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Bible Commentaries

The Church Pulpit Commentary

Jeremiah 25

Verse 14

DIVINE RECOMPENSE

‘According to their deeds.’

Jeremiah 25:14

I. The repetition of God’s entreaties through Jeremiah, to arrest the downward progress of his people, is very touching.—For three- and-twenty years the Word of the Lord had come to the prophet, and he had passed it forward with all the urgency of which he was capable, ‘rising up early and speaking.’ But the people were absolutely obdurate, until there was no alternative but to silence the voices of mirth and gladness, and to extinguish the light of the candle. If we harden our hearts against God’s love our destruction is inevitable. If we will not bend, we must break. If the golden pruning-knife is not strong enough, the iron pruning-knife will be employed. For three years the owner of the vineyard comes seeking fruit, and finally he may have to cut down the tree.

This chapter is one of the most terrible in the Book, but the prophet was enabled to stand alone, not against his own people only, but as a prophet of woe to all the surrounding nations. It is a marvel that this sensitive nature should have been made as an iron pillar and brazen walls (chap. Jeremiah 1:18).

II. The prophet looks out on the surrounding nations, names them in order, and predicts that upon them too would fall the sword of Divine vengeance.—Especially notice Jeremiah 25:29; it suggests the words of the Apostle, ‘The time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if it begin first with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?’ ( 1 Peter 4:19).

Under the figure of a lion, the prophet depicts God as tearing the flock and driving the shepherds back in dismay. This also carries our mind forward to the seer’s vision of the Lord, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Who appears in the midst of the throne on behalf of His own. Ah! soul, it is well for thee to make peace with God; lest He Who would fight on thy behalf should become thine enemy, and the might which would have secured thee from peril should turn against thee to thine undoing.

Illustrations

(1) ‘We are reminded of Ziegenbalg, the first missionary to the East Indies, standing against the whole power of the authorities, who were determined to crush his mission in the bud; of Judson, pursuing his work for Burmah, amid the treachery and hostility of the king; of Moffat, going alone and unarmed into the territory of the terrible Africaner; of John Hunt, amid the ferocious cannibals of Fiji; of John G. Paton, who was preserved amid fifty attempts to take his life. Our sole duty is to finish the work which God has given us to do, though it brings us to the cross. We are immortal till it is done, and when it is done the welcome into our Master’s joy is sure.’

(2) ‘God always begins with His own people, because their sins traduce His character and bring it into contempt, and because sinners might otherwise establish a just charge of favouritism against Him. Besides, He loves them so dearly that He is eager to see them rid, as soon as may be, from the blight and parasitism of evil. It is a terrible thing to be an inconsistent child of God; for just in proportion to His love for you will God put forth the most strenuous and unremitting efforts to bring you back to Himself.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Jeremiah 25". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/jeremiah-25.html. 1876.