Jeremiah 1:5 – Jeremiah’s Call

By Wayne Jackson

Jeremiah, known as the “weeping prophet” (cf. Jeremiah 9:1), was one of God’s greatest spokesmen in the 7th century B.C. The main mission of this man of God was an attempt to turn rebellious Judah, the southern kingdom, from her course of apostasy and destruction. That failing, he would urge his people to submit to their deserved punishment, the Babylonian captivity. His message was considered unpatriotic, and he was viciously persecuted.

His call to the prophetic office is recorded at the beginning of the book that bears his name. The Lord declared: “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you; I have appointed you a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). There are several important truths within this passage that are worthy of notation.

First, the Lord claims that He formed the prophet’s body within his mother’s womb. Modern science has only begun to explore the mysteries of gestational development. One thing, however, is certain. There are laws by which the process is structured. There is much “design” characteristic of the intricate procedure, and such can only be explained on the basis of an Intelligent Planner. I have dealt with this matter in great detail in my book, {glossSub (“Courier Publications”,“The Human Body – Accident or Design?”)} (Chapter 6), and the reader is encouraged to read this material and be awed by the wonders of this divinely programmed system.

Second, this text is a fascinating commentary upon the foreknowledge of the Omniscient God. He is able to view the future, even to the extent of knowing a man’s character, and foretelling events that would transpire in that person’s life. However, simply because the Lord “knows” the future does not suggest that He robs man of his personal freedom of choice. The Scriptures show that each individual is personally responsible for his own choices (see 2 Cor. 5:10).

Third, this verse reveals that while Jeremiah was developing within the womb, God viewed him as a person. The personal pronouns can hardly be interpreted in any other light. “Before you came forth from the womb, I sanctified you.” The notion that the “fetus” is but a growing blob of tissue, and therefore may be disposed of at the convenience of some woman’s “choice” is absolutely void of merit and is a reflection of the barbarism that has become so common in this age of carnality.

Note these three features of Jeremiah 1:5 and make appropriate marginal references that will subsequently remind you of these important points.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.