In Week 4 of Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World, author Melissa Spoelstra emphasizes the importance of "Staying Spiritually Sensitive." Have you given 100% of your heart to God, or are you living at half capacity?
Enjoy a preview of this week's "Digging Deeper" section of Jeremiah.
"Somewhere Along the Road"
Jeremiah’s journey with God looked more like a marathon than a sprint. It required endurance, training, and other people cheering him on for him to make it to the finish line. Jeremiah felt alone at times, just as we all do, but he looked to those who had run before him as examples. In addition, he had spiritual running partners along the road. The legacy of his race also left a model for those who came behind him. Let’s consider each of these aspects of Jeremiah’s journey.
First, Jeremiah studied the writings of the prophets who went before him. His writings reveal the particular influence of the prophet Hosea. Though Hosea prophesied one hundred years before Jeremiah’s ministry, Jeremiah could identify with him greatly because they both spoke God’s harsh messages for an unrepentant people just before they were taken into exile. We, too, need to consider those who have trod the path we walk on now. Others who had similar experiences can challenge and encourage us. God wants us to seek out encouragement and wisdom just as Jeremiah did.
Second, Jeremiah looked around to see who was running beside him. He found a friend in his scribe, Baruch. Baruch worked closely with Jeremiah, which sometimes put him in danger. They had to hide together while facing arrest for going against the king to get God’s messages to the people (Jeremiah 36:26). When Baruch whined about all their troubles, Jeremiah reminded him to seek God’s glory and not his own (Jeremiah 45:1-5).
We, too, need to find others who are following God at a similar pace. When life gets tough, a godly friend can stand with us through difficult times. A good friend also helps pull us along when we start slowing our pace or going the wrong way. Everyone needs a “Baruch running buddy” to finish the race.
Finally, Jeremiah left a model for those who would follow. After the majority of his race was over, others took him against his will to Egypt where he ultimately died; yet his legacy lived on for those who would read his words. Daniel read Jeremiah’s words to help him understand God’s timeline of captivity (Daniel 9:2). Jesus saw the fulfillment of some of Jeremiah’s specific prophecies lived out in regard to Herod and Judas (Matthew 2:17; 27:9). We also are part of that legacy. As we study and read about Jeremiah’s life, we can learn from his failures and faith.