This was the message which came to me from the LORD: "Before you were born I knew you and prepared you for your work. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations." But I (Jeremiah) said: "O Lord the LORD! I do not know how to speak in public, for I am only a youth." Then the LORD said to me: "Do not say, 'I am only a youth,' for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to protect you."
Then the LORD stretched out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me: "See. I have put my words in your mouth, and I have appointed you this day over the nations and kingdoms, to tear up and break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."
Again this message came from the LORD, "What do you see?" I answered, "A great kettle brewing hot, and it faces from the north." Then the LORD said to me: "From the north trouble is brewing for all the people of the land. For I am about to call all the kingdoms of the north, and they shall come and each set up his throne at the entrance to the gates of Jerusalem and around its walls and against all the cities of Judah. And I will pass judgment upon Jerusalem and these cities for all their wickedness, for they have been disloyal to me and offered sacrifices to other gods and have worshipped that which their own hands have made.
"Therefore make ready, rise, speak to them all that I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for see, I myself will make you this day like a fortified city, and like a bronze wall against the rulers of Judah, its leaders, its priests, and the common people. Though they fight against you, they will not overcome you, for I am with you to protect you."