Jeremiah 1
Invited to the words of the Lord

Jeremiah 1:1-10
Galatians 1:1-12
T The prophet of the sorrow

I want to take up a series of "the genealogy of the prophet" again from this time, he is Jeremiah called "the prophet of the sorrow"; he appeared just before the Jewish Babylon captivity, and he was cursed with an unpatriotic person because of the prophecy that he continued talking, and was persecuted by a Jew. The difficult period of Babylonian captivity; that documentation is difficult, and it seems to be puzzled, but because I can not avoid it, I decided to summon up the courage to tackle. Little by little, I think that I will grope for it, but, through a message of Jeremiah, I want to touch the problem that a person of modern faith holds. Jeremiah is also concerned with there, I think.

"The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjarmin" (1) Anathoth is a small town in northeast 7 kilos of Jerusalem. Originally it was the land of Benjamin; but it was one of 48 towns which was given, and offered to Levites, because they asked "The Lord commanded through Moses to give us cities to live in" (Jehosua 21:1-3, 18). Because Lewi was a tribe of the Rabbi, Jeremiah introduced oneself as "the son of Hilkiah, of the priests"; but it seems he was not a priest himself. This Anathoth became the first place of his prophecy activity. The faith of the prophet Jeremiah who was born in the town of the Lewi group; it is guessed as the cultivated "cultus" based on a contract with God, since ancient times in the Jew. Because I will read the text from now, nothing can yet say the detailed thing; but probably, it is thought that part of the "cultus" of him will become extremely important in future.

"To whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month." (2-3)

The time that Jeremiah began to act was thirteenth year (BC627) of the king Josiah. The reign of King Josiah was 31 years period from BC 639-609, Jehoahaz subsequent was only three months in BC 609, Jehoiakim was 11 years of BC 609-597, Jehoiachin was three months in BC 597, and Jerusalem fell (586 years) in the 11th year of Zedekiah in BC 597-586, the South Kingdom of Judah was destroyed. The prophecy activity of Jeremiah condenses into 40 years of the south Judah kingdom turbulence. Jeremiah was taken to Egypt with the people who fled into Egypt by force by the people who fled into Egypt, and the last land of Jeremiah became Egypt. According to a legend, he died in punishment of stoning by Jews. He would be 64~65 years old.


U In the midst of the history

"Now the word of the Lord came to me saying" (4), the calling of Jeremiah, it is revealed that it was begun with the word of the Lord. This was a stance not to change throughout the life of Jeremiah as the prophet. It is because his prophecy activity always begins in the place to hear words of God. And the words of the God were talked in the midst of the Israeli history and had to be asked. The oracle of religions was passed among the brokerage meditation often, and it has been effective in the conduct of human thought and religion; but, it of Jeremiah was never such a thing, it forms their history for the future at the place where he and people of the time walk about; it was the words of God which is concerning to us of after ages far also. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." (5) These words of God say that it is the work of the Lord to form a person in the interior of the womb. "I know you"; it will support to a situation that the people of Israel at the time is going to be put; in the same way which was said in Exodus, "I have seen" "I have given heed" "I am aware" (Exodus 3:7). And it shows that Jeremiah was troubled under that situation. A prophet is people who should be said "the genealogy" inheriting words of God. Jeremiah was called to that genealogy. Jeremiah said. "Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth." (6) When he received a calling from God, it is supposed that he was only 20-25 years old; but, this Jeremiah was not written at that time, Jeremiah dictated it much later, and his disciple Baruch wrote it. Besides, a finished thing was broken by touching the wrath of Jehoiakim king of the time and cast into flames; therefor Baruch had to rewrite it once again (36:2 -4, 23-24, 27-28, 32). It became the model of this Jeremiah. In the midst of the prophecy of Jeremiah, even if Jeremiah talked hard, people did not hear at all, but they attacked him rather violently; at that place, Baruch who had shared that hardship with Jeremiah recorded words of God, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." and he wrote down also words of the refusal of Jeremiah, "Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.". We cannot hear here, "I am only young". it will have to consider that the critical situation of the extinction in Israel is hidden there. However, God insists on sovereignty of Himself to Jeremiah decidedly at here. Revelation of God's unilateral sovereignty becomes the central subject of this prophet.


V Invited to the words of the Lord

After heard the refusal of Jeremiah, God said. "Do not say, 'I am a youth'"."Do not say, 'I am a youth.' because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the Lord. (7-8) These words of God, it has not touched anything about in what form it was told. Jeremiah only heard words of God. This will be a characteristic of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was overwhelmed for a claim of God. We seem to be able to see the same figure of Jeremiah to Paul who met the resurrected Jesus while he was persecuting the Christians. Jeremiah and Paul, both have heard, "To be with you, I will rescue you". However, that promise did not become their shield from the beginning. Crisis which attacked repeatedly, it was a life-and-death crisis; for that crisis, one time one time, each time and each time, God kindly became a shield for them while changing the shape. Therefore, they were asked the faith to the Lord at the time, and they were able to feel that the Lord was there. Moreover, both Jeremiah and Paul had to follow the road to martyrdom in the same way. However, they were invited mainly. It is not allowed to move back. Jeremiah had to follow it, without time to prepare oneself, being puzzled for this sudden calling. It will be the sovereignty of the Lord. He followed that sovereignty.

He reviews it, "Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me." (9). Though it is accompanied by representation, "lengthens a hand" "touch a mouth", we can not understand anything from here. It would not need the explanation. It was the mystery of God. The important thing is that words of God reached the ears of Jeremiah. "See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pick up and to break down, to build and to plant." (10) Jeremiah was called to preach these words of God. "Over the nations and over the kingdoms", he was called to work in a domain of God. "To pluck up and to break down", "to destroy and to overthrow"; it is a message of the ruin to be emphasized repeatedly here. The message of "to build and to plant" is put, however the reality of the Judah kingdom covers a part of the salvation, and it cannot touch the heart of people. It was the beginning of suffering which is covering the life of Jeremiah.


The genealogy of prophets