Who Jesus Is

The words of S. M. Lockridge say it right:

I wish I could describe Him to you, but

He’s indescribable. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible.

Well,
You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hand. You can’t out live Him, And you can’t live without Him. The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him, And the grave couldn’t hold Him.

Yea!, that’s my King, that’s my King.

(See more of his message by following the link below:)

https://www.shadowmountain.org/Content/HtmlImages/Public/Documents/General/EBI/Thats%20My%20King%20-%20Do%20You%20Know%20Him.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2cAcal8tgPRm7mhlZ4m5e1GSFGwQq3eROesytSRWWet3OURGr6g2Pa424

Tug-a-war

The Divine Communicator is passionate[1], relentless[2], and demanding.[3] His spokesperson is swept into the harrowing task of mediating between Him and the belligerent recipients[4] of these communications. There is a dynamic, massive, 3-party “tug-a-war” erupting throughout the book of Jeremiah. Recognizing and tracking these dynamics illuminates the book and the parties involved. There is nothing flat or boring when the book of Jeremiah is permitted to speak for itself.[5]


[1] Jer. 14:17; 44:6.

[2] Jer. 31:3; 44:4.

[3] Jer. 7:5-7.

[4] Jer. 44:16-17.

[5] “It is often easy for us to read millennia-old accounts that describe death and devastation, misery and grief, suffering and tears, and to remain unmoved. After all, the written text can seem so impersonal and distant, and we do not actually hear the cries of the wounded and dying – in reality, the people involved are complete strangers to us – nor do we smell the smoke rising from the flames of destruction … We tend to demonize the villains, lionize the heroes, and seek primarily to gain theological or practical insight from the (sometimes) stern dealings of God with his people, forgetting that these were real people, too, with real hopes and dreams and all too human disappointments and hurts.” Brown, Michael L.; Ferris, Paul W. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Jeremiah, Lamentations. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010, Kindle Edition, Location 1742.

Prophet as Spokesperson

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This book uses the term “spokesperson” as a near equivalent to the biblical word “prophet”. Some may not like this.

But consider a few Biblical facts:

Who is the first person God recruited to be a prophet? Aaron.[1]

Whose “prophet” was he? Not God’s, but his own little brother’s.[2]

Why did his brother need a prophet? Because Moses claimed to be inadequate at speaking.[3]

What did Aaron do as his brother’s prophet? He served as his brother’s spokesperson.

When the Lord called Jeremiah to be his prophet, what was Jeremiah’s response? “O Sovereign Lord, I can’t _______ for you.”[4]

How was Jeremiah going to serve the Lord? Not by miracles, not by demonstrations of power, but by speaking. The Lord told him, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth.” Jer. 1:9. “Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say.” Jer. 1:17.

Prophets in the Bible served as spokespersons for the invisible, heaven-residing, eternal, living God.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

[1] Ok, Abraham was referred to as a prophet in Gen 20:7, these words were to a foreign king and include nothing about a call or assigned work.

[2] “… and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet.” Exo. 7:1.

[3] “I can’t do it! I’m such a clumsy speaker!” Exo. 6:30.

[4] Jer. 1:6.

Seems a warning is in order

Seems a warning is in order. An old man in the grave for 2500 years shouldn’t be considered “armed and dangerous.” But the human subject of this book, Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, isn’t happy to remain a historical curiosity. If you are fortunate to “meet” him, in Scripture and the pages of this book, you will not come out the same.

He challenges, he stretches, and he motivates. For the last 10 years, this relentless man, Jeremiah Ben Hilkiah, has been hounding me on all sides. He exposes serious shortcomings. Challenges us to see clearer, do more, and be better. This pesky man doesn’t quit!

Jeremiah was honest and uncompromising with God. Transparent and forthright among people. He had doubts and failures; but was genuine to the core. I want to be like him.

Hope he will hound you too.

Jeremiah’s Broad Interests

Observant and Caring toward People

From Appendix 8 it should be clear that Jeremiah’s interests included the needs of marginalized people: Orphans, widows, poor, slaves, foreigners, and oppressed. These were not “issues” to him, these are flesh-and-blood people who are not being cared for as their Lord demands.

