Jeremiah 1:1-5 – The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, [2] to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. [3] It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

[4] Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

[5] “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

What is the point of God telling Jeremiah that He had chosen him before he was conceived? Is it mere fuel for those who want to score theological points regarding the sovereignty of God? Well, hardly, although it needs to be said that the theological point is there to be made. The point is related to Jeremiah’s reluctance to take the mantle of prophet upon his shoulders. Jeremiah does not want to take the mantle that God is putting on him because of his youth and his ignorance. God’s telling Jeremiah that he was chosen before he was conceived amounts to saying that youth or not, Jeremiah is here by God’s design and if God caused him to be born for this purpose then He certainly will equip him to do the work that God caused him to be born to do.

If God can cause a conception for the purpose of a call then He can certainly cause the one so born to accomplish the purposes for which he chose him. Youth and ignorance are not obstacles for such a God.

The issue for us is this: were you chosen by God from before the time of your conception to be the servant of God that you have become? Of course. And the commandments of God to you cannot be ignored or disobeyed because of youth or fear or any other thing. You are not an accident, no matter what the details of your birth are.

Any arguments you make regarding why you should not do what God is calling you to do amounts to saying that you know better than God what you are capable of. God’s response? I caused you to be conceived. I have chosen you for this purpose of mine. Don’t be so silly as to think that I have made a mistake or that I will not enable you to do it.

Jeremiah is not the exception to the way that God works. God does not tell us this so that we can make theological points with those who have different views than we do regarding the sovereignty of God. He tells us this to encourage us to do all that He calls us to do for Him. His commandments to us are not beyond us to keep – not because we are so capable, but because He is so sovereign. We look to Him when embarking on a task that He commands us to do. Accomplishing it is as possible as the One who calls us to do it.

Look up dear ones, look up. He who calls you is faithful and He will do it (I Thess. 5:23).