Since we have observed many practical lessons from the twenty-third book of the Bible, let us now move on to the twenty-fourth book, Jeremiah.
1. LIFE BEGINS IN THE WOMB.
Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."
Specifically, life begins at conception. God hates the shedding of innocent blood (cf. Prov. 6:17), and so should we!
2. GOD HAS A PURPOSE PLANNED FOR EVERY CHILD EVEN BEFORE BIRTH.
This lesson also comes from 1:5. God had specific expectations for Jeremiah, and Jeremiah embraced them. It is undeniable that God has general expectations for all humans (cf. Eccl. 12:13). Our purpose is to reverence and serve Him to the best of our ability.
3. IF GOD IS WITH YOU, THERE IS NO NEED TO BE AFRAID.
Jeremiah 1:7,8,19 - "But the LORD said to me: 'Do not say, "I am a youth," for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,' says the LORD...'They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,' says the LORD, 'to deliver you.'"
As can be seen from cover to cover in the Bible through numerous narratives, ultimate victory belongs to those on God's side. They will encounter resistance and persecution (cf. II Tim. 3:12), but God will deliver them.
4. WORSHIPING INANIMATE OBJECTS OR LOWER FORMS OF LIFE IS RIDICULOUS.
Jeremiah 2:26,27 - "As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, saying to a tree, 'You are my father,' and to a stone, 'You gave birth to me.' For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face..."
Worshiping a stone? Really? As stupid as it sounds, it's not any dumber than those who glorify amoebas or primates today in affirming: "You are my father; I descended from you!" No society that worships the creation instead of the Creator is truly enlightened.
5. HOUND-DOG RELIGION WILL NOT SAVE.
Jeremiah 2:27,28 - "...But in the time of their trouble they will say, 'Arise and save us.' But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah."
What is hound-dog religion? (1) Kick God around when He's in your way; (2) Throw Him a bone occasionally; (3) Call Him when you need Him when no one else can help! That's not the type of devotion God wants. God wants us to seek Him and His righteousness first (cf. Matt. 6:33).
6. GOD KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPLETE DEVOTION AND PRETENSE.
Jeremiah 3:10 - "'And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,' says the LORD."
Judah should have learned from the mistakes & punishment of Israel and genuinely turned to God, but they would not. Pretending to be religious won't please God (e.g., Matt. 7:21-23). God wants us to love and serve Him with every fiber of our being (cf. Matt. 22:37).
7. GREATER KNOWLEDGE & OPPORTUNITY RESULTS IN GREATER RESPONSIBILITY.
Jeremiah 3:11 - "Then the LORD said to me, 'Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah."
The Northern kingdom (Israel) was overthrown in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom (Judah) was overthrown in 586 BC. How is it that Israel was more righteous than Judah? Perhaps because Judah witnessed Israel's demise, and then did nothing to change their own destructive course! Judah had more knowledge and should have known better! Instead they satisfied themselves by pretending to be religious and seek the Lord's ways. It's been affirmed by some that: America is the worst place in the world to go to hell from. This is based on the truth that greater knowledge & opportunity results in greater responsibility. With easy access to Bibles, study aids, & congregations of Christ's people, and with our great affluence coupled with freedom, Americans have arguably the greatest responsibility before God compared with other countries.