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Jeremiah was a “Bullfrog”

 

Bullfrogs have seven different distinct calls that set them apart from other frogs, and these calls can result in a behavior known as phonotaxis. There are both positive and negative reactions and can happen for all walks of life both humans and animals. If positive, the creature will draw near, if negative they will run away as if being threatened by a predator. This concept concerning motion can also be applied to a Christian witnessing and teaching, influencing the lost and admonishing their brothers and sisters in Christ. It isn’t always a matter of “what” we say but “how” we say it, that can have a positive or negative result. The message may be received differently depending on different individuals. Jeremiah was only 17 when he became a prophet for the Lord, but he resisted at first for he was young and tender-hearted. The band “3 Dog Night” did a song called “Joy to the World,” and while the songwriter Hoyt Axton claims it was nothing but nonsense when he coined the commonly known phrase “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” and was only going to rewrite it, it is a great metaphor to describe the major prophet, Jeremiah, who is also known as “The Weeping Prophet” because he authored the book of Lamentations in the Holy Bible. This book is a collection of passionate poetry expressing the grief and devastation of Jerusalem’s destruction. He called out everyone’s sins yet encouraged them to turn from them to avoid sorrow.

 

Jeremiah foretold the most brutal and harshest of prophecies, but he did so with a compassionate heart. His goal was to turn people from their worldly ways to the will of God to be saved from disaster. Because of this mission, he was hated by his own hometown, but suffering persecution for sharing the Truth was common as told in Mark 6:4–” But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.’” This young man thought nothing of himself in the beginning and was afraid he would not be heard because of his youth. I and many others can relate to this because age can play a factor in knowledge and experience, but spiritual wisdom can be received if you are young or old and God made this evident when we he used Jeremiah to preach. In Jeremiah 1:7-10–” But the Lord said to me: ‘Do not say, “I am a youth,” For you shall go to all whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you.’ Says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.’” God gave him the fortitude to face these giants as he was the “voice of truth” and reassured him that although the city of Judah would fight against him, they would not prevail in silencing him. Jeremiah preached to Israel calling both beggar and prince out in their transgressions.

 

One of the grievous sins Israel was guilty of was idolatry at this time, and God reprimanded them through Jeremiah as His vessel. Jeremiah 2:26-28–” As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, So is the house of Israel ashamed; They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ For they have turned their back to Me but not their face. But in the time of their trouble, They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, If they can save you in the time of your trouble; For according to the number of your cities, Are your gods, O Judah.” Idol worship is one of the “Ten Commandments” given to His chosen people as written in Exodus 20:3–” You shall have no other gods before Me.” God is a jealous God, and Jeremiah’s message was admonishment to those guilty of behaving like pagans. Although the backsliding of Israel and Judah angered the Lord, he offered them a second chance because he is a loving God. In Jeremiah 3:14 The Lord shows mercy–”’Return, O backsliding children,’ Says the Lord; ‘For I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.’” The word “Zion” has multiple meanings but aside from being a representation of a Jebusite fortress it is also referenced as “Mount Zion” which is the “Kingdom of God.” God is telling His people although they have sinned against Him, He still wants them to be His. He will always be their refuge if they remember Him and His ways.

 

There is hope for these people that have forgotten Father God, and the prophet preaches of the reward for surrendering to the Lord once more, but if they do not, he also reveals what it means to be forsaken and the calamity that will befall them. This calamity would be war, and the proud Jerusalem fell to Babylonian troops. In the book of Lamentations, we learn that Jerusalem ended up in ruin because they did not listen and heed Jeremiah’s prophetic words. But even in the wake of tragedy, the prophet’s heart was warm and filled with hope as he laments in Lamentations 3:22-27–” Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness, ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly, For the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth.” There is much to learn from the life and times of Jeremiah, his words carried influence because they came from God, and although he was young, he was not naive and was obedient to God, and even in the face of adversity and destruction there is the prospect of peace and compassion. Psalm 91:2-3–” I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, And from the perilous pestilence.”

 

 

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