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Jeremiah 12:1-17

Wednesday AM Bible Study
November 3, 2004

God has purposes behind the scenes. We very often can't see them; and in fact, we very often can't even imagine them. But God is nevertheless at work in unseen ways; and even the grimmest of circumstances remain in His mighty had to accomplish His good purposes. This is especially true when it seems as if God is allowing evil people to get away with their sin. The prophet Habakkuk learned this (Hab. 1:12-14). The psalmist Asaph learned this (Psalm 73:1-3). In each case, God had a good purpose in operation that was far bigger than the apparent evil. We may ask "Why?" But there is always a "Because!"

Jeremiah was discovering this in this morning's passage. His people were facing impending judgment. The land was suffering under a drought (see 14:1-6). And even he himself was being plotted against by the men of Anathoth - the men of his own hometown - even his own brethren (v. 6). It was a dark time. He cried out "Why?"; but God had a great "Because."

I. WHY? (vv. 1-4).
A. He affirms that God is righteous (v. 1).

B. But he's confused as to why the wicked prosper (vv. 1-2).

C. He - as a righteous man - asks how long this time of mourning must go on (vv. 3-4).

II. BECAUSE! (vv. 5-17).

A. God gently rebukes Jeremiah for his lack of staying power (vv. 5-6).

B. God expresses His own sorrow over the sin of His people (vv. 7-13);

1. That He had to reject His "heritage" (vv. 7-9).

2. That He had to allow it to suffer destruction (vv. 10-13).

C. But He reveals His even greater purpose in it all (vv. 14-17);

1. That He will pluck up those lands who have touched His inheritance (v. 14).

2. That having plucked them up, He will restore them and allow them to have learned about Him through the people they had persecuted (vv. 15-17).

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Compare Acts 1:8 with 8:1-8!

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