I know I’m going to have to read much faster if I plan to stay on track with the one year reading plan. This chapter, however, sets the tone for the rest of the book.
Jeremiah grew up just three miles north of Jerusalem, as the son of a priest. He was actually the son of Hilkiah, the priest who found the book of the law during the reign of King Josiah. As a result of the founding, King Josiah called for drastic reforms. Jeremiah saw all of this, and was likely encouraged to follow in his father’s footsteps, dedicating his life to service in the temple. But in chapter 1, we learn the Lord has other plans for Jeremiah.
Jeremiah is called to service for the Lord, but it is of a much different sort than his priestly father. Jeremiah is called to be a prophet to the nations. A prophet is not loved by the people like a priest is. And a prophet must speak words that are not easy to to accept. God tells Jeremiah not to worry about his age, or what he will say, or where he will go, for all of that is in the Lord’s hands.
Then the Lord puts out His hand and touches Jeremiah’s mouth. How? I don’t know. But the text says God does this. And with that touch come these words, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
With that, two visions and a promise from the Lord, Jeremiah is commissioned to his prophetic ministry.
(More on the visions tomorrow.)