7b For thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
Jeremiah, a fearful, reluctant young prophet, is here being encouraged and instructed by the LORD. Jeremiah’s protest was overruled and his divine commission reiterated. It had pleased God to employ a weak and timid Jeremiah to dispense His Word. It is not a man’s self-confidence or volunteerism that matters in the LORD’s work, but his divine call and commission. No one should thrust himself into the role of a minister of the Word. To take upon oneself the office of the ministry is to be brazen, presumptuous and irreverent in the work of the LORD. Many of the men who filled the prophetic office of Israel were men whom God had not called. The LORD spoke concerning them, “I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you” (Jeremiah 27:15). Hananiah was a pretentious prophet whom the Lord rebuked through Jeremiah, saying, “Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie” (Jeremiah 28:15). When a man enters the sacred office of a preacher without being commissioned by God, he is akin to being a deceiver who misleads the people with a self-conceived message that destroys the souls of the people.
Here, upon reiterating His divine call, the LORD stipulates Jeremiah’s task as a prophet of Judah. Firstly, he was to go to all that the LORD would send him. Everyone whom God calls will have a divinely appointed place and people to minister His truth. The LORD’s servant must comply with the divine deployment (wherever it may be), even though he would experience hatred, persecution and even death in the course of his ministry. The choice of where one ought to minister is not a personal prerogative. This great lesson can be seen from Jonah’s story; the LORD will certainly reprimand any who neglects his appointed place of ministry.
Here the LORD also delineates Jeremiah’s message to the people. The LORD demanded, “whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak”. The LORD’s messenger is not allowed to speak his mind, but to declare only that which the LORD has revealed as His Word. No preacher should ever craft a sermon to please his own or the hearers’ thoughts and feelings. God’s charge is: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).