I have been reading the book of Jeremiah for a while now and it is an amazing story of one of the greatest prophets of his time. So many of the things I have read speak to me deeply and I just wanted to share some of them with you – maybe someone else out there needs to know this also. First a little about Jeremiah then my thoughts.
“Jeremiah was called, early in life…At the time of his calling he was young (possibly 20 years old) and initially protested to God that his youth prohibited him from doing his will…(Jeremiah 1:1-2, 4-6, 16:2).”*
“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!’” (Jeremiah 1:4-8 NLT)
“The prophet’s life was one of, if not the most, difficult and trial filled existences of any of the Old Testament prophets. Because of what he saw, preached and suffered, he is often referred to as ‘the weeping prophet.’”* “This designation comes from his tender concern about his countrymen’s impending punishment.”**
“The prophet also had plenty to weep about because of the way he was treated. His family members turned against him (Jeremiah 12:6), and his message from God was rejected. As he told God, “I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me” (Jeremiah 20:7).**
Jeremiah was prevented from having things in his life that most people enjoyed – a wife and children, for example. He also had to speak out truths that people did not want to hear – he warned them of the disasters that were to come if they did not clean up their lives and repent for all their sinfulness. Consequently, they mocked him, they ignored him, they persecuted him, they even tried to kill him – all because they did not want to believe what he was saying and rejected his messages. Unlike many false prophets of that day that spoke out of their own hearts (not from the heart of God), telling the people only the good things that they wanted to hear, Jeremiah told the hard truth, and it was not going to be a pretty future, if they did not change their ways. But because things were not so bad at that point they could not accept what he was foretelling for their future – it was just easier to ignore him.
But Jeremiah could not stop speaking God’s message to the people, even if he wanted to. “But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” “But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated…” (Jeremiah 20:9 & 11 NLT)
He was frequently reassured of his secure standing with the Lord even as his enemies conspired against him – “‘They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I, the Lord, have spoken!’” (Jeremiah 15:20 NLT)
Today, there is so much evil happening in our world that it is almost unrecognizable to me – things I could never have imagined seeing during my lifetime. We see some of the wealthy, powerful elites in the world trying to bring about their “New World Order” – a world that would have a group of them ruling over the rest of us that they view as nothing more than peons. They continue to try to call down more plagues on us and try to create more fear in our hearts, all while using their wealth and power to create havoc.
I believe God is trying to get our attention, trying to bring us back to His ways. It is no wonder that we see so many plagues, fires, droughts, floods, etc. If people do not recognize what is happening soon, I fear for what we will see in the near future.
Although today, some people are still called to be those outspoken prophets, we are not all called to that ministry. But, I believe if you are a Christian, you are called to speak to others about God’s saving grace. Admittedly that is not always an easy thing to do – for me, even more difficult to those closest to me, for some reason. However, we need to stay open and alert to such opportunities. There will be times that we might feel His words “burning in our hearts” wanting to be spoken. We need to always remember that we do not have to be afraid to speak out – He is with us, standing beside us like a great warrior, protecting and rescuing us. We must be willing to talk about salvation with anyone and everyone at any time.
Each morning during my prayer time I have been asking God to help me remember that He is always with me, protecting me; and, I ask that He make me like a fortified wall of bronze so that no enemy can overcome me, just as He did for Jeremiah.
So, if or when you are called – asked by God to speak out – what will you do? Will you obey or reject that calling? We need to remember that someone’s eternal destiny may depend on us and our willingness to speak up when called.
Written by Karran Martin – August 13, 2022
[All bold emphasis is mine]