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We have here an interesting Chapter. The man of God is smitten and put into the stocks, for preaching God's truth. The governor that commanded this is threatened with judgment for it. The Prophet mourns in the close of the Chapter over his calamities.
Reader! pause over this account. Recollect how Jeremiah was called to the prophet's office: Chap. 1:5. Recollect the long and painful office he had now exercised, and the universal disregard he found to all his preaching: and then behold how sadly he was requited! When you have duly pondered these things, call to mind that more or less, these are the marks of a faithful minister in God's sanctuary in all ages. Numbers 16:3 ; Acts 23:1-2 . Nay, look to Jesus under the same, John 18:22-23 .
Observe, what holy and becoming boldness in the man of God. Observe what an awful judgment Pashur is doomed to suffer. Magor-missabib, means, being encompassed with fear round about, as a girdle. It is worthy remark, that Jeremiah did not prophesy this of Pashur, when under the punishment, but after he was delivered from it. Probably, the Prophet did not receive from the Lord until then, authority so to do. It is always blessed to wait the Lord's time, for executing the Lord's purposes.
The Prophet's complaint to the Lord, of being deceived, means being disappointed. Jeremiah concluded, (but too hastily) that the people would regard his preaching, coming from the Lord, and in the Lord's name, and deliver him from them. Jeremiah 1:19 . He felt what all gracious souls feel, distress at the contempt they put upon God's words. And he felt for himself also. But what were the feelings of the Lord Jesus in his unequalled exercises? Psalms 22:0 and Psalms 69:0 .
What a blessed testimony, is it to the truth of the holy scriptures, that their effects on the souls of God's people, are in all ages the same. What Jeremiah said, all more or less find, that the word of the Lord is as a fire and as an hammer. Reader! can you bear like testimony to its power in your heart? Luke 24:32 . And what an uniform correspondence is there in all ages of the Church, among the Lord's people, how the enemy stirreth up the minds of men, to wait for their halting. An infirmity of the Lord's people, becomes subject of delight to carnal minds. Aha! Aha! so would we have it. This is the language of all the haters of Christ's people. Psalms 35:20-21 . The glory given to the Lord, in the close of this paragraph, is beautiful: and no less so the hymn of praise with which it ends.
So great a contrast there is between the last verse of the preceding paragraph and the beginning of this, that I cannot but suppose the Prophet is not speaking these things of himself. And I the rather am inclined to suppose this from the great sameness that there is in the words here spoken, to what we meet with in Job's complaint: so as that one might conclude the Prophet quoted them from Job. See Job 3:3 , etc. The Reader will remember, that I do not decide upon it, I refer him to the passage. But if the Prophet, like the Patriarch, uttered this vehement lamentation, we only learn from both, what a compound of grace and corruption there is in the best of men as men: It is thou only blessed Jesus, of whom it can be said, there was no guile found in thy lips; but as a lamb before her shearers is dumb, so thou openedst not thy mouth. 1 Peter 2:22-23 .
OH! Pashur! what a vast difference was there even in the moment of thy seeming triumphs, between the suffering Prophet, and the insulting Governor? And what an everlasting and eternal difference was there when his predictions were fulfilled, and thou wert a terror, a magor-missabib to thyself and all around thee! And what is it now? Reader think of that striking passage of the Prophet, and learn from it all that it contains; Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him! Woe unto the wicked it shall be ill with him!
Precious Lord Jesus! how can I hear or read of the reproaches thrown upon thy faithful servants in every age of thy Church, without having my mind insensibly directed to thee, to behold all the lesser exercises of thy prophets, swallowed up in the floods (as the streams of the earth in the vast ocean) of these unequalled sorrows. Was ever sorrow like unto thy sorrow, in the day of the Lord's fierce anger? Here in thee may my soul always find sweet consolation, and under the taunts and reproaches of the world, recollect, that if they called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they those of his household. Grant Lord! that I may never murmur at any of thy dispensations, nor lament the day of my birth, or wish it to have been covered in darkness: but rather desire to be conformed to thy blessed image in all things, that being made partaker of the sufferings of Christ, I may be also of the glory that shall follow.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 20". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
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