Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Isaiah 1:19; Jeremiah 7:5–7; 1 Kings 2:26; Jeremiah 1:1–5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 1:6–19; Matthew 28:20
Diamonds have long been considered nature’s hardest material. As a naturally occurring mineral, they have an absolute hardness of 1500 as measured by a sclerometer. However, there are substances created in laboratories using compression and heat that top the hardness of a diamond making this pretty rock fall into third place. Wurtzite boron nitride would hold second place with an absolute hardness of 1888 and Ionsdaleite would take first place with an absolute hardness of 2528. But you wouldn’t want to give these as gifts to your girlfriend.
What’s the strongest biological material on earth? It used to be spider silk. Strand for strand it has held first place for years, until the discovery of the lowly limpet, a small shellfish with tiny teeth that helps them cling to rocks so they won’t be washed out to sea. Inside the mouth of this tiny snail-like sea creature are little teeth only a millimeter in length.1
But don’t let this humble little creature’s size fool you. Those teeth, small as they might be, are five times stronger than spider silk. The simple cone-shaped limpet is found all over the ocean. It’s not a creature you would think would be nominated as having teeth as strong as diamonds or Kevlar. Yet, the limpet is a perfect example of the prophet called by God in this quarter’s Sabbath school lesson.
Jeremiah was a humble man. Though trained for the Levitical priesthood, he was completely overwhelmed when called to be a prophet by the Lord. “Ah, Lord God!” he responded, “Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1:5, NKJV). He knew what he was up against as a servant of God. Israel was in deep trouble and worse, they didn’t want to face their problems. Opposition to Jeremiah’s work would be fierce.
How could this man of God hold out against the repeated waves of resistance? Like the lowly limpet, Jeremiah would need to cling, by faith, to the Lord. And he did. God promised him, “For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you” (verses 18, 19).
Learn from Jeremiah’s experience. Watch as he struggles to dig his fingers into the promises of God and hang on when the tempests blow against his faith. Then you will become like the immovable limpet, holding on by a trust that will let go.
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