Monday 15 February 2016

Bible Book:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (v. 5)

Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10 Monday 15 February 2016

Psalm: Psalm 36


One of the dangers in an age when the Bible is nota well-known book for large parts of the population - even those ofus who are in church week after week - is that we form unhelpfulpictures of its major characters.

Today's passage - Jeremiah's protest that he is tooyoung to be of much use to God - is quoted by preachers whenreminding us that God can choose all sorts for use in God'sservice. But Jeremiah's response - "I am only a boy" (v. 7) - canleave us with a false picture.

The book of Jeremiah - the second longest of theprophetic books - records the work of a man whose ministry lastedmore than 40 years before Judah was overwhelmed by Babylon in587BC. We must not stay with the impression that Jeremiah, calledas a boy, stays young and inexperienced.

Indeed, the 52 chapters record an extraordinaryseries of exploits. Jeremiah prophesies using what would today becalled performance art - extraordinary public displays such aswalking about in the streets with a yoke about his neck along withother efforts to attract attention. He is taunted and retaliates,and is thrown in jail as the result. At one point he is even dumpedinto a pit.

But despite all this, the point of Jeremiah'sministry is not who he is, but is in the one who called him to be aprophet. Jeremiah declares that God has spoken:

  • "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…"
  • "before you were born I consecrated you…"
  • "I appointed you a prophet…"

Ultimately it isn't the word of Jeremiah thatmatters, it is the word of God being spoken out to Judah and thatword is both painful to speak and heartbreaking to hear.

To Ponder

  • Do today's prophets appear on the streets or write books?
  • How do you recognise the prophets in today's Church?
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