Summary: A glimpse into the prophetic voice of Jeremiah and gleaning some helpful hints into living a life for God today.
The prophets: Jeremiah 2: 5 -9. 29:11 – 14. Jer 31: 31 - 33.
The last session in the bible overview we looked at the Exile in particular under the life of Daniel this week we are going to look at the prophets in particular through the prophet Jeremiah 627 BC.
Before, during and after the exile, God sent prophets to Israel and Judah. To call the people back to their special relationship with God. The prophets reminded Israel that God had made a pledge with them, explaining that God’s people had treated their God badly, and warned the people that they were heading for exile and judgement. But the prophets also comforted the people, telling them that God would not forget His pledge to Abraham and his descendants.
Background: Jeremiah was a Prophet to Judah after the split of the Kingdoms he prophesised for 40 years a turbulent time during the last five kings of Judah a period when Assyria, Egypt and Babylon battled for world supremacy. For 40 years Judah never adhered to the Word of the Lord through Jeremiah. For 23 of those years he prophesised to (25:3) Judah would go into a 70 year captivity in Babylon (25:12) he prophesised their eventual return. Jeremiah is an example of a man who remains faithful and courageous under difficult circumstances.
Jeremiah was a God given compass for the nation guiding them and ultimately pointing them forward to the ultimate fulfilment found in Jesus Christ. The prophets were God’s spokesperson speaking into the lives of the people with a prophetic voice reminding the people of the past, ministering to people in the present and pointing people into the future.
1.The Prophet appointed by God. Jeremiah 1:4 – 10.
The calling v5 : Firstly I want to say that a prophet was APPOINTED by God to speak to the nation on behalf of God, God would give the individual the words to say .... (Eph 4:11) and it is true still today God appoints and calls people to offices in his Church Elders , deacons, missionaries, pastors, evangelist, teachers.
God also calls and equips every Christian to a special role in the Body of Christ and in the world they live....
Our confidence v5: Our calling is found in Him.... .. Before we were even born God knew us Eph. 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless: Like Jeremiah he has a special plan for our lives. Jeremiah would be to be a prophet, for you it could be given over to a special task in the Body of Christ........ with the many avenues of service
Notice that Jeremiah was concerned about his own inability to fulfil the God given task v6 (often we can feel the same? Don’t let feeling of inadequacy stop you from serving God). Because notice God’s reassurance v7-8 The Lord will be with Him and speak through Him. This is still true for Christians today, remember it’s not in our own strength we do the Lords work - but in His, when the Lord calls, He will also equip you for His work wherever you go in His Name. ,
How about guidance? Has God called you to a specific task then accept it cheerfully, do it with diligence, to the glory of God and if you feel that God hasn’t called you to a specific task then fulfil the Lords commands common to all of us to love, obey and serve God - until His guidance becomes more clear.
How do we navigate the guidance of God in our lives?
Consider if you will you’ve pulled up at the traffic lights in your car and the lights have just turned to red, here you need to stop. Red means when it comes to God’s guidance means we always need to stop and consider the objective truth of God’s word speaking into our lives.
Secondly the lights will turn to amber where we instinctively get ready for manoeuvre putting the car into gear, taking the foot off the clutch and the foot on the gas pedal, this is instictivley done. To me this is a picture of the instinctive work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we need to be ready for the subjective witness of the Holy Spirit speaking into our lives.
Thirdly the traffic lights turn to green which means go. At times we need to go, to just get on with things because God will guide us through our circumstances, his divine providence will be worked out. So often many of us talk about not understanding God’s will for our lives, but more often than not we are already fulfilling Gods will for our lives at that particular given moment, unknown to us.... So if you’re seeking guidance Stop and read God’s word - its objective. Be ready for the promptings and witness of the Holy Spirit – and His subjective work in your life and in your present circumstance - remember God’s providential arm being revealed.