Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Weeping Prophet

About seven years ago, a really godly mentor in my life told me she was praying for me and God had showed her that I was like the prophet Jeremiah.

We were at church when she told me this, and we got interrupted so I never got to hear why she thought I was like him. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, and I am fairly emotional, so I figured that was the point. That's the whole story, really. Her comment was significant enough that I remember it, but not significant enough to have meaning.

I would have been a little more worried if I had actually read the NIV Study Bible's notes on the prophet Jeremiah.

He's given to self-analysis and self-criticism. Yeah. That's me.
He's timid and continually needs God's reassurance that he's doing the right things. Yeah. That's me.

He expresses his deep struggles transparently and sometimes says shocking things about his feelings toward God. Yeah. That's me too.

He ultimately surrenders and is obedient to God's call on his life even if it costs him. That's me too. Most of the time.

God tells him to be careful about ambition and to be content with his role in life. Hmmm. I suppose that's good advice. Contentment is hard though.

God commands him not to marry because he's going to go through significant hardship. Too late. And I'm not a fan of significant hardship.

The Bible doesn't tell us how he died, but Jewish tradition says he was stoned to death in Egypt. Not the way I want to go.

I'm not sure I even want to be Jeremiah.

Okay. I'm not sure any of that is relevant, but it is important to know something about the author of a book before I start reading, and the book of Jeremiah is the next book on the reading list.

Basically, Jeremiah is a gutsy guy living in tumultuous times, times of rebellion against the Lord. He writes gutsy, honest, soulful things, about himself, about God, and about the world. He wouldn't have chosen this role, and in fact he struggles with this role, but God pushes him forward, and in the end he must obey. Jeremiah isn't not perfect, but his doubts and his wrestling with what is true only strengthen his relationship with his Lord.

No comments: