Young Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1) | Story

How amazing it must have sounded for God to speak so audibly to one so unprepared, to feel the hand of God on your face. It’s often quoted verse about youth comes is shown in the proper context, that being the commissioning of this voice for God, by God, and to serve the people of God.

This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.

Main passage: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Bible retelling of Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah was still young, still growing, all arms and legs, with little experience of the world. His father had not yet talked of a wife, and no rabbi would have let him speak in the synagogue. I guess he was a teenager when he heard the Lord quite clearly; God’s voice both unfamiliar and yet instantly known:

“I chose you,” the voice came, and Jeremiah’s world stopped; life would never be the same. He was chosen. “I set you apart, long before you were born,” came the voice, “before your bones formed in your mother’s body, I had appointed you as my prophet!”

Jeremiah stood up and shook his head, a prophet? And now? Now, when the faith of the people was so weak? Now, when the old ways of following the Israelite God were so ignored? Who would want that call? It was not a job one would volunteer for. The people would not welcome a prophet from God happily.

Jeremiah opened his mouth and roared, “Whoa! No!” He stumbled with words. How could he refuse God? What could he say? He was not used to speaking with important people, let alone the God of the whole universe! “Oh no, Lord God! Look, I don’t know how to speak. I am only a youth,” he stuttered.

But God roared back to him, his voice filling Jeremiah’s ears and vibrating all the air around him.
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ Jeremiah. You will be my messenger, going to everyone I send you to and speaking whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to rescue you.”

Then a hand appeared before him, a finger stretched towards his face, and Jeremiah was in such shock he stood frozen to the spot. The finger brushed up against his lips, and the voice of God whispered gently to him;
“I have now filled your mouth with my words. I have placed you over nations and kingdoms with the authority to uproot and tear down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant.”

Jeremiah stood for a long time in the room after the voice had disappeared. Why did God choose a teenager and not a man with a position? He stood thinking about where God might send him, who he might be afraid of, and how God would rescue him. He stood thinking about what might be torn down and what might be built. What would God show him as a prophet?

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