The Father selected Jeremiah 1 and 2 this evening.

In the first chapter, we read that Jeremiah was called by God to be His prophet at the age of 13. Understandably, Jeremiah expressed His reluctance at this age:

Jeremiah 1 (NKJV)

Jeremiah Called to Be a Priest

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

The Lord reassured Jeremiah for He knows our thoughts and our fears. Jeremiah did not feel equipped for He was too young.

The Prophet Is Called

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified[a] you; I [b]ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Then said I:

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

But the Lord said to me:

“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.

He also addressed the unexpressed reservation that most would have by assuring that Jeremiah does not go by Himself, but the Lord will be with him to “deliver you.” And the Lord also said He would be His mouthpiece, so He would basically repeat what the Lord had given Him to say.

Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:

“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

Jeremiah will root out and pull down the strongholds of evil; he will plant and build His church. The Father let Jeremiah know what the Lord was about to do and in Israel and why without going into detail:

14 Then the Lord said to me:

“Out of the north calamity shall break forth On all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord; “They shall come and each one set his throne At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, Against all its walls all around, And against all the cities of Judah. 16 I will utter My judgments Against them concerning all their wickedness, Because they have forsaken Me, Burned incense to other gods, And worshiped the works of their own hands.

He brings Nebuchadnezzar who is from Babylon (from the north) along with others to correct His people, for they refused for decades to let the Father correct them through His word, through His guidance through the spirit, the Holy Spirit.

He lets Jeremiah know how this relates to him and addresses his concerns:

17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them. 18 For behold, I have made you this day A fortified city and an iron pillar, And bronze walls against the whole land— Against the kings of Judah, Against its princes, Against its priests, And against the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”

He is going to face consistent persecution from all. The Lord is preparing Jeremiah for a daunting task.

In Jeremiah 2 the Lord elaborates:

Jeremiah 2 (NKJV)

God’s Case Against Israel

Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“I remember you, The kindness of your youth, The love of your betrothal, When you [a]went after Me in the wilderness, In a land not sown. Israel was holiness to the Lord, The firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him will offend; Disaster will come upon them,” says the Lord.’ ”

He always tries to reach our hearts for our relationship with Him is of the heart. It is out of love that the Lord tries to reach His people, in order to bring them to Him so that they may know the extent of His love and how it cannot compare with the love of any other. This is a love that none of us are capable of.

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

“What injustice have your fathers found in Me, That they have gone far from Me, Have followed [b]idols, And have become idolaters? Neither did they say, ‘Where is the Lord, Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, Who led us through the wilderness, Through a land of deserts and pits, Through a land of drought and the shadow of death, Through a land that no one crossed And where no one dwelt?’ I brought you into a bountiful country, To eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land And made My heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me; The prophets prophesied by Baal, And walked after things that do not profit.

The problem is they have become increasingly corrupt, the heart that they once had has been numbed by adding sin to sin so that it is impenetrable.

 

“Therefore I will yet [c]bring charges against you,” says the Lord, “And against your children’s children I will bring charges. 10 For pass beyond the coasts of [d]Cyprus and see, Send to [e]Kedar and consider diligently, And see if there has been such a thing. 11 Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory For what does not profit. 12 Be astonished, O heavens, at this, And be horribly afraid; Be very desolate,” says the Lord. 13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14 Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he plundered? 15 The young lions roared at him, and growled; They made his land waste; His cities are burned, without inhabitant. 16 Also the people of [f]Noph and Tahpanhes Have [g]broken the crown of your head. 17 Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the Lord your God When He led you in the way? 18 And now why take the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of Sihor? Or why take the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of [h]the River? 19 Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the [i]fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts.

He has “broken the yoke” of Egypt when He released them from their bondage as slaves. A yoke was a collar that was attached to a farm animal and a cart so they could transport it wherever they were directed to. It is a reference to slavery.

20 “For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds; And you said, ‘I will not [j]transgress,’ When on every high hill and under every green tree You lay down, playing the harlot. 21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? 22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked[k] before Me,” says the Lord God.

He often refers to our tendency to leave Him when we are comfortable and seek to fulfill our flesh, our comfort for we want to leave the spiritual and its restrictions. So we leave Him and seek other gods or that space that is reserved in our hearts exclusively for Him. When we leave Him, that space needs to be filled so we select something to replace Him. The problem is nothing is like Him and we will never feel satisfied long term. So we keep searching. The world has many things to offer as substitutes, this leaves us vulnerable to whatever appeals to us. He takes the yoke off, when we leave Him we put it back on to serve a cruel and uncaring and destructive master, problem is we are no longer thinking of Him, or if we are we are so addicted to the temporary rush that we seek it in other sources. Hopefully, we come to the end of ourselves and realize that it will never satisfy and return to Him, for He is always there. Always ready to forgive, always eager to accept us back into His arms. Arms like no other, arms that are home to us, for He is our home.

Richard Pryor, the late comedian was on a Christian radio station and said something that many of us would not understand. He said he was glad that he suffered physically as a result, for without the suffering he would still be doing drugs, until they finally killed him.

Whatever god we use to substitute His rightful place as our top priority will result in our self-destruction. It will separate us from our Father and His influence. We will be like every non-believer-we will be prey to whatever this world has to offer. ake other things so important to us that He is no longer given the due respect and priority in our lives that He most certainly deserves. In short, when we are His it keeps us safe, out of trouble, not susceptible to the whiles of the devil.

