Jeremiah

Jeremiah Index

Study of Jeremiah 

Chapter 1

Jeremiah the prophet was called to minister at the time just before the carrying away of Judah into Babylon. This carrying away was the result of Judah's failure to heed the word of God sent by former prophets that warned them of their sin of idolatry and forsaking God.

  • Jeremiah 1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that 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.

Josiah was actually one of the good kings of Judah and during his reign Jeremiah was safe from persecution and free to share the message God placed in his heart. Jehoiakim however, who reigned after Josiah being the son of Josiah was a different story. Then Jeremiah's very life was in danger and he did suffer imprisonment for his prophecies.

  • Jeremiah 1:3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
  • 4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  • 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Jeremiah was called of God before he left the womb of his mother. He was called to be a prophet to the nations. He was sanctified. This can have an individual meaning also if we are careful not to take away from its original meaning concerning Israel and Judah.

God calls us from the womb to become His believers through faith in Jesus Christ. He knows who we are. Babies are known of God from conception. We have a choice whether to obey God or refuse just as the people did in Jeremiah's day. God's perfect plan is for all to have a close relationship with Him and He provided that through His Son, Jesus the Christ. We have a free will to choose to receive or stay in our sins and die without God.  

This is why abortion is so evil. We terminate a little child before it has a chance to be born and follow God's calling. So what gives us a right to terminate any pregnancy. I don't want to get on a rabbit trail over the sin of abortion here but I have to point out how precious each little one is to our Lord. Jeremiah was called from his mother's womb. He was called to be a prophet to the nation of Judah. He was set apart or sanctified by God for this purpose.

The word sanctified means kaw-dash' A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self).

What an honor it was to be called to be a prophet, but also a great responsibility and burden to bear.

  • Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

Some of the best workers for the Lord start out very unsure of themselves and fearful. This seems to be the kind God's uses because they have to depend upon God for wisdom, strength and even the words to say. They have no confidence in their own ability so they are forced to rely on God.

  • Jeremiah 1:7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
  • 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
  • 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

Jeremiah didn't have to worry about what to say because God gave him the words. Never underestimate a quiet, shy person. They are capable of mighty things if the Lord pours His spirit upon them. God doesn't always pick the people we think would make good preachers or workers.

  • Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

This shows God to have final power and authority over all nations. We must never think that our particular nation is above reproach. We must never trust in mighty armies and powerful weapons of warfare. God is greater than all these. If God is with a nation, the mightiest armies in the world cannot overcome them.

The only time in history that Judah and Israel suffered loss was when the got out of the will of God and went into sin. One of their sins that was very serious was the sin of idolatry. We fail to realize the seriousness of that sin. Worshipping images and idols as representative of God, Jesus, Mary or another false god is very dangerous and is an insult to the real God.

If a mighty nation forsakes God and does evil, that nation is in jeopardy to fall. God may allow them to continue a space for some purpose but eventually judgment will come if they do not repent and turn to God.

  • Jeremiah 1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.

An almond tree blooms very early in the spring. Perhaps the Lord wanted him to prophecy quickly for He says he will hasten to perform it. Quickly, early, at once. God warns before bringing judgment. I'm thinking also that when a plant starts to bud, it is a new beginning. If Judah and Israel would have hearkened to the voice of God, it too would have been a new beginning for them. At that time, it didn't happen but there is a time in the future when it will happen. 

  • Jeremiah 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
  • 13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
  • 14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

We see clearly here that the seething pot facing north shows the direction the judgment of God is coming from. 

  • Jeremiah 1:15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
  • 16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.

Because Judah and Israel forsook God and served the idols of the surrounding nations, God allowed the nations that served the idols to become their rulers. They became in bondage to those they were coveting after and desiring to follow their ways. He allowed a wicked nation to come and have power over Judah. This doesn't mean that the wicked nation was never in danger of judgment even though they were used by God for Judah's judgment. Babylon was later taken over by another nation and suffered defeat, even ceased to exist.

If you ever notice that in history any nation that ever came against Israel was either later destroyed altogether or else they became a weak nation, never again to rise to power.

  • Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

He was not to worry about what anyone thought of him. This was a great price to pay for him personally but I'm sure his reward in heaven is great and will be for eternity. Our favor here on earth is only for a short season. Some of the greatest preachers are preachers that care more what God thinks than what people think.

  • Jeremiah 1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
  • 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

Jeremiah was assured that no matter how his enemies would try to stop him, they would not prevail. God was with him to send forth His word through him. He was to tell them of the coming judgment and also to show them why the judgment was coming.

God didn't just send judgment without showing the people why judgment was coming. He always gave Israel a season to repent and return to Him. At this point he had already sent prophets to warn Judah. Israel had already been destroyed by the Assyrians. Now the judgment was coming to Judah.

Today we see preachers who warn also against the coming of the Lord and coming judgment. Now the message is for all the world and not just Israel. Over 2000 years ago, God sent a savor to save mankind from their sins. After that time he has sent preachers to preach the message of salvation. The message is to repent and accept the one God sent to save us from our sins. This man is Jesus Christ, the very Son of God. He was sent into the world to save all who would accept and believe upon him.

Just as in the days of Jeremiah, some are not listening, some mock, and make fun of preachers who preach truth. They would rather hear the ones who make them feel great without a life-changing conversion to Jesus Christ. They would rather hear someone say that they can be saved and still sin and live how they want. However, in Jesus Christ, old things pass away and all things become new. One becomes "born again" by the spirit of God.

Just as in the days of Jeremiah, sin brought destruction from other nations, sin will also destroy individuals as well as nations. That is why God sent us a way of escape. We do not have to pay the penalty for sin if we come to Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Lord and savor.

Study on Jeremiah 2

 

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