[SW066] 11/04/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Standing in the Thickets”
The Lord says, “Deliver this message for the remnant, the wheat among the tares (see Matthew 13:25), the true church.”
FIRST, THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE MESSAGE:
Jeremiah 1:4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
O remnant, you are called. True church, you are called, the “called out” ones.
You are called to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, to proclaim the excellencies of Christ Jesus, the One who brought you out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)!
Jeremiah 1:9 Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”
The same is true for you, O remnant. The Lord’s words are in your mouth. He put them there.
He dwells in you, with His Father (John 14:23).
He rules and reigns in you. You are His ambassador.
Jeremiah 1:11 The word of the LORD came to me saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “I see a rod of an almond [shaqed] tree.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over [shaqad] My word to perform it.”
Like Jeremiah, you rightly see what God shows you. You have seen well.
What is the Lord’s word that He watches over to perform? It is speaking this truth that will bring you to the thickets.
Jeremiah 1:16 “I will pronounce My judgments on them [that is, His people] concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.”
How many times have you heard that He watches over His word to perform it, from Jeremiah 1:11, while Verse 16 is conveniently excluded? The “word” is that He is about to judge His people!
Why? Like in Judah, the church has been offering sacrifices and burning incense to other gods:
–The god of consumerism (church has to do what I like; it is not seen as a time to minister to the Lord)
–The god of self-centeredness (the source of “consumerism” in the church)
–The god of self-esteem
–The god of man’s opinions
–The god of man’s wisdom
The church has burned incense to these things. God is incensed (very angry and enraged) at their incense!
Like Jeremiah, O remnant, you speak the whole truth, proclaiming ALL you have heard from the Lord. You exclude none of His words.
You are watchmen. You are on the wall with me, blowing the trumpet.
Jeremiah. 11:21 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, so that you will not die at our hand”;
But now, O remnant, like Jeremiah, you see that your life is being threatened. The life of Christ in you — and in some cases, your literal life — is threatened, as with Wesley and his evangelists and many others.
The life of Christ in you is threatened, O remnant. You are told to be quiet, to no longer speak what the Lord has given you to speak.
But if you do not speak, you disobey God. That threatens the life of Christ in you! Persecution has made some:
“Do not speak of these things or you will die at our hand!” And this is from the mouths and hearts of those who are called God’s people and claim to know your Father.
O remnant, you were shocked at their violent reaction to the words God put in your mouth. You were naive, though the Lord had warned you, as He did Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 1:19 “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.
Do not fear them! Unless they turn from their ways, God will punish them, and there will be no remnant among them (verses 11:22-23)!
Jeremiah 12:4 How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”
O remnant, you cry with Jeremiah, “How long?”
O remnant, you see
–the lack of living water in the church.
But when you speak the Lord’s words, you are mocked, like Jeremiah.
What the Lord is saying through you will not come to pass, they say.
You wonder when the Lord will act.
NOW THE GROUNDWORK IS LAID. NOW I SPEAK OF STANDING IN THE THICKETS.
The Lord answers your question, “How long?” in this way:
Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
You have been running with footmen (foot soldiers),
–those tares planted by the enemy (Matthew 13:25)
–those who Satan controls and uses to assault the church with false teaching and division over carnal things.
Have you been wearied by them? The Lord indicates that Jeremiah has been. He cries, “How long?”
O remnant, do not be wearied by them!
Wait on the Lord, entwine yourself with Him, wrap yourself around Him like a glove (Isaiah 40:31)! You will gain new strength, exchanging your strength for His!
The Lord says: “How will you compete with horses if foot soldiers tire you out?”
Now it is time to compete with greater opposition than Satan’s footmen — now he brings out his horses. He strengthens the hand of his tares.
What are the horses? These are the things upon which the church falsely depends and relies, things of natural strength:
Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!
The Lord continues to answer your question, “How long?”
Jeremiah 12:5b If you fall down [original Hebrew — “have felt secure”] in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
O remnant, you have felt secure and not fallen down in a land of peace, like Jeremiah did during Josiah’s reign.
Josiah was a king who turned Judah back to the Lord.
He died five years after Jeremiah was called to prophesy — see Jeremiah 1:2, 2 Chronicles 35:24).
Just as Jeremiah lamented the death of the godly king Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:25), you have lamented the loss of men and women of God who:
–spoke the unvarnished truth and
–cleansed the land and
–led the people into repentance
But now evil leaders, puppets of Satan, reign in the land, just as they did in Jeremiah’s time. Josiah is gone.
You were in a land of peace, and felt secure. Now you are in the thickets of the Jordan — a very dangerous place!
O remnant, the Lord says, “You will stand in the thickets of the Jordan.”
You will stand in the thick brush.
“Thickets” literally means pride in the original Hebrew. So the prophets were directed by the Spirit to use it that way.
You are now among the pride, that which caused Satan to fall, the pride of the religious establishment, man’s majesty. The lions are in the thickets, O remnant:
Jeremiah 50:44 “ Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture . . .”
You are among the pride of lions there, even the lions in the religious establishment called the church:
Jeremiah 12:8 “My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to hate her.
The lions are also false prophets and priests:
Ezekiel 22:25 “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her.”
Ezekiel 22:26 “Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.”
O remnant, be on the alert! Satan, the lion who is prowling about like a roaring lion, is seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)!
But the Lord says you will stand. You will not fall, O remnant.
The Lord has commanded you to stand. You will not be devoured, O remnant.
As with Daniel, the Lord’s angel will shut the lions’ mouths (Daniel 6:22).
O remnant, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)!
O remnant, you walk in His strength, not your own. New strength, changed strength, exchanging your strength for His (Isaiah 40:31)!
Be strong and courageous!
You will stand against the lions in the thickets of the Jordan, by His strength!
As for those who threaten your life (the life of Christ in you, and even your literal life), the Lord has this to say:
Jeremiah 4:4 “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD
And remove the foreskins of your heart,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My wrath will go forth like fire
And burn with none to quench it,
Because of the evil of your deeds.”
It is a call to repentance.
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Forsake your way, and return to the Lord. He will have mercy on you, and abundantly pardon you (Isaiah 55:6-7).
While it is still today, do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 3:7)!
Turn to the Father, through His Son. Ask Him to forgive you.
Then ask Him to fill your heart with His Spirit and His love. He will do it!
The remnant is ceaselessly praying for you to do just that.