March 05, 2020 – Thursday
Jeremiah 15:15-18 NKJV
15 O Lord, You know;
Remember me and visit me,
And take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
In Your enduring patience, do not take me away.
Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers,
Nor did I rejoice;
I sat alone because of Your hand,
For You have filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain perpetual
And my wound incurable,
Which refuses to be healed?
Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream,
As waters that cannot be trusted?
This short prayer of grief and despair by Jeremiah near the end of this chapter seems full of anguish and doubt for the prophet. In the very first verse above he is concerned God may have forgotten him even while he is asking God to take vengeance on his persecutors. Jeremiah is not asking that he be permitted to exact vengeance on his persecutors for he surely recalls Deuteronomy 32:35 when the Lord said Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.
Still in the midst of his despair Jeremiah declares his case when he says Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. Peter Pett explains what that rebuke consisted of when he writes We must never underestimate what Jeremiah had to go through. For long periods he stood ‘alone’ against the world with almost every man’s hand against him, while he himself bore the burden of the nation’s sin. Jeremiah was the one man who stood on God’s word preaching what God told him to preach and he suffered incredible loneliness for it as God’s word was rejected again and again.
Yet what do we read next but Jeremiah saying Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. How do you eat God’s word? By taking it as nourishment for the soul, food that could satisfy one’s deepest most private part of one’s nature. His trust begins to show once again when he says For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts much as we would say we are called by Jesus’ name as Christians.
When Jeremiah said in verse 17 I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, blessings around me it is very reminiscent of Psalm 1 which I heartedly recommend as its short six verses summarize much of the Bible. He concludes his prayer asking God Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that cannot be trusted? showing his remaining distress. Read God’s reply in the final three verses and see how God plans for Jeremiah’s vindication.
As alone as Jeremiah was, as distressed as he was, as he began to doubt God’s reliability, he still put his trust in God. Jeremiah was doing as God willed in his life. We too should be seeking to live our lives within God’s knowing then He has our back even when we begin to doubt.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton