Life was tough for Judah—the Southern Kingdom of Israel—when Jeremiah was alive. The nation was at the mercy of three superpowers: Assyria, Egypt, and Babylon. Jeremiah, probably in his late teenage years at the time of his call, was being asked to speak out a message that wouldn’t be welcomed. His mission, if he chose to accept it, would be difficult and dangerous, because he was called to “uproot” as well as to build up. He’d been raised as “the son of a preacher man,” in the home of a priest, but nothing could have prepared him for the tough task ahead—except that God had called him. The conversation between Jeremiah and God follows a familiar pattern we often see in the Bible, which, put simply, goes like this:
God: Do this.
Human: I can’t, and here’s why.
God: I’ll help you, and I’ll be with you.
Moses and Gideon had similar conversations with God (Ex. 3:10–14; Judg. 6:14–16). But the Lord also assured Jeremiah that he was known by God. Not only do we know God by faith, but He knows us completely—our fragilities, fears, and failures. Even as He knows all of that, He still calls us to live significantly for Him. But that doesn’t mean what He asks us to do will lead us to an easy life. In a world that is consumed by self-improvement and the pursuit of the good life, the call of God is not just to blessing and a better existence, but it may be a disruptive call that is costly and dangerous, as the disciples of Jesus were to discover. But that’s our mission, if we choose to accept it. Will we?
Pray: Lord, Your call is not to make me happy but to make me fit for Your purposes. If that involves disruption, help me to agree. Amen.