When I read Jeremiah I identify with him. I don’t want to see myself as an apostate Israelite. I don’t want to see myself as a pagan nation coming against an apostate Israel. I see myself as God fearing. I identify with Jeremiah. If you even read 13 who are youJeremiah at all, I expect you too identify with Him. I believe that’s what God intended for those who believe to do. We are all called, gifted, commissioned and encouraged to be who He made us to be. God’s work with Jeremiah is illustrative of His work with us. But it all depends on who you relate to.

In Jeremiah 1:18 God continues using visual images to express His love. In the preceding verses God used the almond tree to illustrate how diligent His love is even for wayward people. He then used the pot over a raging fire to illustrate how fervent and passionate His love is. He now uses images of security to illustrate how trustworthy His love is. He says, “And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land.” There are actually three images here; a fortified city, iron pillars and bronze walls. Ryken says, “He will be a metropolis of a man. He will be like a city on a hill, with high walls and strong towers, defended by a mighty army.” God also made him “…a steel beam of a man. The word for ‘pillar’ is not the word for a free-standing column; it is the word for a prop or foundation-post that supports a building. Jeremiah will be a tower of strength. He will be like a flying buttress holding up the wall of a cathedral. He will support and uphold the people of God.” Ryken goes on to add, “God made Jeremiah ‘a bronze wall,’ a metal bulwark of a man. …That is how strong God made Jeremiah.”[1]

Jeremiah was reinforced by God. He was going to have some very serious struggles in his life. Aren’t we all? He was going to face opposition from those within his own family of faith. Don’t we all? He was going to go through some very serious trials, tribulations and tests of his faith. We will too. But God has reinforced Jeremiah, and He has reinforced us who believe in Jesus, with impregnable walls with immovable stanchions. As He supported and upheld Jeremiah so too will He support and uphold us in our daily lives as well regardless of the hardships that may fall, the opposition we might face from within and from without and the stresses and strains of life in general.  We can either trust God like Jeremiah or be like the apostate Israelites and look to something else for safety or we can be like the pagan nations who deny and reject the God who made them. Who do you identify with?

[1] Philip Graham Ryken, Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 34–35.