Jeremiah was still a young man when God called him to be a prophet, so he felt he was not prepared for the task. He told the Lord he could not speak, and he was too young. God rebuked Jeremiah for even saying that and told him to go to whomever he was sent to and say whatever the Lord told him to say. Prophethood was not a product of training and education, but one of divine calling.
Jeremiah had no idea just how much opposition he would encounter because of this call, nor how lonely he would be. He was instructed not to marry, have children, participate in feast celebrations, or mourn the dead—prophetic signs to alert the people to their dismal futures due to impending judgment. Exile was coming, and life would not continue as normal. Jeremiah's only real friend was his secretary, Baruch, who wrote down his dictates and compiled them.
Baruch even included Jeremiah's complaints and desperate prayers to the Lord in the writings, such as when the prophet was so tired of being rejected and having no impact that he had wondered why he had even been born! He even accused God of having deceived him, saying that judgment was coming when it had not yet come. Jeremiah warned the people of God's judgment for 40 years before it happened—when the Babylonians took the city of Jerusalem. All that time, Jeremiah was made to be a fool.
God called Jeremiah to faithfulness, not fruitfulness. He would have no large following and would suffer rejection—even be arrested, imprisoned, and carried off to Egypt against his will. But the call of God was stronger than Jeremiah's resistance, and in chapter 20:9, he said that even if he tried not to speak these warnings in the Lord's name, they were in his heart like a fire he could not hold in.
May we all learn to be faithful in the face of opposition like Jeremiah. Join me for this week's episode of Out of Zion on Charisma Podcast Network, Jeremiah's Lonely Call as Prophet. Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can't wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!
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