Panorama of the Prophets

Jeremiah Overview:


Jeremiah was a Bullfrog -  Three dog night!


Jeremiah is called “the eleventh hour prophet”.

 A)He prophesied as God’s clock of judgment struck midnight.


B)He was the final call to the nation Judah.

Jeremiah oversaw the nation’s fall to the Babylonians. 1)Three times the foreign invaders defeated

Jerusalem – in 605, 597, and 586 BC.


C)The final invasion led to the destruction of the city and its Temple.

1)Jeremiah witnessed his people’s demise – and saw them led away to Babylon in shackles and chains.


That is why he was also called the weeping Prophet:

A)He so cared for the people of Judah it broke his heart to see what their sin was leading to.


B)Jeremiah also wrote the book of Lamentations – the book is subtitled the Tears of Jeremiah.


C)Lamentations was written after the final destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

1)Prophet bearing his heart- It served as an expression of sorrow but also a reminder of God’s faithfulness.


D)Not well received by his contemporaries – Laugh and the world laughs with you – Weep & you weep alone

Let me give you an outline of the Book of Jeremiah


I. Preparation of Jeremiah formulated -

     Chapter 1 The prophets call.


II. Proclamations of Jeremiah foretold

Chapters 2-51 His messages

A. Chapters 2-45 Proclamations for Judah

B. Chapters 46-51 Proclamations for the other nations


III. Predictions foretold.

Chapter 52


Let’s Start with His Calling:

Jeremiah writes in verse 4, “Then the word of the LORD

came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I

knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained

you a prophet to the nations."


I love this passage –great passage for the SANCTITY OF LIFE - Before Jeremiah was FORMED, God knew Him

he was in the mind of God.


Knew = in the form of a relationship – God saw what Jeremiah would become- He knew him.


God conceived a purpose for Jeremiah before he was conceived in the womb.


I believe the same is true for you and me. Before you

were a gleam in your father’s eye – your Father in heaven ordained you for a specific purpose.

He has a specific designs for each of us.

A)Some of you hear that and right away start to doubt – not me – I can’t / not smart/ too scared / no gifts


B)Jeremiah could relate -Notice his response.

Jeremiah says in verse 6, “Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD!

Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth."


C)The Hebrew word translated “youth” does not refer to an elementary aged child, but to a maturing young man – even as old as 20.



Age was a crucial factor in Hebrew culture. A priest

could not begin his ministry until he was 30 years old. A)Perhaps this is why Jesus waited until He reached His thirties before he began His ministry.


B)The Jews equated age with wisdom.


C)Which probably explains why Jeremiah was reluctant to respond.

He was afraid people would look

down on him because of his youth.


D)Inspired by Young guys who like to dream – SEND

1)Joey Buran’s Son Luke – My nephew Anthony -


God responds to Jeremiah in verse 7“Do not say, 'I am

a youth,' for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and

whatever I command you, you shall speak.”

A) Here, God dismisses the excuse once and for all… “I

can’t serve the Lord because I’m too young.”

B)God doesn’t look at age, but attitude…Heart – faith

1)More than ability – availability


C)Men and women of faith come in all ages.


Notice too, the Lord says to Jeremiah,V.8  “Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you". A)Jeremiah was a sensitive person. As a result he was vulnerable to subtle intimidation.


B)He was effected by facial expressions.

1)Faces can be Intimidating – Scowl –


C)God warns Jeremiah not to let their faces  feedback of people alter his message.

1)Speak the truth in love, and let the chips fall where they may.


D)Great word to anyone who is called to proclaim God’s word.


In the next verses God gives Jeremiah two visions that

outline his ministry.

A)In verse 11 he sees an almond tree. The Lord says “I am ready to perform My word."


B)The almond is one of the first trees to blossom.

1)It flowers in mid-January. It’s a foreshadowing of things to come – a leading indicator spring is on the way.


C)Likewise, Jeremiah’s ministry would be the first warning of the coming judgment.


D)In verse 13 Jeremiah sees a boiling pot coming from

the north.

1) He says, "Out of the north calamity shall break

forth on all the inhabitants of the land.”


E)Babylon would be  this pot of boiling judgment headed toward Judah.


One of the things that I like about Jeremiah – is he is a picture Painter – Max Lucado of his time – more serious

A)Jeremiah preached with visual aides – Dramatic illustrations of – God’s message –


                   Focus the rest of tonight – on 5 pictures


The first one we want to notice is in Chapter 2 – the picture painted here really sums up Judah’s problem.

