Jeremiah 16, Let God Direct Your Whole Life

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Jeremiah on Sunday, September 4, 2022 using the New Living Translation (NLT).

More Bible teachings by Jerry Simmons


Well, as we look at Jeremiah Chapter 16 this morning, I've titled the Message Let God Direct your whole life.

Let God direct your whole life, and here what we find in chapter 16.

We're going to work our way through the first few verses of the chapter this morning.

We find God giving some instructions to the prophet Jeremiah, and in this we find ourselves looking at Jeremiah as really an example of submitting himself.

To the Lord in every aspect of his life.

And it's a reminder to us this morning that what God desires with us and what God desires to do in our lives is not limited to like giving God a certain portion of our life or, you know, including God in our life while.

Pursuing other things and and things that specifically God has called us away from.

That looking at Jeremiah as the model, he sets the pattern for us.

He's not the only one in the Bible who does this, of course, but we have many of these examples of those who fully and completely surrendered their lives and were obedient to God in very challenging things, in very difficult ways.

And in very challenging times and circumstances and I think Jeremiah provides for us this morning a really good example to encourage us.

To allow God to have full direction.

To allow God to really give us instruction on every aspect of life and in our society today.

This is not really consistent with what God has shown us here as a pattern that that there is going to be some real contradictions between what God instructs us in and what our world around us tells us is normal and appropriate and good and beneficial.

And worth pursuing.

And we need to learn to hear from God.

And let God's word to us override social norms, common cultural aspects of life and and and the things that we do in work and family that we need to let God's word override any other challenge, any other philosophy, any other approach or direction or ideas.

About life and we need instead.

To submit our lives to God completely and wholly let God direct your whole life.

And we're going to look at this in three different parts, three parts of your life that should be submitted to God, that God wants to speak to you about and that you need to allow him to direct you in.

So the 1st.

Point this morning found in verses one through 4.

Let God direct your home life.

And I want to encourage you to think about this, start to think about your home life, the people who are involved in your home life, the kinds of things that you do at home, the relationships that you have.

Let God direct your home life.

Here's what the Lord tells Jeremiah in verse one and two.

The Lord gave me another message.

He said do not get married or have children.

In this place.

God gave.

Clear instructions to Jeremiah as the prophet of the Lord, God had a specific plan for him, specific purposes for him.

And so he tells Jeremiah to not get married.

I don't know how many people would like to hear this command from the Lord.

I'm not sure that a lot of people would be willing to let God tell them to this degree that, Lord, you have access to my life.

In such a way that you get to tell me whether or not I get married, that that's not really my final decision or I don't have the final say on that, that Lord you have authority in my life to that degree who I have relationship with.

Death, who I have companionship with, who I spend time with.

Lord, you have the final say about that.

God gives Jeremiah here a very unusual command.

And here God is instructing him throughout his life, throughout his ministry, Jeremiah was to remain single and celibate.

There's a very clear instruction to Jeremiah.

This is how he was to live.

Now this is.

Not God's general instruction to all humanity.

And it's not that this is God's instruction to Jeremiah, because then he would be more holy and, you know, better off than other people around him.

It wasn't a slant against marriage or anything like.

That it was.

Part of the particular course that God had set for Jeremiah.

God general instruction to humanity, you go back to Genesis, chapter one, verse 28. God instruction is be fruitful and multiply that family, marriage, children. That is the norm in most cases and in the things that God directs his people.

Later on in Genesis Chapter 9, after the flood, when Noah and his family are recovering and getting out of the ark, God says be fruitful and multiply.

And so we understand, and we can see throughout Scripture that marriage is honorable, that it is created by the Lord, it's honored by the Lord, it's esteemed and important.

And God plan for most people.

But it's not God's plan for all people.

And so there has to be some room for this kind of unusual command where God would say to Jeremiah or perhaps someone else do not get married.

Now, as far as I can think of, I cannot recall another person in Scripture that's given this explicit command.

There are other single people.

In the the Scriptures that are shown to us as examples, Paul the Apostle as a as an example of 1, but we don't have a record from the Lord telling.

All that this was the requirement for his life.

It's just we know that's what Paul was.

He was single and so we don't know if anybody else was required or not.

But here we have this specific example where God gives Jeremiah specific instruction, do not get married and this would be.

Very unusual.

Compared to God's general instruction to humanity, it's very unusual for Jewish culture.

