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Lowell Brueckner

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The Touch of God



                  Chapter 1:7-19


Holy Spirit preparation

Please open your own Bibles. The entire text will not be included in these articles.

We can make a comparison between Samuel, to whom God spoke, launching his ministry, when he was only twelve-years-old, and a very young Jeremiah. “Samuel did not yet know the Lord” (1 S.3:7), and did not recognize His voice, so that God had to call to him three times, before he understood, through Eli, Who was speaking to him. Samuel knew his old superior and went to him, before he came to know God. To whom anyone resorts for answers determines his spiritual relationship. Anyone can judge his own life by Samuel’s example to see whether or not he has direct contact with God. Once Samuel had a genuine encounter with God, all that was expected of him was to deliver His word to Eli.

 It is obviously essential that the Lord’s servant must have personal knowledge of Him at the onset of his calling in life. We can see that, certainly, Jeremiah already knew God and, of course, God knew him, because he speaks freely with the Lord at the beginning of his book. God preordained him to be a prophet to the nations… to our nation and to every nation, through the inspired Book, which contains his writings (v.5).


 Jeremiah is not to take his youth into account; he is simply to obey the Lord. He will give him the words and Jeremiah will take them to whomever God sends him. He is simply a messenger and age is not required, as a prerequisite for obedience and can be learned at an early age (v.7). Faithful Christian parents can establish that quality in their children and thereby help them immensely in their life’s calling. My dad knew that principle and said, “If you do not obey me, how will you obey God?” He taught his children obedience. 

 Moses’ problem was his speech and God revealed to him, “Who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” (Ex.4:11). Then, He promised Moses divine, supernatural assistance and guidance: “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Ex.4:12). God taught Moses, not self-confidence, but confidence in the I AM. Jeremiah’s weakness and lack of confidence was because of his youth, but God taught him, as Moses, to find his confidence in Him.  As is the case in every spiritual ministry, the transforming word of God must be at work. Paul taught, “When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe(1 Thess.2:13). The Lord spoke the word of fearlessness into Jeremiah’s life and the entire book will prove its effectiveness (v.8).

 The touch of God was on Jeremiah: “The Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth” (v.9). Do I hear someone argue? “This is special treatment given to one who will write flawless Scripture.” Oh no, my friend, you need to see the awesome responsibility laid upon everyone, who has a part in the eternal purpose of God. It is not an option for any believer, regardless of the time, in which he lives. Jesus commanded, “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Lk.24:49). The 120 who responded were not all apostles; some were common disciples like you and me… some were women.

 How we need to experience the divine touch, the evidence of the supernatural hand of God upon ministries! There is too much manpower these days; too much human ability and training. Where are those called and equipped by the Almighty? That is the only power that penetrates deep into the hearts of mankind, bringing an inner light to the soul. Mental persuasion can never accomplish that goal, nor prepare God’s servant to help people to walk on streets of gold.

 Through Christ, every servant of God is under unstoppable authority: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore…” (Mt.28:18-19). The glory, as well as the authority, belongs to Him, but nonetheless, we need to understand that, as we are involved in His purposes, we have orders from the throne room of the Almighty to carry out. The secret to success is in our submission to His authority. Amazingly, the Roman centurion saw the secret in Christ, who was in perfect submission to the Father: “For I also am a man under authority... And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Mt.8:9).

 We often quote partially Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good”. We might also add, “to those who love God,” and it is true that love is the legitimate motivation behind all Christian obedience. but the secret is in the last clause of the verse: “To those who are the called according to His purpose.” God always takes care of His business, and those who are found in that purpose carry the guarantee that, one way or another, it will be for eternal good. Therefore, young Jeremiah is “set over the nations and over the kingdoms.” He is under authority.

 The beginning and character of Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry

 What is true in the Kingdom of God, is true in every area of life; before building and planting begins, it is necessary first to “root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down.” Weeds are plowed under, before good seed is planted. Old buildings are pulled down and destroyed, before the new building begins. In man’s being, the pulling down principle is called repentance. It is absolutely necessary to throw down our own throne, before Christ’s can be established as our King. It is essential that the deception of man’s religion and the sin of our old lifestyle be pulled down. Every new Christian must squeeze through the narrow gate and leave all that he carried behind. All of verse 10 becomes principle in Jeremiah’s life.

