Jeremiah’s harsh words to Pashur and the nation (Jer. 20:4–6) weren’t his own; they were not uttered out of his anger at having been locked in the stocks for a day. They were the Lord’s words to him for the people. What comes after, though, comes directly from Jeremiah’s own heart, written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is the heartfelt cry of a human being who simply doesn’t like the situation he is in and is crying out about it.
Read Jeremiah 20:7–14. What is he saying? What does this teach us about his humanity, and our own humanity as well?
His words at first seem almost blasphemous. One wonders, though, why he would say that the Lord had deceived him when, right from the start, the Lord had warned him that he was going to face fierce opposition. Nevertheless, he complains, “Whenever I speak, all I am speaking is ‘violence and destruction.’ No wonder people are against me.”
At the same time, what is the crucial significance of what he says in Jeremiah 20:9?
He would have liked to have given up and stopped preaching, but God’s word was like a fire in his heart and a fire in his bones. What a powerful metaphor of someone who knew his calling and, despite the personal pain, was going to follow that calling no matter what. (We find similar thoughts written in Amos 3:8 and 1 Corinthians 9:16.) All through these verses, we see the struggle Jeremiah faces; we can see the great controversy raging both outside and inside him. One minute he’s praising God for rescuing the needy from the wicked; the next (as we will see tomorrow), he’s cursing the day he was born.
Why is it so important, especially in terrible circumstances, to praise the Lord and to dwell upon all the ways that He has revealed His love to us?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 5 – More Woes for the Prophet