10 Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,
a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!
I have neither lent nor borrowed,
yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said,
“Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose;
surely I will make your enemies plead with you
in times of disaster and times of distress.
12 “Can a man break iron—
iron from the north—or bronze?
13 “Your wealth and your treasures
I will give as plunder, without charge,
because of all your sins
throughout your country.
14 I will enslave you to your enemies
in a land you do not know,
for my anger will kindle a fire
that will burn against you.”
(Jeremiah 15:10-14 NIV)
In yesterday’s passage, we saw the Lord lamenting over the city of Jerusalem and her loss due to her unwillingness to walk with the Lord.
Today’s reading is a section of a larger passage that goes together (15:10-21). These verses are a dialog between Jeremiah and the Lord. For the sake of space and the reader’s time, we will divide this passage into two parts.
In verse 10, Jeremiah laments being born. Jeremiah was weary of carrying the Lord’s message of judgment against the people of Judah and weary of enduring the hatred of the citizens of Jerusalem because of their unbelieving hearts.
It is important to note that Jeremiah’s lament was a cry of despair and not a suicide note. Jeremiah’s reflections are very similar to Job’s lament in Job Chapter 3. Jeremiah insinuates that the hatred against him is due to the message he is proclaiming on behalf of the Lord. If Jeremiah were a money lender charging outrageous interest, or if he were defaulting on a loan, he would understand why others would despise him. But neither scenario was the case; it was the message that was the source of his despair.
Verse 10 is the Lord’s response to Jeremiah. The Lord does not change Jeremiah’s role nor his message. Instead, the Lord reassures Jeremiah that his life does have meaning and purpose, and gives Jeremiah a promise that one day his enemies will plead with him rather than hate him.
In verses 12 – 14, the Lord then reiterates His judgment on Judah, reminding Judah that they cannot stand against the armies of the north that the Lord will use to discipline them.
As we look at Jeremiah’s life, we see that not everything is happy and hopeful all the time. There are dark times in Jeremiah’s life (as in ours) where we must face difficult circumstances and situations and remain faithful to our calling as Christ’s followers. Sometimes the song of our heart is better reflected by the blues than by a praise chorus.
May we learn to share the lament of our hearts with the Lord, and wait for His response. May we not get stuck in the blues, but rather, hear His words of encouragement and know that He is still in control over all.
May remember that our calling in Christ is not about success or happiness, but about faithfulness to Him. As followers of Christ, this life, with its brokenness and pain, is the worst we will ever experience. The best is yet to come – trust in Christ and focus on Him and not on circumstances are the keys to moving through the hard times.