 Having met God and having received His promise and His touch upon his life, Jeremiah then receives the word for the people. It comes to him through an almond tree branch, by way of illustration (v.11). The word of the Lord is revealed at an opportune time, when He is soon to perform it (v.12). In fact, the almond branch carries that message. I got some interesting information on the internet from Gardener’s Path concerning the almond tree. It even mentioned its place in the Bible and states that it is the earliest flowering stone fruit. Almond in Hebrew means wakeful. We do well to remember Aaron’s almond rod, which sprouted, budded, produced blossoms y gave fruit overnight (Num.17:8). That supernatural occurrence is the result of a test between Aaron and the other leaders of Israel, when the authenticity of His divine calling was challenged.

 Amos 3:7 declares: “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” God does not want His people to be ignorant and in this book, He will establish the fact that He was faithful to send them prophets (25:4; 26:5; 28:8; 29:19; 35:15; 44:4). He has warned them by His prophets throughout the Bible, in verses too numerous to mention. Jesus pointed to the Father’s faithfulness in sending prophets, by a parable given in all the synoptic gospels (Mt. 21:33-41; Mr.12:1-11; Lk.20:9-18): The parable of the tenants.  

 Worse than having people walk in ignorance is to see them led in the wrong direction by the false prophets. We will have many, many references to them in the book of Jeremiah. They appear throughout the history of Israel and continue in the New Testament. Jesus said that there would be many false prophets and they would deceive many (Mt.24:11). Paul said that great deception would come and deceive all, who did not receive the love of the truth (2 Thess.2:10).

 They will play an increasing part in the deceptive work of the devil, as we approach the end. Revelation 13:11-17 tells us of a final false prophet, who will arise to aid the kingdom of the antichrist. Revelation 19:20 tells of his final destruction: “The beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast.”

 One of the reasons, for which I have chosen to give this study, is to do what I can to expose false prophets. Included for every true servant, as we have already learned from Jeremiah, is the work of rooting out, pulling down, destroying and throwing down.  We will see their characteristics and the part that they play in turning people away from God, who refuse to hear the truth from the mouth of the Lord’s prophets. They are numerous in the 21st Century and, as prophesied, many follow them. Above that, I hope that we can plant and build, as we study this remarkable gift, the book of Jeremiah, that God has included in the Bible for us.

  The boiling pot illustration

In the next verse, verse 13, the Lord’s second illustration is of a boiling pot, facing north. It symbolizes a hot and boiling destruction coming from the north. Jeremiah will predict, throughout the book, an army that will conquer the entire Middle East. He is speaking of Babylon, which at the time of this prophecy, was still under the dominion of Assyria. Several years later, Assyria will weaken, and Babylon will rise up to pour seething calamity on Judah, as well as its neighbors (v.14).

The almond branch is already waking; God is waking nations under one lord.  Nebuchadnezzar will be the emperor, who will conquer Judah, and all the families represented in him will sit at the gates of Jerusalem. Gates in the Old Testament always represent the place of governorship. Jerusalem will lose its sovereignty and be dominated by Babylon (v.15).

 Interestingly, some think that this prophecy was misinterpreted by the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the time of Ezekiel (11:3). A deluded remnant quoted, “This city is the caldron, and we are the meat.” They meant: This is the city of opportunity and we inside of it will be used of God as the means of its prosperity. The Lord used Ezekiel to correct this amazing deception: “Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the caldron; but I shall bring you out of the midst of it” (Ezek.11:7).

 The Lord argues the justice in his purpose, by giving them the reason for their destruction. We must learn to see things through God’s eyes. To Him, above all the evil deeds of mankind, there is no greater wickedness than that of forsaking God. Read Romans 1 and see the same argument by Paul, justifying the wrath of God against ungodliness and unrighteousness. He declares that men are “without excuse” (Ro.1:20), trying to pollute the very holy nature of God, and have turned to idols. That is the actual state of fallen man today and he falls ever deeper into perdition (v.16).   

 Jeremiah must arise fearlessly to the awesome challenge of declaring doom to his people, as well as to all those to whom his written word reaches. He is not to quail in this ministry, or God will bring him to shame (v.17). The Lord does not threaten, without giving great consolation and overcoming strength to His servant. This young boy will be like “a fortified city and an iron pillar… bronze walls” (v.18). There is enough enduement with power from heaven to stand against the whole land, including kings, princes, priest and the common citizen! There is no need for sympathy for Jeremiah; Almighty God has equipped him.

He has promised opposition, but also victory over it. How? There is only one reason that he needs, and we need to take it home into our hearts. For every faithful believer today, the promise holds: “‘I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to deliver you’” (v.19). Nothing else needs to be said, because there is no greater assurance or support. “If God be for us, who can be against us” (Ro.8:31). Faithful Christian, let this promise plant you and build you up!













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