4. The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
6. "Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young."
7. But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am too young.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord.
9. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me," I have put my words in your mouth. 10. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
I love Jeremiah. He and his book resonate with me. I feel that his words, his warnings, his doomsday messages are as pertinent to today and God’s people as they were in his time.
Israel was the chosen people of God. Sometimes they may have felt that they were privileged, above others, special; maybe that they should be exempt from trouble, able to do what they wanted.
Now, Christ followers are the chosen people of God. Sometimes we may feel that we are privileged, above others, special; maybe that we should be exempt from trouble, able to do what we want.
Jeremiah warned the people of upcoming trouble. When they wanted to know why God was doing this to them, God’s word came reminding them of their rejection of him, their pursuit of other things before him.
I believe that there is trouble coming, more than we already feel that we have. And when we want to know why it is happening to us, God’s word will come, reminding us of our rejection of him by our pursuit of other things before him: like comfort, downtime, safety, and any other thing that we give priority over God’s will for us, because his will might take us out of our comfort zones or might even put us and our families in danger.
You see, I relate to Jeremiah, especially when he’s called the “weeping prophet”, as I can’t seem to say most messages that come from God without crying. J
I believe that we, God’s people, need to be, as it says in vs 10, “uprooted and torn down”, our will and desires need to be “destroyed and overthrown”, so that God can “build” us back up and “plant” us where he needs us to be. And then we are able, with God's help,"to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow" the kingdoms of darkness and evil and "to build and to plant" God's kingdom here on earth.
Because, as it says in vs 8, “we must go to everyone he sends us to and say whatever he commands” and he also promises in vs 8 that we should “not be afraid of them”, whatever “them” is to you: loss of control, lack of comfort, looking like a fool, risk of hurt or pain, the people that you are sent to, etc. You are “not to be afraid of them, for God is with you and will rescue you!”
How is all of this possible?
Because in vs 5, “Before God formed you in the womb, he knew you, before you were born, he set you apart.”
And, in vs 9, “He has put his words in your mouth.