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The Chapter opens with the account of Jeremiah's being called to the ministry. He is instructed by two visions. The Lord's commands to him, and his promise to be with him.
The Prophet opens the Chapter with his name and family. Jeremiah's name is not without signification, for it implies, being raised by the Lord: and he was eminently so, as the sequel of this chapter showeth. He mentions his family also and place: perhaps, by way of proof, that he was of the priesthood order. Anathoth was a small city or village, a little distance from Jerusalem.
Having given his name, and family, and place of abode, he now mentions his commission, and the time of receiving it. So that the whole period of the Prophet's ministry, like the contents of a book, is here marked in the first leaf of his writings. If the Reader will be at the pains of enquiry, he will find, that the whole period of Jeremiah's ministry was somewhat more than forty years.
I have often read this Chapter with particular pleasure, and marked with much emphasis what is contained in these verses: for in them we find the most decisive testimony, to that distinguishing attribute and perfection of Jehovah, his foreknowledge and ordination. Who that reads these verses, can, for a moment question, the purpose, counsel, and will of the Lord? Known unto God are all his works from the beginning. And to suppose otherwise, would be to deny God's sovereignty and eternal wisdom. Hence our Lord, in his Father's with-holding discernment from the wise and prudent, and revealing himself to babes, refers all into this one cause, as an unanswerable conclusion; Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight, Matthew 11:25-40.11.26 . I beg the Reader to pause over the subject, and as he ponders the vast thought, let him ask his own heart, whether the same sovereign power that ordained Jeremiah for a Prophet, and Paul for an Apostle from the womb, hath sanctified and revealed his Son in the Reader's soul, to the purpose of salvation, through the faith that is in Christ Jesus? Galatians 1:15-48.1.16 .
Reader! do not fail to remark, how humbling grace is in the soul. Before the Prophet was conscious of the work wrought in him, the blessed effects were made to appear, in a lowliness suited to the mercy. He giveth grace to the humble. And let the Reader further observe, how the Lord removed the Prophet's fears by the sovereignty of his grace. It is remarkable, that each of the Prophets, Isaiah Jeremiah and Ezekiel, at their introduction into their prophetical office, were ordained by an outward visible sign, as well as by the inward, illuminating, and confirming grace. Isaiah 6:6-23.6.7 ; Ezekiel 3:1-26.3.3 . And what confidence did these gracious ordinations inspire in the minds of all? I hope the Reader will not, while looking at the ordination service of Prophets in the Old Testament, overlook and pass by the ordination of the Apostles under the New. Behold Jesus in that interesting season, when sending forth his disciples to teach and to preach in the synagogues. Luke 10:1-42.10.20 . So again, after his resurrection, John 20:21-43.20.22 . So again in the moment of his departure, Luke 24:45 to the end. Matthew 28:18 to the end. And Reader! is it not so now? Can there be any ordination truly blessed, except Jesus commissions? Oh! that everyone that goeth forth into the ministry, might know, like Jeremiah his warrant, and be convinced, that the same Almighty Spirit which sent forth Barnabas and Saul to the work, sends forth all his faithful servants now to the labouring in the word and doctrine! and accompanies them with his presence, Acts 13:2-44.13.4 .
The Lord was pleased, we find, both by word and by vision, to confirm the Prophet in his new appointment. And the Lord which raised up to the Prophet's mind these images, took care to instruct his mind how to interpret them, that nothing of divine teaching might fall to the ground.
How needful must faithfulness be in the service of the Lord? And where the Lord gives grace to his poor servants to be faithful, he will give strength to bear them up against all their foes. An iron pillar and brasen walls, are strong figures, to intimate, that the arrows of the enemy with all their fury will be thrown against them. But as iron pillars and brasen walls are simply for defense, and not for injury: how beautifully do those similitudes teach, that the servants of the Lord are not to strive and repel carnal attacks, with the same weapons, but to be like their Master, who when reviled, reviled not again. The Lord hath undertaken his servants cause, and he will recompense vengeance on his and their enemies, Deuteronomy 32:43 .
READER! let us, as we enter upon the subject of Jeremiah's ministry, and especially while we behold him thus divinely called, and divinely appointed; gather the several interesting instructions such an history furnisheth, for our own personal improvement, and mark, in what an endearing point this scripture speaks to us.
See Reader in the first place, the love of God over his people, in thus raising up a faithful servant, even in the worst of times, to speak of grace and mercy; when the rebellions of his people merited nothing but punishment. Behold! in the next point of view, the Lord's predilection of Jeremiah and the blessedness of being thus, set apart as he was, for the service of the Lord from the womb. Mark, moreover, how the Lord that called him distinguished him with his favor, and what he set him apart to, he fitted him for. And lastly, fail not to observe, how the Lord undertook to carry him safely, from all his enemies, and to defend and preserve him in all his exercises.
And while we thus behold all these blessings in the case of the Prophet Jeremiah let us be on the lookout, that in every minute circumstance that concerns the Church of Jesus now, and the special interests of every individual believer, the Lord is still carrying on the same gracious purposes, and both ordaining and sanctifying the whole of events to his own glory and his Church's welfare.
Jesus was the great Prophet to the nations, and to our nation surely, where we trust the Lord hath a Church. Oh! that all his sent servants, did but know and feel, as Jeremiah knew and felt, and in the service of their Lord became more anxious to win souls than to gain a kingdom. Reader! it will be your mercy and mine, if, before we close our meditation on this sweet Chapter, we can find the Lord's purpose concerning ourselves, as fully confirmed in grace as his was, and under the teaching of God the Holy Ghost, we may discover, such evident proofs of our calling and election, in all that concerns our everlasting welfare, that we may enjoy the full sense of that blessed scripture, in which Jehovah saith, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent