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This Chapter contains the humble application to the Lord, in beholding the prosperity of the wicked. Towards the close of the Chapter we have some sweet promises of God to his people.
If the Reader will turn to Psalms 73:0 , and remark the complaints of Asaph, on the same subject, he will find the best comment to what Jeremiah here speaks of in his experience. He will find also the best remedy to it, and which God the Holy Ghost teacheth, in the close of that Psalm. So much indeed is there said on it, and so truly blessed, and unanswerably conclusive, that nothing more can be required. I only pray the Reader to remark with me, that Jeremiah like Asaph, begins his observations, with setting it down, as a sure unerring maxim, that however at a loss the people of God might be in explaining the ways of God in his providences: certain it is, that the Lord is righteous, and cannot do wrong.
I venture to look far beyond Jeremiah and all his personal troubles, in what is here said. Who indeed, but must eye Jesus, in what is here said of his brethren. John 7:3-5 . And with respect to Jesus, what were the swellings of Jordan, and the contention of horses, compared to the billows of divine wrath, which overwhelmed his precious soul, when he made his soul an offering for sin. Psalms 42:7 ; Song of Solomon 8:7 ; Psalms 69:1-3 , etc.
I hope that I do not use any violence to this passage, neither strain the holy scripture, when I say, that after everything which may be said, in allusion here to Israel, I venture to consider somewhat infinitely higher, and more interesting is intended from it. May we not suppose, that it is the language of God the Father in respect to his dear Son given up into the hands of wicked men, for the purposes of redemption? At all events we know, that the Lord so speaketh, concerning Christ. Isaiah 42:1 ; John 3:16 .
I detain not the Reader, with multiplying observations on these verses, the tenor of which is so uniformly discoverable through all the Bible. But I beg of him, to remark with me, how gracious the Lord's promises of salvation are interspersed, in this, as in all other passages of a like nature. We have a beautiful, and indeed a continued specimen of this from beginning to end, in Leviticus 26:0 , to which I refer.
READER let us learn from this chapter to form one sure and unerring maxim, concerning the providences of God, that however puzzling and unaccountable to us they may appear, the issue of them must invariably be, for the divine glory, and for the welfare of his people. Behold in this point of view, our faith will find frequent ca use indeed for exercise; but faith will also find a suited strength to lean upon during the time of exercise. Who should have thought the cruelty of Joseph's brethren, would, in the divine direction of it, ultimately be made the means of so much good? Who would have conceived, that the crucifixion of Jesus, was in the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God? Such events speak, in a loud voice, to suspend our judgment on all the ways and works of God: and to wait to hear what the Lord will accomplish by all his providences going on throughout the earth.
Reader let us learn another sweet lesson from the perusal of this Chapter. I mean, that we study more, in silent and humble adoration, the ways and works of the Lord, both in the circumstances of our own lives, and the order of his Church. Jesus hath the government upon his shoulder. He is the King of nations, as well as King of Saints. His way is in the sea, and his paths in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known. But the end is sure. Think what wisdom that must be, which comprehends such an infinite variety of men and things, differently and oppositely pursued by them, but ordered by Him, to his glory, and the Church's welfare! Precious Lord Jesus! grant both to Reader and Writer, grace to be always looking up to thee, and seeking thy wisdom to guide; thy power to protect; and thy love to bless, all the events which concern ourselves, and thy people. And while we both take confidence, and holy joy, that if thou art for us, who can be against us, may a sense of thine unerring wisdom, constrain us continually to exclaim, oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God? How unsearchable are thy judgments, and thy ways past finding out!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany