Skip to comments.Dr. Os Guinness: "The Call of Jeremiah" (Jeremiah 1:1-19)
Posted on 01/27/2007 9:16:47 PM PST by Huber
You may recall that last year the Falls Church in Virginia had a remarkable sermon series by Dr. Os Guinness and the Rev. John Yates on the Book of Isaiah, and it appears that this year they will have a series on the Book of Jeremiah, titled "Prophet of the Midnight Hour: Studies in the Book of Jeremiah." Leading off is Dr. Guinness, with the excellent sermon The Call of Jeremiah, which is based on Jeremiah 1:1-19. Dr. Guinness introduces this series thusly: One of the most haunting figures in human history is that of the unheeded messenger -- the person who warns his nation or his generation about a crisis coming, but they do not listen. In pagan times, there was the prophetess Cassandra who unsuccessfully warned the Trojans about the wooden horse. In the last century, there was Winston Churchill whose warnings about the Nazis went unheeded in his wilderness years. Or again, there was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who for a time was listened to by the world, but then sent out to the wilderness after he talked too bluntly to the West in his address at Harvard. But there is no question that the two greatest unheeded messengers of all are in the Scriptures. One is John the Baptist, who gave us the phrase a voice crying in the wilderness; and the other is the greatest of them all, Jeremiah, the weeping prophet whose name lives on in our term for such a lament, the jeremiad. Last year, John and I had the privilege of preaching a series on the prophet Isaiah, so let me introduce Jeremiah with some helpful contrasts with Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied at the end of the 8th century B.C., Jeremiah at the end of 7th century. Isaiah spoke against the backdrop of the great empire of Assyria, the brutal and dominant power of his day; whereas in Jeremiahs day, Assyria collapsed and the new superpower was Babylon. Isaiahs supreme inspiration was Gods character, growing out of his awesome inaugural vision; whereas Jeremiahs constant reference is to Gods covenant, which Judah has treacherously broken.
The great crisis in Isaiahs life was the siege of Jerusalem by Senacherib in 705 B.C., a siege whose failure led to a false sense of security and a dangerous complacency: All was well if Jerusalem, the temple, and the royal house of David were still standing, and they would never be destroyed. Jeremiah, by contrast, lived through the two sieges of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar, the final one in 587 B.C. that became the darkest hour in Israels history, when all three grounds of confidence were brutally destroyed. Isaiah was told by God that they will not listen to you, whereas a hundred years later Jeremiah was told Do not even pray for them. By his time the people of God had degenerated beyond even prayer.
In sum, if Isaiah is the prophet of the eleventh hour, when there was still at least a shred of hope for Judah, Jeremiah is the prophet of the midnight hour, who lived at the moment when the door had closed and all hope was gone. We need to remember that the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. was worse for the Jews than even the Holocaust. The triple destruction of the temple, the royal line of David, and of the city of God itself not to speak of the slaughter of the citizenry -- meant the utter devastation of Jewish religious and nationalistic hopes. And Jeremiahs terrible task was to live and prophesy through it all.
Strikingly, we know more about the personal life of Jeremiah than any other prophet, and more about his external and internal sufferings, and more about his inner feelings and reactions to all he saw and suffered. Next week John will look at what are called Jeremiahs confessions, or his complaints and laments to God. For example, he almost comes to curse his calling because what he is called to do is so painful before God.
Obviously, for Jeremiah who was called to be Gods man in that terrible hour, and who was apparently shy, reserved, and reluctant anyway, his calling is all-important. So this week we start by looking at the call of Jeremiah in chapter one. Dr. Guinness goes on to talk about four prominent features of Jeremiah's call, and then he gives us the applications for these Scriptures in our lives today. This series of sermons is going to be great, and I urge you to read this introductory sermon and think about his "points to ponder."
Our priest tonight, preached on the pain of Jeremiah. Not expecting God's call, in the well, but how God helped him.
And likewise in our own lives -- we all encounter pain and are sometimes in a well. But we only need to ask to receive God's help.
Have long loved Os Guiness and his writings.
Ping to read later
The Royal line of David was not destroyed. In fact Jeremiah , himself.....saw to it....that it was secured! [Jeremiah 43:4-7] "So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the LORD's command to stay in the land of Judah. Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. They also led away all the men, women and children and The king's daughters whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah. So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the LORD and went as far as Tahpanhes."
In fact, these daughters of the King were Jeremiah's great grand daughters [II Kings 24:18] and [Jeremiah 52:1]. What happened to these Royal daughters of Judah after their escape to Egypt is any body's guess as the scriptures are silent with this regard. But....I suppose they were still young enough to insure that the Royal line was carried on.....that is, if God wanted it to be.
Jeremiah was only one of three different men spoken of in scripture that God fore ordained for a specific task [Jeremiah 1:5]. The other two were "John the Baptist" and "Our Saviour".
Indeed and in addition, Christ's stepfather, Joseph, is descended from David. I'm not quite sure what the author was driving at here. Perhaps he had something else in mind??
Jam 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
Luk 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
Jesus' lineage went back to David through both the royal line of Solomon and the replacement line of Nathan. Note that the lineages listed in Matthew and in Luke both cross over at Zerubabbel, thus Jesus was of the House of David through both Nathan and Solomon, and through both Mary and Joseph, so that there would be no dispute for those who wanted to split hairs, or is that heirs, well either way.
He would be of the House of David without the lines crossing over. Inheritance rights through Joseph and bloodline through Mary.
In Luke, Shealtiel is the son of Neri. In Matthew, Shealtiel is the son of Jeconiah. These are two different sets of "Zerubabbels and Shealtiels"....a coincidence and still two separate lines.
A curse had previously been given to the Matthew line [Jeremiah 22:24-30] to give us proof for the virgin birth [Luke 3:23]. But....it was lifted later on anyway. [Haggai 2:20-23]
Numbers 27:1-9 This gives the Israelites the authority to pass the inheritance through the daughters when there is no male heir. [Jeremiah 52:10-11] There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he also killed all the officials of Judah. Then he put out Zedekiah's eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon, where he put him in prison till the day of his death.
And again....not trying to split "Heirs" (that was good by the way, LOL) but Jeremiah was given a specific mission by God to insure that the Royal line of Judah was kept intact [Jeremiah 1:5-10]. Don't you agree?
Are you sure that these are two separate Shealtiels and Zerubabbels? Granted that the inheritance would pass down through the daughters if there were no son, then if that were so, is it not possible that Neri had no sons and thus his inheritance passed to Shealtiel, his son in law, through his daughter. After all in the same genealogy it says that Joseph was the son "of Heli" who was actually Mary's father. Thus while Jeconiah may have been Shealtiel's father, Neri would have been his father in law.
Yes, I believe they are. They have different parents; they have different children; They are descended from different sons of David; Their chronological appearances in scripture could differ by as much as a hundred years....depending on child bearing spans.
The only thing they have in common is their names! The two genealogies show numerous other repeated common names; i.e. Joseph, Mattathias, Judah, etc. All the names in the genealogies are standard, common, everyday names.
The Shealtiel and Zerubabbel of Matthew are the ones alluded to in [Jeremiah 22:24-29], descendants of Jeconiah. The Shealtiel and Zerubbabel in Luke (Actual genealogical ancestors) are descended from Nathan.... and not through Solomon/Jeconiah that had the curse.
I further believe that Jeremiah was commissioned to protect the royal line down through David for this reason: [Jeremiah 33:19-22] The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: "This is what the LORD says: 'If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, then my covenant with David my servantand my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before mecan be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.'
It appears in Chronicles 3:17-19 that Shealtiel, the son of Jeconiah is not the father of Zerubabbel, but the uncle. Zerubabbel's father is Pedaiah, brother of Shealtiel.
Ezra knew the law and Chronicles backward and forward, and many believed that he wrote or atleast finished writing it. So how could Ezra and Haggai for that matter call Zerubabbel, the son of Shealtiel everywhere his name is mentioned when Chronicles right there in his hand says that he is the son of Pedaiah? How can that be?
Is it possible that there is one Zerubabbel but two different Shealtiels? the one a son of Jeconiah going back to Solomon and the other a son of Neri going back to Nathan?. Is it possible that Ezra and Haggai were telling us something by calling him "Zerubabbel, son of Shealtiel" rather than "Zerubabbel, son of Pedaiah"? In doing so they meant the "son of Shealtiel son of Neri".
