Monday, March 14, 2016

his message broke his own heart

The Word for today:
Jeremiah 3:6-4:31
Most of the prophets do not project themselves on the pages of their prophecy. But Jeremiah's prophecy is autobiographical:
1. He was chosen to be a prophet before he was born (Jer. 1:5).
2. He was called to the prophetic office while he was very young (Jer. 1:6).
3. He was forbidden to marry because of the terrible times in which he lived (Jer. 16:17–4).
4. He never made a convert.
5. He was rejected by his people (Jer. 11:18–21; 12:6; 18:18), hated, beaten, put in stocks (Jer. 20:1–3), imprisoned, and charged with being a traitor (Jer. 37:11–16).
6. He wanted to resign, but God wouldn’t let him (Jer. 20:9).
7. He saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity.
8. His message broke his own heart (Jer. 9:1).
Why was a prophet with a broken heart chosen to deliver such a harsh message? Because God wanted the children of Israel to know that, although He was sending them into captivity, it was breaking His heart to do it.
Nearly 700 years later, the harshest message of judgment ever spoken would be delivered by another man, like Jeremiah, who was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: (1)
"You testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.  Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! You snakes!  You brood of vipers!  How will you escape being condemned to hell?  Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers.  Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.  And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.  I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation." (2)
How could they know that the prophet's prophecy targeted himself; that the captive was on his way to set his captors free:
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.  Look, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (2)
(1) Isaiah 53:3; (2) Matthew 23:31-39

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