GOOD MORNING, SIBLINGS
Today we begin Jeremiah!
Our readings are Jeremiah 1-3
Quick Facts about this book:
- The Hebrew name for this book is Yirmeyahu, which is the transliterated name of the prophet Jeremiah. Recall that transliteration is a means of translating a name from another alphabet into our own language to enable us to pronounce the names as closely as possible in our own tongue. There is no J sound in Hebrew. Today we call him Jeremiah, which has ended up being the anglicized version of his name and I will stick with using that for my notes.
- Jeremiah’s father was a priest, which tells us that, through lineage, Jeremiah was a levite. While most levites would spend their life serving in the temple, Jeremiah was chosen by YHWH to serve as His prophet instead. Lesson: always leave room for YHWH’s plan, no matter how noble your path may seem.
- These events are taking place roughly six hundred years before the birth of Messiah.
- This book will show us how Israel went astray and consequently how we have as well. It also lays out the Father’s plan for redemption and restoration. In fact, when the author of Hebrews taught about the New Covenant, he did so by quoting Jeremiah, as this book is where the Father lays it out clearly and distinctly.
- A primary theme of this book is judgement but there are passages of great and moving grace as well.
- Jeremiah began his ministry in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah and continued until the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the first temple. He was a prophet during the reigns of five kings: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Hehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
- Many say that Jeremiah presents as one of the most relatable prophets. Although he began his ministry around the age of twenty, and continued it for his entire life, there was very little regard for his message from the people and this created a great deal of emotional distress for Jeremiah. We will see him express his despair for the condition and judgement of Israel as well as over his own state. Some have referred to him as the weeping prophet. I can sure understand that. I might be the screaming-hissy-fit prophet were I in His shoes. Throughout our reading, Jeremiah will be shown to have a compassionate heart for YHWH’s people and desiring judgement for evil doers who go unpunished.
We will read a lot in this book. In fact, one of my favorite verses, that I would say is a bit of a life verse, is in Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a sweeping, epic book and I can only imagine that were we to see his life play out on the big screen, it would be even more so. In fact, we will even read about plots to kill him, which the Father revealed to Jeremiah and protected him from. But in return the Father also warned Jeremiah that the persecution was only going to become worse.
There were a number of false prophets in his time and they were giving messages that directly contradicted Jeremiah’s. He boldly spoke out against them and you can imagine how happy that made these people. But as we’ve discussed before, one of the signs of a true prophet is that whatever they predict must always come true. When you are speaking the words of YHWH, there is no error. So if you’ve seen a televangelist say something was going to happen at such and such time (as many have) and it didn’t, go ahead and move them over to the “imposter prophet” column. (Deut 18:20-22, 1 John 4:1, 2 Peter 1:20-21). In our time, it feels as if we’ve been in false prophet season with so many clearly failing the Father’s test of whether or not they are truly representing Him. However, many believers continue to follow them.
Remember, YHWH tells us in Deut 18:20-22 that if a prophet truly comes in His name, all that He speaks will come true. The Father gives us multiple tests in His word and we are called to test everything, holding fast to what is true. 1 These 5:21.
So what, then, do we do with what proves to be untrue or not of the Father? Let it go that we can better devote ourselves to our precious Father, His truth, and His will.
What of false prophets in our time? How will we know they are false? What of false teachers? The Deut 18 and Deut 13 test still hold true. But honestly, I don’t think all false prophets and those who teach a different gospel are aware that they are doing so. Many have inherited knowledge that they have faith in (Jeremiah 16:19 addresses this with the famous “Surely our fathers have inherited lies!” statement). When that knowledge doesn’t match up with the Word, it’s been explained away from such an early time in their lives that they don’t think to question it anymore, they just accept the explanation from people even though it contradicts the Word of YHWH. The contradictions are rendered virtually invisible to their eyes. I have been there so I know firsthand what it’s like to hold the Bible and not see what is there because you see what you’ve been told is there instead. It’s just ingrained at that point.
Matthew 5:19 presents a sobering portrait of what will happen to those who teach against the Father’s word. Messiah says “Whoever relaxes the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be least in the kingdom of Heaven”.
Still others have created a god in their mind that truly cheers and applauds whatever they do. I saw a quote once they read:
“If your god let’s you do whatever you want, then your god is really you.”
BUT, once we set our hearts to know the Word of YHWH, and if we seek HIM directly, we will be able to recognize these things. It is at that point that the Holy Spirit steps in and guides us as our personal teacher. Check out Daniel 10:12.
Remember: You won’t recognize a counterfeit if you don’t know the original.
Jeremiah 1 – Right away we are reminded in Jeremiah 1:5 that the Father has known us since before our time even began. This is a beautiful verse of affirmation and love by our eternal Father.
Jeremiah 1:8 reminds us as well that we aren’t to worry about our qualifications when the Father has called us – He will bridge the gap. In fact, as we’ve seen time and again, the Father has a pattern of calling those who feel inadequate, unqualified, and are not seeking the roles of leadership He puts them in. Why? These people aren’t the ones who will seek glory for themselves. Rather, they will marvel at the power of YHWH and bring glory and credit to Him.
Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. Jeremiah 1:10 Imagine walking that closely with the Father that you know the words coming from your mouth are His.
I love how the Father teaches Jeremiah what to expect from the visions He is planning on giving Him. Jeremiah 1:11-19 appears to me to be a loving session where the Father shows Jeremiah how to use this new gift.
Jeremiah 2:4 breaks my heart as I think of my own life and the lives of those I see in the world today on many levels. The Father is questioning Israel and why they have abandoned Him.
“What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?”
I think of Ecclesiastes 1:14- I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Even the priests from this time (equate them to pastors today) sinned against Him in their handling of His law and the way they lived. Jeremiah 2:8
This really kicked me in the gut in Jeremiah 2:7 where the Father accuses Israel of making their heritage an abomination. Wow. I think of our forefathers, both spiritual and genetic, the ones so long ago who walked with YHWH and then how generations have made that heritage an abomination, bringing down upon themselves generational curses as a result. And yet, the Father is still a bondage breaker to this day, for anyone who would seek Him.
This is all driven home in Jeremiah 2:11 when YHWH Himself says :
But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate.
I am. I am. Appalled, shocked, and utterly desolate. At how little I settled for in my relationship with the Father all those years. In my happy little lukewarm life wherein played church when I was younger. I was meant to glorify Him and yet I traded it for worldly trinkets and play acting. I loved the counterfeit – and didn’t think to seek the original (1 Corinthians 13:11). Those days are behind me and I spend my days in gratitude for the Grace that He has shown me.
How many things do we cherish, strive for, and hold precious to us that are meaningless compared to the things we could be pursuing if we only followed the Father with that same energy?
There have been so many in my life and I know there will be many more, still. So I set my heart on His word and His path. I’m so grateful for Messiah, coming to set a physical example of how to live, and my goal is to live as closely to how He did as I possibly can.
When we do turn, when we do falter, when we forget, we read in Jeremiah 2:17 the truth of us bringing this upon ourselves. The Father is here, ready, accessible, and His word is before us. We simply have to open the book and set our hearts firmly on Him and no other.
He has already freed us, but all too often we run back to the world.
“For long ago I broke your yoke
and burst your bonds;
but you said, ‘I will not serve.’
Yes, on every high hill
and under every green tree
you bowed down like a whore.
21 Yet I planted you a choice vine,
wholly of pure seed.
How then have you turned degenerate
and become a wild vine?
22 Though you wash yourself with lye
and use much soap,
the stain of your guilt is still before me,
declares the Lord God. Jeremiah 2:20-22
Redemption is still at hand but first we must acknowledge our sin so that we can turn from it. But what is sin? What is the defining line that we are to determine sin by? Messiah tells us in 1 John 3:4-6.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
The Father has patiently, repetitively, taught us how to live and we will continue to see this already clear picture become even more so as we move forward in the Bible.
OH The promises the Father makes to those who return to Him in chapter three!!!!!
Y’all seriously, He is so good to us!
“I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against YHWH and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares YHWH.” Jeremiah 3:12-13
Notice that He keeps reminding us that these are HIS words. See what He promises to those who return to Him. Knowledge, understanding, adoption.
❤️If you mark in your Bibles, Chapter three will no doubt have more than a few hearts and highlighted promises. I know you will treasure this very special letter from the Father to His children.
I want to leave you with this verse: Jeremiah 3:22 “Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.”
Unfaithfulness to the Father is a wound, an affliction. And now that we have returned, there is no need to continue to afflict ourselves for our past. He will heal us. We can now rest and reside in our Father’s arms.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!