Jeremiah is the second longest book in the Bible and one of the hardest to read. [It is longer than Isaiah, though it does not contain as many chapters.]
It is probably the second last book of the Old Testament that I read all the way through, but I am now on my 9th journey, having read it through first in the New Living Translation and then seven more times in a complete read-through of the Bible.
It contains a lot of messages of God's judgment and at first, this put me off. But when you read the whole thing, you realise that this makes the many promises it also contains all the more special!
I am loving my 8th journey through the whole Bible, led by the team of terrific teachers who wrote the introductions, articles and study notes in the ESV Study Bible. One of the treasures of this Bible is Jack Collins' helpful articles and his terrific introduction and study notes to Psalms.
But Paul House's introduction to Jeremiah is also very special. Here are a couple of highlights:
Did you know that Jeremiah laboured faithfully for 40 years, largely to people who wouldn't listen to what he had to say?
Kings would ask for his advice and then steadfastly ignore it!
There are only two recorded converts: Baruch, who acted as Jeremiah's secretary, writing down the messages, and Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch. Imagine if he was a contemporary evangelist - he would get the sack for lack of results. God couldn't have called you, says his campaign manager, or you would be getting better results!
Jeremiah called people to repent over a hundred times, but almost nobody did!
Because of his capacity to keep on keeping on [as the Berger Paints advertisement runs, as frequently cited by my father], House suggests he should be called The Persevering Prophet.
I've only read the introduction and chapter one so far, but I'm looking forward to the journey.