Today we start seeing Israel of the Old Testament through the prophecies of Jeremiah. He, along with Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel are considered “Major Prophets” because their books are longer than the shorter “Minor Prophets”. (We’ve met some of those.) Jeremiah is known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Though he spoke the words that God gave him, intertwined with some of his own, he had compassion towards the people of the southern kingdom of Judah. He told them what was coming and it broke his heart at the rejection he got. Sounds familiar, right?! Let’s dig in…
Jeremiah 1 – Called to be Priest and a Prophet
The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
The Prophet Is Called
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you; (set apart, made holy)
I ordained (appointed) you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then said I:
“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
7 But the Lord said to me:
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”
11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”
12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”
13 And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”
And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.”
14 Then the Lord said to me:
“Out of the north calamity shall break forth
On all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For behold, I am calling
All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord;
“They shall come and each one set his throne
At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem,
Against all its walls all around,
And against all the cities of Judah.
16 I will utter My judgments
Against them concerning all their wickedness,
Because they have forsaken Me,
Burned incense to other gods,
And worshiped the works of their own hands.
17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise,Jeremiah 1 NKJV
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
18 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.
19 They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”
Assurances from God
- Jeremiah was the son of a priest, Hilkiah. He was the one who found the Book of the Law as they were remodeling the temple. He took it to the good King Josiah who read it and humble himself in repentance. That’s all in 2 Kings 22-23.
- Jeremiah was about 20 years old, however, having been brought up as a Levite (the temple priests), God felt he was ready.
- He started his prophetic ministy c. 627 BC through the Babylonian invasion in 586 BC.
- God chose him even before he was born. God had a plan for him. God had a plan for me because I survived my college years.
- Jeremiah’s mission was to declare the Word of the Lord. God would give him the words that he needed to say or write, as well as tell him what he needs to do. That’s by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s who helps me do what I do every night.
- Needless to say, Jeremiah thought he was too young. Yet, God assured him that He’d be with him. Like Jesus assured His disciples at the end of Matthew and in Acts 1 when He promised the Holy Spirit, which is with all of us born-again believers.
- Like Isaiah, God touched his mouth, assuring Jeremiah.
- His words are heavenly inspired, as is the whole Bible.
- Jeremiah will be over the nations. God warns him that it won’t be easy. They won’t listen to him. They’ll reject God’s message as people still do today.
Visions of an Almond Tree and a Boiling Pot
God gave Jeremiah 2 visions to help him understand the emphasis of his ministry. Pastor Sandy Adams explains the meaning of both…
Almond trees in Israel bud in mid-January. This makes them an early producer. The blossoming of an almond tree was an indicator that spring had sprung. Thus, the almond tree was seen as a harbinger – it became a symbol of a precursor of things to come! And this was the gist of Jeremiah’s ministry. He was God’s last warning to the nation of coming judgment.
We know Jeremiah oversaw Babylon’s invasion of Judah, but look at a map and Babel is due east. So why does God picture this boiling calamity coming from the north? Well, between Israel and Babylon is a vast expanse of barren desert. So any trip from east to west was always made by circling around the desert and coming into Israel down from Lebanon – from the north. Thus, the boiling pot of Babylonian brutality was sitting on the top of the nation. Now that pot is about to tip over and scald the people of Judah and Jerusalem.Sandy Adams
How to Discover God’s Plan for Your Life
If you believe in God, wouldn’t you want to know what He has planned for you? Like God had a plan for my life (my testimony is at the bottom). Unfortunately, I kept fighting Him all way. It took a few slaps upside the head for me to stop trying to live in the world and focus solely on Jesus. So here’s what you have to do…
- God created you in His image. He knew you in your mother’s womb. He knows EVERYTHING you do and loves you anyway! Once you wrap your brain around this fact, you can proceed.
- Instead of fighting Him, like I did, submit to Him. That means throwing away your pride. I know, that’s a tough thing to do. Nonetheless, you’ll feel amazing once you do it.
- Repent of your sins. Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life. Stop sinning!
- Find a non-denominational, Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church and get baptized. Show the world and yourself that you’ve died to your old life and are born again into eternal life with Christ.
- When you receive the Holy Spirit, ask Him for guidance in your life. Pray something like, “Lord, if you have break down any prisons of mine before I can see the stars and catch the vision you have for my life, then begin the process now.”
How do you start?
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
The Bible Explained: Jeremiah by Spoken Gospel
Josiah and Jeremiah – Eyewitness Bible Series
Isaiah and Jeremiah – Eyewitness Bible Series
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