“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “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.” 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.”
– Jeremiah 1:4–8
Jeremiah 1:4–8 is an amazing introduction to the prophet Jeremiah, and specifically God’s promise to him. Now obviously there is a unique picture taking place here in Jeremiah’s life. God is appointing him as a prophet, this time in this place for God’s purposes. At the same time, we know from all of scripture that many of the things that God is saying to Jeremiah here are true for everyone who’s a child of God. We know that God knew us before we were even formed in the womb. We know that God has known us from eternity past to eternity future. Psalm 139 makes that clear.
This Verse Reminds Us God Is With Us
Like Jeremiah, you may feel insufficient and inadequate, but God promises that He is with you to help, deliver, strengthen, and comfort you.
Romans 8 talks about how God has predestined us to be conformed with the likeness of his son. The whole picture that scripture gives us is of a God who loves us intimately before we were known by anyone else, even ourselves in that sense. And then you feel in this passage Jeremiah’s inadequacy and insecurities, saying, “I don’t even know how to speak, I’m so young.” And God says, “Your sufficiency is not based on what you bring to the table. It’s based on what I bring to the table for you and in you.”
So then he tells him in Jeremiah 1:8, “Don’t be afraid, because I am with you.” We see that promise to God’s people over and over and over again all throughout scripture. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid because I am with you. I am with you to help you, I am with you to …,” word here in Jeremiah 1:8, “is to deliver you,” declares the Lord. “I am with you to strengthen you, I am with you to uphold you, I am with you to comfort you.” These are the promises we see from God toward his people throughout His word.
Jeremiah 1:4–8 Reminds Us God Loves Us
I just wanna encourage you today, you as you’re listening to this, you are known by God. You are loved by God. For all who’ve trusted in Jesus and been reconciled to God, you are a child of God. And amidst your various inadequacies and insecurities, know this, God is with you. Right now God is with you to strengthen you, to deliver you, to help you, to comfort you, to uphold you in every way.
Jeremiah 1:4–8 Leads Us to Praise God
So we pray, oh God we praise you for your love for us. We praise you for your love for us before we were even born. We praise you for your knowledge of us.
I’m so overwhelmed even thinking about that in my own life right now in a fresh way, God thank you, thank you, thank you for the way you love me, David Platt. The way you knew me before I was even named by my parents. The way, not just me, but for those who are listening to this, for those you have reconciled to yourself, for those you’ve brought to faith and Christ, your children. God we praise you for your knowledge of us as our father in heaven. Thank you for your promises to us and for your promises to be with us. We praise you for your presence with us right now. I praise you for your presence with me right now.
We praise you for your presence. And we praise you for your promises to deliver, to help, to strengthen, guide, direct, lead, and comfort. All of these promises, we praise you. For that reality in Jeremiah’s life, the way that played out in his life in work and ministry, and we praise you for that promise through Christ in our lives.
We pray you would help us to live in light of this knowledge that you love us, you are with us and you will help us. By your promises you will give us everything we need. We can walk with you and glorify you and do all that you call us to do. All glory be to your name, oh God. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.