Getting Ready

Some athletes have bizarre pre-game rituals that get them ready for a game. During the 1998 World Cup, the French team believed that their winning streak was tied to one player kissing another’s shaved head before each game (Sarah Eberspacher, “7 Bizarre Pre-game Rituals from around the World, September 2, 2013). Other teams avoid wearing certain colors or eating certain foods. In the case of the prophet Jeremiah, we read in the Bible that he had to prepare in a different way. In Jeremiah 1:17, Jeremiah is given an important command: “Get yourself ready!” God wants Jeremiah to know the challenges he will face and be prepared for them. How does he help get Jeremiah ready? “Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them” (v. 17). There is no better solution to our fear of humans than an appropriate fear of God. If we don’t trust that God is all-powerful, that he has called us to proclaim his truth, and that he will ultimately rescue us, we will be easily swayed by fear of the threats in front of our face. God makes it clear with Jeremiah: “Fear me, recognize me as the ultimate source of power and strength, remember my sovereignty.”