Monday 04 March 2024

Bible Book:

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, 'Now I have put my words in your mouth.' (v. 9)

Jeremiah 1:1-10 Monday 4 March 2024

Psalm 100


Today we begin a series of readings from the prophet Jeremiah.

We begin with a note of caution. It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to come to a study of this great man of God without preconceived ideas. His name is the key. A 'Jeremiah' has a reputation. Even the dictionary, not usually interested in proper nouns, willingly defines him. A Jeremiah is ‘a person who continually prophesies doom’.

Be careful. Underline, either physically or mentally, the last verse of today’s reading. Jeremiah is appointed "to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow", yes, but also "to build and to plant’".  Jeremiah’s message is not just negative.

Jeremiah, c.640–587 BC came from a priestly family. He was a young man when he received his call to be a prophet, God’s ‘spokesman’. His reluctance to accept the call because of his youth is understandable. We read of similar reluctance in the case of two other prophets Moses (Exodus 4:1-17) and Gideon (Judges 6:15).

God told Jeremiah that he had been chosen before he was born. He was to speak God’s word not just to Judah, but to the whole world, ‘the nations’.

This was a critical time for Judah. The message Jeremiah was to give was a scary one. He was to tell the people of Judah that they were about to be conquered and taken away from the land they loved. Jeremiah’s warning would make him unpopular, but he was not to be afraid. God was with him, he had touched his lips. That symbolic gesture made it plain that Jeremiah had been called to proclaim God’s word.

Today's passage begins with "The words of Jeremiah…" because he is describing his call. After that there are constant references to ‘the word of the Lord’ or similar phrases all through the book. Jeremiah is not really a prophet of doom. He is simply passing on God’s message to God’s people. There's more about that tomorrow…


To Ponder:

  • If you are using a modern version of the Bible, such as NRSV, you will see from the layout of the print that some of the book of Jeremiah is in poetry and some in prose. Today’s passage is a mixture of both. Can you see why? Does it help in your understanding of the passage?


Gracious God, help me to hear your call. May I serve you faithfully in whatever you ask of me. Amen.

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