Prayer Focus: Liberia

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 25-28

Scripture

2Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem,  3 “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon,t king of Judah, until now—the LORD has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.  Jeremiah 25:2-3

3 Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways. Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins.
4 “Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: If you will not listen to me and obey my word I have given you,5 and if you will not listen to my servants, the prophets—for I sent them again and again to warn you, but you would not listen to them— 6 then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem an object of cursing in every nation on earth.’”   7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people listened to Jeremiah as he spoke in front of the LORD’s Temple.8 But when Jeremiah had finished his message, saying everything the LORD had told him to say, the priests and prophets and all the people at the Temple mobbed him. “Kill him!” they shouted.  9 “What right do you have to prophesy in the LORD’s name that this Temple will be destroyed like Shiloh? What do you mean, saying that Jerusalem will be destroyed and left with no inhabitants?” And all the people threatened him as he stood in front of the Temple.  Jeremiah 26:3-9

Observation

This is one example of God’s patience.  He waited 23 years, warning them all along the way, for Israel to change their ways.

Jeremiah stands out in front of the Temple warning about its destruction because the people have not listened to the Word of God through the prophets.  Uriah, another prophet, has been preaching the same thing.  The Temple Officials and the King want them both dead, but Jeremiah lives to prophesy another day while Uriah doesn’t.  Jeremiah will see his prophesy come true.  The Temple will be destroyed and God’s people will be carried off into exile.

Application

The application seems simple enough; listen to God, do what God says, if God sends a prophet to warn you that you’re going astray listen to the prophet.

A new temple is eventually built and this scene will be repeated in some sense.  Jesus will drive the money changers out of the Temple and will be asked by what right he has to do such a thing.  “Give us a sign!” they demand.  Jesus answers, “Destroy this Temple and in 3 days I will raise it up.”

For saying these things the religious leaders wanted Jesus dead and, like Uriah, they will kill him.  But what they didn’t realize is that the Temple he was talking about was his own body.  They killed him and 3 days later he rose from the grave ending their captivity to sin and making them free through God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Again, many didn’t listen to God or put their faith and trust in Christ, but many did.  In the book of Acts we see thousands coming to Christ at a time.

But now its up to you; will you listen to God and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to have your sins forgiven?  Rejecting Christ means hell.  Repenting of our sins and putting our faith and trust in Christ means life…eternal life.

Prayer

Lord, I pray that many would listen to You.  That there would be a revival in Your Church and in this land, a renewed desire to be that shining city on a hill that knows the gospel and spreads the gospel to every nation.  Amen.

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