Presentation on theme: "Priest and Prophet Jeremiah His prophetic ministry in Jerusalem lasted 40 years (626 – 586 BC) Contemporary prophets were Habakkuk, Obadiah, and Ezekiel."— Presentation transcript:
Priest and Prophet Jeremiah His prophetic ministry in Jerusalem lasted 40 years (626 – 586 BC) Contemporary prophets were Habakkuk, Obadiah, and Ezekiel (in Babylon) Jeremiah’s ministry was in the time of the divided kingdom. The Northern Kingdom Israel had already fallen into the hands of the Assyrians in 722 BC, when also Samaritan people were brought into exile to Babylon. In 605 the first exile of Jews to Babylon took place. At the end of his ministry the Southern Kingdom Judah falls to Babylon. The Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in 586 BC (see Daniel 1:1-2). It was the time of the end of the Assyrian Empire and the beginning of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (same geographical area). The capital of the Assyrian Empire, Nineveh, fell in the hands of the Babylonians and the Medes in 612 BC. Just before that time Jeremiah and his scribe Baruch fled to Egypt. The death of Jeremiah is not known, but probably he was stoned in 586 BC in Egypt (Heb. 11:37). Timeline It was the time when Judah’s kings Josiah (godly), Jehoiakim (ungodly), and Zedekiah (ungodly) ruled (2 Chronicles 35 and 36)
Jeremiah outline of the longest book of the Bible 1. Call of the prophet, chapter 1 2. Prophesies against Judah and Jerusalem, chapters 2-45 a. Warnings and exhortations (encouragements) to Judah, chapters 2-35 b. Sufferings and persecutions of the prophet, chapters c. The fall of Jerusalem and its aftermath, chapters Prophesies against de nations, chapters Historical appendix, chapter 52
Jeremiah 1 1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the L ORD came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile. 4 The word of the L ORD came to me, saying, 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.” 6 “Ah, Sovereign L ORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” 7 But the L ORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the L ORD. 9 Then the L ORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” 11 The word of the L ORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. 12 The L ORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” 13 The word of the L ORD came to me again: “What do you see?” “I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north,” I answered. Verse 5 says in the King James version “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you” Isn’t that the main verse we have that shows God’s will about the sanctity of human life?
14 The L ORD said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the L ORD. “Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah. 16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made. 17 Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the L ORD. He was ever conscious of God’s call on Him. Jeremiah 15:19 says: Therefore this is what the L ORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.”
and in Jeremiah 19:2-3 it is made clear that God spoke to him personally: 2 and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, 3 and say, ‘Hear the word of the L ORD, O kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the L ORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. and the prophesy will be fulfilled as Jeremiah 28:9 says: “But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the L ORD only if his prediction comes true.” and the fulfillment took place in his lifetime as Jeremiah 32:24 says: “See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see.”
Jeremiah needed to deal with: - false prophets, who falsely foretold peace - deep sins of his countrymen: idolatry, sacrificing children to foreign gods Jeremiah kept loving the people of Judah in spite of their sins, prayed for them, even when the Lord told him not to. Jeremiah was an unusual prophet, because he not only warned the people and not only called for repentance, but preached to put God first even when that meant to submit to Babylon and even settle there, and not to rebel. He also prophesied much about judgment. Unusual was that he (as Ezekiel did) called people to take personal responsibility and be accountable to God. He pointed to sin and consequences of sin. This made him very unpopular. Nobody could hide behind the divine protection of the God of Israel as a nation, everyone needed to be personal responsible. However, he pointed to God as the creator of everything, omnipotent, omnipresent, and not only the God of Judah and Israel, but the God of all nations. - God’s call to remain unmarried (chapter 16:2) - fierce personal persecution
What made him very unpopular was the message that God would ultimately undo the covenant and put a curse on the remnant of Judah, because of their uncircumcised unconsecrated hearts. However, mercy and covenant faithfulness would triumph over wrath. Beyond judgment restoration and renewal would come, although the wrath/captivity in Babylon would last 70 years (ch. 25). As a sign of the restoration Jeremiah buys a field just before the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem. Picture of restoration is the potter making a new vessel. In poetic chapter 18 we read: This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the L ORD : 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
In Chapter 33 we read about the promise of restoration. 15 “‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The L ORD Our Righteousness.’
31 “The time is coming,” declares the L ORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the L ORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the L ORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. It’s not only the land and Jerusalem that will be restored. In Chapter 31 God says that a new covenant with people will be established:
The fall of Jerusalem (ch 39). King Zedekiah of Judah was taken by the Babylonian invaders and Zedekiah’s eyes were taken out (vs 7) and brought to Babylon. Jeremiah could stay in Jerusalem under protection of the Babylonians with a remnant of Jews, and he prophesies: ‘This is what the L ORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words against this city through disaster, not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. But I will rescue you on that day, declares the L ORD ; you will not be handed over to those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the L ORD.’” (J ER. 39:16-18)
Amidst prophesy about devastation, future restoration is seen, and the Messiah is in view. Jer. 23:5-6 says: “The days are coming,” declares the L ORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The L ORD Our Righteousness.” And Jer. 31:31 says: “The time is coming,” declares the L ORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” which is referred to in Heb. 8:8-12, thus proving that Jeremiah prophesied about the Messiah. Pointing to the Messiah? Prophesies against the nations Chapters 46 – 51 speak about the gentile enemies of Israel and Judah, mainly Egypt and Babylon. Have these been fulfilled by the breakdown of the Babylonian Empire? Or are they being fulfilled in our time now? Look at current uproars in the Arab world, Syria, and Iran. Is the ‘revolution of today’ the sign of God’s judgment to come?