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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 1

Verses 1-10

  1. Intro:
    1. It’s the 7th cent bc. - We have a young priest in the city of Anathoth, who becomes a Prophet.
    2. He becomes known as the “weeping prophet”(but in no way a wimpy Prophet!)
    3. He was a Patriot, wholly committed to God & Holiness!
    4. His contemporaries were - {Zeph., Hab., & Daniel}
    5. He Preached about the impending captivity. He was persecuted for his message to his people.
      1. The 1st part of his ministry the message was “Repent or be Destroyed”.
      2. After the fall Neb. Gave him the option to go to Babylon, or stay w/the poor remnant {2 Kings 24:14}.
      3. Later this remnant went down to Egypt against Jer. & Baruch’s Advice (43:6,7).
      4. Jer. Still sought to turn them back to the Lord.
      5. Jer. Predicted there return to the land in the end {23:5-8}
      6. Jer. Probably died down in Egypt.
    6. Q: Have you ever hesitated to accept God’s call? If so why?
      1. Here Jer. Hesitates (6)…Why?
      2. His new job would be Demanding, Difficult, & above that he was Doubtful!
  2. His new Job would be DEMANDING! (1)
    1. Jer. Dad, & dad’s dad was a priest!
    2. It was much more demanding being a Prophet than a Priest!
    3. Priests - duties were predictable. {everything was written down in the Law.} They just had to follow directions.
      1. Prophets - duties were unpredictable.
    4. Priests - duty was to conserve the Past.
      1. Prophets - labored to change the Future.
    5. Priests - dealt with the externals.(determining ritual cleanness)
      1. Prophets - The prophet tried to reach & change the heart. (Heart found 66 x’s) {Jer. Is the prophet with the heart!}
    6. Priests - usually ministered to individuals.
      1. Prophets - usually to nations. (& usually they didn’t like the message!)
    7. Priests - belonged to a special tribe that was respected & had authority!
      1. Prophets - came from any tribe & had to prove his call!
    8. Priests - had a guaranteed income.
      1. Prophets - no guaranteed income.
      2. Jer. would have had a much easier time being a priest! This new assignment was going to be demanding!
  3. His new Job would be DIFFICULT! (2,3)
    1. ​​​​​​​The Times: It was a time of Rebellion against God.
      1. Jer. was born during the reign of the wicked king Manasseh.
      2. Both Manasseh & his son(Amon) led the people into deep Idolatry!
      3. It was a time where godly priests were not greatly appreciated.
    2. It was a time of Reformation not true Repentance!
      1. After Amon, Josiah came to the throne, they found the Law, it was read to him, he repented & leads the nation to repentance(but it was only superficial).
      2. Jer. knew this & boldly says…3:10!
      3. (vs.2,3) - The 3 kings mentioned were: Josiah the Reformer; Jehoiakim the Tyrant; & Zedekiah the Weathercock/Vascillator.
        1. “We 3 kings of Orient are, Josiah was godly but the Nation didn’t get far! Jehoiakim the Tyrant taxed em heavy,only to pay King Nebuchadnezzar’s levy! Zedekiah from both sides of his mouth did talk,he blew back & forth like a well lubed weathercock!”
  4. ​​​​​​​Jeremiah was DOUBTFUL! (6)
    1. ​​​​​​​Jer. saw the work before him, the wickedness, around him, & the weakness within him!
    2. Q: When it comes to ministry have you ever felt inadequate?
    3. Q: Have you ever felt adequate? (look out)
      1. Paul asked “who is sufficient for these things?” {Paul pondering the responsibilities of ministry} 2 Cor.2:16.
      2. He answers his own question in 3:5.
    4. Q: How many mistakes has God made?
      1. When God calls, He isn’t making a mistake!
      2. It’s good to know your weaknesses. But don’t let your weaknesses keep you from getting anything done!
    5. Q: Does, “oh I don’t think the Lord can use me”, speak of humility or….pride?
      1. Pride - Because you think you have something to do with it?
  5. Jeremiah was given 3 great Assurances! (4-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​#1 Assurance - Gods Electing Grace! (4,5)
      1. God doesn’t save us, call us, or use us because were deserving…it’s all by grace!
        1. 1 Cor.15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
      2. 4 things GOD did!
