Jeremiah, often called the weeping prophet, was the author of the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations. The son of Hilkiah, Jeremiah was a Levitical priest from the small village of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The Lord called Jeremiah to deliver prophecies to the unrepentant people of Judah. He warned them of their soon to be bondage by the Babylonians, and begged them to repent of their sins and turn back to God.
Although he faithfully served God for over forty years, when Jeremiah first heard the call of the Lord he did as many of us do, he questioned God. After all being so young there was no way a Jeremiah could go out and be the voice of the Lord! He cried out, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak.” (Jeremiah 1:6) And to himself he thought, “There must be some mistake. I can’t do this.” But there was no mistake. God knew exactly what He was doing. For in His perfect plan, He created Jeremiah just for this time and this purpose.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) God knew the purpose He had for Jeremiah because He knew Jeremiah even before the first beat of his heart. And just as intimately as God knew Jeremiah, He knows us. How amazing is that! For Not only did God fearfully and wonderfully create us (Ps. 139:14), He knows us by name,(John 10:3), how long we will live, (Ps. 139:16), and all we were created to be. (Eph. 2:10) And before we are born, He sets us apart for the purpose that is uniquely ours.
Whatever that purpose may be, we can trust that God never intends for us to accomplish it alone, nor in our own strength. When Jeremiah faced the daunting challenge ahead, God reassured him saying, “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah vs. 1:8) “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you.” (vs. 1:19)
Although the task God gives may not be an easy or enjoyable one, (Jeremiah himself faced hatred and persecution), God does promise that when we walk in obedience, He will never leave or forsake us, (Heb. 13:5) will be our refuge and strength, (Ps.46:1), and through Him, will make all things possible. (Matt. 19:26).
I love how Dr Charles Stanley says, Each time God calls a servant into action, He essentially says, ‘You can be strong and courageous because I am with you. Victory isn’t about your abilities, your strength, your skill, your armor, your gifts, or your dedication; it has to do with My presence. You can be strong because I will be strong in you.’”
No matter the calling, whether it be as simple as helping a friend in need, or as hard as delivering a message of doom to a nation, the next time you hear God’s voice, don’t ask, “Who me? There must be some mistake!” Remember you were created to be the perfect person for the job, and if God sees you to it, He’ll see you through it. So, as the Lord said to Jeremiah, “Gird up your loins and arise!” (Jeremiah 1:17) There is work to be done!