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The Unsuccessful Successful Prophet

Jeremiah relied on God’s purpose, power, and presence.


I’ve read Jeremiah many times over the years, but never got much out of it, apart from various passages. There’s something different this time. Maybe it’s because, like the times he was prophesying in, we are living through a scary, prolonged crisis. So, as I read through Jeremiah it hits me harder.

Most Christians are not familiar with the Book of Jeremiah. Maybe they know Jeremiah 29:11 that famous verse where God says “I alone know the plans I have for you says the Lord ….” I love that and have it inscribed on my wedding ring even, but when I first loved the verse I had no idea of the context. Those words came through a prophet who was beaten and imprisoned by the government and rulers of his day for saying “This is what God says ….” Those rulers didn’t want to hear it when Jeremiah said their idolatry and sin was the cause of the nation’s problems.

Jeremiah is not some doom and gloom book but someone to read and learn from because he’s brave, courageous, and a heroic figure in a difficult dark day.

His ministry began when he was a young man—he thought he was TOO young—during the time of short lived revival around the reign of the godly king Josiah the king of Judah,

and for forty-two years he preached in Judah, the rest of Israel already having been scattered across the nations because they were so unfaithful and disobedient to God.

And from the way we might humanly look at it we’d have to say Jeremiah preached unsuccessfully in terms of visible results. But it all depends how you see success.

Jeremiah was called to try to wake his nation up to its sin, to call out what was really happening and pray that the people ...

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Anthony Delaney is a Leader at Ivy Church in Manchester. He is also the leader for New Thing and the LAUNCH conference. He is an author and hosts the television show “Transforming Life.”

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