Editor's note: Written during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysian marketplace writer Ivan Tan’s maiden book “What If You Could Complete Jeremiah in 8 Weeks?” goes through the whole book of Jeremiah one chapter at a time. Below is Day 1 for Week 1:
19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you…
25th February 2020 marked a new era in Malaysia and in some ways, for all who follow her development. The progress made thus far with the new government elected into office in May 2018 is less than promising but with heaps of dirt to clear from the past regime who ruled with corrupt practices, it would take an entire generation to weed out the bad DNA.
On the morning of the same day, after realising for a while that I too have wandered a little too far from the Word, and instead of heading straight into the laptop to begin rummaging through the web of my work, I’ve decided to spend some time reading the bible. If not for anything else, it at least allowed some sanity to take root after such a gallant display of wild fireworks ever since 2020 began. (hint: virus)
It wasn’t the easiest to reconnect due to the temporal absence that seemed to last an eternity but upon a closer grasp of His words in my heart, I asked the Lord to tell me His instructions. This led me to the book of Jeremiah.
From the introduction passage before Chapter 1, Jeremiah was described as a prophet who always wondered what his purpose was although he was called to be a prophet. Just on that alone, I thought it could be fitting for some of us since we also tend to wonder ourselves what on earth are we created for.
Reading the whole of Chapter 1, it was revealed that Jeremiah served under three different kings, from King Josiah to the two sons who later succeeded him.
Chapter 1 also tells us that Jeremiah had been called by God to do His work as a prophet. Perhaps it was Jeremiah’s honesty that made him the perfect candidate when he actually uttered out in verse 6, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But God had already mapped out the certainty right from Jeremiah’s mother’s womb, and ladies and gentlemen, this is also how our lives have been written and formed by God, well before we even came in contact with our parents.
To say that we must search our souls and find our purpose means we are making an attempt to connect with what God has planned for us. But to inspect His words for instructions so we know what we ought to do— that is providing our quest with a definitive compass so that we may find the answers to what we were born with and destined for. And having read the entire Chapter 1, I have come to this point knowing that my next steps, and every step in fact, after this would rely only on this one pertinent call.
18 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.
Whatever it is you are up against today or tomorrow, know that the Lord has made you “a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land”. And when they summon battles against you, remember that God had already declared that you will be protected, “They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you.”
Turbulence? Coronavirus? Locusts? Political Manoeuvres? No matter the fight, God has assured us that we will not be overcome and in the worst-case scenario, with His outstretched arms, He will rescue us.
(The book is available in paperback and e-book format on Amazon.)
To be continued...