The call of Jeremiah
1. Called to Prophetic Ministry
a. life and times of jeremiah
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 1:1-3): The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
b. called and equipped by god
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 1:4-10): The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
RESPONSE TO THE WORD
God has always used people who were willing to obey Him. Availability, not ability, is the qualification God looks for in people. Moses raised objections about his inability, but yielded himself to be used by God. David was young, Ezekiel was uncertain, Isaiah felt unclean, and the list goes on and on. God's will and purpose are accomplished through people He calls. By His Spirit, He empowers and makes able those whom He calls. Human frailty, shortcomings, inability, and reluctance are overcome by God's power, Receive and believe this truth.
2. Vision of Divine Judgement
A. WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 1:11-12): The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching[a] to see that my word is fulfilled.”
B. COMING JUDGEMENT REVEALED
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 1:13-16): The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.
“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
and against all the towns of Judah.
I will pronounce my judgments on my people
because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made.
RESPONSE TO THE WORD
The kingdom of Israel had already been destroyed for their idolatry, and the kindom of Judah was following the same pattern of defection from God. Because the people of Judah would not repent, the consequences of their wickedness were inevitable. Judah, too, was destroyed by God's judgement. There is a warning in this for nations today that turn away from God. society, without regard for God, results in unbridled evil of every kind. Government, without regard for God, results in rule by corruption and tyranny. Pray for rulers, and for all who are in authority, "That we may lead a quet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Timothy 2:2).
3. Divine Encouragement and Empowerment
a. be prepared and ready
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 1:17): “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.
b. persevere with God's strength
Key Scripture (Jeremiah 1:18-19): Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
response to the word
It is often said that Christians must "put God first." This is a well-meant and understandable statement, but what we must do as Christians goes beyond merely putting God first on our list of priorities. God must be our only God, He must be our top priority, and He must also be central to our whole lifein every aspect of it. God does not merely want the largest slice of the pie of our life. God commands that our whole life be devoted to Him. When we give our whole life to God, He gives back to us a life far better than anything we can make for ourselves. When God is central to our whole life, He "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).
On Your Own...
The Time in Which Jeremiah Lived
Jeremiah was born the son of a Jewish priest and his wife in the village of Anathoth, about 2.5 miles northeast of Jerusalem, about 646 BC. He was born a citizen of the southern kingdom of Israelites, known as Judah, composed of the Israelite tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the Levites and priests of Israel. The northen kingdom of Israelites, known as Israel, made up of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel, has ceased to exist in 721 BC, destroyed by the Assyrians, 75 years before Jeremiah was born.
The small kingdom of Judah was all that remained of the once greatest kingdom on earth in the time of the kings David and Solomon. The continuance of Judah as an independent nation was endangered by the Egyptians, and even more so by the Babylonians. However, Jeremiah grew to manhood during the reign of King Josiah (639-608 BC), declared by the Bible to be the best of the 19 kings of Judah. For the godly JOsiah's sake, God protected Judah from being destroyed while he lived.
After King Josiah's death, the kingdom of Judah survived only another 22 years, destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. These were the major years of Jeremiah's ministry as a prophet, mainly in the city of Jersalem, to the people, and to the last three ungodly and idolatrous kings of Judah.
Jeremiah was born a Jewish priest, but he was called of God to be a prophet, "in the thirteenth year" (Jeremiah 1:2) of the reign of King Josiah (626 BC). Jeremiah had a strong ally in King Josiah for 18 years, but the kings of Judah who followed Josiah were harsh opponents of Jeremiah. Under the evil leadership of these kings, Jerusalem became so taken over with the evils of worshiping false gods, that near the end, Jeremiah declared he could not find one righteous person in Jerusalem.
The citizens of Judah became so determined they would never repent, God comanded Jeremiah to stop praying for their salvation. Jeremiah was overcome with grief, seeing the judgement of God that would come on Judah, and because his grief was so intense, he is called by many "the weeping prophet" (Jeremiah 9:1).
Daily Bible Readings
Monday: Call of Abram Reaffirmed
Tuesday: Call of Moses Reaffirmed
Wednesday: Call of Gideon
Thursday: Call of Samuel
Friday: Call of Elisha
Saturday: Call of Isaiah