And for them in that day, it would be incredibly unusual that the expectation was by the time you were twenty you were married and on your way to, you know, having as many kids as you could that that that was the the cultural expectation.

And anybody who is outside of that was usually scorned and mocked and.

Kind of a little bit of an outcast in society.

But God has dominion and authority over all aspects of Jeremiah's life, and even to this degree, he says do not get married.

For us.

It might be a little bit different.

We're not trying to model this exactly, that this is the path for everybody.

Nobody should be married as believers in Jesus.

No, that's not the case.

But what should be the case is that you would recognize that God has dominion and authority over your life to this degree.

That, the course that.

You take and the path that you're.

On the amount of romance in your life, your love life should be governed by God.

Your desire for and pursuit of companionship.

Should be subjected to the will of God and the instruction of God.

Your desire for family should be submitted to God that that we would recognize that God has the final say about all of these things.

Pastor Thomas Constable says the Lord commanded his prophet never to marry and rear children.

In contrast, God commanded Hosea to marry and have children.

This difference reflects God sovereignty over his servants.

His will, for one, may not be the same as his will for another.

And he goes on to say in on.

Moral matters.

There are some things that are God's will for everyone. That is to stay away from sin, to turn away from sin, and to pursue God. That's God's will for everybody but.

Aside from those explicit commands of Scripture, there is lots of room for God to direct each of us in various ways, and God claims the right to have this kind of say in your life.

To say whether or not you should get married now.

If you're already married, then you know God has already spoken you are married.

And so that's a different subject.

We'll get to that in a second, but but just to understand and recognize here that God has dominion and authority over your life to that degree.

In our society, we tend to overemphasize our personal desires and the pursuit of happiness.

We have an overemphasis on the value of us each chasing after and pursuing and and seeking to obtain what we think will make us happy and and what we want the most.

But it's a it's an overemphasis.

It's not that God never wants us to pursue things, but we as a society pursue the things that we want.

Over and above what God has said, and many times contrary to what God has said.

And we know God has said this, but we want that.

And so we pursue that even though we know what God has said.

God has unique plans for each one of us.

Unique purposes for your life and amazing things that he has in store exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you could ask or think.

But don't make the mistake and think that it's the exact same formula.

For every person.

You need to not look to the people around you.

So much for the pattern and the direction, instruction for how to experience all of these things in life.

But you need to look to God and say, Lord, what do you have for my life?

It's interesting to consider there's other prophets aside from Jeremiah who were married and had children.

We recently went through the Book of Isaiah we see.

Through the Book of Isaiah that he.

Is married or he was married.

Possibly possible that he got married as a part of the ministry and the work of God in his life and his children.

He has children.

Then his children are given names by the Lord as part of his prophetic ministry, and so God tells him about his kids before they're born.

And when their Bonnie tells them, remember when I told you back to the name that that's the near to give this child because this child enables you to deliver this message to the nation.

Of Israel.

Isaiah Chapter 8 is a good example of that if.

You want to check that out.

And so I there we know was married and had children.

The prophet Ezekiel, who was alive and ministered during the time of Jeremiah. He also was married. Now we find it during the time of his ministry that his wife died and Ezekiel Chapter 24 and God gives him instruction about that. How to react to and respond to the death of his spouse.

In the midst of the ministry that he.

Had been called to.

By the Lord, and so you can read about that in Ezekiel Chapter 24 if you want.

The prophet Hosea which the ladies are going to be studying here in a couple weeks.

The Prophet Hosea was single at the beginning of his ministry, but then the Lord commanded him to get married to go find a prostitute and marry her.

It wasn't his ideal plan, it wasn't what he dreamed about since he was a young boy, but it's the instruction that God gave him.

And then God tell.

I told him, OK, now have children. Through your new spouse and Hosea, chapter one outlines that and gives us some insight into what's happening there and what the Lord's purpose is. And all of that is.

All that to say, Jeremiah could look around and say.

Well, this guy gets to be married and this guy gets to be married.

And that guy you commanded to be married.

So how is it fair that me, you look at me and you say do not get married?

If you look at the timeline you can see.

Hosea and Isaiah, they were contemporaries or a little bit before Jeremiah. And so you could say, well, you know those guys, they were allowed to get married there at a different point in the nation's history, a different point in time.

But then you look at a zechiel.

Ezekiel is right there, with Jeremiah administering different location but at the same time.

You could see much opportunity for there to be some arguing with God over this.

How come Jeremiah or Jeremiah saying how come Ezekiel gets to be married?

But I don't get to be married.

