The Berean Expositor Volume 50 - Page 92 of 185 Index | Zoom |
The `failure' to which Isaiah was commissioned would be complete; but in God's
own time the seed which Isaiah would sow would bring forth fruit to the glory of God.
The man God calls must see the need, it may be before, or after the call, but the need
must be seen and realized. So also he must `see' God and perceive His holiness and
glory: this will have the effect of making the man realize his sinfulness and
insufficiency. But with the response to the holiness and glory of God will come
forgiveness and enablement, and so the call can be, and must be, answered. To whatever
else the call and commission may be, it will be to faithfulness in spite of all else.
May we all, with a true vision of God in Christ say with Isaiah: "Here am I; send me".
pp. 50 - 55
The call of Jeremiah is specifically dated as being "in the thirteenth year" of king
Josiah's reign. The historical background of the call and ministry of this prophet is thus
more easily determined than is the case of some others whom God called.
We are told in II Chron. 34: 1-3 that "Josiah was eight years old when he began to
reign", and that "in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek
after the God of David his father" (verse 3): and "in the twelfth year he began to purge
Judah and Jerusalem from the high places". In the eighteenth year of his reign a
tremendous and tragic discovery was made: Hilkiah the priest "found a book of the law
of the Lord given by Moses" (14). The book was taken to the young king and read to
him. "And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his
clothes" (19). Not only did Josiah `rend his clothes', he acted upon the words of the law,
as the chapter goes on to show. So Jeremiah began his ministry against a background of
reformation conducted by a young, but godly king.
Consider for a moment the tragedy of this history: the book of the law of the Lord had
been lost in the house of the Lord. In the very place where it should have been made
known, the book of the law had been `misplaced'. What a tragedy! Yet it is a greater
tragedy than the situation today? The Book of God is derided and abused in the house of
God. The Bible is acclaimed as being important, yet its teaching is explained away and
ignored. Sometimes, even, where it is acknowledged to be the Word of God, its teaching,
where it is not expedient, is not followed. In Josiah's day the book of the law was
rediscovered, and acted upon. Will this be the case with the Bible, in our day? It
sometimes makes demands upon us we are not prepared to follow.
In the year following the commencement of Josiah's reformation the word of the Lord
came to Jeremiah (Jer. 1: 4). The father of Josiah, Amon, had been an evil king, but the