Who Is God?

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah chapter 1. Jeremiah comes right after Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon, Isaiah, JEREMIAH. Jeremiah was known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Why? Because God had been good to Israel, but Israel turned away from God. God’s people were chasing sin. God’s people had become indistinguishable from the lost peoples around them. So God sent Jeremiah to a hard hearted people with an uncomfortable message.

Jeremiah preached to Israel more than 40 years. The Book of Jeremiah, is the longest book in the Bible by Hebrew word count. It has 22,285 Hebrew words.

Jeremiah Teaches Us The Goodness
& Faithfulness Of God

We see God’s goodness in Jeremiah’s appointment: We are told in Jeremiah 1:1 that these are the words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin” (1:1). Jeremiah is the son of Hilkiah. Jeremiah’s father Hilkiah is the Hebrew חִלְקִיָּה Chilqîyâh, {pronounced khil-kee-yaw’}, which means “The LORD {YHWH} Is My Portion”. The Priestly Tribe of Israel, the Levites, were given no land when they entered Canaan. As priests, God was their Portion (Deuteronomy 10:9; 18:1-8). As the son of a Priest, Jeremiah should have been a Priest himself. However, his father was of the lineage of priests that came from Abiathar. When King Solomon came to the throne, his elder brother Adonijah conspired with the Priest Abiathar to take the throne from Solomon. Solomon ordered his brother Adonijah’s death for this treasonous treachery. But rather than kill the Priest Abiathar, Solomon fired him, and exiled him and his family to (1 Kings 2:20-27)

Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.”

Jeremiah, though of the line of priests, could not be a priest because his family was deposed from that office. Jeremiah was – in effect – punished for something he had no control over. Growing up, I’m sure Jeremiah felt less than and at a loss. But our God does not punish the innocent for the guilty. God called Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:4-5 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

The word Then tells us that Jeremiah was called to prophesy when Jerusalem was at its lowest point. God’s people had turned away from the Lord to follow false idols and selfishness. God allowed Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon to invade Judah, and deport its citizens four times (605, 597, 586, 582 BC). In 586 BC Jerusalem fell, and the Temple was destroyed. Why? Because God’s people stopped following the Lord.

But God in His love nevertheless raised up a Prophet to call His people to repentance. Jeremiah was that Prophet.

See the Goodness of God! God had a plan for Jeremiah’s life, just as He has a plan for yours. No one can mess up God’s plan that He has for you BUT YOU. When God made the world, He made it good, because God is good. The world is not a mess because God made it so, but because WE made it so. God made us in His image, and after His likeness” (Genesis 1:26). God gave us dominion over this planet. God gave us a companion, a spouse of the opposite sex. When the couple became one flesh (Genesis 2:24), they multiplied and filled the earth. When we look at the intricacy of our bodies, we, along with King David, can say:

Psalm 139:14 I will praise Thee {O Lord}; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Our God is SO GOOD! Adam brought sin into the world, and death by sin. Death passed upon all people, for all are sinners” (Romans 5:12). God could have destroyed all of humanity by wiping out Adam and Eve, but God did not. Why? Why did God allow mankind to continue on? Because the goodness of God endureth continually” (Psalm 52:1). It is the the goodness of God {that} leadeth thee to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Praise Him, that …

Psalm 103:10-11 (ESV) {God} does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;

God did not have to give Jeremiah another chance – but He did. God told Jeremiah that his life was planned before he was even a zygote! Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee. God wanted Jeremiah to be His Prophet. Jeremiah was frightened by this call.

Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

When Moses was called to lead Israel out of Egypt, he gave God a similar excuse as to why he couldn’t fulfill the plan of God. Moses said, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10). God told Moses, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exodus 4:11-12).

If God calls you, He will equip you to do what He calls you to do. Just trust in Him.

God is not only GOOD, but God is FAITHFUL
(1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13)

God tells Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:7-8 … Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

Then God, we are told,

Jeremiah 1:9 … the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

God Is Not Just Good And Faithful, But God Is HOLY

So many people today think of God as “Good”, “Faithful”, and even “Love”. God is indeed all these things. But God is also HOLY and RIGHTEOUS.

Why was Judah being afflicted by Babylon? Was it because God was forgetful, or less than powerful? No! It was because His people began to be UNHOLY and UNRIGHTEOUS.

God’s people are NOT to be UNHOLY or UNRIGHTEOUS. When Jesus Christ was born into this earth, the Angel told Joseph:

Matthew 1:21 {Mary} shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

When God saves a people, He does not allow them to remain in their sins. When God saves a people, He expects His people to follow Him. He said:

Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.

1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God will not bless an unholy people. He will not bless an unrighteous child. Our God is Holy. Our God is Righteous. I don’t think people understand this concept – even those I have great respect for. For instance …

Illustrate: I was listening to a group of Christian musicians called Mercy Me the other day, hearing their new song entitled “Flawless”. In the song they sing:

Well let me introduce you to amazing Grace.
No matter the bumps, No matter the bruises;
No matter the scars, Still the truth is;
The cross has made, The cross has made you flawless.
No matter the hurt, Or how deep the wound is,
No matter the pain, Still the truth is,
The cross has made, The cross has made you flawless.”

Is it true that “the Cross has made you flawless”? No, it’s not true. The Cross doesn’t make you flawless.
The Cross makes you blameless.

You will not find a scripture anywhere in the Bible that says that the Cross makes you flawless. You are flawed, and will be flawed while you are on this earth in this life. Jeremiah was “but a child”, unable to do God’s Work. But God told him, “I’ll put the words in your mouth. I’ll give you the words to say.” Moses likewise was not flawless, but flawed. “I am not eloquent”. The Cross doesn’t make you flawless, it makes you blameless. Here’s the Scripture:

Colossians 1:19-23 (ESV) … For in {Jesus} all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through {Jesus} to reconcile to {God} all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 {Jesus} has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

The Cross does not make us flawless. The Cross makes the believer in Jesus three things:

above reproach

Adam traded …

Paradise for Perdition,
the Garden of Eden for Gehenna,
daily communion with God with contention against God.

Though God is good and faithful and merciful, Adam betrayed God, and brought sin into the world. God is HOLY. He is WITHOUT SIN. When the Prophet Isaiah looked into Heaven, what did he see?

Isaiah 6:1-4 … I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim {angels}. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

When Isaiah saw God in His holy glory, he cried out “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”. This is the natural state of man. God is holy, without blemish, righteous and true. When we see Him face to face we realize that we do not measure up to God. He is pure. We are flawed, broken creatures. Only when an angel took a burning coal from the altar of God and put it on Isaiah’s lips (Isaiah 6:6), only then was Isaiah’s iniquity purged (Isaiah 6:7).

This is a picture of the Cross of Christ.
The Cross was God’s Altar of sacrifice.
The Lamb of God died on that Cross.
The Lamb of God paid our sin debt on that Cross.

The Cross of Christ does not make us flawless. The Cross makes the believer holy. When you believe on the Only Begotten Son of God, God Himself marks you, and enters your life. You become one of His Children. Flawed yes, but a Child Who loves the Father, a Child Who loves Jesus. Because Jesus took the penalty for my sin on Himself while on that Cross of Calvary, I as a believer am blameless. Jesus took my blame. He took my punishment. Praise Him, He took the whipping that I should have taken. But not only this, God makes His Children by faith above reproach. Jesus not only took our penalty on Himself, but Jesus imputed His righteousness TO US (Romans 4:22-24).

God saved Israel out of Egypt, and Israel is not to be like Egypt anymore. Egypt is worldliness. God saves the Christian out of the world. The Christian is to live in the Kingdom of God, emulating Jesus.
We are not to be like the world.

God gives Jeremiah two visions:

Jeremiah 1:11-12 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. 12 Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

The first vision is a rod of an almond tree. The almond tree was also known as “the watching tree”, as the word “almond” is the Hebrew shaqed, but the word for “watching” is the Hebrew shoqed. God was watching over Judah. He was watching to see if they would repent and return to Him Who loved them. Further, it is a rod, which is the Hebrew maqqêl, {pronounced mak-kale}. This word is used of the staff that a traveler might use for walking (Genesis 32:11), or when riding an animal (Numbers 22:27). When David went to meet Goliath, he carried a staff with him (1 Samuel 17:40). God was watching His people, watching their unfaithfulness. God was coming to punish them if they would not repent.

The second vision that God gave Jeremiah was …

Jeremiah 1:13-15 And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. 14 Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.

Jeremiah saw a seething” pot, the Hebrew nâphach, {pronounced naw-fakh’}, which means “a blowing or breathing pot”. When God made Adam from the dust of the Garden, the Scripture says “God breathed {nâphach} into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). What is coming to Judah is not a breath of life, but a breath of death, defeat, destruction, and disaster. Though Babylon is coming, it is God Who is driving this. Through this God says:

Jeremiah 1:16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.

God punishes sin. God and sin are not compatible. When God (who is GOOD) saves us, He does not save us so we can follow other gods or the works of our hands. He saves us so that we can live as children of the Kingdom of God.

Two of my favorite Presidents are Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln. They were both very humorous men. One story I heard of Abraham Lincoln is that one day he wanted to go out riding, but the horse he tried to ride was extremely skittish. Every time he tried to mount the horse, it would back away, or start bucking and kicking. At one point the horse hooked one of it’s rear hooves in the rider’s stirrup. President Lincoln said to the horse, “If you’re going to get on, my friend, I’m going to get off!”

Who’s In Charge Of The Horse?

I believe what President Lincoln said to the horse is what God is saying to us in America today. He’s saying, “If you’re going to get on, I’m going to get off”. God saved Israel so that Israel could serve Him. He told Pharaoh,

Exodus 7:16 (ESV) Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.

In the same way, God saves the Christian so that we might serve Him. Pastor Rick Warren said:

You were saved to serve God. The Bible says, “It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan” (2 Timothy 1:9a TLB). God redeemed you so you could do his “holy work.” You’re not saved by service, but you are saved for service. In God’s Kingdom, you have a place, a purpose, a role, and a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance and value. It cost Jesus his own life to purchase your salvation. The Bible reminds us, “God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God” (1 Corinthians 6:20 CEV).”

When God saves you, He saves you not to be comfortable, but to live within His plan for your life. We are saved out of the world, and into His Kingdom. The Scripture says:

Romans 14:17 (ESV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

If you are in God’s Kingdom by faith in Christ, it is not about YOU …

It is not about YOU …
It is NOT about YOU …

It is about God. We are called to righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We are to be like Jesus. If we are in Christ, we are to …

1 Timothy 6:11 flee {the}se things {of the world}; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness

You may stand alone with God. Yet if you do, you will be in a great place. God told Jeremiah that punishment was coming to Judah because she rejected Him as God. But God told Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:17-19 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. 18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.

David stood before Goliath and won. Why? God was with him.

Moses stood before Pharaoh and won. Why? God was with him.

Jeremiah will stand before Judah and win. Why? God was with him.

Stand with the Lord, and you shall be blessed. May God make His Church to do so, for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Jeremiah, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.