Jeremiah 1 –The Northern Kingdom has fallen, 722 BC. The Lost 10 Tribes are gone because of the apostasy of idolatry with Baal. In Judah King Hezekiah is gone; He lived 15 yrs. too long. In that time both Manasseh and Amon are born. They are two of the most despicable king’s history. Born out of Amon in this horrific situation is a boy King called Josiah. His reforms have been going on for a # of years. These are Good Times, Good Things are happening – Enter the Call of Jeremiah to preach. Who is He? A 21 years Old, Son of a High Priest. Jeremiah Ministers/preaches for 40 years he serves under 5 Judah Kings; beginning with Josiah; Jehoiakim … Josiah … Zedekiah—Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin are omitted for they reigned only three months each. King Josiah was 22/Jeremiah was 21 when the two began to reign and preach. There was a great Time of reform and revival under Josiah. Jeremiah will serve until fifth month of Exile [2 Kgs. 25:4-10]. He is used as God’s Prophetic voice of Judgment against Judah by Babylon. Jeremiah is Called and Commissioned to preach God’s judgment Message to Judah [last remaining of tribes]. He is called while still in mother’s womb. His message is a message of Captivity. Now Remember that Josiah had brought many reforms and Times were relatively good – or were they? Jeremiah is told “Preach My Message; oh and they will fight you.” The years he preaches are Appx. 630 BC to 582 BC. The name Jeremiah = May Jehovah exalt; Exalted of the Lord. His Lips anointed like Isaiah in Chapter 6.
The Message of Judgment and captivity is because Judah has burned incense to idols, worshipped the images of their own making; instead of God – man was the solution [he could fix himself] – we call this humanism today.
An illustration of The Almond Tree; The first tree to bloom in Spring; The “Watcher” to see the return of the sun and warm weather, a message of Hope for a Fresh word of God, “I am watching over My Word to perform it”. The Boiling Pot, Facing North- Enemy [Arm of God] coming from the North. God still uses Gentile Kings to discipline His people. Smoke, Steam, coming up blowing south. There is A Confederation of Nations to destroy Jerusalem. Judgment was coming; God would use the Gentile powers to bring His judgment on the last remaining remnant of His called people God is long-suffering and merciful; but there comes a time when “enough is enough”
In Chapter 2 – Apostasy of Judah, God brings His case/indictments against Judah. Like a trial lawyer God brings evidence for the judgment that is coming. God remembers the history of His redemptive acts towards Israel from deliverance from Egypt to them. It is ironic that God delivered Judah from Egypt [sin] and they are returning to Egypt 2:18/36 – It is like God was saying – “so you want to be imprisoned by sin? I’ll send you back to bondage.” God’s love is spurned like Hosea’s for Gomer; she played the harlot; Israel and Judah also Harlotry. Israel had Strange lovers [sexual], they had become Prostitute [for money/goods]; intentionally trying To seek out and court for personal advantages. Indictment starts with the “Fathers” who had Walked away from God. They Lost their way – but did not call on the LORD; they Forgot the benefits/security and provisions. They had been Given a fruitful land, took from Gentiles. But they defiled the land [connotation is polluted by means of immorality]. Next the “Priests” – servants of God for the people. Instead of proclaiming God’s message, the prophesied Baal. At the end of Joshua we find that people are still faithful to God, but a “generation that knew not God, or the works of God rose up.” Reiteration of how long does it take for a family, community or country to fall? But God isn’t willing to just let them go He will “contend” for them. [oppose them, compete for them] Two errors They have forsaken Me, the Living Waters. They have dug cisterns that hold no water; Cistern water is stagnant sitting water, foul-tasting. How can someone desire cistern water over living Spring water that is purified through moving through rock etc.
The Leaders were at fault; Prophets, priest, rulers and teachers. People are not innocent – they chose to follow. Just like the times of the Judges there is Sin in rebellion; followed by Discipline of God, the Cry out for deliverance through repentance, then a Judge or deliverer sent to restore the people and then Blessing returned. Cycle continued over and over. Historically, God shows how that Israel [Northern Kingdom] fell and Judah [Southern Kingdom] will likewise fall. While there may have been periods of fidelity – infidelity was always in the DNA. Early on in a marriage things are bliss, but after time “wandering” often occurs, this isn’t the best I can do – Israel always looking for a “Better god”