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Prophet Jeremiah was a son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, who lived in the last years of the Kingdom of Judah just prior to, during, and immediately after the siege of Jerusalem.  Jeremiah, of all the prophets, was unquestionably the most heroic, the most outstanding among the prophets as a man of dauntless courage. He endured the persecution in his life without quitting.

The Lord commanded Jeremiah not to marry and raise children because the impending divine judgment on Judah would sweep away the next generation

Ahikam, Gedaliah (Ahikam’s son), and Ebed-Melech were Jeremiah’s only friends. His closest companion was his faithful secretary, Baruch, who wrote down Jeremiah’s words as the prophet dictated them.

Jeremiah repeatedly predicted God’s forthcoming judgment; and advocated the Israelites to remove their idols and repent in hopes of changing God’s judgment and fulfilling their destiny as His chosen people. But the Israelites refused to heed Jeremiah’s warnings and did not repent. His efforts failed and he witnessed the destruction of everything he knew, the exile of the Israelite elite to Babylonia, and the fleeing of the remainder to Egypt.

Jeremiah’s ministry covered about forty years. While other prophets saw in some measure the impact of their message upon the nation, Jeremiah never once saw any signs of success in his ministry. The people never obeyed him.  Jeremiah was called to a ministry of failure, and yet he was enabled to keep going for forty long years.  He remained faithful to God and to accomplish God’s purpose: to witness to a decayed nation.

God’s judgment of his people was not to be the final work of God in history. Mercy and covenant faithfulness would triumph over wrath. Beyond the judgment would come restoration and renewal. Israel would be restored, the nations that crushed her would be crushed, and the old covenants would be honored.

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