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“You and I have been called by God if we are believers.” <>< Dona (10/14/20)

Please read Jeremiah 1 through 3.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com. The Biblegateway website should open for you to use. Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

Jeremiah 1 Theme

Jeremiah was called to be a prophet.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You called Jeremiah to be a prophet (v. 1-3).

Something to think about

God appointed Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations (v. 4-5).  Jeremiah believed he was to young to speak as God’s prophet (v. 6).  But God told him he must go to whomever he was sent, speak whatever he was told, and not be afraid because He would be with him (v. 7-8).  The Lord placed His hand on Jeremiah’s lips and placed the words in his mouth.  Jeremiah was to warn not only the Jews but all the nations of the world about God’s judgment on sin (v. 9-10). The vision of the branch of an almond tree revealed when God’s judgment would begin (v. 11-12). The boiling pot represented a scalding judgment (v. 13-15).  God was going to punish His people because they had forsaken Him (v. 16).  Though God instructed Jeremiah in what to do, He also encouraged Jeremiah (v. 17-18).   And God said He would rescue Jeremiah from those who would fight against him (v. 19).

Something to experience

Like Jeremiah, when we believers are discouraged or feel unqualified remember God values you and He has a plan for you (see Jeremiah 29:11). If God gives you a job, do it to the best of your ability with whatever He provides (v.6).  God will walk with you through storms that He allows in your life (v 19).

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jeremiah 1:1-2 1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The Lord’s Word came to him 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, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 

Jeremiah 1:4-5 Now the Lord’s word came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I sanctified you.  I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:6 Then I said, “Ah, Sovereign Lord! Behold, I don’t know how to speak; for I am a child.”

Jeremiah 1:7-8 But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I am a child;’ for you must go to whomever I send you, and you must say whatever I command you. Don’t be afraid because of them, for I am with you to rescue you,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:9-10 Then the Lord stretched out His hand, and touched my mouth. Then the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 Behold, I have today set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Jeremiah 1:11-12 11 Moreover the Lord’s word came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”  I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well; for I watch over My word to perform it.”

Jeremiah 1:13-15 13 The Lord’s word came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?” I said, “I see a boiling cauldron; and it is tipping away from the north.”  14 Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north, evil will break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, behold, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord.  “They will come, and they will each set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls all around, and against all the cities of Judah.

Jeremiah 1:16 I will utter My judgments against them concerning all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken Me, and have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.

Jeremiah 1:17-18 17 “You therefore put your belt on your waist, arise, and say to them all that I command you. Don’t be dismayed at them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 For, behold, I have made you today a fortified city, 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. 

Jeremiah 1:19 They will fight against you, but they will not prevail against you; for I am with you”, says the Lord, “to rescue you.”

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Jeremiah 2 Theme

Judah is confronted.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jeremiah confronted Judah about her sins (v. 1-3).

Something to think about

Judah had been devoted to God in her youth (v. 2). Jeremiah recited her history (v. 4-8).  God pointed out that Israel had exchanged God for worthless idols (v. 9-12).  God told the Israelites they had not only abandoned Him but they had turned from drinking Living Water and dug their own wells which couldn’t hold water (v. 13).  Judah’s sins were recited (v. 19-28).  Judah had rebelled against God (v. 29). The Lord said Judah had forgotten Him and was drawn away by things of the world (v. 31-32).  The Lord said He would pass judgment on the Israelites (v. 33-35). There would be no help for Israel (v. 36-37). 

Something to experience

Perhaps we should check our original commitment to God.  Perhaps we should learn from our history so we don’t repeat our failures and so we can build on our successes. Are there any worthless idols we’re holding on to in our life? Some of the wells we may have dug for ourselves are money, power, religious system, etc. Are we’re relying on any of these to quench our thirst instead of God?

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jeremiah 2:1-31 The Lord’s word came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘The Lord says, “I remember for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your weddings; how you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.  Israel was holiness to the Lord, the first fruits of His increase.  All who devour him (Israel) will be held guilty.  Evil will come on them,”’ says the Lord.”

Jeremiah 2:4-8 Hear the Lord’s word, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel!  The Lord says, “What unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, and have walked after worthless vanity, and have become worthless? They didn’t 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 of pits, through a land of drought and of the shadow of death, through a land that no one passed through, and where no man lived?’  I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled My land, and made My heritage an abomination.  The priests didn’t say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ and those who handle the law didn’t know Me.  The rulers also transgressed against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and followed things that do not profit.”

Jeremiah 2:9-12 “Therefore I will yet contend with you,” says the Lord, “and I will contend with your children’s children.  10 For pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see. Send to Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there has been such a thing.  11 Has a nation changed its gods, which really are no gods?  But My people have changed their glory for that which doesn’t profit.  12 Be astonished, you heavens, at this and be horribly afraid.  Be very desolate,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the spring of living waters, and cut out cisterns for themselves: broken cisterns that can’t hold water.”

