- Jer. 1:1-3:5
GOD called Jeremiah to be a prophet at a young age. Jeremiah was from the town of Anathoth, from the tribe of Benjamin, just a few miles northeast of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was called in the 13th year of Josiah’s reign and he continued prophesying through the point when Judah was taken into exile. GOD used two visions when He called Jeremiah. He also told Jeremiah that it was for this purpose that he was born.
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew 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.” 11 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 to see that my word is fulfilled.”
13 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. 16 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.
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. 18 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.
(Jer. 1:4-19 NIV)
Jeremiah went right to work preaching the word GOD gave him to speak. GOD used the analogy of the faithful husband whose wife has turned away from Him without a cause. Even the foreign nations remained faithful to their gods, He said, but Israel had turned away from the one true God. GOD used several other illustrations to show the people their guilt. He laments that His discipline of His people has not corrected their evil ways. Instead, they have refused to even acknowledge that they have sinned.
30 “In vain I have chastened your children; They received no correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion. 31 “ O generation, see the word of the LORD! Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are lords; We will come no more to You’? 32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number. 33 “Why do you beautify your way to seek love? Therefore you have also taught The wicked women your ways. 34 Also on your skirts is found The blood of the lives of the poor innocents. I have not found it by secret search, But plainly on all these things. 35 Yet you say, ‘Because I am innocent, Surely His anger shall turn from me.’ Behold, I will plead My case against you, Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
(Jer. 2:30-35 NKJV)