Note: These four areas below were revealed to this author by R. E. O. White, and rather than rewrite them in my own words (as if deserving any credit) it seems best to quote verbatim with him getting the recognition.[1]

Studious of God’s Created World

“Nature, too, taught Jeremiah much. He observed with care the returning stork “who knows her times,” turtledoves, swallows, cranes, the “deaf’ uncharmable adders, the lairs of jackals, the speckled bird ostracized by its mates. He saw wild asses panting for water, gadflies tormenting cattle, “bristling” locusts, “slithering” serpents, “restive” young camels in heat “interlacing their tracks,” and the eagle’s enormous wing-span high above her lofty nest.”[2]

“Jeremiah shared the popular belief that the partridge gathers a breed it did not hatch. He seems to have watched a forest lion breaking cover to scatter a panic-stricken flock across the hillside. He described the desert wolf, the “watchful” leopard, the owl (NIV; “ostrich,” RSV) inhabiting ruins with hyenas. All this, of course, without any of the aids to accumulated knowledge that we now take for granted. And he responded to what he saw. He was deeply impressed by the orderliness of the universe, the “covenant” of day and night, the fixed order of the stars’ movements, the limits set for the sea, the immeasurable immensity of the heavens, and the immovable foundations of the earth. He was a remarkably well-informed man.”[3]

Studious of Peoples and Places

 “But whence came Jeremiah’s extensive knowledge of the personalities, policies, geography, and religions of the Middle East? He knew so much, not only of former northern Israel (“Samaria” or “Ephraim”) and Lebanon, but of Damascus, Tyre, and Sidon, and further north, even to Hamath; of the Scythians invading Asia Minor; of the river Euphrates, Babylon, Chaldea, Media, and Elam at the head of the Persian Gulf; of Egypt and Ethiopia to the far south; of Philistia and Cyprus to the west; and of Gilead and distant Kedar and Hazor on the edge of the eastern wilderness, with Edom, Moab, Ammon, and the Arab tribes.

“Nor were these mere names to Jeremiah. He listed their many cities, revealing knowledge of their position. He knew the rocky heights of Edom, the deep glens of Moab, the rising and falling of the Nile, the massive walls and wide moats of Babylon. He knew the names of foreign kings, the outlandish titles of foreign officers of state. He knew of the salt lands beyond the Dead Sea, the winds of the Euphrates delta, the dark skins of the Ethiopians – and all without a map.”[4]

Knowledgeable of Religious practices

“Jeremiah knew the varying customs and religions of different lands, the names of many gods and goddesses, the feasts observed, the sacrifices required, the rituals followed, the trimming of hair and beards and other strange rites practiced. The book of Jeremiah provides a well-informed handbook of comparative religion for the Near East of his time. Trade, travel, military expeditions, and civil organization of a great empire all served to foster the flow of information and the international ‘commerce of thought.’ Jeremiah evidently took great advantage of his opportunities.”[5]

Observant of Various Employments

“Nearer home, and with profit to his poetry, Jeremiah watched or heard of metal refiners, shepherds, archers, horsemen, potters, reapers, fowlers, fishers, hunters, craftsmen, smiths, woodsmen, Arabs waylaying travellers in the deserts, and thieves. He knew that debtors’ gratitude turns easily to hatred of their creditors; he knew the ways of grape gatherers and wine makers; he understood the unscrupulous use that scribes could make of their skill.”[6]

No “Loner” Was He

Never regard Jeremiah as a recluse or loner. Far from being detached from society, he mingled with common people, visited the poor and distressed, and addressed the powerful. He abstained from marriage and stayed away from such gatherings as funerals and feasts, not because he wanted to, but because his Commander forbade him. But as the statements above show, he was no recluse. He mingled with people of all walks of life. His mind was learned and alert. The knowledge he gained was not from a monastery or seminary, but rather through intentional interactions with people from all strata of society. He was a “people” person.

Conclusion

Jeremiah spent over 40 years fellowshipping with the Biggest, Most Caring Heart in the universe. His own heart was pried open as he saw the Lord’s hurt and tears.

Jeremiah learned to weep not for himself, but for his people and even his God. Deity is deeply, most deeply hurt as His love is spurned and trampled upon by mere mortals.

The severest blunder of all is human beings misjudging their astounding Creator. Learn to live with your eyes wide-open in this beautifully created world.


[1] Permission has been granted by Eerdmans to provide these quotes. White, R.E.O. The Indomitable Prophet: A Biographical Commentary on Jeremiah: The Man, the Time, the Book, the Tasks. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992.

[2] White, p.5.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, p.4.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid. pp. 4-5.