Jeremiah 1:5 "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."
Jeremiah came on the scene at a time when the people of God had turned away from Him so badly that He was about to bring captivity by their enemies. He is known as the weeping prophet, in great distress over the plight of his people. When others only wanted to hear a positive word, he alone prophesied the true word of the Lord that the Israelites would go into captivity. "Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? When then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Oh that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people (8:21-9:1). Jeremiah still brings God's word: "Cursed is the one who trusts in an, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. . . But blessed is the an who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (17)." Even in the midst of disaster, those who trust in the Lord have hope and sustenance and fruitfulness.
God sent Jeremiah to the Potter's house with a message to His people that He would break their pot of clay but that it could be reformed and shaped. He prophesied 70 years of captivity. He also prophesied restoration. This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (29:10, 11). Jeremiah was told to buy a field and place its deed in a clay jar to save for the day of restoration. Even throughout this judgment, God's love was still poured out on His people, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, 'Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God (31:3-6).'"
Yes, this was a great time of confusion, of disaster, of captivity. At times like these, it can be difficult to understand what is going on. It can seem that God is far away. And yet, He is still with us and calling out to us. And for these times, God said to them and still says to us, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." And in those days, God planted a vision of Himself sending a righteous Branch sprout from David's line. . . The LORD our righteousness (33:3, 15, 16)." Even in a time of trouble, hope is on the horizon. We can remember the promise of God spoken by David in Psalm 126, Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. It is not over yet; there is coming a day. . .