This appears to be Jeremiah’s first message from God, and what a doozy it is! For me, it’s one of those “double-take” moments. Did I really read what I thought I read? God just told Jeremiah that he (God) is going to raise up foreign powers to crush his beloved Israelites for their disobedience. What do you suppose Jeremiah did when he first heard that? The key take away is that God is in control and will orchestrate this destruction.
Just the mere experience of hearing God’s voice would be enough to bless my whole existence! Jeremiah received so much more! Today, we don’t hear many people talking about “conversations” they’ve had with God. I’m quite sure they are happening, however. I’ve always hoped to have the honor and privilege of being chosen in that way. And then it happened!
One night after moving to Mexico, I was thinking through the tasks I had completed that day. I was absently staring into the kitchen from my studio desk when I heard it. “I want you to write for me.” I’m confident I heard God’s voice! He gave me a job to do!
Writing my devotional blog has been a highlight of each day for me since 2016. I get to spend quality time in God’s word, in prayer, and in writing down my rambles of thought. I can’t explain the peace I feel being so in tune with God and what his word is telling me each day. I can only pray you have similar moments of solitude.
Jeremiah experienced a conversation. God was also showing him visions to think about. The almond branch and the boiling water summarize the content of Jeremiah’s preaching to follow. God will have Jeremiah bringing a message that sadly only a fraction of people will pay attention to. We have the benefit of seeing this same wisdom from this side of history.
Jeremiah receives assurance directly from God about his assignment in verses 17-19. God knew that news of impending oppression from the north and destruction of many lives would leave Jeremiah feeling depleted and wary. I can’t imagine being the one to bring that very unpopular message. God wasn’t going to let Jeremiah have any excuses and chose to build him up with encouragement instead. That’s a good leadership strategy by the way!
God said, “Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.” In other words, God is telling Jeremiah (and us), “get off your butt, I’ve got this. Just listen to what I tell you do and have no fear. To look fearful is to look foolish.” God intervened for Jeremiah; he can do the same for us!
Have you ever heard God’s voice? What’s your recollection of that moment? You’ve seen what I’m doing to respond to God (you’re reading this)! How did you respond to God’s voice? Spend some time today being quiet. Listening for God.
Let’s pray … Lord, I am so grateful that I can glean a message from you each day I spend time in your word. It’s exactly what I need to hear for that moment, and it feeds me. I may have a completely different message the next day. You are an amazing God. Help me to shut out the noise of the world so I can be listening for you and tuned into your will for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.