Throughout bible history God has called many men to serve him. He has called them in several ways, using many different methods to do so. This paper will only discuss two of the men whom God called, Moses and Jeremiah. Both of them were used as great men of God, and it is amazing to see the similarities of each of their calls.
Moses was born in Egypt, during the time when Pharaoh had ordered all Israelite baby boys to be killed at birth. Through God’s miraculous working, Moses was saved from death and raised in the palace as Pharaoh’s adopted grandson. Moses fled from Egypt after he murdered an Egyptian man. He married Zipporah, the daughter of the Priest of Median and she gave Moses a son. Moses worked for Jethro his father in-law, keeping his sheep. While Moses was out in the desert tending the sheep, God used a burning bush to attract Moses’ attention. When he saw it Moses turned from his path to see why the bush was not consumed by the flames. Then God called to Moses out of the bush, and Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. Then God called Moses to go down into Egypt, to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of the land Egypt. (Exodus 3:9-12)
The call of Jeremiah is not as elaborate as the call of Moses. Jeremiah was the son of the Priest Hilkiah. He was from the land of Benjamin during the days Josiah reined King of Israel. God came to Jeremiah and told him that God had ordained him as a prophet before he was even born. God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the people of Judah and told him that the people would fight against him but they would not prevail, because God would be with him (Jeremiah 1:17-19).
Several similarities are found in the stories. Moses and Jeremiah were both Israelites. Even though Moses was born in Egypt, he was still born from an Israelite family. Jeremiah was born in the land of Benjamin. God watched over both of them when they were children. God saved Moses from death when he was a baby, and he told Jeremiah that he had ordained him before he was born. Also both men were related to priests. Moses’ father-in-law was a priest of Median and Jeremiah’s father was a Priest in Anathon.
Each man gave excuses to God when he called them. They thought they were not qualified for the calling God had given them. However God showed them that he was in control, and he had picked them to do the job they were called to do.
The first excuse Moses gave to God’s calling was when he said, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:11)Moses was not a proud man, and he may not have believed that he was worthy enough to do the job, or he may have been afraid of Pharaoh, since he had fled Egypt for killing an Egyptian. Yet God knew what he was doing and he promised Moses, as he does with all of us, that he would be with him.
The second excuse Moses gave God was “What shall I say unto them?” (Exodus 3:13b). Which meant “What if they do not believe me?” God did not give Moses a lengthy explanation of what to say, he simply replied “I AM THAT I AM.” He told Moses to tell the people that “I AM hath sent me unto you”. (Exodus 3:14) God did not acknowledge unbelief as a reason not to do the job.
The third excuse Moses gave was “I am slow of speech.” (Exodus 4:10) Moses told the Lord he was not eloquent, and could not speak well. The Lord replied by asking Moses who made his mouth and who made the dumb, deaf and blind. God told him that he would teach him what to say.
Finally Moses asks God for a man to help him. (Exodus 4:13) God then became angry with Moses because he lacked faith. So God gave him Aaron as a second hand man, which Moses would later come to regret because of the heartache Aaron brought him.
Jeremiah had only one excuse that he gave, but it was very similar to Moses’ third excuse. Jeremiah told the Lord “I cannot speak, for I am a child.” (Jeremiah 1:6) God said to Jeremiah “Say not, I am a child, for thou shalt go to all I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” (Jeremiah 1:7) Jeremiah may have had a childish voice, a lisp, or maybe he could not pronounce words correctly, but whatever his speech impediment was, God took care of it. Just like God promised Moses, he promised Jeremiah that he would tell him and teach him what to say.
The similarity in their excuses was obviously that both could not speak well. Moses said that he was slow of speech, and Jeremiah said he spoke like a child.
After God told Moses and Jeremiah what he called them to do, he made both of them a promise. Since they each had two different callings, the promises were somewhat different, but God promised to be with them. He would not leave them on their own. They were scared, and probably did not want the responsibility God gave to them, but God stayed with them.
God laid out his plan for Moses; he told him everything that would happen. God promised to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, to take them to a land flowing with milk and honey, and when they left, they would not to go empty handed. Then God promised him to he be with Moses through it all. Often God has to go back and remind him, in Exodus chapter six God had to reassure Moses that he is God and he would fulfill the promise he gave.
When God gave his promise to Jeremiah he told him to not be afraid because he would deliver him (Jeremiah 1:8). God compared Jeremiah to a “defended city” with an “iron pillar” and “brazen walls” because the people would fight against him, but again God would deliver him (Jeremiah 1:18-19).
God promised both Moses and Jeremiah that he would go with them, that he would deliver them. To Moses, God promised to deliver him from the hands of the Egyptians. That promise was fulfilled when the Egyptian armies drown in the Red sea. To Jeremiah, God promised that he would deliver him from the people of Judah when they fought against him. And God kept his promises.
The call of Moses and the call of Jeremiah are two different stories. They were two different men, in two different points of history and they were called two deliver two different peoples. Sometimes God uses the same ways to reach people, such as the promise he gave to Moses and Jeremiah. God gives that promise to all men called to do his will. And if they truly follow him they will prosper.