Summary: Are you Jeremiah? (Matthew 16:14) (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Jeremiah chapter 1 verses 1-8.
• I won’t embarrass you this morning;
• By asking when was the last time your read through the book of Jeremiah?
I GUESS THERE ARE THREE REASONS WHY WE DON’T READ IT:
• The book is 52 chapters long (second only to Isaiah 66 chapters),
• In fact it is the longest book in the Bible, containing more words than any other book.
• For many people it is too long a book to tackle with any enthusiasm.
• The book is neither chronological nor in topical order,
• And so it is hard to follow.
• The writings have been bunched together in what seems an arbitrary fashion.
• We might call it a collection of collections.
• As you read Jeremiah’s book it all seems to be bad news,
• His message to Judah is mainly negative.
• There is good news in his prophecy
• But it is hidden among so much bad news that it is easily overlooked.
• And Jeremiah himself experiences major heartache;
• And is treated with incredible cruelty by the people, priests, prophets and kings.
• Although we don’t read his book too often;
• Jeremiah is a key figure in the Old Testament & is one of the best known of all the prophets.
• The people of Jesus’ day certainly knew about him,
• And saw qualities in him that were also in Jesus himself.
(1). Both were set apart for a mission before they were born.
Jeremiah (chapter 1 verse 5):
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”.
• Even his name "Jeremiah" means;
• "Whom Jehovah appoints." or “God sends”.
When we read those words in verse 5:
• We are straight away drawn away from Jeremiah;
• And back to God himself, where we see the creator, one who has a master plan.
• God informs Jeremiah that he was handmade for his task.
• His life was not down to chance but to design.
• Friends round on Wednesday they have four children;
• Between the first two and the second two there is a nine year gap
• The experts had told them during those nine years;
• That it was impossible for them to have any more children.
• Then one day to their and the ‘experts’ surprise;
• She discovered that she was pregnant!
• In every sense of the word that baby was an ‘unplanned pregnancy’.
• Yet no-one could ever accuse Jeremiah of being an ‘unplanned pregnancy’.
Notice: twice in this verse God says “Before”:
• The first time it is used to reassure Jeremiah.
• That he is known by and created by the eternal God.
• The second time it is used is to give him confidence regarding his ministry.
• In fact two distinct things are mentioned.
• He is ‘set apart’ (consecrated) and ‘appointed’
• Jeremiah is first related to the Lord and then to his world.
• Would use the exact same wording concerning his own ministry,
• Ill: John chapter 10 verse 36:
“What about the one whom the Father SET APART as his very own AND SENT into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ’I am God’s Son’?”
In John chapter 10:
• We are breaking into a very passionate and dangerous argument;