In Jeremiah 18:11–17, we find the Lord telling His people to stop doing the things that they are doing. Verse 11 says: “So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions” (NIV). Verse 12 basically has the Lord saying that He already knows they won’t listen to His warnings and pleas but that they will continue to walk in the “stubbornness of [their] evil hearts” (vs. 12, NIV). The Lord then tells what He will do because of their disobedience. This is one of many places in the Bible that show that God’s foreknowledge of our free choices in no way infringes upon those free choices. After all, why would the Lord have pleaded with them to turn from their evil if they didn’t have the freedom to obey or disobey Him? Then, too, why would He punish them for not obeying if they didn’t have the freedom to obey? What’s clear is that the Lord knew exactly what their free choices would be even before they made them. This crucial truth is also seen, for instance, in Deuteronomy 31:16–21. Even before the children of Israel enter the Promised Land, the Lord tells Moses that He knows they will “turn to other gods and worship them” (Deut. 31:20, NIV). Here is more evidence that God’s foreknowledge of our choices does not impinge on the freedom we have to make those choices.
1- Dwell more on the final question at the end of Thursday’s study. Who hasn’t heard people say that they were doing such and such because the Lord told them to? (With what can you respond to someone who says that?) Though there’s no question that God will lead us, in what ways can we test these leadings to make sure that they really are of the Lord?
2- Jeremiah said that the word of the Lord was like “a fire in his bones.” How can we keep that fire burning within us as well?
3- What can we find in the verses we looked at this week that can help us to understand what’s involved in revival and reformation? (After all, wasn’t that what the Lord was looking to do in His people?) For example, why is a sense of our own sinfulness so important for revival? With this in mind, why must the Cross, and the hope it offers, be central to revival as well?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 5 – More Woes for the Prophet