Jeremiah: A Portrait of a Faithful Servant (Jeremiah 15; Jeremiah 16)

Scripture reading – Jeremiah 15; Jeremiah 16

We continue our study of Jeremiah’s prophecies in today’s Scripture reading. I will propose a brief outline and commentary of Jeremiah 15, and an expositional commentary of Jeremiah 16.

Jeremiah 15 – The Inevitability of God’s Judgment

The wickedness of Judah was exceeding during the reign of Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son, and the LORD revealed to Jeremiah the certainty of impending judgment. Consider the words which the Lord spoke to Jeremiah regarding His people during this time: “6Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. 7And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways” (15:6-7).

I invite you to consider four major points in my outline of Jeremiah 15.

The Revelation: The Judgment of God was Imminent (15:1-9)

Jeremiah’s Lament (15:10-14)

His preaching had borne little fruit, and so he cried out to the LORD, lamenting the sorrows and rejection he had suffered as God’s prophet. He had been the object of scorn, and pitied the day of his birth (15:10). Yet, the LORD assured Jeremiah He would intercede for him, and even his enemies would eventually come seeking his counsel (15:11). God’s judgment, like iron, would not be broken (15:12), and the nation would be spoiled of its wealth (15:13). The wrath of God for the sins of His people would be expressed in their captivity (15:13-14).

Jeremiah Bemoaned His Loneliness (15:18-21)

He had been an object of scorn and persecution (15:15), and he sought solace in that the LORD would remember him, avenge him, and favor him (15:15).

Where did Jeremiah turn for comfort and hope? He found refuge and hope in God’s promises. The prophet prayed, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (15:16).

He followed the pattern of the “blessed” man of Psalm 1, and had not fellowshipped with the wicked. Jeremiah wrote: “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation” (15:17; Psalm 1:1). Yet, he wondered why there was no end to his sufferings and disappointments (15:18).

The LORD’s Exhortation and Loving Assurances (15:19-21)

Lovingly correcting the attitude and outlook of his prophet (15:19), the LORD assured Jeremiah: “I am with theeto save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 21  And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible” (Jeremiah 15:20-21).

Closing thought – What a blessed promise for those who endure persecution, and put their trust in the LORD! In his letter to believer’s in Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote: ““57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith

Jeremiah 16 – Jeremiah: A Portrait of Sacrifice, Dedication and Sanctification

Describing the imminence of God’s judgment to be fulfilled when Babylon lay siege to Jerusalem, destroying the Temple and the city, the LORD directed Jeremiah not to participate in three events that were a normal part of Jewish life.

The first, Jeremiah was not to take a wife, less the deaths of a wife, sons and daughters be added to the sorrows he would bear in the midst of God’s judgment (16:1-3).  The second activity Jeremiah was to avoid was he was not to mourn for the dead (16:4) nor attend their funerals (16:5-7).   Thirdly, Jeremiah was to avoid weddings and their celebratory feasts (16:8-9).

Refusing to take a wife as Jeremiah was expected to do, served as a testimony and symbolic act before the people, a sign of the imminence of God’s judgment (16:1-3).

Though not a command, Paul observed somewhat the same in his letter to believers in Corinth when he states the “unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34 …the unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord…she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).

In spite of their wickedness, the LORD instructed Jeremiah that the people would ask, “Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?” (16:10).  Jeremiah was to tell the people their wickedness had exceeded that of their fathers (16:11-12).

Leaving no doubt concerning the reason of God’s judgment and the destruction that would soon come upon the nation, Jeremiah was to remind the people, because they had turned to worship idols and forsaken the LORD and His law (16:11), they would be removed from their land and taken as captives to another (16:12-13).  Describing the invasion and conquest of Judah fulfilled by the Babylonians, Jeremiah prophesied, “the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth” (16:19).

Finally, the LORD did not leave His prophet or the people hopeless, for Jeremiah was to tell the people that the LORD would not forget His covenant and would one day restore them to their land (16:14-15).

I close with an observation: God is Holy and Just and a man, family, or nation that turns from the LORD and forsakes His Word will bear the consequences of their sin.  Let us love the LORD, study His Word, and walk in His ways (Psalm 1:1-3)!

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith

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