By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Our text for this week is often used in the context of making a case for the importance of every single human life, because if God “formed,” Jeremiah in his mother’s “womb,” then certainly, all lives are created and formed by God. In addition, every life formed in the womb is known by God.
So, while we can find principles and truths here that inform us about the sanctity of human life, these words in Jeremiah 1:5 are found in the context of the calling of Jeremiah, of whom God says, “I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Therefore, the reasons God points out the importance of Jeremiah’s life, is because God had created him for a purpose. Matter of fact, God has a purpose for the life of each of his servants. The question is, are we willing to surrender to God’s purpose and calling on our lives?
First, our purpose is to answer God’s call (vv. 4-5). You see, the secular, unbelieving world believes that we do not “receive” a calling from anyone, let alone God. Rather, we make our own calling, and we alone define our calling and purpose in life.
However, Jeremiah knew that he was a God-called man, expected to answer the call of God. He was a man who had received the “word of the Lord.” He also was a God-anointed man, as God informs Jeremiah, “I set you apart before you were born … .”
In other words, God had “sanctified” Jeremiah for the prophetic ministry long before he even knew what the prophetic ministry was. We also see that Jeremiah was a God-appointed man, as the Lord God tells Jeremiah, “I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Many translations use the word, “ordained,” which is fitting, because if a servant is not ordained of God to the mission he is doing, it does not matter how many ordination certificates or degrees one has on the wall.
In other words, if we are not God-anointed and God-appointed, it does not matter what others say.
Second, God’s calling is not up for debate (vv. 6-8). After Jeremiah makes a weak attempt to get out of the situation, God basically says to Jeremiah, “Jeremiah, this is not up for debate!” In verse 7, God says to Jeremiah, “No excuses, you will go where I send you, and you will speak what I tell you.”
Matter of fact, throughout the rest of the chapter God acts in ways that would give Jeremiah confirmation and confidence that he was God’s prophet of the hour. In other words, when God calls us to go, our best response is to say, “Here am I, send me” (Isa. 6:8).
Finally, when God calls, He equips (Jeremiah 1:9-10). After God tells Jeremiah to have no fear, Jeremiah himself testifies that the LORD “touched” his mouth, and said, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth” (NKJV).
In other words, Jeremiah would never have to worry about what to do or say, God equipped him with the strength to stand and say, “Thus says the LORD.” And what God says in verse 10 illustrates for us, that it is better to go with God’s Word in our mouth than our own (Matt. 18:19-20), because then we go in the power of God.
You see, God really does have a purpose for our lives. But do we believe it?