Prophet Jeremiah's Message
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17. Prophet Jeremiah's Message

With Great Clarity

Ox YokeReading through the Old Testament, one is sometimes surprised by the actions and antics of some of the Old Testament prophets. This is certainly the case with the Prophet Jeremiah, the "weeping prophet", who was called into ministry in BC 626. The name "Jeremiah" probably inspired the French noun "jérémiade," and subsequently the English "jeremiad", meaning "a lamentation or mournful complaint," or "a cautionary or angry harangue." Jeremiah sought to deliver his mournful message with great clarity and that was the prime reason for his unusual presentation. As we look at some parts of Jeremiah's story we discover some new ways for ourselves of attracting an audience and driving home the Gospel message.


BibleJeremiah, acts out his message on one occasion, bearing on his shoulders a wooden ox yoke. The Biblical account in Jeremiah 27.1-7 explains "Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. This is what the Lord said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them a message for their masters and say, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Tell this to your masters: With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him." The will of the Lord is that King Zedekiah of Judah should submit to and serve the great king Nebuchadnezzar 11 of the Neo-Babylonia Empire. Just like a young ox, Judah bows down to a more experienced and stronger ox in the same yoke led by the Neo-Babylonia Empire. The thought of being under the control of any other nation was a great offense to the people in Judah but this was the Lord's will. The priest was chosen to represent the people to God and the prophet evangelist to speak to the people from God. Generally, the priest was a professional set-apart by the church. Priests were called out from the people and were mostly full or part-time and paid professionals. Priests represented the people to God and were chosen because they were trained and gifted in pastoral areas, and as administrators. The priest as it has developed looked inward to believers and maintained the religious order. The prophet evangelist generally presented God to the people. Evangelists were mostly unpaid or part-time. They were gifted in evangelism, effective communicators and some were trained. Evangelists looked outward to the non-believer and interpreted the Christian and spiritual truth of the Gospel to them.

"Prophet Jeremiah's Message"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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