Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah 1 has a new prophet taking the reins.  He was the son of Hilkiah from the tribe of Benjamin.  He served God for forty years with faithfulness and courage in the face of great discouragement, opposition, and small results.  God spoke to him and set him up from the beginning.  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born  I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet  to the nations”.  This wasn’t some random selection.  God knew Jeremiah from before birth and had a plan for him to serve and lead the people.

Jeremiah didn’t understand the plan.  After all, as humans we can’t really see the whole picture.  So he tries to push it aside, even though he had a personal encounter with God.  His response was “Ah, Lord God! Behold,  I do not know how to speak,  for I am only a youth”.  The scholars think Jeremiah was in his upper teen years, so a young man by any measure.  He felt inadequate for the task God was presenting, and pushed back.  God has a different plan.  “But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and  whatever I command you, you shall speak”.

Here we learn a very important principle or two.  First – God has a plan for each of us.  From before the time we are born He knows us.  He has created us uniquely on purpose for a purpose.  We can’t necessarily see it.  But God wants us to discover and live it out.  Secondly – if God has a plan he also will provide the skill necessary to fulfill His plan.  What He originates, He orchestrates.  He won’t set us up to fail!  “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord”.  God knows the circumstances Jeremiah will face for the entire forty years of His ministry.  He has it well in hand.

To that point, God makes it clear He’s got the details covered.  “Behold, I have put  my words in your mouth”.  God will give Jeremiah the words to speak and the opportunity to speak it.  Plus God will give him the platform to deliver the message he’s been ordained to deliver.  “I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant”.  Whatever God has in mind, He’s going to equip Jeremiah to do it.  “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for  I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you”.  It won’t necessarily be easy, but it will be possible and will happen with God’s power!

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