Jeremiah 1:1-19 NIV
1The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2The Word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3and 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.
The Call of Jeremiah
4The Word of the Lord came to me, saying,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9Then the Lord reached out His Hand and touched my mouth and said to me,
“I have put My Words in your mouth. 10See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
11The Word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watchingb to see that My Word is fulfilled.”
13The Word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
14The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.
“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.
16I 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. 18Today 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. 19They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
This prophecy was written starting 627 years before Christ was born.
1:1-10 Jeremiah's early call to the work and office of a prophet is stated. He was to be a prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the neighboring nations. He is still a prophet to the whole world, and it would be well if they would attend to these warnings. The Lord Who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes He intended us.
But unless He sanctify us by His new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for His holy service on earth, nor His holy happiness in Heaven. It makes us have low thoughts of ourselves. Those who are young, should consider that they are so, and not venture beyond their powers. But though a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency should make us go humbly about our work, it should not make us draw back when God calls us.
Those who have messages to deliver from God, must not fear the face of man. The Lord, by a sign, gave Jeremiah such a gift as was necessary. God's message should be delivered in his own words. Whatever worldly wise men or politicians may think, the safety of kingdoms is decided according to the purpose and Word of God.
1:11-19 God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come.
The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them.
Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.