If you missed our last post about Jeremiah, we talked about how God had a plan for him. Even before he was born! God’s plan was for Jeremiah to listen to God and share it with all the people of Israel. That means he was a prophet.
The problem is, that wasn’t an easy job. Here’s the message God had for Israel: "You used to follow me anywhere! But now you just do what you want. Come back to me, and I’ll forgive you! All I want is for you to follow me again. If you don’t, I’ll have to punish you."
But guess what? The people liked getting their own way. So they didn’t listen. Jeremiah couldn’t believe his people wouldn’t follow God. He began weeping—crying because he knew they would be punished. After all, when we disobey God, it’s called sin. And God is perfect, which means he has to punish sin. He can’t pretend it’s ok.
God doesn’t like to punish us, though, so he sent warning after warning to Israel. He even asked Jeremiah to do something kind of crazy.
“Go buy a belt and put it on,” God said. After Jeremiah obeyed, God said, “Hide it there in a hole in the rocks.” So Jeremiah did.
A long time later, God said, “Now go dig it back up!” When Jeremiah did, it was rotting and falling apart. He couldn’t even wear it anymore! God said, “If the people don’t listen, they’ll be like this belt.” Neither God nor Jeremiah wanted that to happen!
You’d think after that, people would listen, but they didn’t. Not right away, at least. Which means Jeremiah had to keep following God, even though he was the only one—even though nobody would listen to him.
This is kind of a hard story to think about, so talk about it together:
- Why didn’t the Israelite people listen to Jeremiah’s message from God?
- Why did God give Jeremiah a job that nobody seemed to care about?
- Have you ever felt like nobody was listening to you? What was that like?
- Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed to keep failing?
Dig more into this story in the Bible. Begin in Chapter 2 and just take it one bit at a time!