Yesterday I was talking about how Jeremiah was trying to come up with excuses to God as to why he couldn't go through with the call God had given him.
Jeremiah's objection was overruled on the grounds that the authority of his message resided in the One who chose him.
Today I pick up in verse 8 where the Lord is commissioning him in detail as to what he wants him to do.
Jeremiah 1: 8 - 10: "Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ' Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
If you look at the original text in Hebrew, the word "touched" means to "laid his hand on", to "build" means "to begin to repair", and to "plant" means to "fix".
He was to bring a message of destruction, but also of blessing. From the beginning of time, God has told us that there are consequences of sin, but there are blessings for obedience. At the time of Jeremiah's call, Judah and the Lord's people there were in sin. This message to repent and return to the Lord cost Jeremiah many times of trouble, but he continued to be faithful to the call.
When God speaks to us to do something or say something to someone that might be hard to do, we need to go back to verse 8 of this first chapter and see that God says that when we speak as he's told us to do - not to worry or be fearful about what to say - he will give us the words through his Holy Spirit.
Some might ask, "Why would God be so harsh in his words towards his people?" In Proverbs 3: 11 - 12 it tells us: "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves".
Just as a parent tries to prevent their child from being harmed by getting into something that could hurt them, and has to discipline them because of their love for them, so it is with God - he is just trying to keep us from harm and in his will.
Each day as I prepare to come here with a message from my daily devotionals, I ask God to give me his words - to speak through me in order that his message will be received into the hearts that are searching for truth, and for answers. I surely can't do this on my own power, and my hope is that I am accurately sharing the message he gives me each day.
I hope your Friday brings you health, happiness and a sense of purpose.