      3. [1] I Formed you! - God gives us our genetic structure.
        1. “What we are is God’s gift to us; what we do is our gift to Him!”
      4. [2] I Knew you! - Speaks of God’s sov. election of his servant.
        1. Amos 3:2 (God to Israel)“You only have I known of all the families of the earth;…” {knew you = chose you}
      5. [3] I Sanctified you! - He was set apart for & by the Lord!
      6. [4] I Ordained you! - To be a Prophet à “A chosen, authorized, & deputized, spokesman for God, who declared God’s word to the people!”
        1. A prophet didn’t only reveal the future, but often dealt with the present!
        2. Q: Do you think prophets spoke more of the future or of the present?
      7. God has Formed you, Knows you, sanctified you, & ordained you for something!
        1. God has a distinct purpose for each life. Our 1 aim should be to find it, & work out His plan!
        2. ​​​​​​​Ps.139:16 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” {JFB - “both their number & what events were to befall me in them.”}
    2. #2 Assurance - Gods Protecting Presence! (6-8)
      1. 3 Instructions!
      2. [1] Go where I send you!
        ​​​​​​​[2] Speak
        what I commend you!
        [3] Don’t be afraid of the people!
      3. Also a promise “I am with you!” (also at end in vs.19).
    3. #3 Assurance - Gods Effective Word! (9,10)
      1. When Isaiah’s lips were touched with a coal he was Purified. When Jer.’s mouth was touched by the hand of God he was givenPower & Authority!
      2. Jer. not only got the “words”, but the promise of power behind the words.(1:12) - {Read - Is.55:10,11}
      3. vs.10 - Jer. had a different ministry because he had to tear down before he could build up, root up before he could plant!
        1. I like when you can just plant seed’s in someone’s life rather than go thru all the tearing down of bad doctrine. (don’t feel bad if you didn’t grow up w/religion!)
  6. End:
    1. ​​​​​​​Q: Do you feel too weak to serve? Ask 3 quetsions:
    2. [1] Has God called you?
      1. Then He will equip you & enable you!
    3. [2] Are you obeying His commands by faith?
      1. Then He is with you to protect you!
    4. [3] Are you sharing the word?
      1. Then He will accomplish his purposes no matter how the people respond!
    5. Q: Is God calling you to something Demanding or Difficult?
      1. Facing someone? A more difficult job or ministry?
    6. Remember: “God never gives a commission w/o assuming the responsibility of its execution in, with, or thru us.”
    7. Next week: 2 visions - “An Almond Tree & a Boiling Pot!”

Verses 11-19

  1. Intro:
    1. Here Jeremiah has a Q & A session with God!
    2. An O.T. Prophet had 3 main elements in their message:
      1. [1] Past Sin - The nation had disobeyed Gods Law.
      2. [2] Present Responsibility - The people must repent or God will send judgment.
      3. [3] Future Hope - The Lord will come one day & establish His glorious kingdom.
    3. Q: Ever want a message from God?
      1. Jer. Didn’t get a happy message of deliverance…but a tragic message of judgment.
        1. The people started calling Jeremiah a Traitor!
        2. He would be: misunderstood, persecuted, arrested, & imprisoned.
        3. The nations usually didn’t even want to hear the truth from the prophets.
    4. We have here 2 visions: The Almond Tree & a Boiling Pot!
      1. It’s interesting visions usually are an everyday object, but they are seen differently by the one receiving the vision.
      2. So here we have a sprig of an Almond tree, & a cooking pot on an outdoor fire.
  2. The Almond Tree! (11,12)
    1. ​​​​​​​In the Holy Land, the Almond tree blossoms in Jan. & bears fruit in March. It is the 1st indication that Spring is coming.
