DO YOU ever get discouraged and feel like quitting?—* Many do. Young Jeremiah did. However, he did not let what others said or did cause him to give up. Let’s talk about how Jeremiah was someone special to God, yet even he felt like quitting.
Before Jeremiah was born, the true God, Jehovah, chose him to be a prophet to warn the people that they were not pleasing God. Do you know what Jeremiah told Jehovah years later?— “I actually do not know how to speak, for I am but a boy.”
How do you think Jehovah answered Jeremiah?— In a kind but firm way, he said: “Do not say, ‘I am but a boy.’ But to all those to whom I shall send you, you should go; and everything that I shall command you, you should speak. Do not be afraid.” Why not? “I am with you to deliver you,” Jehovah said.—Jeremiah 1:4-8.
Still, as noted before, Jeremiah later became discouraged. This is because he was ridiculed for serving God. ‘Everyone laughs at me all day long and makes fun of me,’ he said. So he decided to quit. “I am not going to make mention of [Jehovah], and I shall speak no more in his name,” he said. But did he really quit?
‘In my heart,’ Jeremiah said, ‘the word of Jehovah was like a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I got tired of holding in.’ (Jeremiah 20:7-9) Even though Jeremiah at times became afraid, his love for Jehovah would not let him quit. Let’s see how Jeremiah was protected because he did not quit.
Jehovah told Jeremiah to warn the people that Jerusalem would be destroyed if they did not change their bad ways. When Jeremiah gave that warning, the people became angry and said: “To this man the judgment of death belongs.” Jeremiah, however, pleaded with them to “obey the voice of Jehovah.” Then he said: ‘You should know that if you put me to death, you are killing an innocent man, for God sent me to speak to you.’ Do you know what happened then?—
The Bible says: “The princes and all the people said to the priests and to the prophets: ‘There is no judgment of death belonging to this man, for it was in the name of Jehovah our God that he spoke to us.’” So when Jeremiah did not let fear cause him to quit, Jehovah protected him. Let’s see now what happened to Urijah, another prophet of Jehovah, who acted quite differently.
‘Urijah kept prophesying against Jerusalem with the same words Jeremiah did,’ the Bible says. But when King Jehoiakim became angry with Urijah, do you know what Urijah did?— He became afraid, quit doing God’s will, and ran off to Egypt. So the king sent men to find him there and to bring him back. When they did, do you know what the bad king did?— He killed Urijah with a sword!—Jeremiah 26:8-24.
Why would you say that Jeremiah was protected by Jehovah and Urijah was not?— Well, Jeremiah may have been afraid, as Urijah was, but Jeremiah did not give up serving Jehovah and run away. He did not quit. What lesson would you say we can learn from the example of Jeremiah?— That sometimes we may find it hard to do what God says, but we should always trust in and obey him.
If you are reading with children, the dash provides a reminder to stop and direct the question to them.