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Jeremiah 1:3-10 – Jeremiah’s Calling

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SIH TOTT ICON(The Need For Christ In Our Evangelization)

 

INTRODUCTION:

In this account of the calling of Jeremiah to the ministry, we find principles about the Lord’s present day ministerial call to pastors, missionaries and teachers of His Word.  However, we also can also find principles that apply to all of us who strive to be lights in the midst of a sin darkened world.

For our lesson today, we will be looking at those principles that help all of us to shine forth the light of the wondrous gospel message to the lost world around us.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Jer 1:3-10 –

It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

 

 

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 

Based on verse 2 (“To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.”), Jeremiah’s call was issued in the thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign.

What is being spoken of in verse 3 is the length of Jeremiah’s ministry that began after his calling…

Jeremiah’s ministry began in Josiah’s 13 year, which was about 627 BC; it continued during Jehoiakim’s reign; and ended in the 11 year of Zedekiah’s reign, when Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians in 586 BC.  So in other words, Jeremiah ministered faithfully to the Lord for approx. 40 years. 

 

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

This verse helps us to understand that Jeremiah’s calling was not a “spur of the moment” act by the Lord, nor was it a result in a change of God’s plan for Jeremiah’s life, not at all.

Before Jeremiah was conceived, God’s sovereign, unchanging, eternal plan included Jeremiah being brought into this world and being given a prophetic ministry that he would fulfill for the next 40 years.

We all need to stop and take a moment to understand what this verse is teaching us.  Not only was Jeremiah’s ministry a part of God’s eternal plans but also, in this verse, the Lord is confirming the life and personhood of the unborn child.

Please note that God describes Jeremiah in this verse as a person prior to his birth.  We can see this from the titles that God gives to the unborn Jeremiah.  He uses the titles “thee” and “thou”!…     

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee

Clearly the Lord did not look at Jeremiah as a piece of tissue or simply a group of cell that were growing in synch with one another.  No, the Lord was looking at Jeremiah as a fully human being who possessed personhood and identity.  

 

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

In this verse, we begin to see some very important principles that we can apply to our lives as lights in this world.  When Jeremiah was called to the ministry, he immediately thought of his inability to fulfill the ministry to which he was called, and rightfully so.

Just as Moses (Exo 4:10-13) and Isaiah (Isa 6:5), Jeremiah understood his inability to effectively proclaim the Word to the lost nation around him.

Folks, we all are in the same boat.  We all are called to take the gospel to the world, but left to ourselves we are totally unable to perform the task we have been given. Paul understood this very truth when he wrote 1 Cor 2:3-5…

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

 

Paul understood as he took the gospel to the lost that his preaching had to be illuminated and empowered by the Lord or else it would hold no lasting results for the recipient.

This is a great principle that many times we forget… we go out witnessing without the Lord’s intervention, only to find that it was a wasted effort that bears on lasting results.  Every time we witness, we need to go out humbly and prayerfully, recognizing our great need of Christ every step of the way.

 

But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

The Lord gently, lovingly, speaks to Jeremiah and reassures him that He will empower those who minister for Him. Although fallen, sinful mankind is unable to persuade anyone to come to Christ apart from the Lord’s personal intervention in the life of the minister and those being ministered to…

Eph 6:18-20 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Joh 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. 

The Lord’s encouragement to Jeremiah did not stop with His words of encouragement and promises to help.  He then acts on His promises and intervenes in Jeremiah’s life granting him the words that he needed to speak. 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When we go to take the gospel to the lost, we are to go humbly looking to the Lord to lead and supply our every need, and most importantly, we are to take the gospel to the lost with a desire to glorify and honor Christ alone.  This will ensure the Lord will be with us and enable us as we take His gospel to the lost.

 

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