Let’s begin by reading Jeremiah 1:1-2, “The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.” In just these two small verses, we have four people mentioned: Jeremiah, Hilkiah his father, Josiah, and Amon his father.

The gift of prophesy had been given to Jeremiah, who is known as the ‘weeping prophet’ because of his great grief over the sad condition of the Lord’s earthly people and the messages he gave them. We see he began to prophesy in the eighteenth year of King Anon, the king of Judah. Let’s read 2 Kings 21:19-24 to learn about how Josiah became king. “Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. And HE DID THAT WHICH WAS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, as his father Manasseh did. And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them: And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD. And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house. And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.”

Amon followed in his father’s footsteps and did great evil as king. However, Josiah was different. We read in 2 Kings 22:1-2, “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. And HE DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” At only eight years of age, this young boy became king! What a great responsibility for a mature man, how much greater for a young boy. In today’s society, he would be in the third grade! Josiah’s mother’s name was JEDIDAH, which means ‘beloved’, as in being greatly loved by God. It seems it was her influence on her son that caused him to lead in obedience to the Lord. Since Jeremiah prophesied in the 13th year of Josiah’s reign, he was 21 years old at the time of Jeremiah’s prophesy.

And so, with the scene being set, the book of Jeremiah begins. This is such a good and important book. I encourage everyone to read this book. Perhaps this isn’t the easiest book in the bible to read, but its riches are ours if we would but spend time reading it in dependence upon the Spirit to reveal its practical truths to us. (251.10)