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Chapter 1:6-10 (ESV)

Posted on June 08, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 1:6-10 (ESV) - Then I said, “Ah, LORD God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the LORD.”

Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,

“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

Question to consider: What are some similarities and differences between Isaiah 6:1-8 and this passage?

If you went through my study of Ezekiel, you may remember that Ezekiel was also a young priest who lived in Judah and was exiled before he ever was able to serve in the temple. The true priests of Israel loved their nation instead of making merchandise of them. By the time Jesus overturned the merchant’s tables in the temple court, the priesthood was mainly made up of those who associated with the sect known as the Sadducees. Rather than being a mediator between the people and God and crying for the LORD’s mercy as Moses had done, they believed themselves to be above the people and enriched themselves on their desire for absolution.

Like Moses, Jeremiah felt unworthy to be the mouth of the LORD for the people, yet the LORD had chosen Jeremiah for this even before He knit Jeremiah together in his mother’s womb. As I usually point out when I study a prophet in scripture, Jeremiah didn’t have to be trained to “hear the voice of God”. Jeremiah had a physical encounter with the pre-incarnate Christ who literally put out His hand and touched Jeremiah’s mouth— giving him the words to say.

Jeremiah didn’t have to discern who would receive these words because the LORD would tell him where to go and command him to speak at the right time. The words Jeremiah would be given were terrifying for a young man to bring before kings, especially because these kings would have self-proclaimed prophets telling them what they wanted to hear. However, the LORD told Jeremiah he need not be afraid for He would be there to deliver him.

The anointing and sending of Jeremiah was reminiscent of Isaiah, but Isaiah feared the LORD when faced with his own sin and volunteered to be His messenger despite knowing that the message would be rejected. Jeremiah feared those who would reject the message and did not seem to tremble before the LORD. It was rather brazen to tell the LORD He was wrong to choose him because of his youth. Maybe age and wisdom was the difference between Jeremiah and Isaiah, or maybe it was indicative of living in the generation that would face the judgments contained in this prophecy— like Lot at the time of the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah. 


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the patience You have shown toward those whom You have called to ministry. Help us to be more like Isaiah than Jeremiah when faced with proclaiming Your word. Amen.