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Being Prepared to Be a Prophet

The story of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1-19) shows the preparation of a young person God is calling to prophesy.

1 What God Did

  • Recognised him – In speaking about Jeremiah’s earliest days in the womb, God said “Before I formed you, I knew you.” The word ‘formed’ is the same as that used of a potter with clay.
  • Set him apart – God chose him as special, treated him as a precious individual while yet unborn.
  • Gave him to be a prophet – Before he was born, God set him on a course to be a prophet to the nations.
  • Called him – The word of the Lord came to him, informing him of God’s intentions.
  • Anointed him – God touched him with Holy Spirit power.
  • Gifted him – God said, “I have put my words in your mouth.”
  • Appointed him – God set him, numbered him and authorised him to be “over the nations” – not subject to them.
  • Initiated him – The word of the Lord came, “What do you see?” This was the beginning of Jeremiah receiving pictures, words and feelings.

2 What Jeremiah Did

  • He turned from saying, “I cannot speak, I am only a child.”
  • He trusted what he was hearing from God and began to follow God’s instructions.
  • He took in Holy Spirit anointing and gifts. He was touched and he received words.
  • He told out what he had received. God asked him, “What do you see?” and he described it.

3 What Jeremiah Experienced

  • Pictures – Firstly, the branch of an almond tree (Jeremiah 1:11), and then a boiling pot (1:13).
  • Words – Jeremiah was told to “Go cry in the ears of Jerusalem saying this is what the Lord says” (2:1) and “hear the word of the Lord” (2:4).
  • Feelings – When God spoke to him Jeremiah sometimes experienced strong feelings. He said “his word is like a fire in my heart” (20:8) and “my heart is broken, all my bones tremble, I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine because of the Lord and his holy words” (23:9).
  • Object Lessons – God took Jeremiah to see a potter at work and taught him a lesson from what he saw happening (18:1-6).
  • Prophetic Actions – God gave Jeremiah special things to do which when shared became a message from God. One example was the linen belt which was hidden by Jeremiah and was spoiled (13:1-11).

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