I’ve been struggling a bit this week to get my Sunday school lesson finished. I finally did earlier today, though I felt like this lesson needed months of preparation! This quarter our Sunday school class (5th grade) is looking at Old Testament Bible heroes. This week’s hero is Jeremiah. Though I have been a Christian for nearly twenty years, and though I did go to Sunday school as a child, I really didn’t know anything about Jeremiah! I knew he was a prophet. I knew that he was used to speak Messianic prophecies. And I knew Jeremiah 29:11. I imagine that most of you know that verse, too.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Did you know that this verse is in the context of a prophecy to Israel? A prophecy that was to be fulfilled in 70 years? I won’t say that it’s wrong to use that verse in any other manner, because the principles in it can be applied to Christians and are in other ways throughout the Bible. But I was pretty surprised to find out that this statement was spoken for a specific purpose to a specific group!
So I’ve learned a lot about Jeremiah in just a few days. I’ve learned that though he is known as the weeping prophet, he was quite bold and persistent. I have also learned that He had a deep knowledge and understanding of God. Of course, God gave him the words,
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
But I imagine that he believed those words. At least, I can’t imagine that he would have persevered through such great rejection, loneliness (God commanded him not to marry), and persecution without believing the Lord. I also learned that he is real — there are times that he speaks of his great desire to get out of the ministry. He kept going, but like any of us, he didn’t like the tribulation!
There is more that I learned, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it. I think that I need to take time soon to read through the book of Jeremiah! There was a time that I went through reading the Old Testament books that I had not read before, but I think that I skipped both Jeremiah and Lamentations because they are so long. I’m sure that I had a plan to get back to them. I didn’t do it then, but perhaps after I’ve finished the other two Bible studies that I’m working on, then I can learn more through those books! (So don’t be surprised if Jeremiah shows up again on Kimm’s Kontemplations!)