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Monday, 12 February, 2018

Jeremiah 1 : 1-12

“But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.” -Jeremiah 1:7

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, was called to minister during the reign five kings in Judah and during a time the nation was rebelling against God and relying on political alliances to be delivered from its enemies.  Jeremiah urged the people to repent, warning them that they would suffer punishment for rejecting God and His law.

When the Lord called Jeremiah to become a prophet to the nations, it scared him terribly. Why? -because he failed to see that God’s empowerment would match with God’s call; he saw his inadequacies more than God’s sufficiency.   Jeremiah had the following valid excuses:

The task is demanding: Jeremiah knew very well that his calling was “to be a Prophet to the nations” (Vs.5), unlike his father and grandfather who were priests. A prophet was chosen and authorized spokesman for God to declare God’s Word to His people calling them back to their covenant responsibilities before God. The task of a prophet was more demanding than a priest. The priests’ duties were written down in the Law whereas the Prophet didn’t know from one day to the next what the Lord would have him say or do. The priest’s duty was to preserve the past while the prophet laboured to change the present for the nation to have a better future. The priest dealt with externals – sacrifices, offerings, etc – whereas the prophet tried to reach and change hearts. So being a “Prophet to the nations” was to be a highly demanding task for Jeremiah.  But the Lord said, “I knew you” (Vs.5)- carrying the idea of recognition of the worth and purpose of the person who is known.  Jeremiah was known by name, hand-picked and commissioned to serve the Lord.
God may assign us a demanding task, but knowing that it is He who called us will keep us going when we feel like quitting.

My talent is inadequate: Jeremiah felt he was inadequate as a speaker: “But I protested, ‘Oh no, Lord, GOD! Look, I don’t know how to speak …” (Vs.6 CSB). God has a way to overcome our weakness and insufficiencies. The more a person feels his inadequacy, the more he depends on God’s all-sufficiency! We rely upon God— His strength will be made perfect in our weakness; His glory will manifest through our flaws! God is interested not the silver-tongued orator but one whose tongue has been touched with coals from the altar. Most often God uses not the most talented, but the one touched by the hand of God.  So, do not underestimate the power of His touch upon our lives which is the true empowerment of God’s call upon us.
 Our talent may appear inadequate, but God always equips those He calls. 

It’s too early for me: Jeremiah said to God, “I am only a youth” (Vs.6). At the time of his call, Jeremiah may have been around 20 to 25, according to many scholars.  His reply reveals he felt immature, inferior, inexperienced, and intimidated by the size of the task.  In our lives too, God’s call may come at an inopportune or odd time, but He never sends forth his servants alone. He promised Jeremiah His presence “Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD.”(Vs.8)
We have the promise of God’s presence when we feel intimidated.

God has a plan for everyone just as He had for Jeremiah. Living according to God’s plan may involve suffering as with Jeremiah; nevertheless, God always works for our greatest good. No matter what our task is in life, God always promises His abiding presence and empowerment to fulfill His purpose, if we remain steadfast in our faith.

Thought- God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.(2Timothy 1:9)

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