Summary: Jeremiah learned that divine revelation becomes a reality when it is sought. By calling out to God, he finds God’s enabling to live out his God given hope of future restoration in a time of personal crisis and national emergency.
AN INVITATION TO PRAY
I’ve always been grateful for the simplicity of God’s profound ways. Though His ways seem beyond discovery for the proud heart, they are simple and inviting to those who love Him. Our text today teaches us that God reveals Himself and what He is about in or due to prayer. Life tried and perplex Jeremiah, both his life and by all that was going on around him. Things seemed to be going from bad to worse, for him and for the nation. Was there any hope? Where could he find a solution for the problems and answers for the future?
God here assured Jeremiah that he had only to call upon Him, and God would answer. His answers would be marvelous, for not only does God know the future, He holds the future in His hands, and more meaning fully, He holds our future in His hands.
Jeremiah learned that divine revelation becomes a reality when it is sought (CIT). By calling out to God, he finds God’s enabling to live out his God given hope of future restoration in a time of personal crisis and national emergency. His hope and the focus of His ministry was for divine restoration. God now invites him to ask Him for what seems humanly impossible.
I. THE PROMPTING, A SUPERB INVITATION, 3a.
II. THE PROMISE, A SUPERIOR EXPECTATION, 3b.
III. THE PROVISION, A SUPERNATURAL REVELATION, 3c.
Let’s cover a little BACKGROUND for our passage. Jeremiah records these verses while he was imprisoned in the court of the guard (where the elders and the king’s officials could consult him, v. 1). Jerusalem was under siege. Jeremiah’s country men were depraved and rebellious against God. They plotted against his life, to silence him instead of heeding his message. Jeremiah is distressed, perplexed and confounded. God has just answered Jeremiah’s prayer for understanding (32:16-25) by assuring him that nothing is to difficult for the God of all mankind (32:27). Though His people were defiant and rebellious, God would unify them in singleness of heart through an everlasting covenant and by putting the fear of God in their hearts. Jeremiah’s restored confidence in God, His plan, His provision, and His power make him ready to be challenged by God to ask for the restoration of His people to the will and way of God.
I. THE PROMPTING, A SUPERB INVITATION, 3a.
Notice God’s invitation [to us] at the beginning of verse 3: “Call to Me...”
God invites Jeremiah and He invites us to call upon Him. How complicated is that? In any situation, from any place, in any situation language, just call.. This cry doesn’t have to be eloquent or profound. There is no requirement of wording or posture, simply call on Him.
Call when you’re happy and rejoice in His blessings. Call when your sad and find His comfort. Call when your guilty and encounter His cleansing. Call when you’re depressed and hear His word of encouragement. Call when your world is upside down and watch Him reveal a new world to you. Call when your burden is heavy and the Holy Spirit will come and pray for you. Call when your strength is too little and your faith is to weak. Then He will mount you on eagles’ wings, you will run and not be weary, you will walk and talk together and not faint (Isa. 40:31). [Incense and Thunder, pp 237-238]
This is also a call for Jeremiah to test the Lord. God stood ready to answer. The thought though is that we must ask if we would receive. God not only wants us to ask He has placed Himself in dependency upon our asking (Mt. 6:10; Jas 4:2).
In creating man with a free will (the ability to make his own choices) and making man a partner in subduing the earth, God voluntarily limited Himself. He made His work on earth dependent upon man, upon what man would do or not do. God commissioned man with the responsibility to subdue and rule over the earth (Gen. 1:28). In God giving man responsibility for life on the earth He also limited His own involvement. God involves Himself as man [His care taker] makes request of Him. Man by his prayer holds the lifeline to the blessings and specific involvement of God in human affairs.
That is the reason Jesus taught us to ask that God’s will be done in the affairs of earth as it is in the affairs of Heaven (Mt. 6:10). The sovereign God has given man the responsibility to realize his need for God’s activity in human affairs and the obligation ask for it. How is God’s will enacted on earth? God brings His will to earth by man’s calling out to Him for it.