Reader: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”
Response: “Before you were born I set you apart.”
Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10
The Lord gave me this message:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”
The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,
“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!
Today I appoint you to stand up
against nations and kingdoms.
Some you must uproot and tear down,
destroy and overthrow.
Others you must build up
Reader: “This is the word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
What strikes me about this passage is that it is remarkably like the mission of Jesus. Read it again and think of it as the Father speaking to his Son, the Savior. Jesus was prophet, priest and king. (Skip the “I’m too young part!” After all, we are speaking of the Ancient of Days!) Jesus continually sought his Father’s leading. “I always do what the Father has told me.” John 8:29. Then we have the promise of the Father’s continual presence. Jesus spoke the Father’s words always. And he spoke words that convicted and challenged Jewish kings and leadership as well as words of healing and building up. Tradition has that Jeremiah was eventually stoned to death in Egypt by his own people, Jewish exiles who rejected his message. As you see, there were many similarities between Jeremiah’s call and Jesus’ mission. This is another pointed pericope which speaks of God’s care of his children from even before their birth. In Psalm 139 we are reminded that God has recorded every day of our life even before day one! What task has God called you to today? I’m not sure how often we remind ourselves of our part in God’s bigger unfolding of history. Whether we are out in a wide open field in Kansas or in the bustling streets of Hong Kong, my guess is that most of us feel pretty insignificant in what God is doing in his kingdom today. What difference do we really make? Is our life important to God or are we just another of six billion people on this planet that he looks after? Such thinking is really another version of Jeremiah’s “I can’t speak for you Lord, I’m too inconsequential in your grand design for the world.” Not true. It’s a lie. God’s word to you and me is the same word he gave to Jeremiah and to his Son Jesus. I will be with you, guide you, and give you the words to say. I have a purpose for your life. Don’t make excuses and sink into your own little world. I have a purpose for you being on earth! I love you. I died for you. Don’t belittle my death with such thoughts. Friends, the Lord knows all the details of your day. What is God saying to you in this passage about today? Hold still and listen.
Music:“Children, Go Where I Send Thee” with Home Free and the late Kenny Rogers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7GR-c8-tKI DO NOT MISS THIS!!!!
Father in heaven, I find it so easy to live each day focusing on the things of the day, things I have to do, work, errands, bills, the news . . . Even when I read your Word all too often is more like another check off in the “to do” list for the day. In truth, though it’s embarrassing, sometimes I forget what I’ve read right after I read it. My mind is elsewhere. The intimacy of your words “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb” is haunting. That familiarity goes deeper than any relationship I’ve ever known. Forgive me for brushing off your desire to lead and guide me in the path you’ve prepared, a path of eternal significance. I repent of the dullness of my mind and will. When I read your words, help me to hold still until I hear your voice and find your mind in what you have to say to me. Help me revel in your presence. This I pray through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, reign one God, world without end. Amen. ―Daniel Sharp