God in the Preaching of Prophet Jeremiah

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Prophet Jeremiah’s presentation of God is very much closer to the idea of prophet Hosea. But, much of his enumerations were the result of his rough and tough experiences of his own personal life. Hence, Jeremiah presents his Yahwistic experience as follows: –

  • The omnipotence of Yahweh is well stated in some of his metaphors. Eg. Yahweh is the ‘Fountain of living water’, (Jer 2: 13), potter (Jer 18: 1-12).
  • Yahweh is the creator of the universe and orders the courses of the nature (Jer 5: 22; 8: 7; 10: 12, 13; 27: 5-6; 31: 35-36). It is he who directs the history of Israel right from her election (Jer 2: 1).
  • Jeremiah too amidst his strong words of doom has some warm imageries of God just like Deutero-Isaiah: Yahweh as husband (Jer 2: 2), father (Jer 3: 19). Some of the deep theological Hebrew nouns were employed to enumerate the personality of Yahweh: He is merciful (hesid), He is loyal (hesed), He had loved Israel with an everlasting love (ahabat olam), and despite Israel’s disloyalty He prolonged his love for her (Jer 31: 3).
  • God knew the hearts of men and tried them and rewarded them according to their deeds (Jer 11: 20; 16: 17; 18: 10; 20: 12; 29: 23). Powers of the world and leaders of the countries are his agency of authority: Nebuchadnezzar is his ‘servant’ (Jer 27: 2-8).
  • With regard to worship, Jeremiah calls the people for a new kind of worship apart from manipulating bird and animal sacrifices. He draws a logic that has strong reason. Yahweh’s relation to people is not something purely cultic and sacrificial rather intimate and personal one. This personal and intimate relations is not the result of the intervention of the priests or cultic observances rather sincere and wholehearted obedience to the Law. This observance of law demands one for social and personal ethics (Jer 2: 34; 6: 7; 21: 11-12; 34: 8-22).
  • However, the confessions of Jeremiah reveal a different type of God experience of Jeremiah. Shockingly, he calls God as deceiver (Jer 15: 18b: “Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail”). Yahweh seemed to have deserted him in-front of persecution.

What do you think?