Today’s readings.. 1 Samuel 26,27, Jeremiah 3, Matthew 14

As we read more of the remarkable testimony of Jeremiah whom God called to give his message during the final years of Jerusalem before it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.  We come across some remarkable, but brief glimpses of the ultimate future time of glory. In today’s chapter we read, “At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather together to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.” [3 v.17]  

    Those seeking God with a genuine heart were encouraged by this prospect, as we are today.   So much of what we read in Jeremiah has parallels with attitudes today as we live in the final years of human control of this earth.  But Jeremiah began his life in good circumstances, he was born to be a priest and the word of the LORD first came to him in the reign of Judah’s last good king, Josiah, “in the thirteenth year of his reign” [1 v.2].  

We learn in 2 Kings 22, that Josiah initiated the repairing of the Temple (v.5) and it was reported to him by the High Priest that “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” [v.8] and the rest of the chapter and the next describes the dramatic story of the reformation the King then initiated.  In the eighteenth year of his reign a great “Passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem” [23 v.23]  It was a dramatic start to the life of Jeremiah in his youth, it compares just a little with our teenage years and the dramatic re-establishment of Israel as a nation after nearly 1900 years in oblivion.  But how ungodliness has grown in the world since them!.  

In Jeremiah Ch. 1 we read how he says to God when he is first called, “Ah Lord GOD! I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” [v.6]   The LORD responds, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go … Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD” [v.7,8] 

Josiah is killed just 13 years after this Passover; from then on, Jeremiah lives and preaches in many hostile circumstances right through to the destruction of Jerusalem – and afterwards. But first God granted him 18 years of “peace” to gain strength under the reign of a good king.  His life and his distress at the godlessness surrounding him has many parallels to today in which, like in Jeremiah’s time, people “refuse to be ashamed” [3 v.3].

    Today, the broad way that leads to destruction has never been more evident, real strength and conviction is needed to stay on the narrow path. Jeremiah can be our role model. 

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