Finding purpose, following the call
Friday, July 22, 2011 at 3:35PM
Shema Yisrael in Parasha , appointment, call, composer, creator, job, knew, know, purpose, womb

Parasha Mattot (Numbers 30:2-32:42, Jeremiah 1:1-2:3, Matthew 5:33-37)

Have you ever had those days when you wondered where you were going in life? I have had days when I wondered why I was even put on this earth. Wouldn’t it be nice if God could just spell it out for us like he did for the prophet Jeremiah?

God tapped Jeremiah on the shoulder at the tender age of 24 and said: I have appointed you to be a prophet. Notice the past tense, because this isn’t a new idea. 

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you;                                    Before you were born, I separated you for myself.”

When a composer creates a piece of music, he usually begins with a basic idea of what he wants it to sound like. Then he spends hours and hours pouring over each note in each chord between each instrument line to make sure it all works together in beautiful harmony. God is our composer. 

“For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb," wrote the Psalmist. "I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders—I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; My days had been shaped before any of them existed. (Ps. 139:13-16)”

Composers and other artists know their creations well; God is the master artist. He designed us with a purpose in mind. There is a reason for your existence! Knowing him intimately—as he knows us intimately—will help reveal your purpose.

On the days when all we can mutter is “Seriously?”, we can remember Jeremiah. God told the prophet his call would not always be easy. He would face opposition, but he would not be overcome because “I am with you to rescue you.” Because of Jeremiah’s faithfulness to God, even during times when he tried to give up, Israel turned its heart back to God after being dragged to Babylon. Even while in exile there, it retained its identity as a nation. Let me remind you that no other nation in history has done that. That was a good reason for Jeremiah to be placed on this earth.

 By Donita Painter

Read about Jeremiah’s call in Jeremiah 1:1-19.

All quotes taken from Jeremiah 1 in the Complete Jewish Bible.

Article originally appeared on Congregation Shema Yisrael - Rochester NY (
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