This introduction to Jeremiah prepares us for one of the most important historical accounts in scripture. Its importance lies in its revelations about God's heart toward His people. The second chapter reveals the personal and intimate way God seeks a relationship with us. Israel's rejection of Him is described with words that only a person who deeply loves would use. His words are rooted in love, not unlike the words that spring from romantic love.
God's love is revealed in how He sought out Israel when they were living under oppressive slavery (2:20). His love was the motivating force that brought them into a beautiful land that was "bountiful" (2:6). He planted them in this land as a "noble vine, a seed of highest quality" (2:21). Yet their response to His love made no sense. God asks, "What injustices have your fathers found in Me?" (2:5). What reason can there be for no one, not even the priests and the teachers of God's Word, to seek Me, God asks (2:4-8). Israel had exchanged Him for the worship of idols made of wood and stone (2:11, 27). Though God had been a source of unending life, they turned to idols that were lifeless, unable to give them life or anything else.
God's loving faithfulness toward His people motivated His call upon Jeremiah to be a voice of reconciliation. The ministry of those sent by God, like Jeremiah, is not the result of their choice to develop a career in the "ministry," or the result of their own unique spirituality or preparation. It begins and is sustained by God's own desire and design to restore humanity to the purpose of our existence.
God chose Jeremiah before he was even born. His youthful inexperience would not hinder him even though he was a prophet from his "youth." God will put His words in Jeremiah's mouth and strengthen him as an iron pillar in the face of the overwhelming rejection His words will incur (1:4-18).
Though we are not all called to the same role as Jeremiah, the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that we are all called to play a part in being a voice in sharing the truth concerning humanity's relationship to God. It is a relationship birthed in love—a relationship that is clearly proclaimed throughout the scriptures to be grounded first and foremost in our love for God with all our heart, soul, and mind. God will choose when and what we are to do for His people and the world His Son came to save. He will also take full responsibility to assure we are enabled by the power and gifts we need to fulfill that call.
Unless everyone around us is in a rich and sustained loving relationship with God, it should be fully accepted that we are to be God's voice and extended hands of grace to someone. The question is, are you willing to hear His call?
-Calvary Church Boise
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