I imagine Jeremiah’s ministry was a lot like a crowded room with a dozen overlapping conversations and even more distractions. And there Jeremiah stands in the crowd, trying to preach, yet no one is listening.
Jeremiah was called by God to be “a prophet to the nations” and for nearly 60 years he faithfully confronted the leaders and the people of Judah with their sin, prophesied both their 70-year captivity in Babylon and their eventual return from exile. Jeremiah spoke, but the society around him was deteriorating economically, politically and spiritually. Above all, the people found God’s word to be offensive. As a result, Jeremiah earned himself the nickname of “the weeping prophet” – we’ll see evidence of this as we study his book this month.
But today, I want to focus on the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry. In chapter 1 of the book of Jeremiah, we read a conversation between Jeremiah and God. The Lord bestows this beautiful calling upon Jeremiah and he reacts the same way we often do: “But God, I’m so young. I don’t know what to say. There is someone out there who is better for this gig! They won’t listen anyway. And besides she is doing it so much better than me!”
If you’ve ever thought these things about your calling (and let’s be honest, we all have at one point!), then I encourage you write out God’s reply and post it in a prominent place where you can see it often.
Because God reminds us that He’s in charge: He will give you words – in fact, He will quite literally put the words into your mouth. He will tell you where to go and what to do. He will deliver you, so you don’t have to be afraid of the haters.
Because the Lord has set you over the nations and kingdoms for such a time as this (even if it’s a tiny college campus or a corporate workplace), “to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”
Thousands of years may have passed since Jeremiah was tasked with his calling, but the message is timeless. Each of us has a calling and each of us is uniquely and perfectly equipped to live out our callings.