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Jeremiah was born about 650 BC in a village close to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 1:1). His father Hilkiah was a priest (Jeremiah 1:1). Jeremiah’s name means “Jehovah has appointed.” He was young when called by God to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:1-10). ). These were troubling times in Judah. King Josiah was the last of the godly kings. He led the people back to God and His Law (2 Kings 22, 23) and made many good reforms. The small nation of Judah, the southern kingdom, was located between two superpowers, Assyria, and Egypt. Many of the wars fought between Assyria and Egypt would be fought on Judah’s territory.  The destruction caused by these two warring nations forced the Kings of Judah to constantly seek alliances with either Babylon or Egypt. One of Jeremiah’s warnings was to only trust in God, not strategic alliances with countries that could not be trusted.

Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet” because he shed tears over the sins of his people and their abandonment of God. God told Jeremiah not to marry or have a family (Jeremiah 16:1-4) to spare him added grief that was about to come from the impending judgment and destruction God would lay upon Judah.  During Judah’s last days, Jeremiah served as God’s principal prophet delivering His messages of warning. His messages were simply on how to avoid the judgments of God. To read a summary of Jeremiah’s prophecies, we use the book of Lamentations. The Lamentations are written as a testament to the fulfillment of God’s promised judgments. The people did not follow Jeremiah’s advice. Yet, Jeremiah also gave them hope. He spoke about God’s forgiveness of His people’s sins and the relief He would bring to the suffering of His people.

(Lamentations 5:21) 1 – “Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old”

Jeremiah preached God’s warnings for 40 years. He was never successful in turning the people back to God. Even his own family rejected him. Jeremiah was beaten and put in prison on several occasions (Jeremiah 26:8-11; 32:1-3; 33:1; 37:13-15; 38:6-13). And, when he continued to preach God’s Word, he was finally stoned to death, according to Jewish history. Jeremiah’s life was one of unselfish ministry, sacrifice, humility, and faithfulness. His job, deliver unpopular messages to Israel. His reward from his people was to be rejected, despised, abandoned, and murdered. However, he remained true and obedient to God. Our nation is in a similar position today. People, government, and media are openly antagonistic to God. We have removed God from our schools. Our leaders mock God! Satan laughs as he destroys our families. Our enemies laugh as we destroy ourselves. Generational debt, relenting crime, addictions too many to mention killing our children and young adults, just to name a few. We should all “weep” like Jeremiah!

Don’t think of the Book of Jeremiah as a story or group of stories. Yes, we read about people, places, and events. There are good people, bad people, and endings we don’t care for. The reason we must read Jeremiah is told to us by Jesus Himself:

(Luke 24:44) – “He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.”

God sent Jeremiah and inspired his prophecies to also benefit the people of today!

(Jeremiah 29:11) – “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Jeremiah shows us God’s character. As our world attempts to dimmish our God, Jeremiah enriches our understanding of God.

(Jeremiah 10:1–16) – “0 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. The practices of the people are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good. No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple—all made by skilled workers. But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens. But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud; they have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish. He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including Israel, the people of his inheritance—the Lord Almighty is his name.’”

Take a moment and argue with Jeremiah about the verses above. He will tell you that it is our God who inspired this logic. We live in a world that denies the reality of sin. More creatively, our world just redefines sin. Only God can define sin! God created us to worship Him and to live in peace with Him. Human folly is that we substitute the worship of the one true God for the worship of worthless idols (Jeremiah. 2:4–13; 44:15–30). Sin has its roots deep in the human heart, deceiving us into calling evil good and good evil (Jeremiah 17:1–13). There is no aspect of our being or our nation that sin has not infected.

Our world is in desperate need of a Savior. Jeremiah points the way:

(Jeremiah 23:5) “’The days are coming, declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.’”

Any time there is a nation that has been given unusual blessings and responded by rebelling against the giver of those gifts, expect the gifts to be curtailed and punishment to come. That was what Jeremiah’s message was all about. God was about to punish the nation of Judah. It is appropriate to ask whether our nation is experiencing God’s punishment. We are more divided than ever. Who influences that behavior? Not God, maybe Satan. The church is becoming less and less influential, becoming more and more worldly.  Sexual perversion, abortion, economic chaos, crime, violence in our cities, and warring nations knocking on our door. Jeremiah points us to a new covenant that God makes with His people (Jeremiah. 31:31–34). Through this new covenant, God finally deals with sin, writes His law on the hearts of his people, and promises He will be our God and His people, forever.


  • Do you know young adult couples who have decided not to have children because the world is a mess?
    • Ideas to Explore: Media, government both are promoted the “no children” idea. Environmental groups push “zero growth.” How do you feel about this?
  • Can you find a link between today’s sinful society and idolatry?
    • Ideas to Explore: Where is idolatry the worst in society today? What is driving the preference of idols verse God? What part of society is influencing our children to worship “things?”
  • Jeremiah owned a home. He would, by our society’s standards, be considered a normal contributor to society. Yet his message was ineffective. Why?
    • Ideas to Explore: Normal is no longer definable. Has it become all about self?
  • Jeremiah and other prophets were critical of the church. What do you think the Christian church today should be doing to make our world a better place?
    • Ideas to Explore: Teach God’s Truth. Focus on Jesus, who He is and why He came. Stop aligning themselves with worldly values?


  1. NIV New International Version Translations