Threatened and Revived: Jeremiah 11-15 (2)
Pray Psalm 56.3, 4.
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
Sing Psalm 56.3, 4.
(Morecambe: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart)
When I’m afraid I’ll put my trust in You,
You, Lord, Whose everlasting Word I praise.
I will not fear what foes to me might do,
but will in faith to You my crying raise.
Read and meditate on Jeremiah 11.18-12.17.
1. Who was out to get Jeremiah, and what were they planning?
2. What was God’s counsel to Jeremiah?
Evidently, word reached Anathoth about Jeremiah’s ministry. The men of his household were not pleased, and they began to organize a mob (18.6) to destroy the prophet. The Lord revealed these plans to Jeremiah (17.18), and Jeremiah immediately turned to the Lord for help (v. 20). God assured him that He would protect him against the men of Anathoth (vv. 21-23).
In reply, Jeremiah praised the Lord Who heard his prayers and answered him (12.1ff). In his prayer, Jeremiah pondered the age-old question of why the wicked flourish, even as they hypocritically pretend to speak for the Lord (v. 2). He affirmed God’s promise to deal with the brethren who were conspiring against him, and added a little oomph to what God said He would do (vv. 3, 4).
But God rebuked the prophet (v. 5), and He called on Jeremiah to be prepared for greater challenges, even to experience something of the rejection and suffering God was feeling from His people (vv. 7ff). Jeremiah’s betrayal by his family was nothing compared with God’s betrayal by His people; and now He was preparing to act in judgment against them (vv. 10ff). And as God would bring judgment against Jeremiah’s brothers, so He would act against all the surrounding nations who led Israel into sin and benefited from their fall (v. 14).
But a promise remained of deliverance for God’s people (vv. 15-18). He would give them another opportunity to renew covenant with Him and to reject the pagan gods and serve Him only. However, they must obey Him then, or He would “utterly pluck up and destroy the nation” of His people (v. 17).
Here we see in Jeremiah a glimpse of the suffering of Christ to come: “But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter…” (17.19). Redemption comes through suffering, and God suffers the most. Just as His suffering from the hands of Israel was greater than Jeremiah’s at the hand of his brethren, the suffering of the coming Lamb of God would be infinitely greater than these. And through His suffering, true and lasting redemption would come to the people of God.
1. Should we as believers expect to incur the opposition, even the hatred, of the unbelieving world? In what forms?
2. How can we prepare ourselves for any persecution or suffering we may have to endure?
3. How can recalling the suffering of Christ help us when we have to suffer?
In Jeremiah, too, he likens himself to a lamb, as thus: “I was as a gentle lamb that is led to the slaughter.” These and other similar sayings he applies to himself. Origen (185-254), Commentary on the Gospel of John 1.23
Thank You, Jesus, for suffering and dying for me. Strengthen me to live for You as I…
Pray Psalm 56.1, 2, 5-13.
Whatever opposition, whatever fears, whatever doubts or hesitations may keep you from being a witness for Christ, give them all to Him. Then go forth to run with the footmen and the horses.
Sing Psalm 56.1, 2, 5-13
Psalm 56.1, 2, 5-13 (Morecambe: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart)
Savior, be gracious, gracious unto me!
Weary, I seek the shelter of Your wings
till trouble passes, till my sighings flee.
I seek the Lord Who for me does all things.
Wickedly how my foes distort my words;
constant attacks and snares await my way.
Pour out Your wrath, consume them, mighty Lord!
Bring evil to its end, O Lord, I pray!
Lord, see my wand’rings, see my anxious tears!
Help me to trust and praise Your holy Word.
Gladly I know that when I call You hear;
I will not fear but trust in You, O Lord.
I will not fear what foes might do to me.
I give You thanks, my vows will I renew.
You have redeemed me, set my spirit free,
and ever in Your light I’ll walk with You.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).