March 10, 2020 – Tuesday
Jeremiah 20:11 NIV
11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.
Jeremiah 20:11 ESV
11 But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me.
They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.
I chose to show two versions of today’s verse as I was moved by the ESV’s eternal dishonor which is really the same as the NIV’s dishonor will never be forgotten, but eternal carries more weight in my own mind. Further, if you go to the beginning of the ESV for this chapter you will see the heading Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur and it turns out Pashhur was one of those plotting against Jeremiah as noted in Monday’s verse of the day. So Pashhur beat Jeremiah or had him beaten and then placed in stocks only to release him the next day (verses 2-3a). Upon Jeremiah’s release, the Lord had a very strong message for Pashhur and Judah from Jeremiah.
“The Lord does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. 4 For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. 5 Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.”
There is really nothing new in Jeremiah’s prophecy above, except for the direct inclusion of Pashhur, his family, and his friends. It is this prophecy that Jeremiah was given by God to proclaim which he has done faithfully while waiting for it to be fulfilled. The waiting resulted in much derision and isolation for Jeremiah. His prophecy was not well received at all. The people and the rulers preferred those who prophesied falsely. I am reminded of Noah who spent 50 or more years to build the Ark. One can imagine the ridicule he received as he worked on it year after year with questions about when is the rain coming? A flood, really? Still Noah carried on. And us today, we are compelled to share the good news of Jesus Christ to a doubting world that will at times ridicule us and often times hates the message.
Working our way down to our verse of the day we find Jeremiah is tired of being mocked and being a laughingstock while waiting on God’s prophecy of terror and destruction to happen (v7-8). He literally wants to stop with many denouncing him and wanting him to be overcome, but he cannot stop as God’s word burns within him and he cannot help but speak it (v9-10). Perhaps we should ask ourselves if Jesus’ message of Grace burns within us for those who are lost as we once were.
Then in verse eleven we see Jeremiah once again returning to his great faith in God, the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior or the Lord is with me as a dread[ed] warrior with the result his persecutors will stumble and not prevail. His persecutors will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten. Today we are told to pray for our enemies, our persecutors, by Jesus for we are to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Matthew 5:43.
Both require faith. The word of God burned within Jeremiah so that he could not but proclaim what God had put on his heart. Perhaps we should ask ourselves if Jesus’ message of Grace burns within us for those who are lost as we once were.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayt