Read Jeremiah 1:1–5. What does this tell us about Jeremiah’s calling?
Just like other prophets in the Old Testament (and like Paul in the New; see Gal. 1:1, Rom. 1:1), Jeremiah didn’t waffle in regard to who called him. He was very clear in these verses and, in fact, all through the book of Jeremiah, that what he was speaking was “the word of the Lord,” which had come to him.
No doubt this fervent conviction is what enabled him to press on ahead despite vehement opposition and toil, suffering, and trials. Jeremiah’s calling happened in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, dated to about 627 or 626 b.c. We do not know the exact year the prophet was born or the exact age he began his ministry. In his mind, though, as we will see, he deemed himself a child, someone too young for the task given him. Read Jeremiah 1:4, 5.
What assurance and comfort should he have gotten from those words?
God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet before his birth. God set him aside from the moment of his conception for this prophetic role. The words translated “I sanctified you” (vs. 5, NKJV) come from a verb that means “to be hallowed,” “to be holy,” and to “sanctify,” among other things. It definitely has a sacred and religious connotation to it, one tied also with the sanctuary service itself. Indeed, the word for “sanctuary” comes from the same root word.
The idea contained in it is that something or someone is “set apart for a holy purpose.” This is what God had planned for Jeremiah, even before his birth. These texts don’t teach preexistence or predestination; they teach, instead, God’s foreknowledge.
God knows the end from the beginning. What comfort can we draw from this amid the trials that we inevitably face?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 1 – The Prophetic Calling of Jeremiah