God who is trueJeremiah 15:10-21$B-5(B Mother, why you have borne me?
1 John 5:18-21
The text of this morning (10-11, 15-18) is a confession record of Jeremiah, and it consists of the response of the Lord (19-21) which added there. There are other things called his confession record (including 12:1-, 16:1- and 20:7-); but the text of this morning is known as a thing most famous among them. "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, for everyone curses me. 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. (when the evil and suffering attack them, I have done intercession to Thou for them.-free translation of $B?76&F1Lu(B version)'" (10-11) By $B?72~Lu(B version, Verse 11 is considered to be the words of the Lord, but probably, this will be prayer of Jeremiah. Because Verse 13-14 would have been incorporated from Verse 17:3-4 which is very similar; though I say just in case, I do not deal them here.
Verse 10-11 and 15-18 were collected together in editorial process, but we will have to watch those as things which have been divided, probably because those are the record of confession which were talked about each other time. At first, it is from 10-11. BC597, when the anger of the Babylonian army was surging, and at the time of such a crisis, people who became panic urged the destruction was something which Jeremiah brought. Jeremiah cannot endure such an intense criticism of people. "Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me as a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land!"; such his grief is delivered to us as a tragic voice. Would she be still in Anathoth? Probably, when we think about Jeremiah's age (probably around 50 years old), it is thought she would have died. She would be old age beyond 80 years old even if not so. Jeremiah would probably want to fly back to Anathoth, but there were his relatives trying to kill him there. For the prophet who has no place to cling, there is no healing place for him, other than to pray to God. "When the evil and suffering attack them, I have done intercession to Thou for them. (free translation of $B?76&F1Lu(B version)"; it was sorrowful prayer of Jeremiah. There is it, "Can anyone smash iron. iron from the north, or bronze?" (12). There is a Bible commentary person who cuts off this, because it is incomprehensible; but it is prayer, and he prays for peace of his own life which is promised, and wants that He remembers that promise. It indicates that the danger of Jeremiah is close. Which is faster, the arrival of and attack of Babilonia military, or the disappearance of his life? Jeremiah and the south kingdom were on the ropes so much. Jeremiah has learned absolute trust to God as a prophet, but now, he has been fighting alone against all of the people in his country. Can we blame him, because his weakness has appeared there? His faint trust to God seems glimpses in here.
$B-6(B A thread of the strain
However, faint trust of Jeremiah to God came back to life. To remember up that trust, it seems to have needed some time, but another confession record was born again. "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. Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and delight of my heart; for I have been called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I exult. Because of Thy hand upon me I sat alone, for Thou didst fill me with indignation. Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Wilt Thou indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable?" (15-18) "Take vengeance to me"; we must hear this is prayer of Jeremiah that praying for motion of dignity and the power of God as having mentioned above (message 14, 11:15-23). Jeremiah was hated and persecuted; it was done by God.
Now, Jeremiah is living in the world that have joy and pleasure in only words of God, and it is totally different from other people. It became same as having a daily meal to read words of God. If it returns other side, it says that the place where other people enjoyed it and gathered was not a place of Jeremiah anymore. He was looked coldly on as if he was not the member of the Judah kingdom at all. The Israeli prophet belonged to the prophet group called "the prophet school" traditionally. Many disciples were behind one prophet, and in the various places, disciples conveyed the divine message that "a teacher" talked about while learning. Since Elijah, it was the tradition of the Israeli prophet. Sometimes, a sponsor supported the prophet group, and, for that sponsor, they might have talked the words of the blessing of God. Such group was often called "a false prophet"; but probably the prophet who talked about severe words did not have any sponsors. Let alone a sponsor, there were not disciples accompanying Jeremiah, too. There were the some sympathizers, but the disciple seemed to be only Baruch of the secretary.
While saying that he is pleased with the word of God in this confession record, Jeremiah seemed to be wounded and seemed to be cut his yarn tension in front of the persecutor. Though we are insensitive ones, we can imagine it so.
$B-7(B God who is true
There was a response of God to such Jeremiah. "'If you return, then I will restore you--- before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them. Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you' declares the Lord. 'So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.'" (19-21)
Frightened by those who try to kill him, Jeremiah had forgotten God. Yes, there was not him near God, even if he prayed. "His trust to God seems glimpses", it will be that he has remembered a certain joy and pleasure with God. Would his faith have dropped into depths? However, this depths might have been necessary to stand as a prophet again. Trouble and suffering came to the limit, he would have been able to hear God's response; I imagine so. Because we are far from God so much, in order to know God's will, our reason and experience can not stand for nothing. However, we must know that the moan of the suffering not to become even the prayer reaches the edge of God.
The word of God reached to Jeremiah who was in such despair. "If you return," "If you extract the precious from the worthless"; this is a rhetorical question, and it shows that Jeremiah was going to stand near Israel, while he didn't know it. It has been reflected so in the eyes of God, at least. It is severe expression; however, it is not refusal. God has reached out His hand of love to Jeremiah. The promise which he had heard previously (1:18) was spoken. "I will make you a fortified wall of bronze"; it is not at all simple repetition. Because it was a God's promise; He said, "I heard the prayer of utterly exhausted Jeremiah now". We want to remember that God is truth even if we are untruth. Let's listen to the words of John. "And we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:20) Jesus hung on the cross, but He became a promise of hope for us. Let us hope to belong to Him. He knows our weakness, hears the prayer, loves us, and lets us stand up!