Summary: A powerful lesson for the young Christian generation who want to devote their life for ministry.
1. The way God calls his prophet.
V 4. Now the word of the Lord came to me
The first thing you will note is that this whole thing was God’s idea, not Jeremiah’s. “The word of the Lord came to me,” is how the story begins (v. 4).
Jeremiah’s ambition, his sense of destiny, his skills had nothing to do with it. All of this is from God.Though brief, this verse is the heart of the prophetic experience. Jeremiah's call came not from his effort to reach God but by hearing the divine word. I don’t really know how the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. May be by dreams, audible voices, visual impressions… Anyway, there are two sides we need to look at the meaning of this verse. The word was for the prophet himself, not for the community. God had personally chose the prophet. In the another side, the call of God never come to the ignorant, pride one but for the one who had put his heart to God and his people. The only thing this young man had was the good heart.
2. God’s plan for his servant.
V 5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
This is the wonderful message from God for his chosen. Observe the four actions of God toward his prophet: God knew, formed, consecrated, and appointed him. These actions flow like a beautiful process of making God’s servant. For many young couple, their child is not an accident but most of them have a well prepare for their first child. They give for him or her a beautiful and meaningful name. At the moment the wife gets pregnant the child is formed. Our God, the Creator makes his excellent work when he combines the gene of the father and mother and makes become a new person. When I was in high school, many times I asked God “Dear Lord, I know you can do everything, can you change a little bit in my gene, just a little bit”. I’ll be a normal people like another. And I waited in hope but nothing happen. In my mind I always think that I’m a B quality creation. But here, God says to me “I, the Lord of heaven and earth, knew you and I formed you in your mother womb, you are not a mistake, you are my perfect creation”. I ask for to be a normal one, but God says “No, you are the special one with me”. It was indeed encouraging for us and sure the young Jeremiah to know that God had specifically equipped him and us to carry out his commission.
The emphasis is on the divine initiative and sovereign choice. In this respect Jeremiah was appointed a prophet for a world-wide ministry. This refutes the idea that the work of God's servants was limited in his province. God is the Lord of the nations. God doesn’t want we server him only in our denomination, our community but for many people and nations. Today, are you willing to server God in wherever God want to go?
3. Jeremiah’s response.
6 Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.’
In fact, when told of his call, Jeremiah protests, “I don’t know how to do public speaking! I’m only a kid. I get nervous in front of a crowd”
The word boy or child may refers not only about the age of the prophet but also the length of his ministry. He didn’t have enough experience, or relationship to carry on his ministry. At his age, he might not had the MDiv or even the BA of Theology decree. He knew himself, and humble himself.
4. God’s insurance for his servant
Today, we have all kind of insurances. We buy insurances for our health, our children, cars, house, and career because we don’t know what will happen to us in the future. At that time, Jeremiah didn’t know how dangerous his mission was but God knew and God gave him a word of insurance that “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you”. The term deliver is used in Jeremiah to indicate the saving of the people from their captors (15:20,21), the deliverance of the poor from their oppressors (20:13), and the safety of the prophet from possible harm before national leaders. “I am with you” God reassured the prophet of His presence and protection. Moreover by saying that, the Lord also predicted the hardship of Jeremiah’s mission. He was put in prison, thrown into a well, and taken to Egypt against his will, he was not allowed to marry, rejected by his friends, neighbors, family, false priests and prophets and kings.