What do you do and whom do you talk to when 90% of believers don’t understand?
When speaking what you see invites criticism and wounding? How do you find the
faithful listening to his voice instead of living according to the bias they want of the
scripture? And what if he calls you away from bias to the speaking voice of God?
This invites persecution of those who rationalize rather than embracing the Lord as
Consider Jeremiah again:
Jere. 15:10 ‘ Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me
As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land!
I have neither lent, nor have men lent money to me,
Yet everyone curses me.
11 The LORD said, “Surely I will set you free for purposes of good;
Surely, I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you
In a time of disaster and a time of distress.”’
Jeremiah was struggling with shame. Everyone curses me, I am a man of strife and
contention to all the land. In the middle of the other prophets crying peace he cried
disaster is coming. He was human and like the rest of us, constant shame wears on
us. But more than that it wounds us. Jeremiah’s family rejected him. God told him to
not marry or attend parties. God cut him off from others and he was often alone.
If you experience shame in the church, it is more devastating that shame from other
sources. We expect God’s people to do better. Our safe place is not safe.
Another facet is the mourning over the blindness of his people to God’s truth. Not
only is this sorrow mixed in for Jeremiah, but also the wondering, “Am I on track?”
His persecutors tell him he deserves poor treatment. If he is broken inside, he may
struggle with believing he is at fault. Others not listening to God but in positions of
power will blame him for his troubles. This exonerates them in their own minds and
increases Jeremiah’s burden of doubt.
Verse 11 gives him a promise, but Jeremiah cannot know what it means yet, so it
has little value in the current crisis. We know from reading further that Babylon’s
army spares him because he told God’s people to surrender to Babylon for God
sealed their fate. In this current exchange he would not know who the enemy is and
the time of the promise’s fulfillment. The enemy seems to be God’s people.
Jere. 15:15 Thou who knowest, O LORD,
Remember me, take notice of me,
And take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Do not, in view of Thy patience, take me away;
Know that for Thy sake I endure reproach.
16 Thy words were found and I ate them,
And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Thy name,
O LORD God of hosts.
The passage above is glorious. Though Jeremiah starts out asking God to take
vengeance on his persecutors, he ends with bride talk in verse 16. He feeds on the
word of God and the words of God. This means the word God is now speaking and
the scriptures. God’s word delights him because the word reveals the character of
God. “For I have been called by thy name,”. Jeremiah’s name includes the name
Yah as evidenced by the ah at the end of Jeremiah’s name. But there is more. A
woman when married takes her husband’s name. Jeremiah recognized the intimacy
of fellowship God provides. He was struggling with men’s rejection, but he was
heading toward the intimacy included in knowing God as he is, not as others say he
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