Pinhas
For the week of July 3, 1999 / 19 Tammuz 5759
Torah: Bemidbar / Numbers 25:10-30:1
Haftarah: I Kings 18:46-19:21/ Replaced by: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3

The Call of God

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" (Jeremiah 1:4,5).

There is probably nothing greater that defines the human race than the call of God. If we were actually products of chance, it would be up to us to figure out why we are here on earth. It also wouldn’t matter what conclusions we would come to.

But this is not necessary, because there is a voice outside of ourselves that speaks. There is someone greater than ourselves who has made himself known to us and gives us definition and direction.

It is the call of God upon a person’s life that provides him or her with the greatest opportunity to live life to its fullest. Instead of struggling in the turmoil of confusion and purposelessness, the call of God draws us away from the selfishness and isolation that seems to so easily consume us.

If you know the story of Jeremiah’s life you would know that his following of God’s call was far from easy. The leading of God put him in direct opposition with the society he lived in and got him in great trouble with the authorities. But it was his life that was full of truth. Gripped by God, he found himself understanding the times in which he lived, while others denied their desperate state.

Heeding the call of God, therefore, may bring us trouble and pain. Could this be why so few hear God’s voice?

You may consider Jeremiah’s call unique, claiming that the kind of interaction he had with the Creator was something only for a few select individuals a very long time ago. But is that really true?

Throughout the scriptures God came to all sorts people in many different ways. Can we not see that the Bible is trying to show us that God encounters people? We may not have an experience exactly like that of Jeremiah. After all not everyone is called to do the kind of thing that Jeremiah did.

But is it for us to try to figure out ourselves what our lives are to be like? Or is it for God to provide us with the direction we need.

Is he calling you? Are you listening?

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