Called by God
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
The book of Jeremiah is written during one of the saddest times in Jewish history. It records a period where the people of Israel turned away from the God of Israel and chose to worship false gods, falling perilously into idolatry. It is against this backdrop, amid a nation of people without a righteous ruler or King that God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet. The one whose name meant Exalt Jehovah. He would devote his lifetime to this calling.
Jeremiah CALLED to be a Prophet
Verse 5 reads "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Scripture notes that Jeremiah was appointed a prophet to the nations and that the decision to do so happened well before he was born. The LORD knew exactly who he would use to deliver His message to His people and beyond. He had chosen Jeremiah even before he was formed in his mother’s womb. Often times we’re rendered ineffective in the ministry to which God calls us simply because we do not realize that God in His divine will, appoints each of us to do His work. We only need to listen to God for his gentle prompting voice, leading us to a specific place and time.
Once CALLED, the excuses begin
Verse 6 says "Alas, Sovereign Lord ," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." It wasn’t too long after God CALLED Jeremiah that he began to offer reasons why he wouldn’t fit the bill! He was too young. He didn’t know how to speak. Sound familiar? Moses had similar doubts in his ability to communicate effectively. “What shall I say?” “Suppose they do not believe me?” “I am slow of speech and slow of tongue”. We use the same excuses today and they hinder us from sharing the gospel. Just as God gave Moses convincing proofs, so He has given us the evidences necessary to convince the honest and sincere person. The Word of God is able to produce faith – “17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”. Romans 10:17
The CALLED must fight their fears
In Verse 8 we read Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Jeremiah thought he was not able to serve God as His prophet but the LORD told him he must obey. He should not be afraid because God was with him. God proved He was with Jeremiah by showing him two prophetic visions. One of the almond tree and the other of a pot of boiling water leaning over. Each foretold a truth about the future of God’s nation, the first regarding God’s speed just as the almond tree which is an early bearer of nuts and of troubled times ahead coming from the territories to the North of Judah tipping into Judah as the pot of boiling water. These visions strengthened Jeremiah and allowed him to obey God. Once we place our hope in Christ Jesus it allows us to obey Him whole-heartedly. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Prayer: Almighty Father, help us to understand that you appoint each of us to service in your Kingdom. Keep us from making up excuses. Allow us to be obedient to your will. Amen
Thought for the Day: “God’s ways are always right. They may not make sense to us. They may be mysterious, inexplicable, difficult and even painful. But they are right”.
Jacob Koshy Epiphany MTC, NY.