His people were influenced by the gods of their neighbors, the god of fertility, human and agricultural. This god was said to increase the production of their crops. The worship of him also increased the amount of unwanted children, so they added a ritual to their worship-they burned them alive in their ceremonies as a “sacrifice” to Baal. It started by placing Him further and further down the list. We no longer had a relationship with Him, we were no longer reading His word, and the ways of the world became influential in our lives and does to this day. The one thing that is considered forbidden in conversation now is no longer base references, it is speaking about Him, about God, about Jesus. We can speak of new age spirituality, but not Him.

Jeremiah knew this for then as now, in his land it was grounds for persecution, even death. But this is what our Father can do with those that feel that they are incapable of being His mouthpiece:

Jeremiah 20:7-11(NKJV)

Jeremiah’s Unpopular Ministry

O Lord, You [b]induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am [c]in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me A reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. 10 For I heard many [d]mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report,” they say, “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; Then we will prevail against him, And we will take our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.

The Lord has the last word, and He always will. Regardless, we are to be faithful to the One who is always faithful to us. We are to love His children more than we love ourselves and go to whom He instructs and not be dismayed when we are not well received for we won’t be or He wouldn’t have sent us there.

He seeks the lost sheep. The others are fine, they are with Him, they are listening to Him, and they will not fall prey to him and his overwhelming influence in our lives.

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

He has his mouthpieces too, he will bring everything he has, which is the majority of the world against you to stop what the Lord will do for them, save them. The more devoted you are, the more you threaten his ability to take them down, so you will be persecuted all the more. Which is why the Lord reassures you that because you are doing His will:

Jeremiah 1 (NKJV)

17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them. 18 For behold, I have made you this day A fortified city and an iron pillar, And bronze walls against the whole land— Against the kings of Judah, Against its princes, Against its priests, And against the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”

 

“How can you say, ‘I am not [l]polluted, I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley; Know what you have done: You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways, 24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness, That sniffs at the wind in her desire; In her time of mating, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves; In her month they will find her. 25 Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘There is no hope. No! For I have loved aliens, and after them I will go.’

26 “As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, So is the house of Israel ashamed; They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, 27 Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ 28 But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your [m]trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.

29 “Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord. 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 [n]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 [o]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.’ 36 Why do you gad about so much to change your way? Also you shall be ashamed of Egypt as you were ashamed of Assyria. 37 Indeed you will go forth from him With your hands on your head; For the Lord has rejected your trusted allies, And you will not prosper by them.

They were looking everywhere for help, except from the only One who could, and the One who would forgive them and welcome them back like a prodigal son:

Luke 15:11-32 (NKJV)

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with [a]prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the [b]pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, [c]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”

Go to wherever He sends you after He confirms it, for you were once lost, and now you are found.

 

Jeremiah 1 (NKJV)

Jeremiah Called to Be a Priest

1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

The Prophet Is Called

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified[a] you; I [b]ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Then said I:

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

But the Lord said to me:

“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.

Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:

“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”

And I said, “I see a [c]branch of an almond tree.”

12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [d]ready to perform My word.”

13 And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”

And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.”

14 Then the Lord said to me:

“Out of the north calamity shall break forth On all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord; “They shall come and each one set his throne At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, Against all its walls all around, And against all the cities of Judah. 16 I will utter My judgments Against them concerning all their wickedness, Because they have forsaken Me, Burned incense to other gods, And worshiped the works of their own hands.

17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them. 18 For behold, I have made you this day A fortified city and an iron pillar, And bronze walls against the whole land— Against the kings of Judah, Against its princes, Against its priests, And against the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”

Jeremiah 2 (NKJV)

God’s Case Against Israel

Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“I remember you, The kindness of your youth, The love of your betrothal, When you [a]went after Me in the wilderness, In a land not sown. Israel was holiness to the Lord, The firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him will offend; Disaster will come upon them,” says the Lord.’ ”

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

“What injustice have your fathers found in Me, That they have gone far from Me, Have followed [b]idols, And have become idolaters? Neither did they say, ‘Where is the Lord, Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, Who led us through the wilderness, Through a land of deserts and pits, Through a land of drought and the shadow of death, Through a land that no one crossed And where no one dwelt?’ I brought you into a bountiful country, To eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land And made My heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me; The prophets prophesied by Baal, And walked after things that do not profit.

“Therefore I will yet [c]bring charges against you,” says the Lord, “And against your children’s children I will bring charges. 10 For pass beyond the coasts of [d]Cyprus and see, Send to [e]Kedar and consider diligently, And see if there has been such a thing. 11 Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory For what does not profit. 12 Be astonished, O heavens, at this, And be horribly afraid; Be very desolate,” says the Lord. 13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14 Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he plundered? 15 The young lions roared at him, and growled; They made his land waste; His cities are burned, without inhabitant. 16 Also the people of [f]Noph and Tahpanhes Have [g]broken the crown of your head. 17 Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the Lord your God When He led you in the way? 18 And now why take the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of Sihor? Or why take the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of [h]the River? 19 Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the [i]fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts.

20 “For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds; And you said, ‘I will not [j]transgress,’ When on every high hill and under every green tree You lay down, playing the harlot. 21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? 22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked[k] before Me,” says the Lord God.

23 “How can you say, ‘I am not [l]polluted, I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley; Know what you have done: You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways, 24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness, That sniffs at the wind in her desire; In her time of mating, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves; In her month they will find her. 25 Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘There is no hope. No! For I have loved aliens, and after them I will go.’

26 “As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, So is the house of Israel ashamed; They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, 27 Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ 28 But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your [m]trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.

29 “Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord. 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 [n]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 [o]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.’ 36 Why do you gad about so much to change your way? Also you shall be ashamed of Egypt as you were ashamed of Assyria. 37 Indeed you will go forth from him With your hands on your head; For the Lord has rejected your trusted allies, And you will not prosper by them.