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Dr. Stock, in his History of the Church Missionary Society, says that Claudius Buchanan, in his valedictory address to the first men sent to India, refers to this unique Chaldaic verse embedded in the Hebrew of Jeremiah's prophecy. 'Just as if,' says Buchanan, 'while you are receiving instructions in your own tongue, one sentence should be given you in the Tamil or Cinghalese language which you should deliver to the Hindus.'
Reference. X. 16. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Isaiah and Jeremiah, p. 268.
The Collapses of Life
Jeremiah 10:19-20 , Psalms 27:5
I. The Lament of the Prophet. ' Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous, truly this is my grief.' It was not an irritation, inconvenience, or annoyance, a disagreeable, disappointing incident, as so many of our troubles are: it was a bitter grief, a crushing overthrow.
1. The overthrow is total. 'My tent is spoiled and all my cords are broken.' Many times had the land of Israel been devastated and its population subjected to loss and suffering; on this occasion the catastrophe was to be overwhelming. Thus from time to time is it with the individual. Sometimes adverse financial fortune wrecks our tent Sometimes the calamity that surprises us is the total failure of our health.
2. The overthrow is sudden. A tent in the wilderness is broken without warning, and herein is the symbol of our overthrows. We speak of coming events casting their shadows before: tremendous events supervene with little warning. The most desolating bolts shoot out of a blue sky, the spectre of ruin is ambushed in broad sunshine and takes us unawares.
3. The overthrow is irreparable. 'There is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.' This order of calamity is repeated in private life. Usually the losses of life admit of ameliorations; but some deprivations are complete, some losses final. We must look the fact in the face that the day approaches when we shall be totally helpless, when nothing can be done, and everything must be endured.
4. The overthrow is personal. 'Truly this is my grief, and I must bear it' We live in a world of misfortunes and sorrows; but, as a rule, they do not greatly affect us: they occur in distant places, they affect strangers. One day, however, the calamity comes right home, and the arrow drinks up our spirit. 'It is my grief.'
II. The Psalmist's Refuge. 'For in the day of trouble He shall keep me secretly in His pavilion: in the covert of His tent shall He hide me.' When your tent sinks away hopelessly there is a royal pavilion in which you may hide this is the sublime direction and consolation of these precious words something deeper than our grief, vaster than our sorrow.
Fly to the living God. Jeremiah, in the chapter whence our first text is taken, dwells upon the reality and glory of the living God. We believe in the living God all-wise, just, loving, keeping mercy for thousands who fear Him, and we trust in His perfect government and glorious purpose.
W. L. Watkinson, Themes for Hours of Meditation, p. 44.
References. X. 23. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. 1. No. 2893. XI. 8. Ibid. vol. xiv. No. 838. XI. 12. W. J. Knox-Little, Labour and Sorrow, p. 131.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/
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