It it's safe to assume that Jeremiah wanted to be married again.

It was part of their culture.

It was the normal expectation.

But God told him, do not get married.

Looking around at other prophets he could have, perhaps.

Then perplexed.

Wrestling with it.

We don't know how Jeremiah responded.

We only know what it is that the Lord told him here in Jeremiah Chapter 16.

But we understand and we can relate.

To these things.

The apostle Paul in Second Corinthians chapter 10, warns against comparing ourselves with each other.

He says that's not wise.

When we think about letting God direct our whole life and specifically focused on our home life, we need to understand we can't just look at.

Other people around us and see their pattern and see their example and say, OK, well they're doing this and it looks like it's working out for them and so I might as well try that.

It seems like a a good plan for me as well.

And it may be, but it also may not be.

The reality is other people are not the standard by which to evaluate whether or not you are in the will of God.

We referenced it on Wednesday as well, John Chapter 21.

When the Lord was calling the apostle Peter back into ministry after the resurrection, after he reminded Peter of the the Love that Peter had for the Lord, and he calls Peter to feed the sheep, and they're hanging out together and Jesus begins to explain to Peter a little bit.

Give him a little bit of a.

Hint into how he would die.

And it was going to be with some suffering involved.

And Peter, hearing this, looks around, and he sees the apostle John behind.

Him and he says.

What about this guy, Jesus?

What's going to happen to him?

Is he going to?

Suffer and die like me also, what's going to happen in his life?

And Jesus responds to him in John chapter 21.

And says if I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?

As for you, follow me.

Jesus tells Peter listen what John is called to and what God's will is for his life.

Doesn't matter.

You know what?

I've called you too, Jesus tells Peter.

You know my instruction for you, my instruction for anybody else has no bearing on my will for your life.

You follow me.

You pay attention to what I tell you to do and and other people might be.

Called in different ways and lead in different paths.

And your path from God might be radically different.

And your home life.

Might be radically different.

Than other believers around you.

Inside of the will of God because you are following what he is saying.

I want to walk through some scenarios and this isn't an attempt to cover every situation or everything like that, but just to kind of think about some clear instruction that God gives to people and then some possibilities that people have from various.

Positions in life, and so the first thing.

To kind of walk through is.

Different statuses that we might be in single people.

Here's some clear instruction for you.

This is not subject to. Well, maybe some people are called to this and some people are not. This is God's clear instruction to all single people.

You are to remain celibate.

You are to keep yourself from sexual relationships of any kind, that is.

The Law of God, the rule of God, that is God call and God's will for every single person.

Now, if a single person gets married, status changes, and God's will and purpose is change. And so there's a different path going forward from that, but during that season of singleness.

Celibacy is God's command. No sexual relationship whatsoever.

When you are single.

Now I threw in here same-sex attraction, which.

Is one that we have to.

Consider in light of the world that we live in, and.

The way that society is going.

Again, I'm not trying to get into all the details or go through every scenario, so just kind of.

Broad stroking some of these things.

If someone has this kind of attraction, we need to understand that people don't get to choose their struggles, just like you don't get to choose your struggles, right?

You have your sinful tendencies.

You have the issues of your heart that you wrestle with and that you wish were different and wish that God would change.

We need to understand that.

Tendencies come in all kinds of varieties.

One of them is same-sex attraction.

Whether or not you understand that, whether or not you have that or can relate to that, that's a different thing.

But but for those who do have that struggle and have that as a as something that they wrestle with.

Here would be the clear instruction that God would give, that is to stay single and remain celibate.

That there is perhaps a transformation that God would want to do in changing the attraction, changing the the the way that your mind.

In your heart works.

And we would pray for that in the meantime.

Stay single and remain celibate. That's God's instruction. We'll see that in just a moment. And then for married people, God clear instruction to you. Be faithful to your spouse.

That once you've engaged in that Covenant of Marriage.

You don't have the license and the freedom to just separate. If you want to do what you want, have multiple partners, have extramarital affairs that that is outside of God's will and God's plan for you, God call for you, is to be faithful to your spouse. Very clear instruction.

As demonstrated by the scriptures.

First Corinthians, chapter 6.

The apostle Paul says, don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

Don't fool yourselves those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes or practice homosexuality, or are thieves or greedy people, or drunkards or abusive.

Or cheat people.

None of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

He outlines these things.

He makes it very clear.

Practice of sexual sin or sexual immorality.

