I think, Jeremiah who is remembered by most of us as the weeping prophet was an example of how we should live today. In one aspect he was always sorrowful about the message that he had to tell the people of Israel. He had a message of pending judgement and God’s wrath upon sin. At the same time, he was instructed by God to build up people. Those messages conflict with each other in some ways, but still, we too should be building up but also teaching the return of Jesus and the final destruction and defeat of sin.
When God returns, there won’t be any more time to prepare and get right. Jeremiah couldn’t stop the judgement from coming, but he had to obey God by preparing those who would listen.
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God told Jeremiah, that he was appointed a prophet before he was born. God knew Jeremiah before he was born… This tells us also that God knew us before we were formed in the womb.
God gives us what we need to do what he has appointed us. We can’t know what to say except that God puts the words in our mouth.
In this particular case, God shows Jeremiah what will happen to Israel, how Jeremiah will be received when he starts speaking the word. They will fight against Jeremiah, but God will be with him.
Israel has left God. They have “changed their glory for that which does not profit.” They have brought the pending judgement upon themselves. They chose to forsake the Lord even though he led them. Even thought he nation says that they have not sinned, he will hold them accountable for the sins that they have committed.
Jeremiah 3 – 4
Even though the nation is faithless, God is merciful and will not be angry forever. When the people acknowledge their guilt, and return to him, he will take them/us back. Disaster will be averted if you circumcise yourselves to the Lord.
Jeremiah 5 – 7
BUT, here comes the judgement. Since Israel and Judah have been unfaithful, God is going to bring another nation against them. Even though I sent people to warn you, you have not listened nor returned to God. Therefore, he is raising up others for his purpose.
Jeremiah 8 – 9
This is where we really see the sadness and grief that Jeremiah has for his fellow brothers and sisters of Israel. He knows that they are doomed and there is no physician that can come to aid them. He realizes that the only justice for their sins is the judgment of God. He is told that circumcision of flesh isn’t enough. To truly be right with God and follow him, you must be circumcised in the heart.
The other nations are not safe from ultimate judgment. They too will be punished, but God will likewise be patient with them and by his patience and love, he will bring some from other nations to himself. God/Jeremiah urgest the people of Israel to not follow their gods, because he is the only true God.