Jeremiah’s first chapter has a bit of an instructive opuscule.
God is telling Jeremiah that Jeremiah is a tool formed by God in order to perform a function in the church. here is an excerpt from this hearing of The Word:
“Behold I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
- To root out and to pull down (like clearing a path)
- To destroy and to throw down (like excavating a building site)
- To build and to plant”
You see, in order for us to make use of any land we always have to destroy it’s current purpose. The wild animals and plants have used it for their purposes if it was a wild plot, and now it is time to put a building there. Their purposes no longer belong. We destroy what isn’t needed anymore. We now begin to build and plant.
Pay attention now. After Jeremiah heard these words of The Lord spoken to him, he was asked two questions: “What do you see” the first question was asked after he had seen an olive branch. He was asked the same question again after he had seen a pot, boiling and tilted over. The Lord then explained how what Jeremiah was seeing was connected to what was going to happen in the world around him, aiding him in bringing truth to the people living through the calamity. The people’s world was about to be destroyed so God could replant. They needed someone there to tell them what was going on and what to do about it.
“Out of the north calamity shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. For behold I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north”, Says The Lord. (to Jeremiah in private)
Now, why in the heck is God doing this?
“because they have forsaken me, burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the work of their own hands.”
Would God punish these things if they were a way to live and prosper? Nope. God see’s in our hearts when we are straying from the source of life and punishes us in order to keep us close to that source. Why? If we stray from the source we will die, and after death we will spend an eternity in, well, to put it mildly: discomfort.
These people know that change is hard and they have little faith that they can change as a nation. They will fight against the changes necessary to put them into a lifestyle that is cultivated land for life to grow. The Lord warns and encourages our Jeremiah:
because The Lord is about to do all the ladder things described:
“Therefore, prepare yourself and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, lest I dismay you before them. For behold this day I have made you a fortified city . . .”
The Lord continues on in a description of what Jeremiah is and how His strength will avail against a mob of people who, on the surface, are not ready to put on the full armor of God.