By Mary Vee
From the Journals of the prophet Jeremiah
But so many other kings before him had taught the men and women of Judah to turn from the very God who loved them. Even without the idols, the people didn't obey God.
My name is Jeremiah. My father, Hilkiah is one of the priests and we live in the territory given to the tribe of Benjamin. That means we live to the west and are on border Judah.
I heard God speak to me one day. I didn't expect it. Even though my father is a priest, I had never heard the Lord speak to me like this before.
God said to me, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
My father had told me the story about Moses and when God first spoke to him from a burning bush. God gave Moses an important job. Moses said he didn't think he could do the job because he couldn't speak well. Wow. I completely understand. I have the same problem.
So I said to God, "Ah, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak. I am only a child." I didn't mean in years, although I was young. What I meant was I didn't feel I knew enough about God's commands to do the job. The older men knew these things much better.
The Lord said to me, "Don't say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Don't be afraid of them. I am with you and will rescue you."
God always knows what is in our heart and what we are thinking. Although, he told me to not be afraid, I still was on the inside.
The Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said, "Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to tear down, to build and to plant."
God then said, "What do you see, Jeremiah?"
"I see the branch of an almond tree," I answered.
The Lord said, "You have seen correctly. I am watching to see that my word is done."
God then said, "What do you see?"
"I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north," I answered.
The Lord said, "Disaster will come on the land from the north because of the wicked things my people do. Get ready. Stand up and say what I tell you to say. Don't be afraid of them, or I will put a punishment on you. I will protect you and help you stand against all the people in the land. You will stand against kings, officials, priests, and the people. They will fight against you but will not win.
"I am with you and will rescue you," said the Lord.
1. How old is king Josiah?
2. What are the people of Judah doing wrong?
3. Who did Jeremiah think of when God first asked him to be a prophet?
4. What did God tell Jeremiah?
5. What will Jeremiah's job be?
6. Who will protect Jeremiah?