Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning John… I’m adding Jeremiah for my own personal benefit. I’m part of a men’s Bible study group who is currently working on Jeremiah, and I felt that it would benefit me to document my thoughts as I was reading the text so that I would remember from week to week. The format should be similar to my regular Blogging the Bible posts, but I will most likely summarize less and give my own personal thoughts and opinions more. Many of my thoughts will more likely also be leaning towards the “relevant mostly for men” side (not that women would not benefit from reading these posts, however). I hope you enjoy reading them, but again, this is for me, not you. :-) That being said, off we go with Jeremiah!

The Call of Jeremiah

The first chapter of Jeremiah introduces us to this boy God calls to be a prophet. God calls him, Jeremiah resists, God insists, Jeremiah reluctantly accepts, God “tests” that the communication between He and the boy is working properly. (“Is this thing on??”) Jeremiah receives his first “real” vision in the form of a boiling pot, pouring down from the North. God interprets this vision for him, indicating that forces from the North are about to come down to Jerusalem and attack and pillage. He also states the reason he is permitting this deluge: “because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made” (v. 16). Reading that reasoning instantly reminded me of Genesis 11–“let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4). If there’s one consistent message in the Bible, it is that God doesn’t like it when we start feeling too self-righteous.

Key Verse: Jeremiah 1:12 – “The LORD said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.'” (NIV)

Application for Men: I know that for me, as a still fairly young Christian, I have often used the excuse, “But I am only a child!” to tell God that I can’t do something that I’m called to do. Not in the chronological sense, of course, but in the spiritual. Whether it is teaching a Bible class at church, going on extended mission projects, or even being the spiritual leader in my own home that God calls me to be (Eph. 5:23), I have used my “newness” in Christ as a crutch. But God “is watching to see that [His] word is fulfilled”; God will use us if we’re willing to be used for His purpose. He will ensure that His word is fulfilled–if we don’t do all He asks of us, He’ll ask someone else, but typically not without letting us know that we let Him down. (“‘Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.'” – Jeremiah 1:17)

God’s kingdom is here, Christ is ruling from on high. He needs able men to step up and join the spiritual battle for other men’s (and their own) souls. God has given us what we need for this battle, and will be there every step of the way. “‘Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:8). “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:19).
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:10-13
Discussion Questions:

Why does Jeremiah directly resist God at first? Have you ever resisted doing something that you are fairly certain God wanted you to do? Did you finally do it–as did Jeremiah–or did God have to find someone else to accomplish His work?
Which do you think is a more dangerous task–Jeremiah’s task of admonishing/warning the people of Judah of their impending doom, or our task of spreading the Gospel to the lost? Why?
What is God’s promise to Jeremiah? What is God’s similar promise to us?

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