It is here, starting in verse seven, that we now find the Prophet clearly discouraged and waddling in self-pity (despondent regarding his own buffeting and misfortune) to the point of attempting to foolishly quarrel and complain before God for even making him a prophet. Let’s review his words together:
“You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;” which means: mislead and tricked
“You overpowered me and prevailed” which means: subdued, triumphed, and overcame
“I am ridiculed all day long” which means: scorn, and laughed at
“Everyone mocks me.” which means: to tease, to make fun of, and to scoff at
Jeremiah’s tone was in the form of a complaint and he made some very strong statements to God as though he had been deceived and cheated… Possibly Jeremiah needed to take time to reflect back to the exact moment when God called and charged him to this important assignment; for without a doubt a quick moment of reflection would remind him of both God’s forewarning and His promise –
Jeremiah 1:19 – They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”
Fact is: The Prophet Jeremiah spoke foolishly by considering for a moment that God had somehow deceived him. For in all actuality he had deceived himself, by allowing his own thoughts of how he wanted the situation to turn out, to tune out God’s spoken Word.
Now let me ask you, ”Have you ever encountered a situation that caused you to feel that God somehow let you down?” If so, “Have you taken the time to reflect back on God’s Word?” If not let’s do so now for it will provide us a different perspective that causes us to repent of our foolish thoughts toward God and in turn render praise to our Heavenly Father, who is a sure Keeper!
John 15:20 – Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
John 16: 1-4 – “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.
Can you now see after reading the above two verses, the foolishness of our complaining when facing adversity?
Like the Prophet Jeremiah, heightened by our own desires to be honored and to be given accolades for our service to God, unfortunately in err think that everyone will receive God’s message with joy– In some cases this may be the outcome, but in some it may not.
Treasure Point: Our goal and purpose is solely to be obedient to God, both in our charge to share His Word, and in our call to rejoice before the multitudes in thanksgiving. We must remember to not become misguided in our thinking towards God because of “peoples responses” or our own “misguided desires” but instead rejoice always in joy for the privilege of being called by God to serve!
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long.
Self-pity has a horribly negative effect on us; it distorts our perception of things and can cause us to even start to regret the purpose of our existence. We can be thankful that our Heavenly Father so loves us that He is even concerned about the smallest details of our lives. That includes our sighs, our moans, our groans, and even our complaints.
Verse 8 provides us a glimpse of just how debilitating the effects of self-pity can be as we witness the Prophet Jeremiah lamenting over even the words which God has placed within him. To gain a full understanding I decided to review this verse in multiple translations and want to share with you how the Message Bible (MSG) translates verse 8 – Please see below:
Every time I open my mouth
I’m shouting, “Murder!” or “Rape!”
And all I get for my God-warnings
are insults and contempt.
Similar to the Prophet Jeremiah when we are called to share this great Gospel, the goodness of God, and the Plan of Salvation we also can be faced with such hardships and concerns to the point that we are tempted to quit. It is important that we lay bare before our Creator, for He already knows anyway.
Treasure Point: Rejoice for the Lord’s mercy is extended toward us despite us!
9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
Jeremiah has to admit that if/when he is determined to shut his mouth concerning the message of God, that there is a burning desire down deep on the inside of him that will not allow him to do so! As a matter of fact he admits that when he tries he becomes weary (exhausted, worn out, and drained).
Possibly you have previously said something similar to yourself like:
* I will simply sit on the pew and NOT serve.
* I will follow and NOT lead this time.
* I will serve, but NOT too much.
* I will listen to the responses of others, and NOT speak up this time.
* I will quietly praise and NOT rejoice before others…
Have you noticed that each time you try to blend in with the crowd, there is a spotlight which seemingly shines from within, like a burning fire, drawing you from amongst the ordinary into the EXTRA-ORDINARY? If you are a believer, that is The Holy Spirit!
Looking back, I can say that I was absolutely wrong in choosing such a selfish declaration of not sharing and rejoicing before others about the grand thing(s), which God had done in me and my family’s life! Fact is: Our experiences are all allowed that we may give glory to God! I pray that you have learned with me that regardless of whether we are instructed to share good news, bad news, or even given an opportunity too rejoice publically, our responsibility is to obey; when God places a message within us, it is truly futile to resist!
Psalm 109:30 – I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude.
Psalm 29:2 – Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Job 32:20 – I will speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer.
Matthew 5:11-12 – 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
My dear readers, I pray that these lessons are beneficial to your spiritual journey! I encourage you to spend a little more time examining the next few verses on your own; for it is there that you will witness the Prophet Jeremiah being strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit to walk out of the self-pity trap onto a stage of praise. (Jeremiah 20:11-13)