SEE the people making fun of this young man. Do you know who he is? This is Jeremiah. He is a very important prophet of God.
Soon after King Jo·siʹah starts destroying the idols out of the land, Jehovah tells Jeremiah to be His prophet. However, Jeremiah thinks he is too young to be a prophet. But Jehovah says that He will help him.
Jeremiah tells the Israelites to stop doing bad things. ‘The gods that the people of the nations worship are false,’ he says. But many Israelites would rather worship idols than worship the true God Jehovah. When Jeremiah tells the people that God will punish them for their badness, they just laugh at him.
Years pass. Jo·siʹah dies, and three months later his son Je·hoiʹa·kim becomes king. Jeremiah keeps telling the people: ‘Jerusalem will be destroyed if you don’t change your bad ways.’ The priests grab Jeremiah and shout: ‘You should be killed for saying these things.’ Then they tell the princes of Israel: ‘Jeremiah should be put to death, because he has spoken against our city.’
What will Jeremiah do now? He is not afraid! He tells all of them: ‘Jehovah sent me to speak these things to you. If you don’t change your bad ways of living, Jehovah will destroy Jerusalem. But be sure of this: If you kill me, you will be killing a man who has done no wrong.’
The princes let Jeremiah live, but the Israelites do not change their bad ways. Later Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, the king of Babylon, comes and fights against Jerusalem. Finally Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar makes the Israelites his servants. He takes many thousands away to Babylon. Just think what it would be like to have strange people carry you off from your home to a strange land!