These are the words of Jeremiah, Hilkiah’s son, who was one of the priests from Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The LORD’s word came to Jeremiah in the thirteenth year of Judah’s King Josiah, Amon’s son, and throughout the rule of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the fifth month of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah, Josiah’s son, when the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile. The LORD’s word came to me: “Before I created you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I made you a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, LORD God,” I said, “I don’t know how to speak because I’m only a child.” The LORD responded, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a child.’ Where I send you, you must go; what I tell you, you must say. Don’t be afraid of them, because I’m with you to rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out his hand, touched my mouth, and said to me, “I’m putting my words in your mouth. This very day I appoint you over nations and empires, to dig up and pull down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant.” (Jer 1:1-10 CEB)
For every king in the Old Testament, there was at least one prophet, though Ahab had five.
· Saul and David had Samuel (1 Sam 9, 10, 16).
· David had Nathan and Gad (2 Sam 12; 24:11).
· Solomon had Nathan (1 Kings 1:38).
· Rehoboam had Sheminiah (1 Kings 12:21, 22).
· Ahab had Elijah, Elisha +4) (1 Kings 17, 19).
· Joash had Joel (2 Kings 11, 12).
· Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz & Hezekiah had Isaiah and Micah
· Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehioakim, Jehoiachin & Zedekiah had Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel
· Herod had John the Baptist.
Jeremiah was the thirteenth year prophet to Josiah, a good king that had instituted major reforms, opening up the temple, bringing back the word of the law, and tearing down the idols that his father had put in place. Revival had broken out, and then Jeremiah shows up. His mandate was deconstruction and rebuilding. The problem wasn’t Josiah, but his father Amon, and his grandfather Manasseh, their sins would not go unpunished. The judgment would not happen in Josiah’s life, but it was coming.
Some Christians have tunnel vision and focus on abortion as if that is the only ethical question that should concern us, but there’s more. A deep walk with God, and as we dig deeper into God’s word, we find out what breaks the divine heart of God, that is why we need that prophetic voice! You might be looking for revival; I’m looking for our ‘thirteenth’ year prophet(s).