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Devotionals with Illustrations useful for teaching and preaching. These are conservative and adhere to a literal interpretation. I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled. Psychologists tell us that we can determine a lot about someone on our first encounter—if we know how to read the signs. Body language, facial expressions, and first words can communicate an abundance of information to those looking for it. The first words of the book of Jeremiah are revealing as well.
We are introduced to the prophet Jeremiah, whose ministry runs from “the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah . Why are we given this background reference? A quick look at 2 Chronicles 34-36 reveals the history of Judah’s downward spiral from Josiah’s religious reforms to Judah’s exile at the hand of Babylon. Out of this call, we discover two important themes of the book.
First, there is the prominent theme of judgment that is coming upon Judah. They have forsaken the Lord and turned to worship other gods. Like a boiling pot, destruction will come from the north. This is the message Jeremiah must deliver, and one of the recurring motifs of the book. Second, however, we see the promise of God to Jeremiah. Despite the harsh message the prophet must deliver, God promises to give him the words to say and His presence as protection.
Not only is God’s word against Judah trustworthy, but His promise to Jeremiah is sure as well. This is the character of our God. APPLY THE WORD As you embark on your own encounter with the book of Jeremiah, pray that God would open your heart to see and receive what He wants to teach you. Despite the unpopular themes of destruction and judgment throughout the book, we can learn much about the character of our God in this study.
Pray for the Spirit’s guidance as you go forth. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you. In August 2006, Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne celebrated the birth of its first male heir in forty years. This young boy is the designated heir to the imperial throne, only third in line after his uncle and father. He was commissioned as God’s spokesman to His people during a time of crisis. Because of their idolatry, God’s people were threatened by invasion from the Babylonians.
Jeremiah was also called to be a prophet to the nations, a reminder that God is sovereign over the whole world. Jeremiah was God’s mouthpiece to preach the message of judgment and restoration. God made a decisive call on Jeremiah’s life, and he responded in great faith. He followed the Lord in a very dangerous environment with a very offensive message. He was able to keep the faith, because God remained faithful to him to prepare, equip, and protect him. Keeping the faith is first and foremost about maintaining uncompromising loyalty to God alone.