Read Jeremiah 1
We Must Destroy To Build
Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet.” He saw good things happening in Judah, and he witnessed terrible deeds as well. He is the author of the book that bears his name as well as Lamentations.
The first chapter of Jeremiah deals with the call of the man to the prophetic office. There are many wonderful truths that can be gleaned from these nineteen verses.
First, notice the foreknowledge of God. He said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). This does not mean the man had no choice in the matter; he could have refused God’s call, but with great consequence. Yet, God knew the type of man Jeremiah would be, and He knew that the prophet would obey the calling.
In fact, Jeremiah offered an excuse as to why he should not be God’s chosen instrument to take the prophecy to the nation. “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1:6). Does God accept excuses? Age does not matter to God. All persons of an accountable age are responsible for their behavior toward the Almighty. God immediately dispelled any notion that Jeremiah’s youth exempted him from service.
God encouraged His servant, “Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:8). God promised Jeremiah that if he would prepare himself for divine service, he would be safe and protected. “‘They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to deliver you’” (Jeremiah 1:19).
This is a promise still made to obedient children of God today. In issuing the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20, Jesus said, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The Hebrews writer reminded his friends of this promise, writing, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).
One more truth we can learn from the first chapter of Jeremiah is the necessity of tearing down the evil in order to rebuild what is good. “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:9-10). What do you need to destroy and throw down in your life so that you can build and plant?