Jeremiah 2
Words of God must always be heard

Jeremiah 1:11-19
Ephesian 6:14-17
T In God's watching

The message which Jeremiah should talk about was conveyed, and Jeremiah was called as a prophet. "'What do you see, Jeremiah?' 'I see a rod of an almond tree,' 'You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.'" (11-12) God asked the same thing twice, "What do you see?", and now, we will see the first answer of Jeremiah and the first message of God. Probably, in the garden of his house, the tree of big almond would be planted. Jeremiah answered, "I see a rod of an almond tree." while looking up at that tree. Tree of almond, it pronounce "shaked" in Hebrew; but God who asked about it said "For I am watching". Watching, it is "shoked" in Hebrew (cf. 新共同訳). Because (a) in the ancient Hebrew was pronounced ambiguously, (a) and (o) would be very close pronunciation. Surely Jeremiah would feel an eye of God while watching the branch of the almond. It was rather than he has seen it out in the garden suddenly, but he watched it closely while feeling the presence of God on the branch of the almond. Jeremiah heard, God is watching him on the lookout, whether the words of God were carried out or not. The recognition of the prophet is talked here, about how important thing that Jeremiah was called from God.

When we hear it in this way, it seems that the answer of Jeremiah and the second question of God will reach to the message of God. "What do you see?", "I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north,", "Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. For, behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord:" (13-15) Because it is different from the first scene, and time is put, it must be heard that the state of the second calling is talked about. "Boiling pot", it seems to show that Jeremiah was in the kitchen. "A rod of an almond", "a boiling pot", it deserves attention that both words of God talked to Jeremiah are extremely concrete. Jeremiah was not a priest, but because he was born and raised in the home of the priest, and because he belonged to the class of intellectual, in the message, even if it was discussed in the context of law and ritual that the Jews came to cherish, Jeremiah would have a good understanding of it, I think. Still, God asks it in the scenery of the kitchen. "What do you watch?" And Jeremiah had worried about "Who is God watching?". People whom Jeremiah had to speak to were the Jewish people.

U An evil from the north

It is necessary to understand about then prophecy activity. It was not a literary activity, but it was to speak to people walking down the road, by standing on a street corner. It was the traditional style of the Israeli prophet. He sometimes went to the King or to an authorized person and talked, but the principle style was the speech at the street corner. God conveyed a message that Jeremiah should speak standing on a street corner. Although it was a message that he must continue to speak, but it was slightly different each time. As for what is talked here, a part including the extinction of the Judah kingdom is still hidden, but it may be said that it is a basic message through Jeremiah. "'Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitations of the land. For, behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north,' declares the Lord; 'and they will come, and they will set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will pronounce My judgement on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their hands.'" (14-16)

Here, the reason that Jeremiah watched the boiling pot in a kitchen becomes clear. He said, "I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north". A boiling pot inclines from the north and it runs down almost. It has meant an army coming from the north. The enemy which comes from the north of Palestine, it is Silja and Media. It may be assumed a variety of ethnic groups, but, the events that Northern Kingdom of Israel destroyed by Assyria, it is still new in memory. It is thought that Jeremiah knew that the new empire / the new Babylonia empire which has ruined the Assyria empire has gained power. God says that He has appealed for dispatch to the empire. The powerful empires which appeared in the east, Assyria, Babylonia, and Media / Persia, had challenge to fight the West great power, Silja, Greece and Egypt, and opened the map of their empires. Palestinian small country Judea located among them would be a pebble rolling to the route of their target. It is disturbing. The new Babylonia empire which appeared suddenly was the short-lived empire which led the King of only four generations, but it says that it flocked like an anger wave for 66 years (AD605-539). As if it has appeared in order to bring about the destruction of Judah kingdom. Probably Jeremiah would not have known it in detail including the international situation of the neighborhood. However, he carved it in a heart, as it was will of God. The prophet of that time, for example, when Isaiah has conveyed a message of the condemnation to Israel from God, he defended for Israel; but Jeremiah has not such a place a little, and he is only going to carry it faithfully. The disbelief that ignored Israeli God to his eyes might be clear. Probably, such a scene that the idol of other gods was enshrined in the shrine would be seen. His calling was five years before the reformation of king Josiah (the 18th year).

V Words of God must always be heard

"'Now, gird up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them. Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city, and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. And they will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,' declares the Lord" (17-19) The latter half of the message from God, it is warning and encouragement to Jeremiah. It begins, "Now, gird up your loins, and arise"; but it shows recognition of commander of God, and it is dispatch to the battlefields to talk this message at a street corner. If he will be scared, he will not be able to get the victory. "Do not be dismayed before them", the reason why this warning was talked about to Jeremiah, it would be a scare and hesitation to stand as a prophet in Jeremiah. In there, even an expression full of the intense anger and fear of people hearing a message is expected. It might be "a scare" or "a hesitation", but it might be the gentleness to the people of the countryman of Jeremiah. Possibly, would Jeremiah would expect that by not talking about a message of "ruin", the decision of God might be evaded? However, this warning of God shows that the strong anger to Jews without already moving back is decisive.

However, God sending Jeremiah out does not leave him in a lurch. "As a fortified city, and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze", it points the shield of Jeremiah is God Own. However, God expected the situation that must rescue Jeremiah. Jeremiah would encounter severe persecution. That hardship made him call "a prophet of the sorrow". In the Bible, there is not the prophet who carried such a heavy load on his back anywhere. Why would God have demanded such readiness from him? Message of God must always be heard. Probably, this was the only answer, and this was the reason that sent Jeremiah into the battlefield. Modern we want to hear it, too.

The genealogy of prophets