March 27, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Jeremiah 1-6
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Author:Jeremiah, a prophet of the Lord - "The Weeping Prophet"
Date:Jeremiah served as a prophet in Judah from approximately 627 BC until after the destruction of the Temple in 586 BC
Context:The first chapter of Jeremiah focuses on his calling by the Lord. Jeremiah was probably around the age of 20 when the Lord called him to fulfill his destiny as a prophet. Jeremiah thought himself incapable of the task the Lord called him to. God promises that He will put the words in Jeremiah's mouth. Once again, God chooses the weak to spread His message. The remaining of today's reading was spoken during the first five years of Jeremiah's ministry. Chapter 2 begins with recall of past events, when Israel still trusted in and relied upon the Lord. Beginning in verse 20 and continuing through the first five verses of chapter 3, Jeremiah, through God, condemns the idolatry Judah has embraced. The remaining of today's reading is God's charge of backsliding against the people of Judah. The people had not simply slid backwards, they outright rejected the Lord and anything to do with Him. Josiah, the King, was sincere in his efforts to seek the Lord and walk in a way that was pleasing to Him, but for many in Judah, the return to God was superficial - a surface act only. They failed to repent whole heartedly. As you read today's passage, look for the specific sins identified by Jeremiah and consider if those sins are present today. How are we like Judah?
World History: Josiah became ruler of Judah at the age of eight. Jeremiah was called to be prophet during the 13th year of Josiah's reign. Josiah ruled for a total of 31 years. Likely, Josiah and Jeremiah were good friends, as Josiah was a Godly king and Jeremiah was a mourner at his funeral. Jeremiah continued to prophesize during the reigns of the four kings that followed Josiah, none of which followed God. During the first five years, Josiah began to remove carven images, however the real revival and reform of Judah did not occur until after Josiah discovered the Book of the Law. Israel, to the north, had already fallen into captivity. Judah refused to learn from Israel's mistakes.