Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lessons from Jeremiah

I finished Jeremiah this morning. Going through that book slowly was not a lot of fun, though it was edifying. As I finish I want to reflect on a few themes I saw in it.

The biggest one is that God is sovereign. He has a plan and He means to stick to it. Whether part of that plan involves "middle knowledge" is not up for me to say right now, but He clearly knew that His people would mess up the covenant.

God uses means to accomplish His will. We should not feel secure even if we are one of the means He uses. He used the Babylonians and they got the longest section describing their destruction. Short-term success does not necessarily equate to holiness.

On a personal level, I feel for Jeremiah. He had a very bad gig. What's incredible to me is how faithful he remained to his calling. My seminary uses this verse as sort of its foundation:

Jeremiah 3:15
(15) "'And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Some of this is a bit of a culture war mentality that we have, but I think that there is a deeper reason. If we are going to be faithful preachers we need to look to Jeremiah as an example of what can happen to us. I don't think any of my classmates or I are going to get thrown in any cisterns, but we are likely to face some scorn and derision if we preach the Word faithfully.

This leads to my last theme. Those of us who call ourselves Christians and "people of the book" need to be faithful to it. Jeremiah was faithful to the Word of the Lord. It brought him great pain and suffering, but we look back thousands of years later and his suffering doesn't seem so great. I have a feeling that it doesn't seem like a big deal to him now either.


tom sheepandgoats said...

Some verses in Jeremiah are repeated and expanded upon in Revelation. Babylon replaced with Babylon the Great. Any agreement as to what Babylon the Great stands for?

Jason said...

Agreement with who? I don't want to venture a guess without doing some research.