Notice how differently Jeremiah responds “to the word of Lord” than Isaiah responded when seeing God surrounded by angels’ praise (see Isaiah 6:1-10). God tells Jeremiah that the Lord foreknew Jeremiah’s prophetic purposes before he was conceived (Jeremiah 1:5). Unlike Isaiah, who experienced God’s majesty and responded to God’s call for a mouthpiece with a willing heart, Jeremiah is unsure how God could use a prophet with speaking problems and inexperience (Jeremiah 1:6). This shows us, along with other important info, that it pleases God to use very different people to speak the truth. As we will see, Jeremiah’s life will be much more bound up with his message than Isaiah. While reading Isaiah, very little info about Isaiah’s life was given, but Jeremiah’s struggles will be part and parcel of how God speaks to Judah.
Though I have emphasized their differences, I want to note that both prophets have their mouths “touched” by God (technically an angel of God touches Isaiah’s mouth) to purify, prepare, and enable their words as messengers of heaven to Israel. No one speaks for God unless God empowers, and despite Jeremiah’s hesitation, God intends this work to be done for Jeremiah. I look forward to showing you how God enables Jeremiah not “to be terrified by them” and more importantly to “stand up and say to them whatever I command you” (Jeremiah 1:17-19).