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Jeremiah 28:13-14 - Homiletics

Yokes of iron.

Hananiah broke the wooden yoke which Jeremiah wore in token of the approaching servitude of the Jews. In return he was told that the real yoke of Babylon would be much more severe—a yoke of iron.

I. FACTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OPINIONS . If the rule of Babylon really would be as a yoke of iron, what was the use of circulating milder views of the future? We are too much inclined to judge of ideas by their fitness for our own previous notions, instead of testing them solely by their consistency with facts.

II. THE FUTURE MAY BE WORSE THAN WE EXPECT . There are dreadful events in past history. May there not also be dreadful events in future experience? Life is not a harmless plaything, nor the earth a thornless garden. There are terrors, judgments, agonies, in this strange world of ours. Who knows what may be in the next? This much we should all know: God is not the easy, indulgent Being of lax principles that shallow optimists fancy him to be, but wisely firm as well as infinitely merciful where mercy can be justly exercised.

III. NEGLECT OF TIMELY WARNING WILL INCREASE FUTURE SUFFERING . If the yoke of wood is broken, a yoke of iron shall be forged to take its place. The longer we delay hearkening to the warnings of God the worse must be our future punishment, because our sin is increasing while we remain impenitent; because to sin against light, against admonition, is to sin more plainly and willfully; and also because the rejection of a warning sent in mercy is itself an act of resistance to the will of God.

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