The Call of Jeremiah
Open Your Bible
Jeremiah 1:1-19, Jeremiah 2:1-37, Jeremiah 3:1-5, Isaiah 6:4-7, 1 Peter 1:21
Jodi was one of those fortunate people who knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her goal was a beautiful one: to be a clinical dietitian who could bring nutritional education to people in impoverished cultures. Have you known someone like that? I love and admire those people, but I’m definitely not one of them. Besides a love of spending time outdoors, I never had a clear vision for my life and was a bit paralyzed throughout college, not knowing what career path to choose or direction to take. The world held seemingly endless possibilities, but this only crippled me in the decision-making process.
Jeremiah’s calling was clearly and specifically communicated to him. Scripture tells us that long before he was even born, God intended to use him as His prophetic instrument. “I chose you before I formed you in the womb,” God declared. “I set you apart before you were born” (Jeremiah 1:5). Commanded to warn the people of Judah against apostasy, Jeremiah received instructions for his calling very early on in life—a clear purpose with detailed words from the Lord for the salvation and flourishing of a specific people.
Even so, Jeremiah protested, saying, “Oh no, Lord God! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth” (v.6). Wouldn’t we react the same way? Imagine how intimidating it must’ve been to be chosen as God’s mouthpiece for the purpose of declaring judgment and punishment on the sins of the nations. Not only was the job description itself daunting, but the guy delivering it was still really young and without much life experience. But God reassured Jeremiah again and again that He would be there to rescue him (vv.7–8, 19).
As comforting as God’s reassurance must have been, the call to be His prophet was in no way an easy job for Jeremiah. On the other hand, what a blessing and relief to have God specifically communicate His calling for you at such a young age. Jeremiah knew what it would look like to obey God’s will. Now he just had to walk in it.
What about you? Where do you find comfort in the story of Jeremiah’s calling?
God chooses all of our callings. Designing us to carry out a unique purpose at a specific time and place, He equips us with gifts to help bring restoration to the world (Hebrews 13:21). How exciting is that? Even when we shudder in our boots a little, like Jeremiah did, we can rest assured knowing that He who calls is with us.