Bible Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-19
“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” (Jeremiah 1:7-8)
Jeremiah was born in very secular times. His world is almost like ours; faith is no longer present in the public square, and most people disregard or turn away from God. Because of these times, Israel and Judah were both havoc. Superpowers Assyria, Babylon and Egypt all pried on the Jewish nation, looking for the right moment to overrun them. Jeremiah lived through all these times, and he was also eventually exiled to Egypt, where he died.
Jeremiah is often referred to as the ‘weeping prophet’ because of his difficult life and ministry. Throughout his whole ministry, only two converts are recorded; Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe and Ebed-Melech, an Ethiopian eunuch. Jeremiah preached boldly of God’s truth to all the Israelites, yet in stubbornness, they rejected Jeremiah’s message and persecuted him instead. On multiple occasions, it is noted how Jeremiah weeps for Israel’s broken and rebellious condition.
In a very hostile and secular time, Jeremiah was called to serve God in his teenage years. Even though the world we live in today may be in a similar situation to the world in Jeremiah’s time, God is still calling teenagers to serve Him here and now.
Firstly, God chose Jeremiah to be His servant before He was born. v.5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” And so, God has chosen servants to serve Him in our secular culture today. God’s calling pre-dates our existence. Before the world was created, God knew us and loved us. He chose us to exist in this time and age to love Him and serve Him.
Like many of us, Jeremiah thought, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth” (v.6). However, when God calls, God is faithful. God promises always to sustain, lead and deliver all those who He calls. Moreover, God also provides the gifts and talents necessary to serve Him. God touched Jeremiah’s mouth and said, “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” (v.9-10).
Jeremiah’s calling is an encouragement to us teens in this age. Many times we feel forsaken or abandoned by God. Evil seems to rule and pervade our every situation. There appears to be no light in those around us. Even when we try to share the truth, they all reject it. However, in all times and ages, God calls His servants at the right moment. God has a purpose and calling for our lives today. We exist because God wants to do something with our lives. He promises to be with us throughout the journey; however, the journey might not be what we expect.
Jeremiah’s ministry was full of suffering with very little fruit. However, there is much to learn from his courage and perseverance. Above all, we ought to learn how God is faithful to His servants and will carry His promises out to the end. God leaves Jeremiah with a promise which He also gives to us who serve Him, “And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you declares the LORD, to deliver you” (v. 18-19).
Lord, teach us obedience to Your will. You have chosen us and called us out of the world to serve You in this time and age. We know that You have a purpose and a reason for creating us. Please help us understand Your calling for us — ready us to obey and follow You wherever You lead. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.