Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Jeremiah: 4 May 2011 (transferred from 3 May)
Jeremiah or Yirmeyahu was a prophet who lived in the 7th Century, B.C. The books of Jeremiah, III and IV Kings, and Lamentations are attributed to him and his secretary, Baruch. He is known as one of the major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel because their books were longer than the “minor prophets”) While being happy when he was younger, Yirmeyahu was know a the weeping prophet. Yirmeyahu resisted God’s call, but still went out, condemning idolatry, greed among the priests and false prophets. He was commanded to stay away from celebrations and feasting, and to call the people to repentance. His basic message was that the temple, king, and the priesthood were good for nothing as long as human hearts were idolatrous and full of deception. His basic message was that the people needed to return to full worship, and that God would give a new covenant, one that would include the whole world, not just the Hebrews.
Naturally, his message was not popular and his own people threatened his life (Yahweh warned him) and he suffered persecution. Like Isaiah, Yirmeyahu often had to act out his prophesies. As he predicted, Babylone (Bavel) conquered Judah, and many Jews were carried into captivity. The new governor allowed Yirmeyahu to select his dwelling place, but after Yohanan came into power, he forced Yirmeyahu and Baruch to go into Egypt, where he was probably murdered. Very little of what is attributed to Yirmeyahu was written by him. Most of it was written by his friend and disciple, Baruch. The so called letter of Jeremiah is probably not his work.
Jeremiah had a tumultuous relationship with his God. While proclaiming God’s faithfulness, and telling the people that if they repent they can still be saved, he denounces them at the same time, being told not even to pray for them because of their sins. He tells the people that their worship is nothing in God’s sight as long as people did not practice social justice and did not truly turn to God.
Heavenly Father, you raised up Jeremiah to warn of your judgement and to challenge people to repent and follow you. Raise up men and women to challenge us when we are in sin and to help us return to you. This we ask in the name of Yeshua who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach ha Kodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.