The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“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.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
(Jeremiah 1:4-8, NIV)
Jeremiah, also known as the “weeping prophet” was called by God to be a prophet when he was very young, probably still a teenager. He was known as the weeping prophet because he was deeply saddened by the sins and sufferings of his people. According to Jewish tradition, he wrote the Book of Jeremiah, the Books of Kings, and the Book of Lamentations, which expresses his sorrows over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians in 526 BC. He tried to warn the people of God’s impending judgment on them, but they would not heed his warning.
“I will pronounce my judgments on my people
because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made.”
(Jeremiah 1:16, NIV)
God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” To set something apart is to sanctify it. Before Jeremiah was born, God chose him and consecrated him for ministry. Similarly, in John 15:16, Jesus says to His disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.” This promise is for every member of His family. We may be born in families we did not choose, but God chose us before we were born. He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. It is our choice whether we answer the call.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
(Ephesians 1:3-10, NIV)
Do you feel called by God? Are you answering the call?
Lord, you knew me intimately before You formed me in the womb and set me apart for a purpose. I ask You to open my heart, ears, and eyes and to reveal my individual calling to me so I can respond to Your call on my life daily.