Includes all kinds of sexual sin, but specifically highlighting fornication sex outside of marriage, single people.

God calls you to remain celibate.

And those who refuse to listen to.

God about that.

Paul says none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God, not that it's an unforgivable sin.

There can be repentance from it.

But to just not care what God says and live your own life the way that.

You want to.

That will result in not inheriting the Kingdom of God.

Again, those dealing with same-sex attraction.

Practicing homosexuality is part of this list.

And so.

Engaging in this activity that God has forbidden to say I don't care what God says, this is how I feel, this is what I want and this is what I'm pursuing.

The results in not inheriting the Kingdom of God.

Now it's important to note that.

There's a variety of sins being referenced here.

Sexual immorality and homosexuality, that's these are not the highest and worst.

It's not presented in that way.

It's, there's a.

Multitude of sins here, and disregarding what God says about any of these will result in not inheriting.

The Kingdom of God.

And so it's important to recognize sometimes we kind of have a distaste for different kinds of sins to a greater degree than other kinds of sins.

And so we treat them differently when that may not be appropriate.

And that's another message for another time.

But so first Corinthians chapter 6.

Paul makes that clear.

First Corinthians Chapter 7.

Paul gives this instruction, but for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.

A wife is or a wife must not leave her husband, but if she does leave him, let her remain single, or else be reconciled to him, and the husband must not.

Leave his wife.

First Corinthians chapter seven really goes through a lot of great examples that people wrestle with in in regards to the home life.

And so you can check that out for a little bit more information to think about how God might direct you in your home life.

But in this specific case, he says, look, here's the the situation for those who are married.

God command.

Is that they must not depart.

The wife must not depart from her husband.

The husband must not leave his wife.

They are not to divorce is the instruction there, but notice also Paul says but if she does leave him.

So if there is an occasion or a necessity, if if there is that situation, then let her remain single or else be.

Concealed that the idea here of the faithfulness to the spouse is that even when there is the break or the separation that even in that case there is to be a faithfulness to the spouse and and that's God clear instruction for married people and so we have here some quick insights into these.

Clear instructions in all of these our society overemphasizes personal desires and the pursuit of happiness over all of these.

And they'll say, well, if you're single, you know, hey, we know you're going to be having sex.

We know you're going to be involved in that.

And, you know, might as well just be safe about it.

Protect yourself, and there's a an expectation and a norm to disregard what God says about this.

For those with same-sex attractiveness, that the same thing the society.

Expects you should pursue it, like why would God forbid you to be happy or to experience those things that you want to experience?

Regardless of what society says, God does forbid the pursuit of sin.

For those who are married and miserable, the world says.

God doesn't want you to be miserable.

Get out of that marriage.

Look, that Lady over there, that guy over there, they'll satisfy you.

They'll make you happy.

You should go pursue that.

And who cares about the current relationship?

Our society values whatever you want to do over anything that God says.

But that is backwards and wrong.

And like Jeremiah, we need to learn to let God direct us in every aspect of our life, including our love life, including our home life.

In any Ave or area.

That he wants to speak.

Now let's walk through some possibilities, because it's not just these cut and dry commands all the time.

There's also a lot of times where there is room and freedom in the will of God and plan of God for us too.

Take a different path, a different course, and for it to be different amongst us depending on our status.

Again, Jeremiah was commanded not to marry.

Hosea was commanded to marry.

Azeka was married, Isaiah was married there.

There's different paths and different courses that God takes each one of us on.

And so here's some possible instruction to people.

Single people.

God may instruct you to get married.

But also know single people.

God may instruct you to stay single now.

As a former single person myself, I can understand.

You have a preference probably between these, right?

But your preference is not as important as God's instruction.

There's not a blanket law that every single person has to get married.

And there's not some, you know, hey, if you really want to be spiritual, stay single 'cause, you know, then you'll really be a man or woman of God.

And that's that's not God instruction either.

Either one of these is a direction that God could take you on.

And in that it requires us to have a relationship with God like Jeremiah.

Notice again in Jeremiah Chapter 16 verse one, the Lord gave me another message he said do not get married or.

Have children in this place.

You need to learn to hear from the Lord the only way you're going to know God's will for your life if he wants you single person to get married or to stay single.

Is if.

You have a relationship with the Lord.

You can't look at other single people and say, well, they're getting married and they're getting married and they're getting married, therefore I must.

Get married as well.

That's probably what God wants for me. That doesn't work. But my best friends getting married? Well, that doesn't mean that that's God's call for you. You need to have your own connection to God and hear what he says for you specifically.

We know God wants what's best for us.

And so we can follow his instruction regardless of how we feel about it, regardless of what our friends are doing and family is doing, regardless of what society is doing or saying about it.

We can follow God's instruction knowing that he knows what's best. He has the right plan, the good plan for us.

Now there's different kinds of single people.

There's also people who are widowed.

God has a couple options that he might direct you in as well.

He might direct you to get married again.

Or he might direct you to stay single.

Both are options and this is important.

A little bit. Uhm.

Challenging to address without highlighting any individuals too specifically, right?

But you need to understand that sometimes there are traditions that are built up in our minds or in the community around us, the church, around us, there's expectations and so.

If a widowed person gets remarried, sometimes people all around us have feelings about that.

And it can be perceived as disrespectful.

It can be perceived as wrong, sinful, variety of things that people may perceive about it or think about it, or have ideas about.

It, but you need to understand as far as God is concerned, there is nothing wrong with.

In the will of God and in the.

Plan of God A.

Widowed person getting remarried that that is in fact many times encouraged in the Scriptures and comment not commanded but commended in the scriptures will.

I'll see the alsharif verse on that in a second.

And then divorce people, same thing.

Get married or stay single.

Now, this gets a little bit sticky and I'm not going to go through all the details, right?

But that doesn't mean that.

I have the freedom to get divorced if I want to, and then now I have the freedom to go get married if I want to, again going back to it.

That violates what was.

Given earlier in First Corinthians Chapter 7, right?

So, so we need to understand there is a different kind of divorce where there is the freedom to move on and then there is a divorce where there.

Is not the freedom to move on that you need to be remaining faithful to your spouse?

And how do you know which is which?

Well, there's some scriptures you could walk through again, camp out in First Corinthians Chapter 7 for a bit, and then if that is something that you're really.

Dealing with I'd be happy to try to walk you through some of that and help you pray about what the Lord has for you, but.

In all of these cases, there is opportunity for the Lord to direct.

Towards marriage or towards staying in that singleness for your life, first Corinthians, Chapter 7.

Again, the apostle Paul mentions here that he is single.

I wish everyone were single, just as I.

Am, he says.

Yet each person has a special gift from God of one kind or another.

So I say to those who aren't married and to widows, it's better to stay unmarried just as I am.

But if they can't control themselves, they should go ahead and.

Mary, it's better to marry than to burn with lust.

Here we're talking about the apostle Paul is addressing this idea, sometimes referred to as the gift of celibacy, that there are those who are gifted in that way, that they can remain unmarried and have a special devotion to God, a special course in life.

As a result, and so those who their marriage has ended for one reason or another.

They have an opportunity to stay in that status so that there can be this extra involvement in the things of God and in the plan of God.

But but that's a gift for some, not for others.

And so there is to be that freedom for God to direct in either way.

And there's.

No condemnation.

Like, oh man, you couldn't cut it as a single person.

You had to get remarried, huh?

You know, man.

You're not that great as a Christian.

Like, that's not at all.

It's just different giftings.

And we need to understand that God may call 1 to one path and another to another path.

In first Timothy Chapter 5, Paul talking to Timothy about widows talks about the support for widows and the church at that time and their culture had a uh, a support system financially for the widows because there was great need and they weren't able to be supported by society and so.

He says a widow.

So who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least 60 years old and was faithful to her husband.

There's some criteria here for the church to provide in this way.

Timothy, you know, here's some conditions to meet, but he goes on in verse 11 to say the younger widows.

Should not be on the list because their physical desires will overpower their devotion to Christ and they.

Will want to remarry.

And so the course the the direction that.

Paul gives to the younger widows.

He says look. Most.

Likely in your life God is going to want.

You to get remarried.

That's probably the course that God has for you.

Not definitely.

Again, there's the option God could call.

You to marriage.

He could call you to singleness, but that's up to the Lord.

But what the?

The main reason why I'm sharing this is not to direct you or.

Or like push you in One Direction or the other, but to let you know there's options that that God could.

Lead you in either way and either.

Way is.

Fine in the will of God.

Either way is acceptable and good and beneficial, and a blessing in the will of God.

Again, our society overemphasizes personal desires, the pursuit of happiness.

Over and above what God says and what God may instruct us personally.

When God gives you individually instruction now it's no longer an option.

It's not a possibility of this or that.

When God gives you instruction, then it's what he said.

