Explaining the Book

Bible Study Guide

Jeremiah

How Did God Respond to Jeremiah’s Doubts?

Jeremiah 1:7-10 relates God’s response to Jeremiah’s doubts regarding his call to be a prophet to the nations.

It’s a threefold response. First, God assure Jeremiah that he will tell the prophet where to go and what to say. Second, God promises to deliver Jeremiah from all danger. And third, God reminds Jeremiah that he’s given him the authority to carry out his ministry.

So, let’s explore each of those statements…

God Will Tell Jeremiah Where to Go and What to Say

In other words, God is saying in Jeremiah 1:7 that he has it all planned out.

Jeremiah doesn’t need to fear. All he needs to do is to go where God tells him to go and say what God wants him to say.

Even a child — which Jeremiah claimed to be and probably was — can do that!

God Promises To Deliver Jeremiah

In Jeremiah 1:8, God tells Jeremiah to not fear “their faces” in the Hebrew.

Whose faces is God talking about? Well, it could be the nations that God spoke of earlier. And in the more immediate context in Jeremiah 1:7 it’s all those people to whom God will send Jeremiah.

So, Jeremiah is to not be afraid of them – why? Because God is with Jeremiah to deliver or protect him.

That’s encouraging. You can withstand a lot as long as you know there’s divine protection on your side.

So, with that assurance given to Jeremiah, responding to his age-based doubt, the Lord continues his commissioning of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:9-10.

God Gave Jeremiah Authority

So, in Jeremiah 1:9-10 God makes a symbolic gesture and touches Jeremiah’s mouth. By this, the Lord is signifying that he has put and will continue to put his words in Jeremiah’s mouth.

Is This a Vision or Reality?

By the way, we’re not told if this is a vision or not.

So, did God come to Jeremiah in bodily form somewhere and speak to him and touch him?

Or is this indeed a vision and we just weren’t told that it was?

Either way, it really happened. But if God actually physically came to Jeremiah then it’s very likely that this was a pre-incarnate Christ that came to Jeremiah!

Six Authoritative Actions

So, Jeremiah is given God’s authority. He has God’s very words in his mouth. And with those words, Jeremiah will perform the actions listed in Jeremiah 1:10. And he’ll do so on the global scene.

The first two actions seem to focus on the initial stages of destruction – rooting out and pulling down.

The next two seem to speak of utter and final and complete destruction – destroy and throw down.

And then the last two are positive – build and plant.

All these actions Jeremiah will perform with his God-given words.

Summary

And with that, God has finished his commissioning of Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations.

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