7a But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child.
The LORD is teaching Jeremiah, the young preacher, to overcome his timidity, sense of inadequacy and reluctance to enter the ministry to which he had been called. His response to the LORD’s call was: “Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6). Jeremiah feared that his inexperience and lack of knowledge would render him ineffectual in the ministry.
Such a situation is common even today in the church. The sense of unworthiness has caused some to dread the duties and responsibilities of the ministry. They become timorous and unwilling to accept any duty in the church. The feeling of incompetency has compelled many to decline responsibilities in the Lord’s work.
However, we notice that the LORD’s word to Jeremiah (who feared the call of duty) was: “Say not, I am a child”. The LORD would not let Jeremiah sink into despondency and remain unfruitful in the ministry. The LORD graciously addressed his fear and prevented him from further sliding into his sense of inadequacy.
God’s word to the prophet – “Say not, I am a child” – implies that Jeremiah should not linger any more. He must ignore his own feelings and get into action, just as the LORD had spoken to him. He must believe that the LORD would be able to supply him with wisdom and strength fully equal to the task he had been commissioned to do.
The LORD is able to take a timid man, such as Jeremiah, and equip him for His work so that the glory may be His. By calling and empowering such “ill-adapted tools” for the accomplishment of His purposes, the LORD manifests His great wisdom and power. When God takes a man, who is plagued by a debilitating sense of utter inadequacy, and accomplishes His design through him, all human reasoning shall be thrashed and the magnificence of His wisdom and power shall be exalted.
Many children and young people have been called by the LORD to accomplish His purposes. Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Timothy, and many more had been called and separated by the LORD from their childhood or youth, in order to accomplish His great purposes which far surpassed their stature. No one is too small that God cannot use him.