Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 4

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By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile


Jeremiah 1:4–19

Jeremiah was from Anathoth, a town near Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin. He has often been called the “Weeping Prophet” because of his personal anguish over the coming captivity.

God required Jeremiah to remain unmarried and childless. His prophetic call came around 627 B.C., when he was still young (v. 6).

His message of coming judgment isolated him and exposed him to danger. For 40 years he proclaimed the Word of the Lord in Judah and remained there even after Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C. According to chapter 43, he was forced to go to Egypt and probably died there.

Created (4–10)

The Lord created and called Jeremiah to be His prophet. Before Jeremiah was even born, God’s “sonogram” revealed a person who was called for a specific purpose.

We learn important truths in verses 4–5. God is the Lord of life. He created Jeremiah in his mother’s womb. A fetus is a person created in the image of God, not tissue.

God is sovereign and gracious. The fact that God did all of this before Jeremiah was conceived demonstrates His grace and not that Jeremiah did anything to deserve it.

Jeremiah had two main objections to becoming a prophet. He told the Lord he had a lack of eloquence and a lack of experience. God did not rebuke Jeremiah but instead gave him three reasons he should obey the divine call on his life. God assured Jeremiah that He would guide him where He wanted him to go, give him the message to speak to the people and be with him and protect him.

The Lord then reached out and touched Jeremiah’s mouth. He assured Jeremiah that he would serve as His prophet to proclaim both judgment and hope to his sinful people. He will be used both to tear down and to build.

Watched (11–16)

The Lord revealed two visions to Jeremiah. The first vision was of an almond tree. This word picture in verses 11–12 is a play on words.

The Hebrew word for “almond” sounds identical to the word for “watch.” God is taking specific care over His Word to accomplish it.

Jeremiah can speak with confidence. What God says will be accomplished. Every time Jeremiah would see an almond tree, it would remind him that God always keeps His Word.

The second vision was of a boiling pot tilted from the north to the south about to be poured out.

God was revealing to Jeremiah that he was going to use an enemy invasion from the north and would inflict pain like the pain of a scalding pot.

While Babylon was east of Judah, in order to avoid traveling through the Arabian desert, the Babylonians would attack Judah from the north by way of Syria.

God was going to send judgment on His people because they had broken the covenant when they worshipped other gods they had made with their own hands. Sin is serious, and we need to remember that every sin will be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell.

Charged (17–19)

It was time for Jeremiah to obey the Lord and proclaim His Word. God told him not to be intimidated by the people. The kings, officials, priests and the people of Judah would oppose him, but they would never prevail over him because the Lord would rescue him.