Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

Dr. John Hartmann header image 2
Cialis online

The Call and Commission of Jeremiah the Prophet

July 17th, 2011 · No Comments

Jeremiah’s Call (1:1-10). Note here 7 things:

  1. Background: Jeremiah was a priest, acquainted with priestly ways. He knows the Word of God and has ministered in sacrifice and incense in the sanctuary. God sometimes calls priests to be prophets, as was the case with Jeremiah (Jer 1:1-3) and Ezekiel (Ezk 1:1-3).
  2. Times: Jeremiah ministered for 40 years (627-587 BC), from the 13th year of Josiah to the final destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple at the hands of the Babylonians. He lived and ministered through the time of Josiah’s attempts at reform, and then, after Josiah’s death (609 BC) through the period during which Judah paid tribute to the Egyptians (608-605 BC) and the Babylonians (605-587 BC), as they, in three stages of deportation, were taken into exile.
  3. God’s Sovereignty: the Lord foreknew and consecrated Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was in his mother’s womb. Cf. Gal 1:15-16.
  4. Jeremiah’s Reluctance: called to be a prophet in his youth, Jeremiah thought of himself as inadequate. Cf. 1 Tim 4:12-16
  5. Divine Assurance: the Lord brings special assurance to His chosen vessel. This comes in two parts: a) the promise of the Divine Presence (I will be with you wherever I send you), and b) the promise of Divine Utterance (I will put My words in your mouth)
  6. A Prophet to the Nations: the OT prophets were usually first oracles to the covenant people. But in most cases they also prophesied to the nations, since God’s covenant with Abraham ultimately concerns His purposes with all nations. This is especially true with Jeremiah, who was given authority over nations and kingdoms.
  7. Jeremiah’s Word announces both judgment and salvation: the Word Jeremiah speaks will pluck up and break down, destroy and overthrow (judgment). But it will also build and plant (promises of restoration; cf Jer 30-33). The God of Israel would accomplish these things through the Word He gives to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah is given two signs (1:12-16):

  1. The Rod of an Almond Tree (1:11-12): this here is a peculiar little play on words, lost in English but important for the force of the vision. Jeremiah in a vision sees the rod of an almond tree (Hebrew, shaqed). The Lord asks him what he sees and then announces that He is watching over (shoqed) His word to perform it. This for Jeremiah is to be a constant-continual reminder that his ministry of the Word of God is not in vain, that it will in time bear fruit in accordance with God’s will, for He, the faithful God, watches over His Word to perform it.
  2. The boiling pot facing away from the North (1:13-16): the Lord here shows Jeremiah the nature of the coming judgment (like a cauldron boiling over) and the direction from which it will come (the north). The boiling pot was literally “tilting away from the north”, i.e. facing toward the south, where it will be poured out. Babylon, east of Israel, would invade from the north because of the impassable Arabian desert. This becomes central to the message of Jeremiah, who will announce this judgment over and over again through his book.

Jeremiah’s Commission (1:17-19)

  1. The prophet must be alert and ready: “Now, gird up your loins and arise …”. Here is a picture of alertness and readiness in the service of the Word. The prophet must be ever watchful, never lazy, slothful, or indolent. As Paul says to Timothy “Be ready (instant, urgent) in season, and out of season. The prophet must ever feast on the inscripturated Word (Jer 15:16) and be ready to hear from and speak for the Lord.
  2. The prophet must deliver an unadulterated message: there must be no mixture in the delivery of the Word of God. The prophet must deliver the whole message given to him. His speech is to be seasoned with salt, and never tainted by his own anger. But he must never dilute the message or tone it down to make it more acceptable to the hard-hearted. He must never add to or take away from the message the Lord has given him to deliver.
  3. The prophet must not fear the face of man, but only the Lord: “Do not be dismayed before them, lest I dismay you before them”. How easy it is to acquiesce to intimidation, to back down in the face of hard-hearted impenitence and rejection of the Word of God. The ministry of the Word of God is not meant to be entertainment, giving false hope and assurance, keeping the crowd content and happy, and lulling them to sleep. The true ministry of the Word is designed to bring growth, to cause the saints to become mature sons and daughters. This takes place through the renewing of the mind, which requires rigorous instruction , exhortation , reproof, correction and rebuke (cf. 2 Tim 4:1-4). The prophet’s ministry, by its very nature, is one of confrontation and rebuke, and his word therefore must be sharper than a two-edged sword, cutting through the heart that has become calloused through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:12-14; 4:12-13). The prophet must warn the sleeping church that Jesus will spit the lukewarm out of His mouth (Rev 3:17-19).
  4. The prophet is promised protection and deliverance: the Lord made Jeremiah to be as a fortified city, a pillar of bronze and walls of iron against the whole land. They would fight against him, but not overcome him, because the Lord would be with him to deliver him from their hand. This plays itself out in several ways throughout the book. The prophets become an example of suffering persecution in the Name of the Lord (Matthew 5:10-12; James 5:10). We see throughout the book of Jeremiah the prophet’s anguish and loneliness, and the opposition, persecution and betrayal he experiences. All who will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. This is especially so for those who are called to be faithful bearers of the ancient apostolic and prophetic Word.

Tags: Sermons

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.