Jeremiah 2:19-28 19 “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backsliding will rebuke you.  Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing, that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and that My fear is not in you,” says the Lord, the Lord of Armies.  20 “For long ago I broke off your yoke, and burst your bonds.
You said, ‘I will not serve;’ for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the prostitute.  21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a pure and faithful seed.  How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to Me?  22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Sovereign Lord.  23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled.  I have not gone after the Baals’?  “See your way in the valley.  Know what you have done.  You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways, 24 a wild donkey used to the wilderness, that sniffs the wind in her craving. When she is in heat, who can turn her away?  All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her.  25 Keep your feet from being bare, and your throat from thirst.  But you said, ‘It is in vain.  No, for I have loved strangers, and I will go after them.’  26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so the house of Israel is ashamed: they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, 27 who tell wood, ‘You are my father,’ and a stone, ‘You have given 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 trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.”

Jeremiah 2:29 “Why will you contend with Me?  You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:31-32 31 “Generation, consider the Lord’s word.  Have I been a wilderness to Israel?  Or a land of thick darkness?  Why do My people say, ‘We have broken loose?  We will come to You no more’?  32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire?  Yet My people have forgotten Me for days without number.”

Jeremiah 2:33-35 33 “How well you prepare your way to seek love!  Therefore you have even taught the wicked women your ways.  34 Also the blood of the souls of the innocent poor is found in your skirts.  You didn’t find them breaking in, but it is because of all these things.  35 “Yet you said, ‘I am innocent.  Surely His anger has turned away from me.’  Behold, I will judge you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’”

Jeremiah 2:36-37 36 Why do you go about so much to change your ways?  You will be ashamed of Egypt also, as you were ashamed of Assyria.  37 You will also leave that place with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you won’t prosper with them.

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Jeremiah 3 Theme

Backsliding Israel and Treacherous Judah (v. 11).

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You were willing to take back a wayward people (v. 1).

Something to think about

God had every right to permanently disown His wayward people (v. 2). Though they were sinning greatly, the people of Israel talked like they were God’s children.  They were minimizing their sin (v. 4-5). Israel refused to repent (v. 7).  Judah pretended to return to God but she didn’t return to Him with all her heart (v. 10). Israel didn’t even try to look like she was obeying God even though He was ready to show them mercy (v. 11-13).  God promised to give them shepherds who would follow after Him.  These shepherds would have knowledge and understanding (v. 15).  In the future kingdom God’s presence through the Holy Spirit would be among His people (v. 16-18). 

Something to experience

We should view all wrong actions and wrong attitudes as serious offense against God because they are (v. 6-7).  If we live without faith, we will experience hopelessness.  If we feel bad about our sin but don’t repent it means nothing.  When we repent, we must choose to change our mind and heart which leads to changed behavior (v. 11-13). We need to pray for leaders chosen by God who have the wisdom and understanding to direct us (v. 15).  We have God’s Word to teach us how to behave without experiencing hard situations (v. 22-25).  

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jeremiah 3:1“They say, ‘If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him, and becomes another man’s, should he return to her again?’ Wouldn’t that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the prostitute with many lovers; yet return again to Me,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:2 “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? You have sat waiting for them by the road, as an Arabian in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and with your wickedness.”

Jeremiah 3:4-5 “Will you not from this time cry to me, ‘My Father, you are the guide of my youth!’?  “‘Will He retain his anger forever? Will He keep it to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken and have done evil things, and have had your way.”

Jeremiah 3:6-7 Moreover, the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and has played the prostitute there. I said after she had done all these things, ‘She will return to Me;’ but she didn’t return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.”

Jeremiah 3:10 “Yet for all this her treacherous sister, Judah, has not returned to Me with her whole heart, but only in pretense,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:11-13 11 The Lord said to me, “Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, you backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not look in anger on you; for I am merciful,’ says the Lord. ‘I will not keep anger forever. 13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.” 

Jeremiah 3:15 “I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” 

Jeremiah 3:16-18 16 It will come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days,” says the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘the ark of the Lord’s covenant!’ It will not come to mind. They won’t remember it. They won’t miss it, nor will another be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Lord’s Throne;’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the Lord’s name, to Jerusalem. They will no longer walk after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance to your fathers.”

Jeremiah 3:22-25 22 “Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding.”  Behold, we have come to you; for you are the Lord our God. 23 Truly help from the hills, the tumult on the mountains, is in vain. Truly the salvation of Israel is in the Lord our God. 24 But the shameful thing has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day. We have not obeyed the Lord our God’s voice.”

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Prayer

Lord when we’re discouraged or feel unqualified I pray we’ll remember You value us and You have a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  Lord, I pray any job You give us we will do it to the best of our ability (Jeremiah 1:6).  Lord, I pray You will walk with us through any storms we face (Jeremiah 1:19). Lord, I pray we will learn from our past and not repeat it (Jeremiah 2:4-8).  Lord, I pray we will stay close to You and far from the sins of this world (Jeremiah 2:31-32).  Lord, I pray we will understand all sin is equal because all separate us from You (Jeremiah 3:6-7).  Lord, I pray we will repent and turn away from doing what is sin (Jeremiah 3:11-13).  Lord, I pray our leaders will be chosen by You.  I pray they will have the wisdom and understanding to direct us (Jeremiah 3:15).  Lord, I pray all our knowledge will come from Your Word (Jeremiah 3:22-25).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

“May you and I learn from the Word of God how to think, speak and live” <>< Dona