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The call of Jeremiah
Jeremiah 1

Scripture reading: Ephesians 1:1-14

Today we are going to begin a study of the Book of Jeremiah

-Verses 1-3 of Jeremiah 1 tell us who Jeremiah was, when he lived, and something of the historical context in which he lived
-Jeremiah was of a priestly family. His father was a priest
-Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of the last good king of the Southern Kingdom -King Josiah. He became king at age 8 and throughout his life he served the Lord and tried to get his subjects to follow God.
-Jeremiah served God as prophet for 41 plus years.
-When God called him, he was very young
-Over the course of his career, Jeremiah was opposed at every turn. During his years of service he experienced much persecution and hardship and saw very little fruit for his labor-- and yet he was faithful
-Because of the hardship that Jeremiah faced and the stern messages that God charged Jeremiah to take to the people, Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet
-Jeremiah served during the last 40 years of Judah's existence -for in 586 B.C the Babylonians came and took the nation into captivity for 70 years (according to the Word of the Lord).

READ JEREMIAH 1 -which is all about God's calling of Jeremiah to be a prophet

THE CALL OF JEREMIAH

1. It was a dramatic, radical, life changing call

In some respects the call of Jeremiah reminds me of the call of Moses (burning bush), the call of Ezekiel (his visions of God on the river bank), the call of Jonah, the call of Isaiah (vision of God on his throne), the calling of Paul (on the road to Damascus). In each case, God breaks in to their world and says-- I'm changing the course of our your life.

When God's calls a person out of the world and out of their life of sin and into relationship with Him through Christ, that's a radical, dramatic, life changing call. When God calls a person into relationship with Christ, He changes the course of our lives. Think of the life that you lived before Christ called you-- and if you became a Christian as a child, think of the things God spared you of.

2. It was a call that preceded his birth v.4-5 (read)

Some things to note

a. These verses affirm the sanctity of life in the womb (It's supposed to be the safest place for a baby)
b. These verses affirm that each one of us has a purpose. God has a reason for each person. God has a plan for peoples lives
c. As God did with Jeremiah, He decided before we were born that He was going to call us into His kingdom- as such, we serve as trophies of His grace and mercy. Note Ephesians 1:4-6 which say; "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

d. The revelation of Jeremiah 1:4-5 illustrates the sovereignty of God-- who does whatever He wills, according to His good and holy pleasure. God is on his throne, ruling and reigning.

What's quite fascinating is this: In his first response to God's call, Jeremiah what is that Jeremiah acknowledges-- it's the sovereignty of God.

3. It was a call that he didn't feel he was up for v.6

This reminds me a Moses and his call (however Moses wasn't quite as polite for he straight out asked God to send someone else)

Jeremiah's objection: I'm too young, I'm too inexperienced

What was really behind Jeremiah's response? He was afraid. Note verse 8, which is God's remedy to fear: "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you"

Some thoughts of application

Jeremiah's comment about being too young reminds me of 1 Timothy 4:12 which says; "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

To feel inadequate and not up for what God calls us to do is a good place to be. (It's good to recognize our limitations, it's good to be humble)

Our greatest comfort ought to be the knowledge that God is with us- and if He is with us and for us, none can stand against us.

4. It was a call that God confirmed v.11-16

Note the 2 visions that God gives to Jeremiah. Both confirm the "connection" between God and Jeremiah. Both confirm that the Word of the Lord was in his mouth. Both serve as proof of God's calling

a. Almond tree

-first tree to blossom every year
-known as the watcher tree (for it watched for spring and people watched it and knew spring on the way)
-every time Jeremiah saw an almond tree he would be reminded of God's call, God's presence, that God watching him

b. The tipping pot

-the tipping pot represented the judgment of God and an invasion from the North and speaks directly to the type of ministry that Jeremiah was going to have
-While the first vision confirmed Jeremiah's call, the second vision depicts the centre piece of Jeremiah's messages. Jeremiah was called by God to announce judgment on the people for their sins, witchcraft, idolatry, and rebellion.


Application:

When God calls a person to some special act of service He confirms it (through peace of mind, His word, the Holy Spirit, sometimes signs, and other godly people)

5. It was a call that required great courage and tenacity -for it was a call to suffering and sacrifice for God v.8,17

Jeremiah's call required great courage because God, being upfront, told Jeremiah that His call was not an easy one-- he would be opposed at every turn, he would be persecuted, life in God's service was going to be difficult. Yet God was going to be with him and Jeremiah was not to be afraid(v.8, 17)

The following of Christ requires courage and tenacity and as Jeremiah was told up front-- to follow Christ necessitates hardship and persecution. Ours is a call to sacrifice and suffering for the sake of Christ.

In 2 Timothy 3:12 it says; "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,"

While following Christ is said to be hard, we are told that Christ will never leave us and we are likewise commanded to fear not.

Yet, the following of God is not without promise for as James 1:12 says; "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him"

6. It was a call that God equipped and outfitted Jeremiah to accomplish

a. When God calls a person, He also equips them

He put His words in Jeremiah's mouth. He made Jeremiah as like a fortified city, an iron pillar, a bronze wall so that he could stand firm.

To each member of the kingdom of God, spiritual gifts are given for service and the encouragement of the saints. (1 Corinthians 12)

b. When God calls a person, He provides for them and sustains them and gives them the strength that they need

Philippians 4:19 says; "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

c. When God calls a person, He presences Himself with them

In Jeremiah 1 God says this a number of times to Jeremiah. Jesus has said the same thing to us "I will never leave you. I will never forsake you" "Lo, I am with you always to the very end of the age"

We must join in with David who said In Psalm 118:6 "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

7. It was a call that God expected Jeremiah to obey v.17

Whenever God calls a person, He expects obedience. Jonah learned this the hard way, so do many others.

When we think of the call we have received to be members of Christ's Kingdom, we must not forget that we have been called to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:13-16). We have been called to marital faithfulness. We have been called to obey our leaders. We have been called to sexual purity. We have been called to be rich in good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18). We have been called to sacrificial service. We have been called to service. We have been called to give financially. We have been called to go and to preach the Gospel to all people. (Matthew 28:16-20) We have been called to walk worthy of the calling that we have received (Ephesians 4:1)

As God expected Jeremiah to obey, so He expects us to obey. We to obey as a sign of love for God. We obey knowing that God blesses and rewards those who obey Him.


8. It was a call that Jeremiah remained faithful to v.19

The reason Jeremiah is a hero of the faith is because of his faithfulness. He stood in the gap. He faced the arrows of the evil one. He stood firm. He did not shrink back. He did not shirk his responsibilities. He endured.

Jeremiah's faithfulness reminds me of the Apostle Paul who in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 has written "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

We must all remain faithful.

CONCLUSION

The call of Jeremiah

As you think about the call of God in the life of Jeremiah think of the touch points of application as it regards the call of God in your life (whether it be to salvation or to a particular call that has come to you as His follower)

1. It was a dramatic, radical, life changing call (think about the person you used to be before you came to Christ)
2. God decided to call and chose him before his birth
3. It was a call that he didn't feel up for
4. It was a call that required great courage and tenacity- for it was a call to suffering and sacrifice
5. It was a call that God equipped Jeremiah to accomplish
6. It was a call that God expected Jeremiah to obey
7. It was a call that Jeremiah remained faithful to

Concluding song of response: O worship the King