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 some of the Old Testament prophets' actions and antics. It is undoubtedly the case with the Prophet Jeremiah, the "weeping prophet," called into ministry in BC 626. The name "Jeremiah" is probably inspired by the French noun "jérémiade," and subsequently the English "jeremiad," meaning "a lamentation or mournful complaint," or "a cautionary or angry harangue." Jeremiah's name originates from his depressing message. He sought to deliver his mournful sermon with great clarity, which was the prime reason for his unusual presentation. As we look at some parts of Jeremiah's story, we discover new ways to attract an audience and drive 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. The Lord said to me: "Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. Send word to the Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon kings 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. , I made the earth and its people and the animals on it, with my great power and outstretched arm, 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 Lord's will is that King Zedekiah of Judah should submit to and serve the great King Nebuchadnezzar 11 of the Neo-Babylonia Empire. ✞

Priests and Evangelists

Like a young ox, Judah bows down to a more experienced and energetic animal 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. God chose the priests as his representatives to the people, and prophet evangelists spoke to the people from God. Generally, the priest was a professional set-apart by the church. Priests came from the people and mainly were 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 administration. 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 unpaid primarily or part-time. They had evangelistic gifts and were effective communicators. 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 © 1982-2021

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