Jeremiah 1.18-19 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
God chose that his servants would speak words that are in opposition to the popular paths of the world. This means that a Christian must be willing to feel embattled all the time. Having “the kings of Judah, it’s officials, its priests and the people of the land” all “fight against you,” is an amazing set of circumstances. To have to “stand against the whole land,” and to have everyone be against you … this requires toughness of an iron pillar and a bronze wall, battered and dented but not crushed (2 Cor 4.8).
“In the world you shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer! I have overcome the world,” Jesus said to the disciples (John 16.33), and I guess, says to me, too. You will have tribulation. They will fight against you. But I will be with you till the end. I will be with you. The only promise God makes throughout. To Moses, to Joshua, to Jeremiah, to the disciples … and to me, and all who will obey his call to take his word and “say to them whatever I command you” (Jer 1.7). Moses was told to confront the Pharaoh. Joshua, to confront Jericho and the Anakites of Hebron and everyone in between. Jeremiah, to be a bronze wall that everyone in the land will attack. The disciples, to make disciples of all the nations. The only promise: “I will be with you.” And what a promise it is!
O Lord, this sense of feeling embattled all the time, the need to “stand against the whole land,” requires of me strength I don’t have. Fortify me today, as you have all your servants for the task ahead of them. The message of God’s forgiveness is good news to the humble, but a message of offense to the proud. The rulers of the culture, opinion-makers of our age fight against the Gospel message of divine amnesty to all rebels. They find it irritating and offensive. Help all your children continue to lovingly to share this message of the Gospel. Regardless of the response of our listeners, you call us to “go to everyone I send you to,” without fear. We have your Word; you send us to share it. As we go, we know you will be with us!