He has the right.

To direct your life to that degree.

Other people around us are not the pattern, not the standard, not the measurement by which we measure ourselves to determine whether or not we're in God's plan for our lives or on.

God's will for our lives.

Other people might be good for brainstorming, so you can kind of see different options.

Well, I never thought about doing that.

Now I can pray about if God wants that kind of thing to take place in my life.

And so that's that's helpful, but other people are not the standard.

Other people watch this amount of TV.

Do this with their family, have these kinds of practices and habits and vacations and.

Things that may not be the case for you, let God direct your home life.

For Jeremiah, that meant he was to remain single and celibate his whole life, his whole ministry, and he submitted to God in that setting for us a good example.

Pastor David Guzik says we should suppose that, like most others, Jeremiah looked for the blessings and benefits of marriage and parenthood.

These were legitimate desires for him to have.

Yet in order to fulfill the call of God upon his life, he may need to deny such things to pursue the higher call.

And in your life there may be the need to deny.

Some of those cultural expectations, some of those desires that you have in order to pursue the higher call of God's plan and his purposes for your life.

Don't over emphasize what you want, what society says, what people around you are doing.

Let God have his say.

Directing your home life.

Moving on to verses 5 through 9, point #2, let God direct your social life now. I spent a lot of time on point #1.

That was intentional. I meant to warn you in advance so you wouldn't get concerned. My wife gets really concerned when I'm on .1.

For like 30 minutes, she's like, whoa.

We're in for a long day.

Lunch is gonna be late.

Let everybody know.

There's some more things that God has for.

Us here but.

We won't spend the same amount of time with each other.

Points point #2. Let God direct your social life. Let's read verses 5 through 9. This is what the Lord says.

Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection.

In peace from them, I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy.

Both the great and the lowly will die in this land.

No one will bury them or mourn for them.

Their friends will not cut themselves in sorrow or shave their heads in sadness.

No one will offer a meal to comfort those who mourn for the dead, not even at the death of a mother or father.

No one will send a cup of wine to console them.

And do not go to their feasts and parties.

Do not eat and drink.

With them at all.

For this is what the Lord of Heavens, armies the God of Israel, says.

In your own lifetime, before your very eyes, I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in this land.

The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard.

Here the Lord again gives Jeremiah some instructions that are quite challenging.

And contrary to their social norms.

God, says Jeremiah, you need to let me be in charge of your social life.

Now, the reasoning for all of this instruction that God is giving in Chapter 16 to Jeremiah is that Jeremiah is living in a nation that is about to experience radical judgment from God because of there.

Intense rebellion against God.

And so there was very specific circumstances they were in and situations that they were facing and God is explaining.

He explained that in regards to marriage and family and the first few verses of Chapter 16 here in regards to the comfort during times of mourning and the times.

Of celebration and the instruction that God is giving to Jeremiah about that.

He's attaching onto that instruction.

Here's why, and it's related to these people are in full rebellion against me ignoring what I have to say, and so you are to minister to them by behaving this way.

And so first for the idea of mourning.

In verse five God tells Jeremiah do not go to funerals.

Do not go to funerals now.

What an interesting instruction for God get to give to a prophet, to a minister, right to not go to funerals, to spend time with people who are hurting and mourning for the loss of a loved one.

God says no, don't go.

Don't go mourn them.

Don't go show sympathy for them.

He says.

For I have removed my protection and peace from them.

Jeremiah, you're my agent.

You're my representative.

You are to demonstrate to the people my heart on the matter and my heart on the matter is not to mourn.

Because this, people in their rebellion, has resisted my opportunities for returning and and repentance and the grace and the mercy that I've extended to them.

And so this is not the time to mourn for them, because they are receiving exactly what they have demanded by resisting my words.

Refusing to turn to me.

Now this is not.

God's general instruction for all people, for all time.

Where God would instruct us, don't go to funerals and don't comfort people who are hurting when they've lost a loved one.

That's not, that's not the general instruction to everybody for all time.

This is the specific instruction to Jeremiah for his situation.

And that's the point.

Let God direct your social life.

Whether or not you attend a funeral.

Shouldn't be your final like you shouldn't have the final say on that.

It should be the Lord who has the final say on that.

Whether or not you are involved in the Ministry of comforting people who have lost loved ones and are mourning with them.

That that's really up to the Lord.

The Lord should have that authority in your life to set the boundaries and parameters.

And he has his reasons why, just like he was able to explain to Jeremiah why, he doesn't always tell us why.

For all the things that he puts upon our hearts and ways that he directs us, he's not obligated to.

He's God where the servants were called to do what he instructs us to do.

But again, it requires that we have a real connection to the Lord ourselves, and that we give him opportunity to direct us in these matters.

And it's really important because if we.

Disregard what God is calling us to, and we operate on what we think or what we desire.

We will lead people astray.

Jeremiah, chapter 23.

That was the reading assigned to us today as we work our way through the Bible.

In three years, God deals very clearly with those who are false prophets.

And he outlines for us the understanding the false prophets are not.

So much against God as they are for themselves.

They are declaring peace because they desperately want peace.

And they're saying things not because the Lord told them to say things.

But because they really.

Hope that they're going to come true.

Jeremiah, Chapter 23, verse 17.

God says they keep saying to those who despise my word.

Don't worry, the Lord says.

You will have peace.

And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires, they say no harm will come your way.

Have any of these prophets been in the Lord's presence to hear what he is really saying?

Has even one of them cared enough to listen?

And the answer is no, they're speaking and they're using the name of the Lord, but they are not actually saying what God says.

In Jeremiah Chapter 6 and Jeremiah Chapter 8, God says of these false prophets.

They say peace, peace continually and it hurts the people.

It makes them feel better for a moment.

So then they don't deal with the issue of sin that they need to repent from so that they don't experience the judgment that is coming.

And and there.

Is a danger for us.

To comfort people, we want to comfort people and to help them when they're experiencing pain, but we need to understand this is very important.

Sometimes people need to feel the pain.

To not have the Band-Aid over the much.

Serious, more serious issue.

So that they will deal with and address the issue of the heart that God wants to address.

And This is why we need to let God direct our social lives.

Because having compassion in our hearts.

It's not really difficult to overstep and to step in and tell someone it's.

Going to be OK.

And maybe the worst thing to tell somebody is it's going to be OK if it's not going to be OK.

That's not compassion it might soothe for the moment.

But it's like saying peace.

Peace when God says there is no peace.

And it delays.

A person's opportunity to respond.

To what the Lord is saying to them.

Let God direct your social life.

How you comfort people is to come from God.

Not from ourselves.

Pali Apostle makes this clear in 2nd Corinthians 1.

Saying that God is the God of all comfort, he's the source of all comfort.

He comforts us so that when we're troubled or others are troubled, we are able to comfort them with the same comfort that God has given to us.

If we're trying to comfort people with things that originate from us, we're going to find ourselves operating a lot like job friends who are not comforting at all.

We're gonna find ourselves operating like the false prophets.

Who were not comforting at all.

We need.

To receive comfort from the Lord.

And let that be.

The source of comfort that we give to others well, verse 8.

He says do not go to their feasts and parties do not eat and drink with.

Them at all.

And so here the other side of the spectrum, Jeremiah, don't participate in their funerals and mornings and also don't go hang out with them and party.

Don't go to their feasts and festivals to eat and get drunk with them.

Don't do that.

At all.

Again, this would be something that would stand out in their culture.

They were very community oriented and if someone was having a wedding and you weren't going to go, that would really stand out and be noticeable.

Jeremiah, don't go to the wedding.

Again, God explains why.

Because I'm removing all of those things this people is about to experience judgment in your lifetime.

You're going to.

See all this happen, Jeremiah?

And so you need to foreshadow the judgment that is coming to help me deliver the message that I've been seeking to deliver to them sometimes.

Our external actions are the very message that God is seeking to deliver to people.

And sometimes our words are the message.

Now again I I want to highlight this is not this general course for all people, for all time.

It doesn't mean nobody is ever to go to weddings or feasts or events where there is partying and drinking going on.

You can think about the Ministry of John the Baptist and compare it to Jesus and understand there's different ministries, different things that God does depending on the calling and the work in someone life.

In Matthew Chapter 11, Jesus walks through that.

John, John the Baptist, he came.

He was separated, much more like Jeremiah.

He wasn't going to funerals, he wasn't going to parties.

He was out in the wilderness preaching the word.

Jesus, on the other hand, he came.

He was hanging out with sinners.

He was hanging out with tax collectors, he was going to the parties they invited him to.

Not involved in drunkenness himself.

Don't get that impression, but.

But he was there.

He would attend.

He would show up.

Different calls, different ministries.

Different ways that God was leading each one in there.

Roland in the thing that God.

Had called them to.