In a subtle sort of way they were recognizing that Zerubabbel's lineage through Jeconiah was cursed per Jeremiah, but his lineage through "Shealtiel, son Neri" back to Nathan would now be the blessed one. Along with Ezra, and Haggai, Zechariah noted this change in the royal line as well with his prophecy in Chapter 12:12 with the "house of Nathan" not the "house of Solomon".
As far as the two Zerubabbel's in Matthew and Luke being off by 20 or more years, I note that Matthew's genealogy is shorter with names omitted, the number of names between Jesus and David being 26 in Matthew and 40 in Luke, but Zerubabbel occupying a very similar position in both genealogies 43% to 47% of the way through. That is close enough to be the same Zerubabbel.
As far as Zerubabbel's children: Neither of those mentioned by Matthew or Luke [Abiud or Rhesa] match the list in 1 Chronicles 3. So, I don't know what to think about that. What think ye?
These passages have caused much confusion to many folks throughout the years and have provided fodder for disbelief among some because of the problem. I am glad you are willing to take another look.
[Jeremiah 22:24-29] As I live -- an affirmation of Jehovah, Though Coniah son of Jehoiakim king of Judah Were a seal on My right hand, Surely thence I draw thee away And I have given thee into the hand of those seeking thy life, And into hands of which thou art afraid, Into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, And into the hand of the Chaldeans. And I have cast thee, And thy mother who bore thee, unto another country, Where ye were not born, and there do ye die. And to the land whither they are lifting up their soul to return, Thither they do not return. A grief -- a despised broken thing -- is this man Coniah? A vessel in which there is no pleasure? Wherefore have they been cast up and down, He and his seed, Yea, they were cast on to a land that they knew not? Earth, earth, earth, hear a word of Jehovah. And verse 30....This is what the LORD says:"Record this man as if childless a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah."
That was the groundwork for the curse against Jeconiah; i.e. Coniah; i.e. Jehoiakhin. All three names acceptable in scripture. The curse stipulates that no descendant through this line will ever sit on the throne of David or rule again in Judah. Many folks use this argument to attempt to prove that Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah because of the genealogy in Matthew 1:11-13.
But....the curse was removed [Haggai 2:20-23] And there is a word of Jehovah a second time unto Haggai, on the twenty and fourth of the month, saying `Speak unto Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying: I am shaking the heavens and the earth, And have overturned the throne of kingdoms, And I have destroyed the strength of kingdoms of the nations, And overturned chariot and its charioteers, And come down have horses and their riders, Each by the sword of his brother. In that day -- an affirmation of Jehovah of Hosts, I take thee, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant -- an affirmation of Jehovah, And have set thee as a signet, for on thee I have fixed, An affirmation of Jehovah of Hosts!
So....even if this were a genealogical (DNA) line down to the Saviour, any dispute about the curse still being in effect is hereby refuted. No one could then say that the crossing of the line into Mary's genealogy would prevent Our Lord from assuming the throne of David. But....the only things these two sets of Shealtiels and Zerubbabels have in common.....is their names.
Jesus is therefore descended legally from David through Joseph and genetically through Mary. His bloodline ancestry thereby goes back through Nathan....not Solomon. Because of the previous curse through Jeconiah it would have been physically impossible for anyone descending through Zerubbabel to be the Messiah therefore the only way out is ......a virgin birth to a woman of Judah who is betrothed to a man of Judah, descended from Jeconiah which enables the virgin born son the legal heritage necessary to occupy the throne of David, while meeting the prophecy to be a physical descendant of King David. This narrows it down to one person, Jesus of Nazareth.
[Matthew 1:13] Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor.
[Luke 3:27] the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel.
Two different Zerubbabels.
[1 Chronicles 3:17]The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive:Shealtiel his son, Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah. The sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei. The sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah. Shelomith was their sister. There were also five others: Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-Hesed. The Zerubbabel who is the son of Pedaiah has no descendants that are named the same as the Zerubbabels in Matthew and Luke.
I think this Zerubbabel was a cousin of the son of Shealtiel..... who evidently is his uncle....Pedaiah being Sheltiel's brother. Shealtiel's son is not mentioned here.
Zerubbabel was evidently a very common name. Makes you want to bang your head against the wall, doesn't it? Anyway, I think the whole exercise is designed to give proof for the virgin birth and it narrows it down very well.
So, I don't know what to think about that. What think ye?
You sound just like Bill O'Reilly....LOL.
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