If GOD is FOR us, then WHO can be AGAINST us?
August 7 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 1-3
"For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land--against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you," says the Lord, "to deliver you." (Jer. 1:18-19)
Jeremiah chapter one concludes with a charge that God gives to the young Jeremiah telling him that he had to fulfill his prophetic calling (see 1:4). God further promised Jeremiah that He will divinely enable him to complete his mission. Now, Jeremiah had to face a formidable enemy that included the entire land of Judah starting from the leadership (the king and the princes), to the religious establishment (the priests), and down to the lowest person in the land (the common people). Furthermore, God promises Jeremiah that his audience would not sit still, but would fiercely fight against the prophet and his uncompromising messages!
While Jeremiah was given an offensive stance earlier (see vv. 9–10), he is now given a defensive stance to be like a city that is closely guarded, like an unshakable pillar of iron, and like a wall of bronze that would successfully defend against the attack of the enemy. God asks Jeremiah to equip himself and get ready for service (v. 17), just like someone would tuck his long robe under a belt around the waist in order to run, work, or fight. So, Jeremiah was being called up for immediate duty, and to serve God as His mouthpiece. To aid his mission, God would give him the needed strength to stand against the united populace of Judah, all of whom would oppose his message!
The best part of God’s promise was that Jeremiah’s enemies would not be able to overcome him, and this promise would be repeated again in 15:19–20. Even though the king, princes, priests, and the people of Judah would combine together to resist Jeremiah and his unpopular message, God would be with him to fight for him and to deliver him. There are seven things to note about God’s commission to Jeremiah:
- It was difficult for the youthful Jeremiah to confront his elders with a message of denunciation, but now God had ordered him to do just that (v. 17a).
- Jeremiah had to speak everything that God had commanded without holding anything back (v. 17b).
- Jeremiah was not to be dismayed by the response of the people, whether it was condescension or, a threat (v. 17c).
- If Jeremiah did not speak God’s word due to dismay, God would surely dismay him before the people (v. 17c).
- If Jeremiah spoke God’s word faithfully, everyone great or small in Judah would oppose him (v. 18-19a).
- Jeremiah’s confidence would be based upon God’s promise to make him victorious in spite of the opposition (v. 19b).
- Jeremiah’s only resource was the promise of God to be with the prophet always and deliver him (v. 19c).
Let us remember today that “our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5). When God calls us to do a task for Him, He does not ask us if we are able but only if we are available to do His will. Let us join with the Apostle Paul, and make the following declaration today: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" (Phil. 4:13)