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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-4

JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 15

THE PROPHET WRESTLES WITH GOD

A crisis is reached in this chapter. Jeremiah has endeavored to be true to God, while his heart yearned for the spiritual recovery of his people. Rebuked for his prayer in their behalf, and commissioned to tell them that they are divinely abandoned to death, sword, starvation and captivity, his heart is crushed! Persecuted, mocked, ostracized by his brethren and powerless with his God, Jeremiah considers himself an utter failure - attempting to resign his prophetic office. But God re­commissions him, and assures the ultimate vindication of his faith.

Vs. 1-4: THE LORD REPLIES TO JEREMIAH’S APPEAL

1. Moses and Samuel were the only prophets whose fervency of intercession in behalf of the covenant people had approached that of Jeremiah; God had frequently been moved by their appeals, (comp. Exodus 32:11-14; Exodus 32:30; Numbers 14:13-19; 1 Samuel 7:8; 1 Samuel 12:19-23).

a. But His response to Jeremiah is a firm, unyielding, "NO!"

b. Even if his plea were seconded by Moses and Samuel, God could not be induced to suspend judgment against this unrepentant people any longer!

c. Jeremiah is to send them forth from the Lord’s presence, and to LET them go!

2. If they ask Jeremiah WHERE they are to go, he must tell them that they will go to the divinely-appointed destiny: to death (pestilence), the sword, starvation or captivity, (vs. 2; Jeremiah 14:12; Jeremiah 24:10; Jeremiah 43:11; Ezekiel 5:1; Ezekiel 5:12).

3. God is, further, appointing four destroyers to deal with them: the sword to slay; dogs to tear; the fowls of heaven and beasts of the field to devour and destroy, (vs. 3; Leviticus 26:16; Leviticus 26:22; Leviticus 26:25).

4. The seed from which their ruin has come was sown by Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, and what He did in Jerusalem, (vs. 4; 2 Kings 21:1-18; 2 Kings 23:26-27).

a. This man was the worst king ever to sit on the throne in Jerusalem, (2 Kings 21:9; 2 Kings 21:11).

b. His sin was such as could never be forgiven - because its spread assured the ruin of the nation, (2 Kings 24:3-4).

c. He encouraged the worship of Baal, built altars for astral deities in the very temple of God, offered his own son on the altar of Molech and practiced witchcraft and divination, (2 Kings 21:1-18).

d. But Judah was not suffering solely for the sins of Manasseh; they were still practicing what he set in motion; every soul is personally responsible to God! (Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:2-4).

Verses 5-9

Va. 5-9: JEHOVAH’S HAND STRETCHED OUT AGAINST JERUSALEM

1. Because Jerusalem has so persistently rejected Jehovah, He is weary of grieving over her, and stretches forth His hand in judgment, (vs. 5-6).

a. Who will then pity her? or mourn the calamity that has befallen her? (Jeremiah 13:14; Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 16:5; comp. Isaiah 51:19).

b. Will any ever turn aside to inquire of her welfare?

2. Judah will be shaken as with a winnowing fork, that her chaff may be blown away: but, the heart of the nation being unchanged, the broken-hearted Lord brings a destructive end to her pride, (vs. 7).

3. Her young men devastated in battle, the widows of Judah are likened, in number, to the sands of the sea, (vs. 8; comp. 2 Chronicles 28:6).

4. Jerusalem, the fruitful mother-city of Judah, collapses in shock for the shame and disgrace that has befallen her, and the tragedy that awaits her sons before the sword of the enemy, (vs. 9; Jeremiah 6:4; Amos 8:9-10; Jeremiah 21:7).

Verses 10-14

Vs. 10-14: A MAN OF STRIFE AND CONTENTION

1. Perplexed by the seeming impossibility of his task, Jeremiah laments the day of his birth, (vs. 10; comp. Jeremiah 20:14; Job 3:3; Job 20:8-9).

a. He has not made a loan, or taken one; yet, everyone curses him!

b. His is a position of legal strife and contention with the whole land!

