Jeremiah 37:1-38:28; 1 Timothy 6:1-21;
Psalm 89:38-52; Proverbs 25:28
Are you a pinhead or a patriot?
Today, the people of Jerusalem have their own opinions as to whether or not the prophet Jeremiah is a pinhead or a patriot. It just so happens that because Jeremiah has been advocating for Jerusalem and Judah to surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to avoid captivity, Jeremiah is considered a traitor. Had Bill O'Reilly had a television show in ancient Jerusalem, he would very likely have followed the crowd and called Jeremiah a pinhead.
King Zedekiah is on the throne of Jerusalem. He is secretly asking for Jeremiah to pray about the national situation. The Egyptians are helping Judah by coming to the southern border and scaring off the Babylonians. God tells Jeremiah to inform Zedekiah that the Egyptians cannot be trusted as an ally and they will leave. The Babylonians are going to return and capture the city.
When the Babylonians leave temporarily, Jeremiah decides to go look at the property in the land of Benjamin that the Lord told him to buy. As he is leaving the city, he is arrested for abandonment to the Babylonians. Because of all that he has been saying about surrendering to the Babylonians, Jeremiah is considered a traitor by some people. He is flogged and thrown into the dungeon of Jonathan, the secretary.
King Zedekiah secretly asks for a meeting with Jeremiah to confirm what God says will happen. With honesty, Jeremiah states God's plans. Jeremiah requests to not be sent back to the dungeon. The king allows Jeremiah to be imprisoned in the palace courtyard. Jeremiah continues to tell people to surrender. Court officials consider this treason and feel that Jeremiah is undermining the soldiers' morale. They get permission to deal with him from the king. These officials lower Jeremiah into a muddy cistern. He sinks down into the mud and risks starving to death at the bottom of an abandoned well.
An Ethiopian named Ebed-melech thinks Jeremiah is a patriot for trying to save Judah through God's prophesies. He begs the king to let him save Jeremiah. The king allows it. It takes thirty men to pull Jeremiah out of the well. Once again, the king requests to see Jeremiah. Jeremiah is faithful to his message and recommends surrender. The king admits that he is scared to surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah tries to convince Zedekiah that his life will be spared only if he will listen to God.
Zedekiah has Jeremiah promise to not tell anyone what they have spoken about. Jeremiah honors the king's request.
Do you sometimes think people feel you are a pinhead for listening to and obeying God? Do you face trials like being thrown in a well for your Biblical stands?
1 Timothy 6:1-21
Paul encourages Timothy to teach the truths that Paul has laid out in his letter. He is encouraging Timothy to do this in the face of possibly appearing to be a pinhead! Paul reminds Timothy that people who quibble over little things and stir up trouble are often using religion to get rich. Boy, do we have this happening in our day. Many ministries are started by people who are hoping to profit off of the good will of others.
Paul explains that true religion that is marked by contentment is the best kind of wealth. Here is a wise statement from Paul, "After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die." Because of this, we should be content if we have enough food to eat and enough clothing to wear. This truth really hit home for me when my mother passed away. It was sobering to go through her belongings realizing that she left this world and the belongings she had acquired were useless to her in the next world. Many of the items she had were given away to others. She was unable to take any possessions with her as she crossed over.
Paul explains that those who long to be rich get themselves into all kinds of temptations and troubles in the pursuit of money. The love of money is the root of all evil. Please note that money itself is not evil. It is the love of it that is bad. The love of money can lead to sinful behaviors done in order to get that money.
Timothy is encouraged not to be that kind of person. He is to pursue a godly life with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. He is encouraged to fight to hold onto the eternal life, which is given to those who believe in God. Paul reminds Timothy that one day Christ will return to earth as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Christ, alone, can never die. Christ lives in a brilliant light. Remember, we receive eternal life by having Christ's Spirit that can never die inside of us. The implication is that those who do not have God's Spirit will experience the second death that ends their existence. This should speed us to be obedience, living a life of contentment. Money should be used for good works. This stores up treasures in the coming world that lasts forever.
Timothy is encouraged to not waste his time in idle discussions with those who have no intention of following God.
Do you waste your time talking to people who despise God? Do you love money and constantly think about how many more things you can acquire? Would you describe yourself as content?
Vs. 47 says, "Remember how short my life is, how empty and futile this human existence!"
You put yourself at risk if you do not have self-control.
What did you learn today?