15 Lord, you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering—do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for Your sake.
16 When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear Your name, Lord God Almighty.
17 I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them;
I sat alone because Your hand was on me and You had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails.
Before we get to verse sixteen where we read of Jeremiah’s joy and heart’s delight with God’s words, let’s look at what God had to say before and after Jeremiah’s words above. First the prior verses
11 The Lord said, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose;
surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress.
12 “Can a man break iron—iron from the north—or bronze?
13 “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without charge, because of all your sins throughout your country.
14 I will enslave you to your enemies in a land you do not know, for My anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you.”
Here we find God will see the people of Judah enslaved, but the prophet Jeremiah will be treated well. This occurred because the guilt was universal throughout the land. And it is from this, in the verses above, Jeremiah pleads with God to avenge him because he remained faithful. Still he has pain unending and he does not understand why. In reply God says
19 Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you,
for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
However in verse sixteen Jeremiah says When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty which harkens back to Jeremiah 1 where God chose Jeremiah as His prophet. Now as then he takes joy in God’s words literally a rejoicing and delight in his heart. The people of Judah are headed into captivity because they would not listen to the words Jeremiah brought to them from God.
Today we are blessed to have God’s word written down for us to read, think on, pray about, and contemplate. Beyond this we have the Old Testament prophecies found in Christ Jesus and His story in the New Testament. This is the wonder we have and the caution for it leaves us without excuse if we turn our back on His word as the people of Judah did, especially as we have the Good News that is Jesus.