Call Unto Me
Jeremiah, who spoke out of a heart of obedience to the Lord and love for the nation of Judah, prophesied of their coming defeat at the hands of Babylon. The King of Judah, Zedekiah, seeing that the prophecy was coming to pass, imprisoned Jeremiah, blaming him for Judah’s coming defeat. (Jeremiah 32:1-5).
Our lesson (Jeremiah 33:1-3) now picks up with Jeremiah sitting in prison being given words of comfort from the Lord…
1) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
2) Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD [is] his name;
3) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
The Lord’s introductory message to the imprisoned prophet Jeremiah….
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
The Lord is speaking to Jeremiah for a second time while he was imprisoned by Zedekiah.
He had originally received a message from the Lord telling him of Judah’s defeat (Jeremiah 32:3-5). It was this original message for which he was imprisoned by the King of Judah, Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:1-2).
Following his imprisonment, the first message he received is found in 32:26-44. In this message, the Lord reaffirmed his initial prophecy of the coming defeat of Judah by Babylon (32:26-35), and also gives Jeremiah a promise of a future deliverance of Judah from the 70-year Babylon captivity (32:36-44).
Can you imagine what Jeremiah must have been thinking? I believe, because he was a fallen sinful human, like all of us, he was probably plagued with doubt concerning this miracle deliverance would take place.
It was an easy thing to believe that Judah would fall to the invading Babylonian empire. After all, at that point in history, Babylon had the greatest army on the face of the planet earth. The Babylonian empire had already taken over many of the most powerful nations of the day and was now surrounding Judah ready for “the kill”.
However, the second part of this God-given promise was very different indeed. How difficult it must have been for Jeremiah to believe that Judah would ever be freed from their captivity. How could a small, impoverished and soon-to-be-imprisoned Judah ever be able to overcome the great and mighty forces of the Babylonian word empire? It would take an absolute miracle from the Lord.
Thus, the Lord now gives Jeremiah the second “prison prophecy” to reaffirm to Jeremiah the certainty of the release of Judah from Babyon…
Thus saith the LORD
The Lord now speaks to Jeremiah…
the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it;
Jeremiah is now reminded that ….
1. The Lord was the One that created both the nation of Judah and the Babylonian Empire
2. The Lord that shaped both nations to conform to the desires of His will
3. The Lord that has intervened to sustain both Judah and Babylon
In other words, He was reminding Jeremiah that both Judah and Babylon only existed because of His intervention. Without Him, neither would exist nor possess their might and authority. He was clearly explaining to Jeremiah that He was the One who has humbled Judah and He could exalt them once again. Likewise He was the One that had allowed Babylon to become the world empire of the day and He would be the One that would bring them down to defeat.
the LORD [is] his name;
The Lord now emphasizes that it is JEHOVAH that can make a legitimate claim to all of this. No false gods could claim such awesome power and authority over the kingdoms of the world. Only the One True God…. Jehovah could make such an assertion.
Call unto me,
The Lord now invites Jeremiah and the nation of Judah to “call unto me”. The word translated “call” is a Hebrew word that carries two separated, yet related ideas:
1. it is speaking of issuing “a public invitation” or “to cry out to me”
2. it is used to describe addressing someone personally.
In other words, to “call” is telling Jeremiah to “cry out to me by name” seeking forgiveness and deliverance from their captivity. The Lord is emphasizing Jeremiah’s and Judah’s privilege of communion with Him as well as the need to seek out His aid personally. It was not enough for them to seek the aid of another god…. No, his request had to be made to Jehovah only. Because it was Jehovah, alone, that was the Creator, Shaper and Sustainer of the nations.
and I will answer thee,
The Lord promises to Jeremiah and Judah that He will answer them. The word for answer is very interesting indeed. It implies that the Lord will pay attention, consider and respond to his cry. They would not be ignored nor would they be forgotten. Their prayer would be heard and the Lord would act.
and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Not only does Jehovah promise to hear, consider and respond to Jeremiah’s and Judah’s request, but He promises His response would be “eye opening” for them. If Jeremiah and the people of Judah would approach the Lord with requests for deliverance from captivity and forgiveness of sin, the Lord would answer them by performing that which seemed impossible.
What are some of those miraculous, eye-opening things that they would see?
1. The specific events surrounding the deliverance of Judah from Babylon.
2. His forgiveness for their hard hearts and repeated acts of rebellion against Him.
3. The national and personal blessings that would be bestowed upon them following their forgiveness and deliverance.
Following this wonderful promise of answered prayer, the Lord then reiterates to Jeremiah that Judah would miraculously be delivered from Babylonian captivity, restored to the land of Israel and forgiven of their sins. (Jeremiah 33:4-8)
Why would the Lord do all of these miraculous works for Judah? So that He might receive all the honor and praise…
“And it (Judah) shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.”(Jeremiah 33:9)
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
Folks these same principles that we see being applied to the physical nation of Israel, applies to each one of God’s people as members of His spiritual nation (the Israel of God).
Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation that is directly linked to disobedience to your Heavenly Father? As you read these words and the many other Bible texts that reveal the Lord’s love and readiness to forgive do you shrink back in unbelief?
Folks, the Lord has made it plain to us that nothing can separate us from His love, He is always waiting to forgive us, restore communion with us and bless us abundantly no matter what situation we may be facing.
What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.
Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These verses help us to understand that when a saint falls into unrepentant sin, this does not mean that he has lost his salvation, it is a matter of his close relationship with His Lord being hindered. Think of it this way…
When a child disobeys His parents it does not mean that he will be “kicked out” of the family?
No, it results in hindered communion with his parents… he knows he has disobeyed and his conscience plagues him concerning his disobedience. His parents are displeased with his disobedience and his will full rebellion against them and they will discipline him for his disobedience….but they DO NOT REMOVE HIM FROM THE FAMILY. They still love him, work for his good and long for forgiveness and restored communion with him.
This is how it is with our heavenly family as well. There can be hindered communion with the Father and the Son but, although we will be disciplined, we will never be cast from His presence…
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
It is only through confession of our sins and a turning from those sins that we will find unhindered communion and a restoration of peace in our hearts.
Turn to the Lord and allow Him to bless with forgiveness and a restoration of fellowship with Him. Allow Him to open your eyes to His miraculous love, faithfulness and mercy. He will once again restore peace to our hearts and a confident recognition of His presence in our life as you face the many storms of life.
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.