2. There will come a time, however, when his enemies will come seeking his intercession on their behalf, (vs. 11; comp. Jeremiah 21:1-6; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 42:1-6).

3. Jeremiah will be amply vindicated for his faithful warnings; the armaments of Judah will be shamefully inadequate to repel the might of Babylon, (vs. 12; Jeremiah 28:14).

4. The land is about to be despoiled of its wealth because of God’s wrath against Judah’s sin - a faithful warning that is still ignored! (vs. 13-14; Jeremiah 17:3; Jeremiah 20:5; Isaiah 52:3-5; Deuteronomy 28:36; Deuteronomy 28:64-65; Jeremiah 16:13; Jeremiah 17:4).

Verses 15-18

Vs. 15-18: ON THE VERGE OF DESPAIR

1. Jeremiah’s lament is poured out to Jehovah who knows ALL! (vs. 15; comp. Psalms 139:1-4).

a. Thus, he calls on the Lord to remember, visit and avenge him of his adversaries.

b. Since he has suffered reproach for the Lord’s name sake (Jeremiah 20:8; Psalms 44:22; Psalms 69:7-9), surely the Lord will not permit them to take his life!

2. Remembering his initial call to the prophetic office, he recalls the joy and gladness following his wholehearted acceptance of God’s word, (vs. 16; comp. Ezekiel 2:8 to Ezekiel 3:3; Revelation 10:9-10).

3. Because of the Lord’s hand upon him, Jeremiah has sat, indignant and alone, in the midst of those who - ignoring the calamity that was about to befall them - made merry, (vs. 17, comp. Jeremiah 16:8; Jeremiah 13:17; La 3:28; Ezekiel 3:24-25; Jeremiah 6:11-12; 2 Corinthians 6:17).

4. Life has become, for him, a perpetual pain - an incurable wound that will not be healed! (vs. 18a; Jeremiah 30:12; Jeremiah 30:15; Micah 1:8-9; Job 34:6).

5. Will the Lord, like the waters of a deceitful brook (that flow profusely in the Winter, but offer no refreshment in the hot Summer), fail him in the hour of his deepest need? (vs. 18b; Jeremiah 14:3; comp. Job 6:15).

6. So deep is the utter loneliness and despair of the prophet, whose own relatives have turned against him, that he seems ready to resign his prophetic office!

Verses 19-21

Vs. 19-21: DIVINE REBUKE AND REASSURANCE

1. Verse 19 is nothing short of a rebuke of Jeremiah’s distrust and despair.

a. If he would know the blessedness, assurance and holy boldness that he once enjoyed, he must repent - turn from his wavering distrust, and cast himself wholly and confidently upon the Lord! (Jeremiah 4:1).

b. If he is to be the Lord’s spokesman he must separate the pure and divine from that which is rooted only in earthly passion, (comp. Jeremiah 6:29; Ezekiel 22:26; Ezekiel 44:15; Ezekiel 44:23).

c. Then the people (his present enemies) will turn to him for counsel; only he must not attempt to vindicate them in their rebellion against the Lord.

d. Man is free to accept or reject God’s call; but, when it is accepted, he is expected to obey - even when the going gets rough, (Luke 9:62; Luke 14:26-35).

2. In verse 20 there is clearly a renewal of the prophetic commission.

a. God will make Jeremiah as a fortified wall of bronze, (comp. Jeremiah 1:18-19; Ezekiel 3:9).

b. Judah will, indeed, continue to fight against him, but his enemies will not prevail, for the Lord is with him as his Divine Protector, (Jeremiah 1:8; comp. Psalms 46:7; Isaiah 41:10).

3. Jehovah Himself will deliver Jeremiah from the hand of the wicked, (vs. 21; Jeremiah 20:13; comp. Genesis 48:16), and redeem him from the grip of tyrants; though Jeremiah was ultimately led into Egypt against his will (and by his own brethren), he was never under the power of the Chaldean army, (Jeremiah 39:11-12).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-15.html. 1985.
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