Jeremiah 1 | Jeremiah’s Call

"Baruch Writing Jeremiah's Prophecies" by Gustav Doré

"Baruch Writing Jeremiah's Prophecies" by Gustav Doré

I’m currently studying through the fascinating book of Jeremiah with Precepts For Life, a daily teaching program offered by Precept Ministries International.  I will post chapter notes along the way.

Some people say that the ancient prophets, such as Jeremiah, have no bearing on our lives today.  After all, that’s the Old Testament.  We now live in the New Testament of grace, right?

While it is true that we operate under God’s new covenant of grace, it is a huge mistake to dismiss the Old Testament authors as irrelevant for today.  In fact, I believe that Jeremiah’s message could not be more relevant than it is today, especially for the United States of America.  The apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, says that “whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom 15:4).  We would show ourselves wise to pay close attention to what Jeremiah has to say.

Chapter 1 of Jeremiah opens in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, king of Judah (Jer 1:2).  It is the year 627 BC.  To put this in perspective, it is 22 years before the first siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in 605 BC (Dan 1:1-2) and 41 years before the final destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC (Jer 52:12-14).

In Chapter 1, God calls Jeremiah to be His prophet, not just to Israel, but to the nations (Jer 1:5, 10), “to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”  What a burden!  At least that’s how Jeremiah saw it (Jer 1:6).

However, God encourages and strengthens Jeremiah by pointing out that…

  • He consecrated and appointed Jeremiah before he was even born (Jer 1:5)
  • He would direct Jeremiah where to go, when to speak, and what to say (Jer 1:7, 9, 17)
  • He would be with Jeremiah and would deliver him (Jer 1:8, 19)
  • He would perform all that He commanded Jeremiah to announce (Jer 1:12)
  • He made Jeremiah unmovable and unconquerable in the face of opposition (Jer 1:18-19)

This was good news for Jeremiah, because he was appointed by God to carry a message of judgment, a message the people did not want to hear.  As we will see later, God was calling the people, in great compassion, to return to Him.  However, apart from a whole-hearted repentance, His judgment could not be avoided.

It is also good news for us, because we, too, have been appointed by God to carry the same message to the people of our own nation today:  Repent or face God’s judgment (Eze 14:4-20, 1 Pet 3:10-12).  We have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19), but God’s patience will not last forever (Rom 2:5).  His holiness demands that He deal with sin (Rom 3:19-26).  He will not bless a nation that insists on walking away from Him.

Are you willing to be a Jeremiah to the United States of America today?  Are you willing to call sin sin and to call the people to return to the one true, living God even if it means you will be unpopular with many?  How America desperately needs holy men and women of God who are willing to arise and to speak all which God commands!

Pay attention to Jeremiah, not just the book, but the man.  We will see the heart of a man devoted to God.  We will see his struggles, his sufferings, his sorrows, his love, his obedience, and how he relates to God.  Jeremiah lived by faith, and so must we.  We will suffer in this life if we choose to obey God (Isa 59:14-15, 2 Tim 3:12).  Don’t listen to false teachers who say otherwise, but remember that suffering is the path to glory for the child of God (Rom 8:15-18, 2 Tim 2:12, 1 Pet 5:10).  There is great reward in clinging to our confidence in God, so find your endurance in Him (Heb 10:31-39).  Jeremiah did.

This is part of a series of notes on Jeremiah:

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2 Responses to “Jeremiah 1 | Jeremiah’s Call”

  1. Karmanee dhaliwall November 7, 2011

    Thank you for this study

  2. enjoy the bible study

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