Day 3

The Call of Jeremiah

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan

Jeremiah 1:1-19, Jeremiah 2:1-37, Jeremiah 3:1-5, Isaiah 6:4-7, 1 Peter 1:21

BY Bailey Gillespie

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.

Post Comments (144)

144 thoughts on "The Call of Jeremiah"

  1. Sara Rojas says:

    I was struck at how God’s calling to Jeremiah wasn’t sugar coated at all. He tells him, ‘I’m sending you to do this really hard thing. People aren’t going to like it. They are going to be against you. You will need rescue. I will rescue you.’
    I feel like often when I hear or think about God’s calling being hard it’s kind of an abstract idea. Maybe the hard is glossed over to focus on the eventual beauty that is to come? Or maybe I just like to avoid the difficult so I don’t think about it. I am also pondering if rescue always means the end of hardship or just a support through it and what that looks like.

    So, no real resolution here, just thoughts. :)

    1. Valerie SatcherKing says:

      Love your thoughts! I know in my life sometimes he rescues me from a situation entirely, but then sometimes the rescue comes from changing my heart and protecting me from the hurt of a situation without actually physically removing me from it. The times he doesn’t physically remove me from it but guards me and protects me as I walk through it are powerful and build my faith in profound ways. Probably solely because they are so uncomfortable and I am fully aware I could not withstand what I am sitting in without his grace and love.

  2. Susan Crosby says:

    God chooses all of our callings. Designing us for a specific time and place for those callings. I sometimes want to say oh no not this calling Lord. Thank God He equips us for whatever He calls us to even if we are not so sure.

  3. Sarai Romero says:


  4. Sarai Romero says:

    God’s word is so relevant to how we live today and it’s soo beautiful to know he calls us back to him because he picked us before we ever knew him. He picked us bc those around us need him too and he wants us to be his mouthpiece.

  5. Julia M says:

    I’m in the middle of a transition, leaving urban education after 7 years to move by myself closer to my parents in the Midwest. It’s been scary to not know what is coming next in life- to have no clear career direction. It’s comforting to remember that knowing what’s next in life is NOT my job. Like Jeremiah, my role is to trust God and obey and know he leads us into our callings if we do just that.

  6. Alexandra Krubski says:

    I was not familiar with the word apostasy until I looked it up while reading the first chapters of Jeremiah. The internet yielded a definition of “an abandonment or renunciation.” God is clearly pointing out that his people have abandoned and renounced him, and this idea holds up the mirror of truth to my own life. Where have I abandoned or renounced my Lord? Even the most faithful among us are still human with all the trappings and impediments that make us such. This question is a call for self-reflection and examination, especially in lenten preparation for our promised salvation.
    God hints to this promise in the first chapter of Jeremiah with a vision of a branch of an almond tree (Jer. 1:11). I don’t know much about almond trees, so I looked it up. Almond trees are one of the earliest to bud, blossom, and bear fruit in the spring, this vision serves as a signal of God’s”divine haste” to follow through on his promise to his people. But why? The next few chapters of the book are spent with God describing the apostasy of his people. In chapter 3:5, God presents the dilemma. His people have not only turned from him, but they also refuse to admit that they have. So, will he save them, or won’t he? God did make a promise to humanity following the flood that he would not destroy humanity again, and he always keeps his promises. His people, us, have already abandoned him. They are not deserving of salvation for their sins are grievous – and yet he follows through on his promise of salvation anyway. If that is not love I don’t know what is.

    How can we walk in this path of righteous forgiveness? God clearly outlines in the first chapters of Jeremiah what he wants us to run towards and what he wants us to run from. He desires us to run from idols of our own making. From choices and behaviors that separate us from him. From our uncontrolled passions and desires. He wants us to run from anything that results in hopelessness and shame. His list of what he desires us to run to is equally clear. He wants us to seek him, to ask where he is. He wants us to run to his promise, to have faith to follow him into the wilderness, to love him as a bride. He desires us to run towards loyalty, hope, discipline, and the word.
    There is only a one-letter difference between grace and grave. God’s call to us through Jeremiah is a challenge to ask, “Where is the Lord?” Who or what are the false idols of our lives, the works of our own hands that we worship in acts of abandonment and renunciation of God? Just as a single letter in change can turn the grave into grace, the path laid out to grace in Jeremiah is simple and clear. Our thoughts become our words. Our words become our actions. Our actions become our reality. The Israelites Jeremiah is writing about lack a consistent, holy flow from their thoughts to their reality resulting in sin and separation from God. Lent is a beautiful opportunity to build up the walls of our inner sanctuary, to give our thoughts a home with the Holy Spirit where they can be evaluated and reflected upon before they spill out from our mouths and give shape to our reality. I was so inspired by reading the connection to Isaiah because the angel touches Isaiah’s mouth and removes his sin. But speaking from the Holy Spirit, we can avoid sinful words, and thus sinful actions, and thus a sinful reality, thus allowing us to be more holy, more like God.

    God can shape our reality if we create space to let him. As Bailey Gillepsie writes in the commentary, “The world holds seemingly endless possibilities, but this only crippled me in the decision-making process.” God sets parameters for how we think, speak, and act. He limits our possibilities by asking us to choose what will bear good fruit – love, joy, kindness, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – by limiting our choices He opens up limitless possibilities for us, but we have to let him in. We have to seek him. We have to ask, “Where are you Lord?” because in choosing the next right thing, “they will fight against you, but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you” (Jer. 1:19).

    1. Emma McPhail says:

      This reflection is SO good! Thank you for posting.

    2. Leslie Warnick says:

      Excellent! Thank you!

    3. J B says:

      I’m a little late to joining this group, this reflection was beautiful! Thank you for sharing

    4. Riley Kelly says:

      This was a beautiful reflection! Really helped me to understand the passage as well, thank you!

    5. Phoebe Ong says:

      Honestly, I was feeling a little lost after reading the passages.. I didn’t even know how to start my reflection – deciding which aspect of the passage to grasp first. But I’m so glad I managed to see your post in such a timely manner and loved the things that you highlighted. Thank you for sharing, God bless!

  7. Taylor Irby says:

    Speaking from a place of transition for our family, it is comforting to know that God created me and called me in the womb. Even though I cannot see ahead and “into the unknown” (gosh that song from Frozen 2 gets me every time!) God has the plan already figured out, to step and walk in obedience to Him.

  8. Stephie Gray says:

    I’ve never felt like God has spoken to me in any way and I’ve never felt like I know what my calling is. This story reassured me that God does have a calling for me – SPECIFICALLY for me. I might not know what it is but He chose me to accomplish it and He will be there right alongside me the entire way, supporting me whenever I need it.

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