January 29 - Jeremiah

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 29 - Jeremiah

His name means ‘exalted of God,’ a man who knew that from the moment he was conceived in mother’s womb, God had a plan for his life. (Jeremiah 1:4).  He was the son of Hilkiah, a priest; and when he was still young, God called Jeremiah to be a prophet.  He went to Jerusalem in the thirteenth year of King Josiah, helping him to reform the nation of Israel.  When Josiah died, Jeremiah cried out in lament (2 Chronicles 35:25).  During the reign of Jehoahaz, we read nothing of him, but when Jehoiakim came into power, Jeremiah was not a well loved man and according to Jeremiah 36:5, was kept from entering the temple.  Jeremiah was not accepted by the king and when his words were destroyed by Jehoiakim, he wrote them again.  No one listened to his words of warning.

Then, Nebuchadnezzar came to town and took over the city.  A rumor began that the Egyptians were coming to help the Israelites, so Nebuchadnezzar took off for a while.  The Jews thought they were saved.  When Jeremiah was told by God that Nebuchadnezzar would return and burn the city, people were infuriated and tossed into prison (Jeremiah 37:15-38:13).  He was still hanging out in there when the Chaldeans showed up.  They let him go and told him that he could choose where he wanted to live.  He moved on to Judea.  Gedaliah, the governor of Judea was fine, but his successor – Johanan – wasn’t going to have anything to do with Jeremiah.  He went to Egypt and took Jeremiah with him (along with Jeremiah’s friend, Baruch).  From there, the prophet continued to try to draw the people of Israel back to the Lord until the end of his life.

The man whom God exalted, watched his people live apart from the Lord who had done so much for them.   He prophesied the coming of the Messiah (Jeremiah 23:1-8; 31:31-40; 33:14-26) and his words encompassed approximately thirty years.  When he was alone, it was the Lord who was with him, but he never forgot his people and always hoped for them to return to the one who loved them.