We’ve been studying Jeremiah in our Sunday School class for the past few weeks and I confess I’ve never studied Jeremiah before; read it, yes, but never studied. I have found it so very interesting! Just a few thoughts I’d like to share.
I have NEVER read such a back and forth book in my life! Jeremiah writes at one time, then jumps ahead, then jumps back, then to the middle time. I’m still not exactly sure if there is a ‘method to his madness’ but I’m always having to check to see the timing of his various prophecies.
Man oh man, did Jeremiah have to have a thick skin or what? His heart was exceedingly soft toward God (and even toward his brothers) but he had to have a thick skin to not be completely overwhelmed and defeated by the opposition he experienced!! And that a main message for so many years was ‘surrender to the Chaldeans, do not fight back and you’ll survive’. One brother in our class this morning likened it to the Christian church telling people not to fight the Taliban but to surrender and we would live. Boy, talk about the opposition to such a position! But what would such a view say about our willingness to trust in God rather than in our own strength and power!!
The faith of Jeremiah leaves my heart so humbled and reproved it isn’t funny! This man proclaimed God’s Word through several kings and generations and he received beatings, imprisonment, hostility, rejection and mocking. And this was from his KINSMEN! But he faithfully put his trust in God and not in man and carried on unwaveringly. And still you could see his compassionate heart toward his people, even when they rejected his word.
I love how God used him for years to preach the coming disaster and overthrow of the nation and then, when the people fell into despair, God gave him a message of restoration and hope in the years to come. Always God was showing His power and redemption but first the people had to be brought to their knees before He could raise them up again.
There have been so many things I’ve seen and these are only a few fleeting thoughts, and I am excited to continue in our study and in the times I’m spending in my own reading and study. This is not necessarily a book I’d like to spend years in, there is such a temptation to fall into discouragement and frustration at the hardness of the people’s hearts. But I see so much of my own heart in the people’s hearts and that is very convicting. Through it all the overriding power and heart of God toward His children gives hope and expectation of things to come and of God’s eternal plan being confirmed and established.
by Kate Megill (c) 2010