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How a Timid Youth Became a Powerful Prophet

By John A Carroll

Week 44 in the Word—October 29-November 4, 2021

This week we continue reading Jeremiah along with Paul’s letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Jeremiah has been called “a prophet for post-modern times.” [1] He was called by God to bring an unpopular message to his nation and to accept that he would not be successful in convincing the kings or the religious leaders to heed his warnings from the LORD. His initial response was to make excuses for why he was not qualified to speak (Jeremiah 1). But God assured him of divine presence and support. Later he would declare that he could not stop giving that message.

If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (Jer. 20:9).

Bold yet Grieved

As we read Jeremiah, we see a man who was called, equipped, and transformed by God into a bold prophet but one who never stopped being grieved by the sin of his people and the suffering that they were bringing on themselves for their sin and unbelief. Even when his life was threatened by the authorities, he neither stopped telling the truth nor did he fail to warn them that they would bring guilt upon themselves if they put him to death (Jer. 26).

Like Jeremiah, Paul wrote of his confidence in the Word of God, that is “profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3;16-17). Both the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Jeremiah had the Word of God, proclaimed the Word of God and suffered for the Word of God. But that Word gave them the authority and the courage to preach God’s truth wherever they were sent by the LORD.

These post-modern times are trying for us who believe a message we received from God, but which seems to be foolishness to many in our day. Some of us remember ‘the good old days” but how do we prepare for what may be “the bad, last days”?

We can learn from Jeremiah and Paul who trusted God’s Word and sought to fulfill their callings faithfully despite danger and threats. God’s command is to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that Jesus taught, trusting His promise that He will be with us always even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:19-20). Both of those men were bold in proclaiming the truth and yet grieved and weeping for those who refused to hear and heed the message from God.

Have a great week in the word and may God equip you through it for every good work! You may even say “there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones” and “I cannot hold it in.”

Week of October 29-November 4, 2021

October 29/Day 302 Preparing for the Bad, Last Days (Jeremiah 25-26; 2 Timothy 3)

October 30/Day 303 False Teachers: Why They Abound and What to Do (Jeremiah 27-28; 2 Timothy 4)

October 31/Day 304 Our Role in Culture: Finding the Balance (Jeremiah 29-30; Titus 1)

November 1/Day 305 Good Attitudes about Good Works (Jeremiah 31-32; Titus 2)

November 2/Day 306 God’s Love (Jeremiah 33-35; Titus 3)

November 3/Day 307 The Use and Abuse of Authority (Jeremiah 36-37; Philemon)

November 4/Day 308 The Longed-For Kingdom (Jeremiah 38-39; Hebrews 1)

This schedule and devotionals are taken from my book Concealed and Revealed: a year in the old and new testaments. Available here.

[1] Ryken’s Bible Handbook p. 301

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