only help my unbelief


Tell me ’bout the fire
May 28, 2008, 11:39 am
Filed under: Posts

Jeremiah, tell me about the fire that burns up in your bones
I want to know, I want to know more now
The burning of ambition and desire, it never could come close
To that fire, to that fire
–Sara Groves, “Jeremiah”

I started studying the book of Jeremiah this week, because every time I think about what book I would most like to study, Jeremiah comes to mind. Honestly, though, I’ve been intimidated by the length as well as by the content. I studied Isaiah last fall, and that wasn’t too bad because so many passages were familiar to me. But I really only know a couple of verses/themes from Jeremiah, so I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.

But God has given us His Word to teach us, and as Pastor Legare said Sunday, “God wants to be found.” I decided that my two main problems with Bible study are:
1) I go through books too quickly
2) I don’t seek other resources enough

So this time, I’m trying something new. I found Calvin’s commentary on the whole Bible, so I’m using that to help me go through the book. His commentary uses archaic language and is pretty dense, so to start out, I’ve been reading Jeremiah 1 each day, and then getting as far as I can through Calvin’s commentary. Yesterday I made it through the first five verses. There are 19 verses in Jeremiah 1, so it might take me several days.

But that’s OK. Pastor Bowers has said before that the goal isn’t to beat your friends in reading through the Bible in one year. The goal is to capture Scripture in the way God intends, to apply it to your life in a way that makes you more holy. So I don’t care if it takes me the rest of the year to get through this book (and at the rate I’m going, it well might).

The real reason I wanted to write about Jeremiah today, though, was because of what I read in Calvin’s notes on Jeremiah 1:7, where God says to Jeremiah: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.”

Calvin says:

But when God calls us, we ought to obey, however deficient we may in all things be: and this is what we learn from what God says here, “Say not, I am a child“; that is, “though thou, indeed, thinkest thyself destitute of every qualification, though thou art conscious of thine own weakness, yet thou shalt go, thou must go wheresoever I shall send thee.” God, then, requires this honor to be simply conceded to him, that men should obey his commands, though the qualification necessary to execute them be wanting.

We have to remember that the means to carry out God’s commands lie not in our own strength, but in the righteousness of Christ.

If you have any other suggestions for quality Bible study, leave me a comment!

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