Supplication — the Proper Response to God’s Rebuke and Chastisement (Part 2)

[audio https://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/166717-supplication-the-proper-response-to-god-s-rebuke-and-chastisement-part-2.mp3]

Praying Through the Bible #85

TEXT: Jeremiah 36:1-7

On last week, I shared with you part one of the message titled “Supplication — the Proper Response to God’s Rebuke and Chastisement.” For 23 years, God had spoken through His prophet, Jeremiah, to the nation of Judah. For 23 years, the people did not listen to God. They would not repent and turn from their idolatry. In fact, things had gotten so bad that the king of Judah had banned Jeremiah from preaching in the Temple and basically had him under house arrest.

Yet, despite the circumstances, we find that God is still not yet ready to bring His harshest judgment down on His people. Last week, we saw from this passage God’s desire for the children of Israel to repent of their sins and turn back to Him. God wants to forgive them of their iniquity and their sin. We looked at the “two sides” of God — how that God is both completely loving and completely just. And, in the midst of the pronouncements of doom, we find that God is still lovingly pleading with His people to turn back to Him so that He will not have to pour out His wrath.

Allow me to share with you part 2 of this message, as we look at the proper response to God’s rebuke and chastisement.

2. Notice the first response which is hearing God’s word. After Baruch has written down the prophecies that God had given to Jeremiah, Jeremiah tells him, “go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord’s house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.”

We see that hearing God’s word is the first step on the road of repentance. Some people do not want to hear God’s word because it convicts them. It goes against what they want to do. They do not like feeling convicted about their past sins or about their intention to sin, so they mentally block out God’s word and the honest teaching and preaching of it. They like going to hear a preacher who only preaches to make the people feel good. These folks are not really interested in repentance because they are not interested in doing what the word that they have heard says to do.

3. Notice the second response which is supplication. Not only do God and Jeremiah hope that the people will hear the word as it is read to them, but that they will respond with supplication. Verse 7 says, “It may be they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way.”

The word “supplication” means a prayer or a cry for mercy. Adam Clarke says that in this passage, the phrase means, “Let their supplication fall — that the people may fall down before God, and deplore their sins.” The meaning of supplication carries with it the sense of humbling one’s self before God in prayer. In supplication, we admit that God is right and submit ourselves to His word even as we ask for forgiveness and mercy. That is what God wanted the children of Israel to do — to humble themselves, seek his forgiveness, and make their intentions clear by making supplication to Him. They had already experienced a taste of God’s judgment. If they wanted to avoid further judgment, this is what they would have to do.

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