365 Devotionals: Tears For God’s People
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP
The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series
A Prophet to The Nations
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument],
And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own];
I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 AMP
Video of The Day
Watch “Overview: Jeremiah” by The Bible Project.
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|14th||Jeremiah||Chapter 1||Chapter 3||A Prophet to The Nations|
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 AMP
18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee. Jeremiah 1:18-19
“Then [in the final time] I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding. Jeremiah 3:15 AMP
Here is a list of key people found in today’s reading (in order of appearance) with bios from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Jeremiah. Also called the “weeping prophet”. One of the major prophets of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. According to Jewish tradition, Jeremiah authored the Book of Jeremiah, the Books of Kings and the Book of Lamentations, with the assistance and under the editorship of Baruch ben Neriah, his scribe and disciple.
Today’s Devotional Reading: Jeremiah 1 – 3
4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
God chooses specific people for particular tasks. To the outsider looking in, it may seem as if God is picking people at random. This is not so. We learn in the first chapter of Jeremiah that God has chosen a youth to represent Him. God says that not only is this child chosen of Him, but he was chosen even before birth.
“4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5 KJV
Although Jeremiah is yet a youth, God does not command him to behave as a child without charge. God gives Jeremiah both authority and a promise that none of his words shall fail – they can not fail because they are not Jeremiah’s words. God put His own words in the mouth of Jeremiah to speak.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:1-10 KJV
Jeremiah 1:8 is a good example of God’s philosophy of fear. In the words of God, “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.” God tells Jeremiah that fear is not necessary because God is his deliver. Can we apply this principle to our own lives? If we believe and live in God’s will, we can be confident that God is our deliverer. We can take comfort in God’s omnipotence and choose not to be overtaken in fear. How do we find courage? Remember that God loves us. Because of His love, he does not want us to perish. If we truly love Him, we will trust in Him. That is perfect love – total trust.
“15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.” I John 4:15-19 KJV
Why wouldn’t you want to trust in a God who is all powerful, all-knowing, and capable of accomplishing what for others is yet impossible?
“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27 KJV
God promises Jeremiah that his enemies will not prevail over him.
“And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.” Jeremiah 1:19 KJV
While God is a great and powerful source, we do well to remember that He is our friend if we show ourselves friendly to Him by keeping His commandments. Because God is a friend to us, we have a relationship with Him that must be cultivated.
“Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.” Jeremiah 2:2 KJV
If your best friend stopped speaking to you, would you feel that something needed to be done? In the second chapter of Jeremiah, God lets His friends (people) know that they have neglected Him, in spite of His nurturing. He states factually, that He does not deserve this treatment. God cares about His relationship with His friends. If His friends will not listen to him, he does not just skip to the silent treatment; he sends someone else to speak to them, whom they might listen to instead. God already knows whether or not we will receive His messenger; still, He gives us the opportunity to hear Him in more than one way.
“4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: 5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? 7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. 8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. 9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.” Jeremiah 2:4-9 KJV
If we reject God’s friendship, then should we seek him in time of trouble? It sounds strange that we should think God will come to our rescue in this condition.
“29 Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 2:26 KJV
God is so merciful that many times He does receive us when we should be outcast. He helps us because He wants us to recognize the value he places on our relationship, even when we do not.
“4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? 5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.” Jeremiah 3:4-5
However, If we insist on neglecting our relationship with God, we may find ourselves in a very dangerous place.
“32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.” Jeremiah 2:32 KJV
It is not that God is unwilling to save us. It is more that when we need Him, we may feel more shame than desperation. In this case, we may not call upon Him before it is too late. Much time spent away from God makes us increasingly less sensitive to the still, small voice that God often uses to speak to us. Eventually, we may not hear God speaking at all. It is not that He has ceased from speaking. We have simply become dull of hearing.
God is so many times forgiving, modeling for us the manner in which He expects us to receive those who transgress against us. While we do not know where the line may be drawn, if we continually reject God’s will, He will not always strive with us. We should not think that we can abuse His forgiveness.
“35 Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.” Jeremiah 2:35 KJV
Once again, God shows mercy. He promises help to find Him and His way. If we are willing to seek Him and follow His direction, God will place people in our path to help us know and understand His will, and to accomplish whatsoever He intends for us to do.
“14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15nd I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.” Jeremiah 3:15-18
From Jeremiah 1-3, we should learn to receive God’s messenger, not prejudging whether or not he or she is sent by God – because he or she is “too young,” or for some other cosmetic reason. We should learn to know the fruits of God’s Spirit and to look for them, for where they are – if we reject them we may lose the blessing carried with them. In the case of Jeremiah, he carries messages from God to the people – mostly warnings, which by taking their prescribed actions, the people can avoid negative consequences. To be spared from the wrath of God is a blessing. We should be encouraged to both nurture and strengthen our relationship with God, as He works very diligently at confirming His love toward us; yet is He not a page without feeling. He is not simply in the Bible that we read. God is a living spirit. We should know that God is merciful and willing to receive us if we are willing to obey Him.
Image Source: 365 Seeds of Promise by Shenica Graham.
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