Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 24), (Jeremiah 1), (Matthew 12)

Today we started reading the words of Jeremiah, who was born as “one of the priests” [v.1]. We are fascinated by the many words from the LORD that he inspired Jeremiah to speak and write.  He was to be the mouthpiece of God to Israel over many years beginning in the reign of good king Josiah, to the disaster of the last king Zedekiah.   

“The LORD came to me”  Jeremiah says, telling him, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” [v.5]  Jeremiah protests, “Ah Lord GOD!  Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” [v.6]  The LORD tells him not to say this, “… whatever I command you, you shall speak, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you” [v.7,8]

“Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth.  And the LORD said to me, ‘Behold I have put my words in your mouth. “ [v.9]  It is clear in the words that follow that his divinely inspired messages have applications in many cases to situations developing in Israel in the prophet’s lifetime – and others – to the future of other nations – and also – to events to come in the latter day restoration of Israel, our days; these, as we will see in future chapters, really challenge our thinking.

Jeremiah is a type of Christ from his birth and the later traumas his life went through before and at  the destruction of Jerusalem.  As the inspired mouthpiece of God’s word, he is told, “See I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and break down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant … I am watching over my wordto perform it.” [v.10,12]  As we read God’s word let us search to see how  it has been performed – and will yet be completely performed – the climax of its fulfilment will surely be the most dramatic of all. How close are we to that time?  May we ‘hear’ the LORD saying to us, as he says to Jeremiah (as the chapter ends) “Be not dismayed … for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” [v.17,19]