Recently Serena Williams has been in the news for a lot of reasons and ardent fans like myself have been cheering her on as she makes a comeback in the Tennis majors after giving birth to her daughter just nine months earlier.
One such news grabbing story line has been regarding the statement her contemporary Maria Sharapova had made about seeing Serena in tears at the locker room. Williams has in turn defended her tears as “normal” and something that “a lot of people do”.
This week in our Bible journey we will look at someone who has been nicknamed by most Bible scholars as “the weeping prophet”. His name is Jeremiah.
But I wonder if that is in fact a fair title for him. Yes, it is true that we read him say “I would weep day and night for the slain of my people” (Jeremiah 9:1b, NIV). But I would suggest to you that it is in fact a “normal” emotion for anyone who has been commissioned with a message from God to His people.
We serve a God who weeps over His people who have strayed far away from His love and purposes. And so did Jeremiah.
Here are some of the highlights of who Jeremiah was (other than “weeping”):
- Jeremiah comes on the scene around the time of King Josiah of Judah and sticks around for the next four kings until the eventual exile of Judah.
- Jeremiah was called by God to be a prophet when we was young when God said to him: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;I appointed you as a prophet to the nations (1:5).
- Jeremiah was not sure that he could speak but God touches his mouth as God commissions him to speak his message to the nations (1:9-10).
- The call issued to Jeremiah was very specific. The words of God spoken through would both tear down and overthrow but also build and plant (1:10).
- God reveals to Jeremiah some pretty significant matters of disasters that would transpire in history due to the people’s disobedience. But because of God’s call upon his life, he was able to deliver those messages without being completely crushed.
- His messages to the people often were pleas for them to repent and turn back to God. And he was able to keep going even in spite of opposition.
- Jeremiah’s messages of impending disasters were often followed by messages of hope, promises and restoration. And some of those words have become iconic messages of hope over the years.
- When Jeremiah does get discouraged he finds his strength and renewal in God.
So please join me this week in walking through the life of this amazing prophet who God raises up to speak His message of both warning and hope with love.
You can also get a book summary by watching the below short clip put together by The Bible Project team.
And now here is the weekly plan for you to familiarize yourself with Jeremiah during your daily reading.
A young Jeremiah is called by God to be a prophet to the kingdom of Judah and the nations; and through oppositions and discouragements, he continues to speak the word of the Lord’s judgment and hope.
Weekly Reading Plan
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Read Exodus 3 to review how God called Moses into ministry. Compare and contrast that with the calling Jeremiah receives.
- Optional: Read Psalms 61-63
And that is it for week 23!
Happy Bible Learning!