We get a hint in verse 10 of chapter 1 of what Jeremiah’s mission was;
See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.
In order to understand his mission, we need to know what God had against Judah. One thing this also sounds like what is going on today.
- Forsake God
- Worshipped other god’s
- Worshipped their own works
All you have to do is turn on the TV and you can see all of this plus more. Before we continue, let’s stop and take some time to examine ourselves as to if any of this is in our lives.
What that can’t be me? But it is all of us at one time or another. All of us have:
- Sinned throughout the day
- Been to busy to spend alone time with God
- Put others things; social media, TV, books, cars, work … before God
Before we can bring about change in this world we have to make the right changes to our lives. Let’s look in-depth at Jeremiah’s mission and apply it to our lives and this world.
First, we see he was to root out. What I think about when I read that is pulling weeds. You have to get the whole root out or they will come back. By looking at the Hebrew – nathash, means; destroy, forsake, pluck (out, up, by the roots), pull up, root out (up), utterly. Judah had become filled with idols, temples for other gods, and it was Jeremiah’s job to get rid the root of Judah’s sin against God, which would be the priest in the temples of the false gods.
Next, he was pull down. I would say this continues the cleansing of the land by getting rid of the places of idol worship. The Hebrew word here is close to the one above – nathats, it means; beat down, break down (out), cast down, destroy, overthrow, pull down, throw down. The destruction of these temples would not make Jeremiah a very popular person.
The destruction of the temples didn’t stop Judah, as we will see they didn’t return to God which lead to their – ‘abad; to wander away, i.e. lose oneself; by implication to perish (causative, destroy): break, destroy(-uction), not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, and surely, take, be undone, utterly, be void of, have no way to flee. This was definitely a bad time for Judah, they met their destruction, Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were led off into captivity.
It seems God wanted to make it clear to Jeremiah the seriousness of what was going to happen because each word He used for destruction is worse than the previous one. Ending with the Hebrew word – harac; to pull down or in pieces, break, destroy: beat down, break (down, through), destroy, overthrow, pluck down, pull down, ruin, throw down, utterly. Judah was now a land in ruin, overthrown by its enemy, and the people were beaten down and now slaves.
God was not going to leave Judah to remain in destruction with the last part of Jeremiah’s mission we see hope. He was to build – banah; to build (literally and figuratively):—(begin to) build(-er), obtain children, make, repair, set (up), surely. He would have to rebuild their faith that God was in control and was watching out for them. They would have to find their hope again. It is the hope and desire of parents their children would be better off than they are.
Lastly, we see Jeremiah’s mission ended with him being a planter – nata`; to strike in, i.e. fix; specifically, to plant (literally or figuratively):—fastened, plant(-er). He was to plant the seeds of hope, faith, and trust in what God was doing.
Now to apply Jeremiah’s mission to our lives. We need to root out whatever is keeping us from spending time with God. Examine what we are putting first in our lives before God and get rid of it. This may mean setting our priorities in order, it may mean getting rid of some things. We as Christians have been given the ability to flee from the destruction of sin, in James 4:7 ESV;
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
We don’t live in fear and a life of feeling beaten down by the enemy for Romans 8:37 ESV, says;
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
We get built up when we spend time in the Bible, with other Christians, listening to sermons, reading Christ-centered books/blogs and listening to worship music. By sharing with others what God has done in our lives we are planting seeds of hope, faith, and trust.
(Photo by Yoal Desurmont on Unsplash)