The Bible says that Jeremiah was a weak and timid man, but God’s power worked in him. “Before you were born I sanctified you.” Like the apostle Paul, Jeremiah was set apart from his mother’s womb (see Gal. 1:4, Acts 9:15; 22:14). Then God spoke further to him, “I ordained you a prophet to the nations,” and finally “I shall send you.”
Jeremiah, still quite young, is frightened at the prospect of this divinely appointed mission. He meekly protests, “Ah, Lord God! Behold I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” Isn’t it true that we make similar objections? How often we feel our own inadequacy to speak of the Lord and to let the testimony of His grace shine! We forget that when the Lord invites us to serve in this way, there are resources in Himself sufficient to enable us to respond to His invitation.
When the Lord miraculously fed the crowd in the desert, He commanded His disciples, “Give ye them to eat.” Hearing this order of the Lord’s, the disciples could not understand how five loaves and two fishes could possibly feed so many people. But what did Jesus say? “Bring them here to me.” Then He multiplied the meager resources of the disciples and not only satisfied the entire crowd, but had a number of baskets still left over.
This same voice which encouraged Jeremiah and Gideon was heard by the great apostle Paul at Corinth, having arrived there “In weakness, in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3). It spoke to him in a night vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you” (Acts 18:9,10).
What a contrasting message was to be preached by Jeremiah: “See, I have this day set you ... to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down.” It was the tragic element of his life to constantly prophesy judgment, destruction and captivity.
But our situation as well as our message is much different. “How beautiful are the feet of them that announce glad tidings of peace, of them that announce glad tidings of good things” (Rom. 10:15). Isaiah had had a vision of it, that is, of the feet of Him who announces glad tidings of peace (Isa. 52:7). From that time on, in the steps of the Lord Jesus, how many messengers have been sent to proclaim the same gospel; and, to warn sinners of the dangers threatening them (Heb. 2:3).
Jesus entrusted to His disciples and to us after them, the mission to preach in His name “repentance and remission of sins” (Luke 24:47). ARE WE READY TO GO ON THIS MISSION believing He is going to be with us? ( OR... are we going to protest like Jeremiah?)