Uniform Adult Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday July 16, 2017
Purpose: To recognize that we can be reluctant and afraid when confronted with a divine challenge
Bible Lesson: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Background Scripture: Jeremiah 1
Key Verse: Don’t be afraid of them, because I’m with you to rescue you,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:8)
Jeremiah 1:4-10 (CEB)
(4) The Lord’s word came to me:
(5) “Before I created you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I made you a prophet to the nations.”
(6) “Ah, Lord God,” I said, “I don’t know how to speak because I’m only a child.”
(7) The Lord responded, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a child.’ Where I send you, you must go; what I tell you, you must say.
(8) Don’t be afraid of them, because I’m with you to rescue you,” declares the Lord.
(9) Then the Lord stretched out his hand, touched my mouth, and said to me, “I’m putting my words in your mouth.
(10) This very day I appoint you over nations and empires, to dig up and pull down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant.”
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This week’s lesson is the third in a unit focusing on the calling of prophets. Today’s lesson examines the calling of Jeremiah and helps us deepen our understanding of how God calls people to mission and ministry.
We will learn, or at least be reminded, that being reluctant and afraid when God calls us to carry out his mission is no disqualification for service. As with the two previous lessons in this unit, it will help us appreciate the calling of Jeremiah if we have at least a minimal understanding of his historical context.
The prophet began his career during the reign of Josiah, around 626 B.C. (about 116 years after the call of Isaiah) King Josiah is famous in Jewish history for his religious reforms, including an attempt to align the national policies of Judah with his concept of the Mosaic covenant.
Jeremiah was primarily a prophet to the nation of Judah, sometimes called the southern kingdom. The northern nation of Israel had already been conquered. Jeremiah served under four different kings of Judah. Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin. When Jehoiakim was king, he cut up and burned Jeremiah's first scroll. (36:20-26) So what we are reading today is a rewrite of the original.
In God’s call to Jeremiah, God promises to be with and rescue Jeremiah. However, Jeremiah faces a lot of resistance. Jeremiah, at one point, is arrested and placed in a cistern. His words are found very offensive by other so-called prophets, who taught a more loving God would never allow Judah to be taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Verse 19:9 NKJV says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?
In 1:16 God says, “I will declare my judgment against them for doing evil: for abandoning me, worshipping other gods, and trusting in the works of their hands.” Then in 31:31 “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.” This new covenant is found in Mathew 26:28 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven.”
While our lesson is about Jeremiah’s call, we should not forget that all Christ followers are called by Jesus in the Great Commission. Mathew 28:19 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
Thankfully God has the authority and the right to pronounce both judgement and salvation. Our call is to share His teachings and persuade them to seek repentance and be restored by the New Covenant. If we do that, we have the assurance that God will be with us. Knowing our hope is not in fame or fortune, but an eternal life with the creator, redeemer.
My hymn for this week is “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place.”