The word fortified relates to being provided with defensive works, as protection against attack. Jeremiah’s call came at a time when he was young, insecure and worried about his ability to influence his people. God encouraged Jeremiah of the strength and authority that he had invested in him.
God spoke to Jeremiah concerning what he was called to do. God touched Jeremiah’s mouth and gave him the power to proclaim his word to the people. “See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10).
Jeremiah’s battle was not against flesh and blood, but against systems and structures which stood against the laws of God. The Israelites had transgressed against God and so they would be taken into captivity. God anointed prophets who were his messengers to the people, to warn of impending danger and judgment. The prophets were often held in high esteem, because of their relationship with God. At other times they were hated, because they had to relay messages of judgement, which the people didn’t always want to hear.
Jeremiah was one of those prophets, who faced much prosecution from those in authority and also false prophets. These prophets prophesied lies to the people and were angry, when Jeremiah’s message contradicted theirs. At the start of his ministry, God warned and encouraged Jeremiah about what he would experience. “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:19).
God needed Jeremiah to be assured, that the word which he was sending him to proclaim, would not cause him to be a favourite of Kings, officials and even Priests. God wanted Jeremiah to know that he would protect him against their attacks. The attacks were sure to come, but would not prevail because God would deliver.