Reading: Jeremiah 1
This title has nothing to do with a youth’s conceited idea of his own importance, but the very reverse of any such idea, for it indicates how God selected a weak and insignificant instrument through whom He could bring His own throne to bear upon the nations. The rule committed to Jeremiah was a spiritual one, and God still seeks to influence and govern world events by spiritual means through a praying Church.
Jeremiah has a very real message for us in this connection. We can be helped by all the men of God described in the Scriptures, for they represent spiritual principles which are not limited to any particular time, but are eternal in their significance and abiding in their value. Jeremiah, however, seems to me to have a special application to the time in which we live; and as we study his story we can find how he illustrates a divine instrument which is nothing in itself but has tremendous throne influence on current affairs.
Each of us receives from people based on the role that we understand them to play in our lives. For example, someone seeking counsel from a prophet must realize that, unlike a pastor (whose best counsel comes after much listening), a prophet will often give his or her best insight with little or no prior information. A person trying to receive this type of counsel without understanding the gift and role of the prophet may think to themselves, “How can you give me counsel when you don’t even understand my situation?” Therefore, it is important for us to understand the various roles that the members of the Body of Christ play in our lives.
The true prophet is called to be a voice of God to his generation. His mission is to bring God’s message to God’s people, in such a way that they hear it and obey it. Therefore, he needs to be rooted deeply in the Word of God. What is the purpose and mission of the Word of God? To find us, to locate us—to identify us and our times—and to reveal truth to us. Its purpose is to show what is wrong with us, but also to show what is right with us.
Now, the work of the prophet is to convey God’s Word to God’s people in the proper balance. God never says anything negative to His people but what He also presents the positive side. We are to deal with the negative, but we are to focus on what is right about our walk with God. It does not matter if things are either negative or positive in the world. Out in the world, people are lost, and until they come to faith in Jesus Christ, God has nothing really to say about them. They are headed for judgment to come. In the church, it is a different story. Regardless of how badly a person has backslidden, God always has a way to come back prepared for him or her. Nobody has ever done anything that was a surprise to God. I am sure that it did not shock God when Adam and Eve did what they did in the Garden of Eden. He was not standing in the heavens rubbing His hands together, worrying about what He would do next. God’s plan is always built in eternity and cannot be destroyed by time.