Rise Above the Tide
Jer. 11:1–15:21 Jer.15:10-11,15-21 June 26 2011
This chapter was penned upon occasion of a great drought, for want of rain. This judgment began in the latter end of Josiah’s reign, but, as it should seem, continued in the beginning of Jehoiakim’s: for less judgments are sent to give warning of greater coming, if not prevented by repentance. This calamity was mentioned several times before, but here, in this chapter, more fully. Here is, A melancholy description of it . A prayer to God to put an end to this calamity and to return in mercy to their land . A severe threatening that God would proceed in his controversy, because they proceeded in their iniquity . The prophet’s excusing the people, by laying the blame on their false prophets; and the doom passed both on the deceivers and the deceived . Directions given to the prophet, instead of interceding for them, to lament them; but his continuing notwithstanding to intercede for them .
1. The prophet laments such messages, and is reproved. (Jer 15:10-11)
Jer. 15:10 Woe to me, my mother, For thou hast borne me a man of strife, And a man of contention to all the land, I have not lent on usury, Nor have they lent on usury to me— All of them are reviling me. 11 Jehovah said, Did I not direct thee for good?
Did not I intercede for thee in a time of evil, And in a time of adversity, with the enemy?
Jeremiah met with much contempt and reproach, when they ought to have blessed him, and God for him. It is a great and sufficient support to the people of God, that however troublesome their way may be, it shall be well with them in their latter end. God turns to the people. Shall the most hardy and vigorous of their efforts be able to contend with the counsel of God, or with the army of the Chaldeans? Let them hear their doom. The enemy will treat the prophet well. But the people who had great estates would be used hardly. All parts of the country had added to the national guilt; and let each take shame to itself.
2. He supplicates pardon, and is promised protection. (Jer 15:15-21)
Jer.15:15 Thou, Thou hast known, O Jehovah, Remember me, and inspect me, And take vengeance for me of my pursuers, In Thy long-suffering take me not away, Know—I have borne for Thee reproach. 16 Thy words have been found, and I eat them, And Thy word is to me for a joy, And for the rejoicing of my heart, For Thy name is called on me, O Jehovah, God of Hosts. 17 I have not sat in an assembly of deriders, Nor do I exult, because of thy hand,— Alone I have sat, For with indignation Thou hast filled me.18 Why hath my pain been perpetual? And my wound incurable? It hath refused to be healed, Thou art surely to me as a failing stream, Waters not stedfast. 19 Therefore, thus said Jehovah. If thou turnest back, then I bring thee back, Before Me thou dost stand, And if thou bringest out the precious from the vile, As My mouth thou art! They—they turn back unto thee,
And thou dost not turn back unto them. 20 And I have made thee to this people
For a wall—brazen—fenced, And they have fought against thee, And they do not prevail against thee, For with thee am I to save thee, And to deliver thee—an affirmation of Jehovah, 21 And I have delivered thee from the hand of evil doers,
And I have ransomed thee From the hand of the terrible!
It is matter of comfort that we have a God, to whose knowledge of all things we may appeal. Jeremiah pleads with God for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. It will be a comfort to God’s ministers, when men despise them, if they have the testimony of their own consciences. But he complains, that he found little pleasure in his work. Some good people lose much of the pleasantness of religion by the fretfulness and uneasiness of their natural temper, which they indulge. The Lord called the prophet to cease from his distrust, and to return to his work. If he attended thereto, he might be assured the Lord would deliver him from his enemies. Those who are with God, and faithful to him, he will deliver from trouble or carry through it. Many things appear frightful, which do not at all hurt a real believer in Christ.
These two autobiographical chapters underline Jeremiah’s struggle. A series of droughts causes a famine that exhausts man and beast It even stimulates Judah to confess sin .But God refuses to respond, because Judah has stubbornly refused to remain loyal to the Lord . The prophets who mislead Judah are singled out for special punishment . Although the hardened nation deserves punishment, Jeremiah is overcome by grief at the prospect of the suffering that lies ahead . Again we hear the people plead, unwilling to believe God has really abandoned them . But prayer is useless, for God is intent on punishment .
Jeremiah is now close to despair. He has dedicated his life to ministering to the people of Judah, yet all hate him. God tells Jeremiah He has a purpose in the prophet’s ministry and will vindicate him in the end . And again God predicts the coming exile of Judah . Jeremiah is still despondent. He begs the Lord to punish his enemies quickly so he will be vindicated in his own lifetime . Now God rebukes His unhappy prophet. Jeremiah must surrender his doubts and fears and trust God completely, despite the animosity of his enemies. God will save. God’s prophet—and we—can only trust and obey .