Listen, we face a lot of complicated issues in our society.

And more and more we're going to face the dilemmas when to participate with society.

All this stuff happening with gender identity, there is all kinds of.

Things that people have to wrestle with now that they never had to wrestle with before.

When do we participate?

When do we show up at events and celebrations, or mourn for occasions that that people are mourning for same-sex celebrations?

You're invited to a wedding.

What are you going to do?

Do you show?

Up do you not show up?

You're in some kind of service industry and you know they want you to take photos or whatever, do you?

Do you do that?

Do you serve that way?

Do you fulfill that, or do you not fulfill that?

There's going to be more and more issues like that that we are going to face.

And you need to learn to let God direct your social life and understand there's not necessarily sometimes there is very clear instruction from God, but in a lot of occasions that we're going to face, there is not necessarily one right way for all people for all time.

Romans chapter 14 Paul kind of walks through some cultural timely issues and he says let each one be persuaded in his own mind that we need to have our own connection to the Lord.

We can't judge one another because.

To our own master, we stand or fall.

We need to be responding to and hearing what God says to us.

About those social interactions, well, finally, point #3 verses 10 through 15. We won't get through all of this, but point #3 just to make the point. Let God direct your work life.

Verse 10.

When you tell people all these things, they will ask why has the Lord decreed such terrible things against us?

What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the Lord? Verse 11. Then you will give them the Lord's reply.

I and it goes on again to explain you've been rebellious, you've been in sin, you've been refusing my offers of mercy and grace in repentance and.

So Jeremiah here, his occupation is that of a prophet. He is responsible to deliver God's word.

Whether it's a good word from the eyes of the people or a bad word, whether it's popular or unpopular, you could understand this would be a very hard message.

To give.

But also in verse 14 it goes on to say but the time is coming, says the Lord, when people who are taking an oath will no longer say as surely as the Lord lives who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.

Instead, they will say as surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land, from the land of the north and from all the countries.

To which he had exiled them for I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors.

Jeremiah is to deliver the message of judgment, but also the message of hope.

About the future and and this is important that he would not just be focused on one thing to the exclusion of anything else, not just pick and choose the preferences that he would have.

With the attacks at Jeremiah experience, you could understand Jeremiah being willing to pronounce judgment upon the people who were attacking him with such severity.

But to also give them hope.

That would be much more difficult, right?

And so popular.

Easy messages to share.

Hard messages to share.

He was to share the word of the Lord.

You can compare.

It to Jonah.

He also was a prophet.

God told him to go share a message.

He said no, thank you, I don't want to.

I don't like those people.

I want to see them judged.

I don't want them to.

Have the opportunity to repent.

His occupation was that of a prophet.

That's what God called him too, and he needed to walk in that and fulfill that to the best of his ability.

And evil by the Lord.

The apostle Paul, throughout his letters, would often say, I'm an apostle by the will of God.

And again it sets a pattern for.

Us you may not be called by God to be an apostle or to be a prophet.

But whatever God calls you to occupationally, you should be able to have this kind of clarity and say by the will of God.

I am this I.

Work in this capacity.

I work at this company.

I fulfill this role in society by the will of God, that you would let God have authority in your life to that degree.

And So what you do?

Let it be subject to the will of God, and then how you do it?

For all employees everywhere, Ephesians Chapter 6, God tells us to serve our masters, our bosses, our employers.

Seeking not just to please them when they're watching, but.

Serving them as unto the Lord, working with the enthusiasm, because we're serving the Lord and not people, and the Lord is the.

One who will reward us.

As we do so.

So let God direct your work.

Your home life, your social life.

God retains the right to instruct you.

In every aspect of life.

These are kind of three crucial ones.

The three that we all are known and are familiar with and are dealing with, and we need to make sure in each one.

Like Jeremiah, we hear what God says about it.

And then we submit ourselves to it.

Let God direct your whole life, but I pray that you would help us to hear your voice.

And to hear from you.

About our specific situation and Lord, where we are looking at others and really making them the standard and measurement by whether or not we are where you want us to be.

Help us learn to recognize that.

And to look to you, to hear from you, to call out to you and Lord, would you direct us what is it that you want in our homes and our relationships, in our workplace?

In R.

Interactions with society around us.

Where would you?

Lead us and guide us by your holy.

Spirit that we might walk in your will.

To glorify you, to be your agent and representative, and to receive all the goodness and blessings and promises and rewards that you have in store for us.

I pray this in Jesus name.