"Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Before I formed yo in the womb I knew you, & before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'" - Jeremiah 1:4-5
Every four years in this wonderful country, we are tasked with voting for a president. The actual vote for me is not very hard. I walk into the fire station near my house (or the sheriff sub-station if voting early), lay down my identification, & then push a few buttons to choose the person I believe is best qualified & equipped to serve. The voting is the simple part, but living through the two years of build-up to that final vote can wear anyone out.
It is in that extended preliminary that we have to listen to speech after speech, debate after debate, attack & defense, accusation & refutation, statement & clarification & clarification of the clarification. So many words are spit out into the atmosphere that if they were all aimed in the same direction & spoken at the same time, they would knock our planet out of orbit. So much information is related & studied that one person could not begin to know all of it in one lifetime. So much scrutiny is narrowed on the candidates & their families that it would be the more logical stance to run screaming away from any mention that anyone would want to run for the office. In the face of this gargantuan amount of data, news, information, gossip, & even slander, how do you make your decision?
You notice that I am not giving you any hint as to whom you should choose. I will not even guide you toward any political party. I just want to draw your attention to the effort we, as a country, take to make this one choice, & ask how you make yours. Do you study & fret & weigh every option you can find? Do you just go along with one political party because you have always done so? Do you just pick the one that looks like a president? Or do you flip a coin, hoping God will let it land on the right one? I ask, because the choice is important. God lets us know that in choosing people, the decision is always important.
Our Father shows us this even in picking His prophets. He even goes to the trouble of making up His mind long before the man is of the right age to serve, even before his is born. Think how important Jeremiah is to God, how essential he is to serve as God's mouth-piece in his day & time, that God would make up His mind while Jeremiah was still incubating in his mother. God would wait to accomplish His goals. He would wait to have His word spoken for Jeremiah. God would even steer Jeremiah's life to make sure he was prepared & ready to do the job.
This should not come as any surprise to us. God does many such miraculous things to make sure His people receive His words of admonition & forgiveness. He will even move time & space to see to it that those whom He has chosen to be His sons & daughters are given salvation & adoption into His family. He even makes sure we know to what extent He will go to save us when He says, "When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5).
So did God choose you because you were the best qualified to be His child? Were you the best equipped to serve Him here on earth & there in heaven? Were you just so unique & special that to be without you would have been a burden? Are you important in some hidden way that you don't even have in inkling of? NO. He just loves you. He chose you because He loves & cherishes you, even though you don't have anything special about you. Even though what you do will never be able to qualify for His family, or deserve His affection. Even though you (& I & everyone else) think & do numerous things each day to make us unworthy, unwilling, & totally unacceptable, God, our heavenly Father, chooses, takes, & cleans us up. His love & care makes us worthy & equipped, just like Jeremiah.
The prophet even lets us know how this works:
"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, & whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.' Then the Lord put out His hand & touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, 'Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations & over kingdoms, to pluck up & to break down, to destroy & to overthrow, to build & to plant'" (Jeremiah 1:6-10).
God makes His decision & then gives us His word. His Word makes us His own children. His Word makes us qualified. His Word makes us acceptable. His Word forgives, redeems, & transforms us into who we should be, & not as we are. His Word, who was with Him in the beginning & is God Himself, is Jesus Christ, the living Word, who lived, was crucified, & lives again forever. He is the One who makes us able to be loved, & chosen.
In His Peace, alone,
Pastor Red Etzel