Aug. 9. Jeremiah Is Discouraged and Distraught

Jer. 18:18-20:18

The people of Judah continued their anger against Jeremiah as they laid out plans against him. They denied the truth of his prophesies. The heartbreak in him turned into anger. Jeremiah called upon the Lord to swiftly administer His wrath upon the people. Before we condemn him for his anger, let us stop and consider the attitude that we would have under the same circumstances.

Instead of bringing swift destruction upon the people, God instructed Jeremiah to present a visual aid to some of the elders. He was to take a potter’s earthen flask to represent Jerusalem. Upon the completion of another series of warnings and declarations, the prophet was to break the flask and conclude God’s message, “Even so I will break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel…”

After hearing of the words spoken by Jeremiah, Pashhur, the chief governor (probably police chief) in the house of the Lord struck him and placed him into the stocks overnight. The next day Jeremiah spelled out the doom that would befall Pashhur—that he would die and be buried in Babylon.

His despondency continued. He blamed God for his derision and misery, even considering refusing to continue to prophesy. A true child of God when confronted with doubts and uncertainties cannot quit. “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not…” Still, he had swings of emotion from singing praises to the Lord to cursing the day that he was born and wishing that he had died in his mother’s womb. Godly people sometimes have ungodly thoughts and emotions. We can take comfort when we feel those pains that great Bible characters before us have survived the same issues.