You really can determine a lot about someone on a first encounter if we know how to read the signs. Body language, facial expressions, and first words can communicate a lot about who we are if we know what to look for.
The first words of the book of Jeremiah reveal a lot as well. We are introduced to the prophet Jeremiah and then told about how long he ministered to Israel; from Josiah to Zedekiah”. Why would we want to know this? A quick look at 2 Chronicles 34-36 reveals the history of Judah’s downward spiral from Josiah’s religious reforms to Judah’s exile at the hand of Babylon. And it is in the middle of Judah’s fall into wickedness that God calls a reluctant young man into service. God had planned for this moment long before Jeremiah was born as we find in the opening verses.
Out of this call, we discover two important themes of the book. First, there is the prominent theme of judgment that is coming upon Judah. They had been distracted and turned to worship other gods.
Second, however, we see the promise of God to Jeremiah. Despite the harsh message that he must deliver, God promises to give him the words to say and His presence as protection.
As we embark on own encounter with the book of Jeremiah, we are introduced to a young man given a heavy message. A message he would faithfully deliver even in the worst of times.