Jeremiah 1 & 2
Well, we’re into our second book of the Major Prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel are called the “Major” Prophets not because they are more important than the other prophetic books, but because of their length. Hosea and the rest of the O.T. books are called the Minor Prophets because they are shorter in length.
Jeremiah 1 & 2:
Our all-knowing, sovereign God
Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet.” He also wrote the book of Lamentations which refers to a funeral dirge. Jeremiah grieved over the judgment of his people and the destruction of the once flourishing, beautiful city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The destruction was God’s judgment on a people who had repeatedly turned their backs on Him. But before doing so, God through Jeremiah called the people to repentance and warned of coming judgment if they did not repent.
God told Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (1.5).
God is omniscient—that is He is all-knowing. He knows everything that has ever happened, everything that is happening now and everything that ever will happen. Not only is He all-knowing, but He is sovereign—that is, He is completely in control of everything that happens. He doesn’t just know the future, He creates and brings it all about.
This is a great passage to share with people who doubt that an unborn baby is fully human. God not only knew Jeremiah before he was ever born, but He knew each of us, as well. God is Spirit so His “knowing” us is not just material. He knew us spiritually even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs.
The Prophet Jeremiah suffered a great deal of persecution because of his warnings about coming judgment. It’s often the same in our culture; people don’t want to hear God’s warnings concerning their sin and its consequences.
We can choose sin, but not the consequences
19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your backslidings will rebuke you.
Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
That you have forsaken the LORD your God,
And the fear of Me is not in you,”
Says the Lord GOD of hosts.
“Your own wickedness will correct you …” Sometimes the consequences of our sin are built in. If we ignore the law concerning drinking and driving, we may be arrested or worse. If we don’t choose a marriage partner wisely, we may suffer years of difficulty. Or if we neglect our health, we may suffer physical consequences.
But, ultimately, God is sovereign and while we can choose to sin, we cannot choose the consequences.
He saved me
Verse 6, “… I was brought low, and He saved me..”
Often, we have to come to the end of ourselves before we are ready to look to God. When we do, when we admit we can’t handle things on our own, that we are sinners in desperate need of a Savior, and that we can do nothing to save ourselves—not from our sin and not even from ourselves—and we trust in God as our Savior, He reaches down and saves us!
“For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved’” (Rom. 10.13).
Holding our plans in a open hand
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
God wants us to make plans and to set goals, but we must hold our plans in an open hand, knowing that God in His sovereignty may change our plans. And that needs to be all right with us. James said it this way:
“Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’” (Jas. 4.15).
The great Apostle who had all the Jewish credentials: education, a great family pedigree, and his own achievements, said he counted it all as garbage, literally “dung,” in comparison to his relationship with Christ.
Verse 10, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
We like the part about knowing Him in the “power of His resurrection,” but knowing Christ includes knowing Him in the “fellowship of His sufferings,” as well. There will be times when we will suffer simply because we live in a sin-cursed world. There will be times when we will suffer because of the sins of others. And there will be times when we suffer because we are His and His light is in us. And darkness doesn’t like the light.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jn. 3.19-20).
The Christian walk is not without tests and trials, but ultimately God takes care of His own. As the Prophet Jeremiah said:
“‘They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to deliver you’” (Jer. 1.19).
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