      1. This speaks of the swiftness of Gods judgment.
      2. Also, when all other trees are dormant, God is wakeful!
    2. A pun falls flat when it is translated into a diff. language.
      1. Almond = shaqed; Watch/Ready = shaqod
      2. (12) “I am watching over my word to perform it.”
      3. The Lord uses a play on words:
        1. “God is ever awake to watch over His word & fulfill it.”
      4. Read 2 Kings 17:13-15
    3. The 1st vision the vision of the Almond Sprig is saying, “My word’s will be fulfilled!”
  3. The Boiling Pot! (13-19)
    1. ​​​​​​​Here is Gods scalding judgment against Jeremiah’s people.
    2. Facing”(13) = spilling or tilting, down south.
    3. The nations were always vying for supremacy.
      1. 1st the Jewish rulers turned to Egypt for help, then to Assyria.
        1. Assyria was the dominant power at this time. - Babylon was no threat to Israel, Egypt, or Assyria.
      2. They failed to Trust the Lord & seek His help!
        1. Their main sin was singled out as …Idolatry(16)!
      3. This vision confirms that God is in control of All the nations of the world!
        1. He can use them to accomplish His will.
        2. Even then He was preparing Babylon to chasten His people.
  4. Promised Protection! (17-19)
    1. ​​​​​​​(vs.17) - “Prepare yourself & arise” - or “Gird up your loins”, get ready for action, tighten up your belt, roll up your sleeves!
      1. Explain - Gird up loins.
      2. Also, see Nahum 2:1
    2. The “face warning” is repeated here(also, vs.8)
    3. (vs.18) - “I have made you this day a…” - Our job is Proclamation, His job is Protection!(ww)
    4. Note the 3 pictures he paints Jeremiah:
    5. Fortified City” - Surrounded by his enemies GOD would make him a fortified city…he was forced to stand alone!
      1. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t as much loved in his day as he is in ours. He knew about loneliness. 5 things were found on him the day of his death: [1] A handkerchief, embroidered "A. Lincoln" [2] A country boy's pen knife [3] A spectacles case repaired with string [4] A purse containing a $5 bill – Confederate money (!) [5] Some old and worn newspaper clippings.
        1. One of these clippings said, “Remember this: Loneliness stalks where the buck stops!
      2. Submit to pressure from peers and you move down to their level.
        1. Speak up for your own beliefs and you invite them up to your level.
        2. If you move with the crowd, you'll get no further than the crowd.
        3. When 40 million people believe in a dumb idea, it's still a dumb idea.
        4. Simply swimming with the tide leaves you nowhere.
    6. Iron Pillar” - Jer. Would become as strong as a iron pillar.
    7. Bronze Walls” - Attacked from all sides {kings, princes, priests, & people} he would be as unyielding as a bronze wall.
      1. God’s messengers must be walls & not shifting sand!
    8. The Reliable promise is stated again(8) “I am w/you”.
      1. In the battle for truth, one w/God is a majority.
      2. “A friend is one who walks in when others walk out.”
    9. To all “Confronters”…These promises are also for you!
  5. Wrap-up:
    1. ​​​​​​​In spite of all that was against him: [1] the times were difficult, [2] the task was demanding, & [3] he was doubtful…yet, Jeremiah accepted God’s call!
    2. Jeremiah knew: His own deficiencies; He knew God was greater; & He knew God would enable him to do the job.
    3. Jeremiah made the right decision & therefore became one of the most popular prophets in Jewish history…NO! The most Unpopular!
      1. Right is often Unpopular!
    4. By human standards, his ministry was a failure, by the will of God, he was a great success.
    5. He stood alone, resisted the crowd, & was out of step w/the philosophies & values of the times…for 40 yrs.!
      1. Proclaim the word whatever the cost!
      2. Q: What about you? Will you Conform to the world or Carry the Cross?
      3. Prepare yourself, make a firm decision to commit to God’s way only!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-1.html. 2017.