Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, April 18th, 2024
the Third Week after Easter
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 20

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-18

Chapter 20

Now Pashur ( Jeremiah 20:1 ).

And the name means "prosperity all around."

Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah had prophesied these things. Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD ( Jeremiah 20:1-2 ).

So Jeremiah is now shut up in the stocks by this fellow whose name means "prosperity all over the place," you know. Prosperity all around. And he puts Jeremiah, smites him, puts him in the stocks.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur ( Jeremiah 20:3 ),

God doesn't call you "prosperity all about." But God calls you "terror all around." And so,

For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all your friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive unto Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labors thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon ( Jeremiah 20:4-5 ).

So Jeremiah, really, being in the stocks didn't really quiet him. He just really prophesies unto Pashur the evil that is going to come. His own captivity and that of his friends and all of the treasures carried away to Babylon.

And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in your house shall go into captivity: and you shall come to Babylon, and there you will die, and shalt be buried there, you, and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies ( Jeremiah 20:6 ).

Now Jeremiah cries out to the Lord.

O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocks me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily ( Jeremiah 20:7-8 ).

Now, he laid it on to Pashur, but now he's talking to God saying, "God, you know, here I've been prophesying and they threw me in jail. Speaking in Your name I got put in the stocks. Lord, what's going on here? And is that any way to treat Your servants and those who are prophesying in Your name?" And so he's really upset.

Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name ( Jeremiah 20:9 ).

Lord, I'm through. Here's my resignation. I'm finished. Thrown in jail and put in the stocks and all, because I'm speaking Your Word. Going to treat me like that, I'm through, Lord. I've had it. Not going to speak again in Your name. That's all. Treat me like that.

But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary trying to hold it back, and I could not stay ( Jeremiah 20:9 ).

Oh, God's Word it's just burning. I couldn't keep quiet. It's just something that was there. God's Word just burning like a fire and I just couldn't keep back.

For I heard the defaming of many, fear was on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. And all of my friends watched for my halting, they said, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble ( Jeremiah 20:10-11 ),

They're watching for me to stumble, but they're going to stumble because the Lord is with me.

and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. But, O LORD of hosts, that tried the righteous, and seest the reins and the hearts, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers ( Jeremiah 20:11-13 ).

So he lapses again into a worship of the Lord as he talks to the Lord about these people that are plotting against him and God has said, you remember, "I the Lord search the hearts, try the reins." And he says, "Okay, Lord, search our hearts, try the reins and wipe them out, because You can see what they're doing. They're evildoers. So let me see your vengeance on them. Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for He has delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of the evildoers." Now, as I told you, he's a melancholy because he goes from this, "Praise the Lord, He's delivered," and right down to the bottom.

Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, You've had a boy; making my father very glad. And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry of the morning, and the shouting at noontide; because he did not slay me when I was born; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me ( Jeremiah 20:14-17 ).

In other words, had she never brought me forth, had I just been stillborn, died or something, or still in her womb, God, curse the day that I ever came out of the womb and started this whole routine.

Why did I come forth out of the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame? ( Jeremiah 20:14-18 )

Isn't that amazing how he can go from just this high, "Oh, praise the Lord, He's done glorious things and all. Cursed be the day I was born." You know, it's amazing how easily Satan can rob us of our joy. How little it takes to rob us of our joy in the Lord. I can start thinking about what the Lord has done and just get so high. If I'm thinking about God's goodness and God's blessing and all that God has done, I just get rejoicing in the Lord. I start singing. I make up songs of praise and love to Him. And I just get carried away. "Oh Lord, You're so good. I love You. It's just been real, Lord. I can't believe what You're doing." I just get so happy and excited in the Lord and the things of the Lord. And I'm going down the street just so excited, worshipping the Lord. And some nut for no apparent reason throws on his brakes right in front of me, you know. And I have to swerve and throw on my brakes and swing around to miss him. "You, idiot," you know. And from this glorious spiritual high to this fleshly monster in just such a quick time. It's amazing how quickly we can go from these high spiritual plateaus right down into the depths of despair.

He goes from the praising God right into the, "cursed be the day I was born." Be careful. Don't let Satan rob your joy from you. Realize that he's out to do it. Be on guard. Rejoice in the Lord always. Let your heart rejoice in Him. Bring forth praises unto Him for His goodness and His blessings and His mercy and His grace. And when Satan throws these stumbling blocks in the path to bring you down into the flesh, don't allow it.

A while back going through the market, happy as can be, rejoicing in the Lord, He's so good, He's blessed me so much. I had a neat thick, top sirloin steak in the basket and I thought, "Lord, You've given me money to purchase this steak. I'm going to go home and barbecue it. Oh Lord, You are so good to me. I can remember the day when I could never afford a steak like this. And now, Lord, here I am, blessed of Thee. You're so good to me, Lord." And I was just going around the store rejoicing, praising the Lord. Came up to the line, just standing there, happy in the Lord. Just waiting my turn, you know. "Oh, Lord, You're so good." And this little fat guy with a cigar came crowding into the line right in front of me. Pushed his way in. And I thought, "Why you, rude little character." And I was ready to just grab him by the collar, turn him around and say, "Who do you think you are? Don't you see I'm standing waiting in line? You get behind me!" And that cigar! I wanted to just push it right down his throat. And I was just seething, and the Spirit spoke to me and said, "Oh, such great love, such great rejoicing, such great joy in the Lord all dissipated over a stinking cigar." I said, "No way, I'm not going to lose my joy over this rude little character." I'm going to take another swing around the store. I didn't have anything more to get, but I went around the store again just to get back in the right frame of mind so the guy will be out of the store by the time I got back to the checking stand. I know my limits and I know what I can handle. But up and down a few more aisles and getting the perspectives again back in the Lord. I came back to the check stand. He was gone and I had a great victory and a good steak and a time of praise.

But oh, how easily we can lose that praising and rejoicing in the Lord. How quickly Satan can throw a snare out there. And man, I'm trapped. And that consciousness of God, that joy and rejoicing is taken and I feel all of this anger and bitterness and all. He knows where to hit us. He knows how to get us. But let's not let him do it. Let's keep the right perspective. Take another swing around the block or around the store or whatever you have to do in order to maintain that glorious joy and praise and rejoicing in Him.

Poor Jeremiah. "I'll sing unto the Lord. Praise the Lord, for He has delivered the soul of the poor and all. Oh, cursed be the day I was born." I don't know what happened between those two verses, but something really came in and wiped him out. Put him down in the bottom of the barrel.

Shall we pray.

Father, we thank You for the joy that we can experience in Christ Jesus as we think about the hope that is ours. That eternal life that You have given to us by our simply believing and trusting in Him. That inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled that You've reserved in heaven for us. Your keeping power, Lord, whereby You keep and strengthen us day by day. Oh Lord, truly we are blessed. Blessed to live in this land. Blessed with freedoms to worship Thee. Blessed with Thy Word that we might know Thee. Blessed on every side above all nations of the earth. O God, help us to remember the blessings, the good things that You have done. And may we give praise and thanks unto You continually for Your goodness. God, keep our hearts in the right place. In Jesus' name. Amen.

May the Lord be with you and bless you this week. May He watch over your lives and keep you in His love. May you abound in the love of Jesus Christ. May there just be that rich, flowing forth in and from your life as God works in you His perfect work of love and grace. May God grant that you have just a special week of enjoying the goodness and the fullness of God and His love. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 20". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/jeremiah-20.html. 2014.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile