Even the harshest critics of the Bible would have to concede a major point: the Bible does not gloss over human foibles and weaknesses. With the exception of the spotless and sinless Son of God, few Bible characters whose lives are presented in any detail in the Bible come away without their weaknesses and faults exposed. This goes even for the prophets. As stated before, the God these prophets served is perfect; the prophets who served Him were not. They, like the rest of us, were sinners in need of the righteousness of Christ to be credited to them by faith (see Rom. 3:22). From Noah to Peter, and everyone in between, all were sin-damaged creatures whose only hope was, as Ellen G. White says, to go before the Lord and say: “I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea. The name of Jesus gives me access to the Father. His ear, His heart, is open to my faintest pleading, and He supplies my deepest necessities.”—Faith and Works, p. 106.
Read Jeremiah 20:14–18. What does this passage tell us about the prophet’s state of mind concerning his own personal situation?
His words here, of course, remind us of Job’s, whose situation was much worse than Jeremiah’s (see Job 3). Though Jeremiah had the assurance that he was doing God’s will and the assurance that the Lord was with him, at this point the pain of his present situation consumed him. Whatever his intellectual understanding of what the truth was, for now it was overshadowed by his own sorrows.
At times, many people might find themselves in a similar situation: they might intellectually know all the promises of God, but they are so overwhelmed by sorrow and pain that these promises are pushed into the background, and all they can focus on is their immediate suffering. This is an understandable reaction; it doesn’t mean it’s a correct one, but it is understandable. What we see here again is the humanity of Jeremiah, which is similar to the humanity of us all.
Have you ever felt the way Jeremiah did here? If so, what did you learn from that experience that could help you better cope the next time you feel that way?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 5 – More Woes for the Prophet