer 19
a.          Jeremiah got a clay bottle and took it to the valley of Hinnom (19:1-2). The valley running from east to west, on the south of Jerusalem was the place where they offered their children as sacrifices to false gods (cf. Jer 7:31; 32:35).
b.          Jeremiah announced God’s judgment on the Valley of Hinnom (19:6).
c.           Jeremiah broke the clay bottle before them and told them that God would do the same with them so that they could not be put back together again (19:10-11).
d.          He then preached to them in the court of the LORD’s house (19:14-15).
5.         More Persecution for Jeremiah, Jer 20
a.          Pashur, the priest, heard Jeremiah’s sermon at the LORD’s house and he hit Jeremiah, put him in the stocks over night (20:1-3). Ryrie thinks that Pashur smote him with forty lashes (cf. Deu 25:3). These stocks causing an upside down posture were miserable torment. AHLB Halley’s Bible Handbook tells us that these stocks consisted of a wooden frame in which feet, neck and hands were fastened so as to hold the body in a distorted and painful position. Halley p. 313 Ryrie adds, “The stocks secured the feet, hands, and neck, bending the body almost double (cf. 2Ch 16:10; Jer 29:26).”
b.          Jeremiah pronounced God’s judgment on Pashur and his family (20:4-6).
c.           Jeremiah complained of his unjust treatment (20:7-18).
1)         He tried to quit preaching, but God’s Word burned in his heart (20:9).
2)         He cursed the day that he was born (20:14-18).
It is sad that often persecution proceeds from organized religion, not from pagans. We must never forget that the Bible teaches soul liberty. Every man has the right to believe as he pleases, even if he is wrong.