Jeremiah was a special spiritual leader. He was not like any other spiritual leader.
[Note: This word refers to the part of life that relates to God.]
Jeremiah was one of the greatest men of the Old Testament. He was a
God called Jeremiah at a time when the people were not following him. Instead, they pretended that they were following God. There was much religious activity. And they were very eager to show interest in:
- the idea of a
prophet(2:8, 26; 4:9; 5:30-31; 6:13-14; 8:10-11 and 23:11-12. Compare Lamentations 2:14). The prophetsthat these passages mention were false prophets. They were not serving other gods. But they were saying wrong things about the true God. So they were false prophets.
God called Jeremiah at a time when his people did not care. They did not care about moral matters. And their human duties did not matter to them. The people were neglecting those who were poor. And they did not care about being fair to other people. (Read 5:1, 27; 7:5-6; 9:2-6 and 22:3.) Judah was the Southern Kingdom of the land of Israel. And the people of Judah were refusing to follow God (2:19; 3:8).
It is better to study the subjects that are in the book. It would be difficult to study each chapter.
There are three main subjects:
The People whom God Corrected
The people of Judah were refusing to follow God. They were just pretending. So God had to punish this sin. He wanted the nation to be holy. God wanted the people to
So Jeremiah had one main message. It was about
We can describe the people of Judah as:
People who had many advantages. The
People who were not loyal. There are two important words in the book of Jeremiah. They are ‘leaving’ and ‘forgetting’ (2:13, 17, 19, 32; 3:20, 22; 4:1; 5:7, 19; 9:13; 13:25; 16:11; 18:15 and 19:4). The
People who had followed false teachers. There were many false
The Prophet whom God Used
The opinions of other people affected Jeremiah very much. So when God chose him, Jeremiah was afraid. He did not want to do the task that God gave him to do. He had an excuse for God. He said that the people would not accept him. They would think that he was too young (1:6-7).
God chose him to deliver:
A painful message.
Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. Jeremiah insisted that the king was God's servant. God would use him in this matter (25:9; 27:6). And that was why the authorities put Jeremiah in prison. They thought that he would have a bad effect on the nation. The people would not be confident. And they would think that they could not defeat the enemy (32:1-5).
This was a painful message for the people. And it was very painful for Jeremiah too. He wished that he could stay silent (20:7-9).
A hopeful message. The people of Judah could not escape God's punishment. And Jeremiah knew it. The people must have the experience of
Chapters 29-33 record this message of hope. Chapter 32:6-14 tells the story about Jeremiah's purchase of land. This was a sign. It showed that the people would return to their land after the
Jeremiah suffered much. He probably suffered more than any other Old Testament
He obeyed God. But this brought:
- spiritual suffering (36:5). [Note: This word refers to the part of life that relates to God.] Jeremiah could not
worshipGod in the Temple. The authorities would not let him.
- social suffering (16:2). God did not let Jeremiah marry. And his single state was a message to the people. He was showing them that they should not establish themselves. They should not become too comfortable in their present lives. This was because
God also told Jeremiah not to attend special occasions (16:8). He must not go to meals at funerals either. He must not cry. And he must not sympathise with the family of a dead person (16:5). There was a reason for this. Dead people would be in a better state than those who were alive.
- Physical suffering (11:21; 20:1-2; 26:7-9; 30:1-2; 37:11-16 and 38:1-13). Jeremiah's life was often in danger. He was often in prison too. People would watch secretly even in those days. The name for a person like that is a spy. (Read 38:24-28.)
- Emotional suffering. Some passages record Jeremiah's pain and despair. This pain was both mental and emotional. (Read 8:18-9:6; 10:19-25; 11:18-20; 12:1-4; 15:10-18; 18:19-25 and 20:7-18.) At the beginning, God told Jeremiah that the people would fight against him (1:19). God told him that the people would not obey his word (6:17; 25:4). Jeremiah knew that this would happen. But he was still very sad about it. (Compare 13:15-17.)
The Nations that God Judged
God chose Jeremiah. Then God gave him a title. God described Jeremiah as ‘a
Most of what Jeremiah said was for the people of Judah. There was a reason for this. It was because the people of Judah were not following God. And they were not obeying God. But there was a message for other countries too. It came from the only God (25:15-31; 27:1-11). In the last chapters especially, there are messages for eight countries (46-51).
The last chapter (52) has details about the