In light of God watching over his words of threatenings to perform them and in light of his promise to bring calamity from the north on his people in the form of a conquering kingdom God tells Jeremiah to arise, speak, and not be terrified in Jeremiah 1:17.
God Called Jeremiah to Action
The Lord had already encouraged Jeremiah to not be afraid of the nations he would send him to. So, now I think this admonition is particularly in regard to Jeremiah’s own people the Jews and his attitude toward them.
And the admonition is to not be afraid of them. But if Jeremiah was minded to be afraid of them God threatens to really give him something to be afraid of.
What God wants Jeremiah to be mindful of is that he needs to fear God more than men.
But it’s not all fear.
God Promised to Deliver Jeremiah
God’s not just scaring Jeremiah into obeying him. He leaves Jeremiah in chapter one with a very assuring message of God’s presence with him and God’s promise to rescue him from all danger that he will face. (Jeremiah 1:18-19)
Jeremiah is promised conflict with the whole land of Judah – kings, princes, priests, people in general. We even see him later on battling his fellow prophets!
They’ll fight him but they won’t win. Why? Because the Lord is with him and will rescue him.
And like Jeremiah we too as Christians are promised conflict and trouble and persecution in this life. But we’re also promised the presence of Christ as we go and make disciples and baptize and teach.