The Scriptorium

Called

As God called Jeremiah, He calls us. Jeremiah 1.1-8

Jeremiah Called: Jeremiah 1-3 (1)

Pray Psalm 85.7-9.

Show us Your mercy, LORD,
And grant us Your salvation.
I will hear what God the LORD will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

Sing Psalm 85.7-9.
(Lyons: O Worship the King)
Lord, show us Your love; restore us, we pray!
And help us to hear the words that You say.
Speak peace to Your people; in truth let us stand.
We fear You; let glory and grace fill our land.

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 1.1-8.

Prepare.

1. How long had God been preparing for Jeremiah’s ministry?

2. What did God promise Jeremiah?

Meditate.
Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah (v. 1), but probably not the Hilkiah who found the Law of Moses and delivered it to Josiah (2 Kgs. 22.8-10). Rather, he was from a family of priests which had long ago come into disfavor in Israel and were banished by Solomon, at the beginning of his reign, to work their “own fields” within the tribal lands of Benjamin in Anathoth (1 Kgs. 2.26, 27). We may assume, I think, that this effectively kept them out of any role in the temple in Jerusalem. They were effectively, priests in name only, and only by virtue of their descent from Aaron.

Jeremiah thus would have begun his work in Jerusalem with one strike against him, and his ministry goes downhill from there. But the fact that God called him to this work out of banishment and shame signals the grace of God to him, and points forward to His grace to His people, who will be banished during the course of this book, but with the promise of glorious redemption and restoration.

Jeremiah began his ministry in the thirteenth year of King Josiah, who was the last king of Judah to find favor with the Lord (v. 2). His work would last for nearly forty years, up to the deportation of the Jews to Babylon.

That’s a long time to be ignored, despised, rejected, persecuted, and – faithful.

It is important to keep in mind that, during the first eighteen years of his ministry, the nation of Judah was experiencing something of a revival under Josiah (cf. 2 Kgs. 22, 23). Even so, the accumulated sins of the people had already secured the judgment of God (2 Kgs. 23.26, 27), a judgment Jeremiah would restate and reinforce.

In the thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign, God came to Jeremiah in Anathoth and called him to serve as “a prophet to the nations” (v. 5). This had been the Lord’s plan for Jeremiah before he was even conceived in the womb. He was but a youth when God called him, and so doubted that he could fulfill such a role (v. 6). But, after a mild rebuke (v. 7), God restated His call to Jeremiah, admonishing him not to be afraid of the people he was going to serve (v. 8), a warning which makes sense given Jeremiah’s background and, even more pointedly, the message he proclaimed. God promised to be with him in his ministry and to deliver him, which suggests that some need for deliverance lay just ahead.

God’s call to Jeremiah is a prototype of His calling to all of us who believe in Jesus. We are called to the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12) for the purpose of making disciples as we are going (Matt. 28.18-20). We must offer no excuses, fear no obstacles, and trust in Him Who is with us always, even our Lord Jesus Christ. The road ahead for us may be as bumpy as it was for Jeremiah; but God Who has called us faithful, and He will fulfill His expectations of us as we faithfully obey Him (1 Thess. 5.24).

Reflect.
1. In what ways is your calling like that of Jeremiah?

2. What does God say to the excuses we offer for not taking up our calling each day?

3. How should God’s promise to be with us encourage us in our calling?

The Lord delivers, however, not so that the prophet will be free of persecutions and difficulties, for we read that he was severely afflicted. Instead, the Lord liberates one who suffers everything to overcome these tribulations rather than yielding to them. Jerome (347-420), Six Books on Jeremiah 1.4.1-2

You have called me to make disciples, Lord, so help today as I…

Pray Psalm 85.1-6, 10-13.

Recall the faithfulness of God to Jeremiah, and the promise of Jesus to be with you always. Commit your day to Him as His servant and witness.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 85.1-6, 10-13 (Lyons: O Worship the King)
O Lord, You Your favor showed to Your land;
Your people You saved by Your mighty hand.
Their sins You forgave, all Your wrath You withdrew;
You turned back the anger which to them was due.

Restore us, O God, renew us in peace,
And cause all Your wrath against us to cease.
Will You evermore all Your wrath to us show?
Revive us that we may Your joy again know.

In Jesus God’s grace and truth are combined;
Both goodness and peace in Him do we find.
Truth springs from the earth as He walks in our midst,
And righteousness flows from the heav’ns as a gift.

The Lord by His grace will give what is good;
Our land will produce abundance of food.
And righteousness will go before the Lord’s face,
And make of His footsteps a way in this place.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore