Friday, December 2, 2022
Reader: “Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.”
Response: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
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
Jeremiah was a First Testament prophet writing around 600 BC. This book has a very interesting passage at the beginning, particularly in light of some of the issues in today’s society in the United States, but also has implications for the entire world. What stands out immediately is that God knew Jeremiah before he formed him in his mother’s womb. Likewise, God knew you and me before he formed us in our mother’s wombs, in fact, he chose us before the foundation of the world. (Eph 1:4) We get the clear idea that God knows all about us before we even were! It makes sense that the one who made us knows us best. Indeed, our life began at conception in our mother’s wombs. Indeed, she is the first one who housed, who made a home for our little life! A secular culture refuses to address this monumental truth. (Is 49:1, Ps 139:15-16, Lk 1:31-32, Lk 1:13-14)
In Jeremiah’s case, his vocation had already been determined! The psalmist likewise tells us that God has ordered each day of our life. Like Moses before him, Jeremiah complained that he couldn’t speak for God. Then Jeremiah objected to God’s call believing he was too young. He needed to hear Paul’s words to Timothy! (I Tim.4:12)
There are two great promises here that apply to us today as a result of what God said to Jeremiah. One pledge is that God will give us the words to say in proclaiming his truth. Like Isaiah, God touched Jeremiah’s lips giving him words to speak. (Is 6:7) And, secondly, God vowed his presence and his protection. Jeremiah needn’t be afraid of the people. He would never be alone. Time and again God delivered Jeremiah from dangerous situations. While the Bible does not say how he eventually died, the book of Jeremiah records many of the conversations he had with his God. (Tradition says he was stoned to death by his own people when they were exiled to Egypt.)
While we may not be called to be prophets to speak to a nation in rebellion, we can speak words of truth to a culture in rebellion in various places God puts us. Like Jeremiah, God has promised to give us the words to speak and to be present with us whether we are engaged with others in sharing the truth, building people up, exposing error, or planting seeds of God’s truth in the world around us. Let us be “present” to the Lord throughout this day. These are not days to be silent.
Music: “Long Ago, Prophets Knew” Chet Valley Churches
Lord God, may you be the beginning and the end, the reason and the motive, the rule and the measure of our doing or not doing, from morning to night; then everywhere whether speaking or silent, whether inwardly or outwardly employed, we may have our life in Christ, and from him, and are united to him by that Spirit of Prayer who is the comfort, the support, the strength and security of the soul as it travels, by the help of God, through the vanity of time into the riches of eternity. Amen. –adapted William Law (1686-1761)