Portland News

May 8, 2020

Friday Evening Bible Study

On Friday evening, Tony Boyce continued the study in the Discovery series with the lesson from Jeremiah 34-45: "The Circumstances of the Prophet." These chapters cover events right before the siege in Jerusalem, during the siege, and then after the fall of Judah. He began with the key verse from Jeremiah 36:3, “It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” Brother Tony observed that this is really the theme of the Bible: God offers forgiveness for sin; He is looking for people to come back to Him.

Chapter 35, which records events before the siege, speaks of the Rechabites (or Kenites), who had entered the Promised Land with the Children of Israel. According to the instructions of their patriarch Jonadab, they were not to build cities but were meant to be itinerant and live off the land. The Lord used these people as an example of faithfulness for Judah (and believers today) because they held true to what they were taught for hundreds of years. Brother Tony pointed out that God always rewards the faithful.

Looking at chapter 36, Brother Tony brought out that God’s Word is truth; it does not change, and no one can destroy it. People through the ages, like the king in this chapter, have tried to destroy the Word of God, and failed. God’s There is blessing for those who embrace the Word of God, and it will lead them through difficult circumstances and on to eternity.

In chapter 37, during the fall of Judah, Jeremiah prayed for the people, but the Lord did not hearken unto his prayer. Brother Tony explained the reason, which was basically that although Jeremiah’s prayer was certainly sincere, the people were not. They were not living as God required, yet they wanted His help in times of trouble. The same is often true of people today. 

Brother Tony also explored the meaning of the word “perfect,” which is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. God instructed His people over and over to walk perfectly before Him. This refers to a wholeness, or a completion in Christ. It does not mean physical or temporal perfection, as mankind remains bound by human limitations in this mortal world. Rather, God calls Christians to spiritual perfection. Through Him it is possible to be perfect in heart.

Jeremiah suffered many things throughout his ministry. Chapter 38 tells of his rescue from a pit by the Ethiopian, Ebedmelech. Brother Tony reminded his listeners that suffering comes to all, and sometimes Christians will suffer for the cause of Christ. In those times, it is imperative to stand fast in the faith. Ebedmelech took a stand and the Lord blessed him, preserving him through the siege. Jeremiah persevered, faithfully delivering God’s Word, and though he suffered for it, his testimony was likely an inspiration to Daniel and his friends who also took a stand for God. Brother Tony stated that believers will not always know why they go through some trials, but it may be to inspire someone else to follow Christ.

Watch the full session in the Media Center.

Click here to read the Discovery lesson.