READ: Jeremiah 1-2
BACKGROUND: Welcome to the longest book in the entire Bible! Not the most chapters, but the most words of any book. Jeremiah is often known as “The Weeping Prophet” because his writings give us a deeper insight into his own faith and struggles and frustrations than any other prophetic writer. He was a priest whose lived and prophecied through a number of different kings, some faithful to God but most not. The main themes of his book are the ultimate supremacy of the God who is the creator of all things and maintains all power. However, even though God is all-powerful he is intimately concerned with individual people and their lives. He is calling all people to himself and there are serious destructive consequences for those who reject him – like the nation of Judah was doing. But the good news is that God’s severe judgment is not the final movement of history. God’s mercy and covenant faithfulness will bring renewal and redemption.
THINK: There are a couple powerful thoughts from these chapters that Oswald Chambers expresses powerfully and I want to throw them out there in reverse order:
“Thus says the Lord: ‘I remember…the kindness of your youth” – Jeremiah 2:2
“Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me? Does everything in my life fill His heart with gladness, or do I constantly complain because things don’t seem to be going my way? A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy. It is wonderful to remember that Jesus Christ has needs which we can meet— “Give Me a drink” (John 4:7). How much kindness have I shown Him in the past week? Has my life been a good reflection on His reputation?
God is saying to His people, “You are not in love with Me now, but I remember a time when you were.” He says, “I remember . . . the love of your betrothal . . .” (Jeremiah 2:2). Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?
As I recall what God remembers about me, I may also begin to realize that He is not what He used to be to me. When this happens, I should allow the shame and humiliation it creates in my life, because it will bring godly sorrow, and “godly sorrow produces repentance…” (2 Corinthians 7:10).”
Once you remember God’s goodness and repent of your own turning from him, it’s time to remember that he has called you to the mission of sharing him with the world around you. Sometimes this makes us nervous and scared because we’re afraid of what the world will do to us or say. In those moments we need to remember God’s promises.
“I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.” – Jeremiah 1:8
“God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally – “Thy life will I give unto thee for a prey.” That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are a matter of indifference, we have to sit loosely to all those things; if we do not, there will be panic and heartbreak and distress. That is the inwardness of the overshadowing of personal deliverance.
The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on Jesus Christ’s errands, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, Do not be bothered with whether you are being justly dealt with or not. To look for justice is a sign of deflection from devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will begin to grouse and to indulge in the discontent of self-pity – Why should I be treated like this? If we are devoted to Jesus Christ we have nothing to do with what we meet, whether it is just or unjust. Jesus says – Go steadily on with what I have told you to do and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance. The most devout among us become atheistic in this connection; we do not believe God, we enthrone common sense and tack the name of God on to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts.”
PRAY: Take some time today to repent for the ways in which you have turned your back on God and forgotten him. And then commit your life to boldly going and telling others about him.