A)In Jeremiah 2:13 God says, "For My people have

committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the

fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns

- broken cisterns that can hold no water.”


B)Let me explain this: In Israel in those days there were two ways to get water.


C)One way was from Rivers and Streams!

1)The other way was from rainfall that was collected in carved out rock basin’s called cisterns.


The water from the streams and rivers because it was moving – was called Living water.

A)Alive – moving – it wasn’t stagnate.

B)The problem with the cisterns – was there were easily cracked and broken –

1)The water would seep out. 


C)Here is what the Lord was saying to Judah: You have left the living water of my refreshment and have formed your own cisterns – by aligning yourself with nations like Egypt – rather than trusting me.


D)You have left my refreshment and traded it for cisterns that hold no water.



Jesus – Jn4 drinks of this water – thirst again…

Water I give never thirst living water – always flowing. – Perpetual supply.

A)Spiritually speaking, the world we live in is a

cracked cistern.


B)Its pleasures are quickly depleted, and unreliable. 1)Often when they’re needed they’re not there.


C)Whereas God is an eternal spring who constantly

bubbles up with refreshment.


D)We all have needs, but where to we go to meet those needs?

1)Do we drink from the wellspring of God’s love, or do we turn to the broken cisterns of this world?


In Chapter 3 The Lord refers to his people as Backslidden. –

A)In 3:22 God calls to his backslidden people, "Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your



B)The word “backsliding” occurs 16 times

in the Bible, and 13 of the 16 times it

appears in the book of Jeremiah.


C)And of those 13 times, 7 times the

word occurs in this one chapter,

Jeremiah 3.


And how do you avoid spiritual backsliding?

A)Jeremiah 4:3 answers that question:, "Break up

your fallow ground”.


B)In other words, repent! Take the backhoe of humility,

and clear out the rocks and roots and crusty earth.


C)Get rid of the obstacles between you and God.

You know what they are.

1)Ask the Lord to give you a soft and sensitive heart.


Jump to Chapter 8 the next dramatic illustration.

A)At the end of chapter 8 Jeremiah is overwhelmed with sorrow for his rebellious people.


B)He cries out in verse 20, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

C)What’s sad is that all Judah’s troubles could’ve been avoided. {plant used for healing purposes}


Jeremiah says in verse 22, “Is there no balm in Gilead, {plant used for healing purposes} is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?”

A)Here is the point of the picture There was healing available, but the people of Judah refused God’s treatment.


B)The doctor was ready to treat their disease the medicine was available but they refused to take it.


Don’t let that be the case tonight. If you hurt – if you’re bruised, or battered, or bleeding.

A)Jesus is the great phsycian – He is the one who says bring your heart to me tonight.


B)His word is healing balm – comforts

1) Holy Spirit touches hearts


C)May take time – but let it begin. – Don’t refuse like Israel.


Chapter 9:23-24 We have a great exhortation:

"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.”

The world’s values really haven’t changed a lot over the last 2500 years.

A)People still prioritize wisdom, might, and riches – academics, athleticism, acquisition – mind, muscle, money


B)but none of these things are lasting - none of them fill the emptiness inside the human heart.


C)The most valuable commodity on earth is the knowledge of God.


D)This is what the wise man seeks – to know God,

to understand His ways and character.

1)Because Only a connection with the God who created us brings lasting joy, and fills the void inside.


Chapter 11 ends with mention of an assignation plot against Jeremiah.
A)People who so disliked his message and ministry they were trying to kill him.


B)That led to the prayer He prays in Chapter 12

 “Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper?”

B)Ever feel that way? David did! – I know I have – Lord that doesn’t seem fair!


C) In essence he says, “Lord, I know you’re always right and fair, but I’ve got a few questions… All I want to do is serve You, and people are trying to kill me?”


D)At this point Jeremiah has been serving God for 18 years, and all he has to show for it are death-threats.

1)He wants some relief. Where are the blessings?


E)God answers Jeremiah, but not in the way we’d anticipate. He says in verse 5, "If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?”


In other words, buck up, hunker down, pull up your bootstraps

A)If you think it’s difficult now, just wait, it’s only going to get harder.


B)Jeremiah thinks the answer to his problem is a blessing – he wants relief – but God tells him he needs endurance.


C) If he can’t hang with the foot soldiers how will he

survive the cavalry?


Life will only get tougher/the challenges more severe.

