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 (143)

143 thoughts on "The Call of Jeremiah"

  1. Molly M says:

    There have been so many times in my life that I have felt God calling on me. It doesn’t have to be something monumental. It could just be that little nudge to ask a friend how they’re doing or to surprise someone you love with something to brighten their day. It’s these little moments that can totally transform someone and I love knowing that God has picked me to help with his message.

  2. Sarah Bernard says:

    This day’s study is so reassuring for those of us staring down uncertainties like layoffs, changing industries, and lives put on hold. I’m so thankful for God’s promise that he has already written His plan for my life, and this, too, was in that book. Jeremiah’s example is so helpful in calming fears and anxieties. Praying for you all!

    1. Jennifer Harink says:

      Amen!

  3. Lisa Misenhimer says:

    For my people have committed two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and they have made cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that hold no water. Lord help me see my broken cisterns and and turn instead to your living water.

  4. Destinee Rea says:

    Love these reflections. The other thing I am thinking of is the reality that Jeremiah was still human in the midst of being called. Which meant he still feel short. I Imagine, he felt what a lot of us feel as believers, and imposter syndrome.

  5. Arre Fuller says:

    How encouraging to read that God not only empowered Jeremiah by saying “you can do it” but also “I will do it!” What a powerful reminder to all Christians. If God has called us to something he will give us the words, the ways – and because He is all powerful He will accomplish His work. We will just be lucky if we get to take part – and once we’re called that is up to us.

  6. Kate Nunn says:

    Right now my calling is to realize God made me to exalt Jesus. I have spent way too much time trying to find my purpose and thinking it’s all about me. God created me to do something great. In reality God created me to point to Jesus. Jesus did it. I’m here simply as a mirror to his grace. Not as an instrument of my own power

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