NOT AN AVERAGE KIDS’ TALK
Express to God how this truth makes you feel: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (5).
Read Jeremiah 1:1–19
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
The Call of Jeremiah
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
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.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.
“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
and against all the towns of Judah.
16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people
because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made.
17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHas God ever asked you to share the Good News with someone? How did it make you feel?
The pastor made the sound of a sports car and wove his way through the congregation, swerving with his imaginary steering wheel. By the time he got to the platform the children were gathered around him expectantly. He began to tell the story of a worn-out old VW Beetle that—instead of being sent to scrap—was lovingly restored to a beauty far beyond its original form. “We’re just like that car,” he said. “When we die we will either be restored in heaven or go to hell.” Not what I was expecting! Do you speak about such things so publicly too?
God called Jeremiah to give the people of Judah an equally uncomfortable, but equally true message: judgment was coming (14) because of their idolatry and rejection of the true God (16). Jeremiah was to declare to Judah whatever God commanded him (7,17), and he should not expect to be warmly received (19)!
How would you feel in Jeremiah’s shoes? Too young (6)? Too old? Too scared (8)? Or maybe that it’s not really appropriate to speak about such things so publicly? But the people had forsaken the true God, and judgment was coming (40 years in the future). God commissioned Jeremiah to speak the truth.
Jesus spoke publicly many times about judgment (Matt.
7:13,14,21–23; 8:12; 10:28; 13:49,50; 23:33; 25:41). But he also provided the solution! Whom can you share this good news with?
Worship Jesus: he bore the judgment in your place.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.