A)We live in a fallen world, and the longer we live the more opportunity exists for us to become a target for the pain and suffering it dishes out.


B)None of us are immune. We need to develop a faith strong enough to stand the challenges.

Once the Chicago Bears were playing on Monday Night Football.

A)Running back Walter Payton cut off tackle for a nice pick-up.


B)One of the announcers commented, “Walter Payton has now carried the football for over 9 miles.” But his sidekick put it in perspective, “Yes, and he’s been knocked down every 4.6 yards.”


C)We need a faith that gets back up – keeps trusting God – a faith that helps us overcome.


The next Dramatic illustration takes place in Ch. 13

Thus the Lord said to me: "Go and get yourself a linen sash, An undergarment worn next to the skin. and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water."


So the Lord told Jeremiah to buy a new pair of linen shorts, to put them on, but not to wash them.

A)He was teaching him something from this. What in the world would God be teaching by this?


B)If you skip ahead to Verse 11 for a moment, you will see what he is after:

Jer 13:11

For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,' says the Lord, 'that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.'

C)In other words, God chose them, designed them, for intimacy.

1)A pair of undershorts is the most intimate garment a man can wear.


D)God uses that as a wonderful figure here to instruct us that this is what he had designed his people for -- to be as intimate to him as a pair of shorts would be to a man.


I remember the advertisement of an underwear company a number of years ago -- you do not see it very often anymore.

A)Remember that saying, "Next to yourself, you'll love BVD's."


B)That is what God is saying here. Next to himself, closest to himself, in the most intimate relationship possible, he wants his people –


C)in order that they might be a people, a name, a praise, a glory, unto him, a people for his name.


And so he is teaching Jeremiah what his people meant to him, and what he had designed for them, A)and the glory which was possible to them in the intimacy of a relationship with God.


B)But now Jeremiah was sent to do something with these shorts. We read, in Verses 2-4:


V.2 So I got a sash according to the word of the Lord, and put it around my waist.  [We do not know how long he wore it, but it evidently got quite dirty, because he was forbidden to wash it.]


3 And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, 4 "Take the sash that you acquired, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole in the rock." 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.


The Euphrates River was about two hundred miles away, on the border of Babylon.

A)God is saying something here about the nation which would come to bring judgment upon this people.


B)Jeremiah had to journey two hundred miles to the Euphrates River wearing his dirty shorts, hide them in the cleft of a rock, leave them there, and retrace the two hundred miles to Judah.


C)Then he tells us, in Verses 6-7,

6 Now it came to pass after many days that the Lord said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the sash which I commanded you to hide there." 7 Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the sash from the place where I had hidden it; and there was the sash, ruined. It was profitable for nothing.




You can imagine the shape it was in.

A)It was already soiled and dirty when Jeremiah had hidden it there. Exposed to the elements -- the rain, the wind, the sun -- the cloth would rot and shred.


B)Finally, when Jeremiah came back and dug it out of the cleft of the rock, it was dirty, rotten, shredding, hardly able to hold together, worthless.


C)Standing there with those worthless shorts in his hand, he tells us, in Verses 8-10,

8 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

9 "Thus says the Lord: 'In this manner I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing.


D)This was a vivid illustration of what happens to a life that turns away from God.

1)No more intimacy – tattered worn – ruined by the elements of this world.


The rest of the chapter goes on to show how moved and stirred Jeremiah is by this. He pleads with the people, to turn back to God.




Chapter 18 our next Dramatic illustration  - familiar with Mike Rozell – familiar with this.   RD V.1-6

A)Throughout Scripture God uses the potter as an

example of His dealings with His people.


B)As the potter molds the clay God molds our lives – and the clay has no say what the potter will make him.


C)His job is to be pliable and impressionable.


D)Jeremiah sees the potter working a piece of clay. It’s

turning on the spindle, but He doesn’t like what he


He hammers it down, and begins to reshape it

into another vessel. { Mike Dramatic – Vase/ Pot


Here’s the point of the parable, the potter can change his mind, and shift directions with the clay, without the clay’s permission or approval.

A)This is what’s happened with Judah. God intended

to build her up, and make her great – but because of

her sin He has chosen instead to tear her down.


B)In chapter 19 God speaks through a cracked pot.


C)2 Corinthians 4 Earthen Vessels – Clay pots

God has put his treasure in.


D)Jesus is seen the most when we are broken



The Next dramatic picture comes in Ch.24

A)Jeremiah finds two baskets of figs outside the temple.


