Jeremiah Heard
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31. Jeremiah Heard

Authority Over Nations

Child paintingJeremiah heard the Lord telling him to follow. "First," God said, "no excuses!" Jeremiah answered in Jeremiah 1.6, "'Alas, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am too young.'" Being a youth who doesn't know what to say is no reason for not acting on the Lord's command. God's order to Jeremiah was to "Go!" The Lord said in Jeremiah 1.7, "Do not say that you are too young, but go to the people I send you to, and tell them everything I command you to say." In Hebrew, the phrase "an obedient heart" means the same as "a hearing heart." If one hears the call of God, it means obedience, and if one obeys, one hears. But God doesn't send us out alone, for he provides us with the resources that we need for the task. God delivers us from our fears. God gave Jeremiah the right words to say in Jeremiah 1.9, "Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, 'I have put my words in your mouth.'" Isaiah had a similar experience when coals of fire touched his lips. Finally, God gave Jeremiah the authority to speak in the Lord's name in Jeremiah 1.10, "See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." With such promises as these, all that Jeremiah needed to do was trust God completely. All we need to do is true as well!

Prophet Jeremiah's Call

Finely Cut EmeraldJeremiah's call was to go and preach to the nations. His call was like a balloon on a string that allowed him to move around freely. God called Jeremiah to prophetic ministry in about 626 BC, about five years before Josiah, king of Judah, turned the nation toward repentance from idolatrous practices. According to Jeremiah 1.2, "The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, son of Amon king of Judah." A jewel illustrates the many aspects of the prophet Jeremiah's call. It is finely cut and shining. When the light falls on one facet, it appears blue, but turn it in your fingers just slightly, and you will see red! So, what color is the jewel? It is both red and blue and maybe other colors depending on how the light shines on it. Each person's call is different depending upon the circumstances, and God's plan. Jeremiah is one man on whom the light of God fell. Jeremiah's call is an excellent example of the special and unique vision God has for each one of us.

The Christian's Call

Two Gold CoinsThe Christian's call is similar to that of the prophet Jeremiah. It is like a two-sided coin. On the one side is our free response to God, and on the other, our inevitable destiny. Think of yourself, if you can, for a moment, like a fly within a balloon! You can move around freely within its expanded walls, but when someone tugs on the string, the balloon moves with you in it and goes wherever they want to take you. This simple picture is of a very loving, warm, and directed relationship with the Lord.

Before Jeremiah's Birth

Baby in WombThe Lord says to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1.5, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." The phrase "I knew you" may be translated as "I chose you." Like Jeremiah, God knows each one of us intimately and chooses us even before our parents conceived us in the womb. Our lives are, therefore, an open book in his sight. He knows everything about us! God's call to Jeremiah came while he was in the womb, even before he was born! In his early ministry, Jeremiah is primarily a preaching prophet, preaching throughout Israel. "I appointed you as a prophet to the nations," said God. Jeremiah is set apart as a prophet with a particular task. The Lord consecrates him and makes him holy to preach to the nations.

Your Call

What is God's task for your life? Have you experienced his call? At the age of fifty-three, the Lord called Charles Thomas Studd (1860-1931), the famous international cricketer, to go to Africa as a missionary. He had played for the English Cricket Team in 1882 but was in poor health at that time, but leaving his wife behind, he went out in full reliance on God's promises. His answer to all who questioned the wisdom of his actions was later found on a postcard on his desk, "If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." Because God knows us intimately and consecrates us, he, therefore, appoints us to a call as he did to both C. T. Studd and Jeremiah. He selects each to be "a prophet to the nations."

"Jeremiah Heard"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2021

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