B)One basket is full of choice figs. The other is full of

rotten figs.


C)God tells Judah that everyone who submits to Babylonian capture will turn out a good fig.

1)Hey go figure - after they learn their lesson - God will give them a new heart, and bring them back to the land.


D)But if they fight against the will of God, they’ll suffer severely.

1)They’ll  deteriorate and rot - like the bag figs.



Guys, it’s okay to ask God to spare you from the consequences of your sin.

A)It’s proper to plead for mercy. But when God’s punishment ordered the degree to which you

submit is the degree to which you’re repentant.


B)Try to by-pass the judgment – buck it – fight against it – try to shirk and slip past the consequences

- and you’ll only make matters worse.


C)A repentant person wants to turn from his sin, so he’s ready to learn even from God’s discipline.



Chapter 27-28  brings us to our next dramatic message{ Context Judah’s coming Captivity.

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,   2 "Thus says the Lord to me: 'Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, 3 and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.


The word “duel” means “a war of two” – and that’s what we have in chapter 27-28.

A)A duel between two prophets – our hero, Jeremiah, and the villain, Hananiah.


B)God tells Jeremiah to make several yokes - the wooden

harness used to steer the oxen that ploughed the fields.

C)He sends a yoke to each of the kings bordering Judah.

1)The Yoke sent a choking message.


D)Each king would be harnessed by the Babylonians, and forced to serve Nebuchadnezzar.


Jeremiah likewise brought this message to his own people, Judah.  Came wearing a Yoke on his neck

A)Apparently, there were false prophets who predicted God’s deliverance.


B)Even though the Babylonians had already invaded Jerusalem, and stolen many of the temple treasures.

Bb)The false prophets predicted God would turn the tide, and in short order restore the stolen vessels.


C)Jeremiah says “not so“. Not only will the vessels not be returned any time soon, the treasures that are left will likewise be stolen.


D)In essence, Jeremiah says, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.


And that’s when the false prophet, Hananiah, enters the picture. Ch. 28V. 10

A)In a daring, dramatic maneuver Hananiah breaks the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck, and shouts, “God will break the yoke of Babylon, and in two years bring back the temple treasures.”


B)It’s a lie. It won’t happen. But Hananiah has presented his lie with such boldness and flare the people leave impressed. He shows up Jeremiah.


C)He’d been made a laughingstock – and Jeremiah

just walked away with yoke all over his face.

1)He had been out-performed, and apparently that was okay with Jeremiah.


D)Jeremiah’s example teaches a lesson. Our job is to

simply declare the truth. We’re not expected to look good,  or defend ourselves, or out-perform anyone – but be faithful to the message.


E)God will take care of his messenger!

And that’s exactly what happens in this situation.

God sends Jeremiah back to Hananiah, and tells him

he’s speaking lies.

A)God will not bring back the temple treasures from Babylon in two years, rather within the year Hananiah will die.  Two months later Hananiah is gone!


B)It’s interesting, Hananiah dies in the 7th month of the

year or around the feast of tabernacles - which means he

died while everyone was in Jerusalem for the feast.


C))In the end, everyone saw that Jeremiah was vindicated, Hananiah refuted, and God’s Word confirmed.

1)In the end the yoke was on Hananiah.


This scene is the setting for one of the most well known and often quoted verses in Jeremiah.

A)In the midst of prophecies depicting – coming doom and captivity


B)The Lord gives this promise and reminder of Hope

God promises in 29:11-12, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”


What a glorious promise, and it applies to all God’s people – even you and me.


God’s thoughts toward us are always full of peace, and hope, and future blessing.

God is like any good parent – He would never wish harm or evil on His kids.

A)Guys, God’s intentions can be trusted. No matter how difficult our current circumstances become


B)God has a plan that culminates with blessing!

1)He says too in verse 13, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”


C)God has the attitude of a two year old playing hide and seek.

1)He’ll hide in the middle of the room where everyone can see him, because he wants to be found.


D)For him the fun is not in hiding, but in being discovered. God also wants to be discovered.

1)If we seek Him, God sees to it He gets found.


 AW Tozer once wrote, “It’s not that we don’t want God, we do. We just want other things more.” Do you want God enough to seek His face with all your heart?


Chapters 30-33 The promise of restoration and the new Covenant that Jesus sets up – result of his first coming

A)Focus of our time next week.



Chapters 46-51 Judgment on the nations


Final dramatic illustration - Chapter 51:59-64


Ch. 52 The Prediction fulfilled – Judah falls