A Night In the Stockade
Tim Temple

Introduction

In our studies of the book of Jeremiah, we have been seeing through the life of the prophet Jeremiah what a Christian can expect to go through in the final years of a nation's collapse. God willing, we may avoid this in America. I hope we can, but we have certainly seen tremendous parallels as we have been going through the book of Jeremiah to the days in which Jeremiah lived and in the kingdom of Judah. In the midst of all of that increasing moral decay and continual international threats and the failure of national leadership in that day, God patiently taught and toughened the prophet Jeremiah to meet the conditions that he was going to encounter as the nation continued to fall apart.

As God strengthened Jeremiah, no doubt He was strengthening some others, those who were faithful to Him. He was no doubt doing the same things in their lives that He was doing in the life of Jeremiah. Part of God's design in that was to teach us in this day how to meet the conditions of a deteriorating world around us. Things had been tough for Jeremiah. Nobody would listen to him. There had been a plot against his life, and he found out that even his own friends and family were involved in that plot.

In chapter 20, we find that first actual physical attack on Jeremiah. This chapter takes place in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim who was the last king of Judah. In fact, it takes place during the closing months of Jehoiakim's reign. Chapter 21 is going to tell us that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, was already marching his armies toward Jerusalem as this chapter takes place. The king has heard of the approach of the Babylonians and the people have heard about it and fear has gripped everyone's heart. Into that setting, God sends Jeremiah to preach another final warning before the judgment actually falls.

What a testimony this is to the patience of God and to the grace of God. We don't know for sure because it didn't happen, but we know from the principles of God's Word that if the Israelites, if the citizens of Judah, would have repented in response even to this last minute message, God would have turned from His judgment and from His wrath of them. I am going to go ahead and tell you the last chapter. They didn't repent, and God did bring His judgment on them, not in this chapter but in the days that follow this chapter.

At this point, Jeremiah has been preaching about this coming judgment for twenty-one or twenty-two years and still, the judgment has been held off. He has been warning these people again and again, and God has withheld the judgment that Jeremiah speaks of so clearly. At last, it is about to come and the people are still stiff-necked and unrepentant. God offers them one last chance, as we look at this chapter, one last opportunity to repent.

Chapter 20 actually should begin with verse 14 of chapter 19. Chapter divisions are man made; God didn't inspire the chapter divisions. If they had let me make the chapter divisions, I would have made chapter 19 end with verse 13 and chapter 20 begin with verse 14. So that is the way we are going to do it. Verse 14 of chapter 20, for our purposes, is actually verse 1 of chapter 20. So look at chapter 19, verse 14:

Jeremiah 19:

14 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD's house; and said to all the people,
15 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.

Notice how public this pronouncement was. We are told that the announcement was made in the court of the Lord's house, in verse 14. That would have been the town square, so to speak. That was the place where everybody gathered to see what was going on. It was the focal point of the activities of the city.

Then in verse 15, he says: “I will bring judgment upon them.” If we were to translate that from the Hebrew literally, and some of the newer translations translate it this way, it should be, “I am bringing judgment upon this city;” because, as I pointed out a few moments ago, the armies were already on the march. Nebuchadnezzar was gearing up to take over Jerusalem. Surely an announcement like this would have brought about repentance, don't you think? Such a public announcement and one in which the people had already heard the rumors that judgment was coming, and He said, “I am bringing judgment.” Surely this would bring repentance. But look in chapter 20, verse 1. As so often happens, the people shoot the messenger because they don't like the message. Jeremiah received some punishment for having given this warning. Notice beginning in verse 1:

Jeremiah 20:

1 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.
2 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.

The word struck there in verse 2 is a word that also could be translated differently. In some translations it is translated with the word beat . Pashur, the leader, the priest, beat Jeremiah. In fact, he had him publicly flogged and then he was publicly humiliatiated by being placed in the stocks there in the square, in the public place where he had made this pronouncement. Look what Jeremiah's faithful preaching had gotten him—nothing but humiliation and pain and suffering.

This was a surprising development as we are going to see in a few minutes, for Jeremiah had not expected this, and it had a very negative impact on him. For simply saying one more time what he had been saying for years, he now suddenly finds himself in this terrible, painful situation, crouched over with his hands and his feet extended forward through the stocks, unable to move, with his back all bloody and sore. By this time Jeremiah was accustomed to threats, but this was an official action taken against him by the chief officer of the temple, the leading religious official of the day. It indicates how hardened and how unrepentant these people had become when the very religious leaders were punishing the prophet of God.

The Passion

We are going to skip over verses 3-6. We will come back to them in a few minutes, but I want us to look first at verses 7-18 because in those verses we have the thoughts that went through Jeremiah's mind as he sat there in the stocks. This is what I am calling the passion . This is the passion that Jeremiah exclaims. The exclamation that he makes about his situation is in verses 7-10. Here we get another look at the humanness of this prophet, Jeremiah. It is one of those places that I am thankful we have in the Word of God.

We have these instances about almost all of the characters in the Word of God. Almost all of the people who God writes details about go through times like what we are about to see of Jeremiah. The reason that is comforting is, so do we. I would love to tell you that every time something goes wrong, I'm just like I am right here in this pulpit, talking about God, no matter what; but it is not true. There are those times in my life when I get discouraged, and there have been those times in my life when I have taken the wrong reaction, when I have committed sin, instead of trusting God to get me through a time of difficulty. Those times are in your lives also. I know that. I don't know the details but because I am human and you are human, I know it happens to you, too.

That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it right that it happened to Jeremiah, but isn't it wonderful to see that a man like Jeremiah, a man of God, had these difficulties and these down times and sometimes the wrong reactions to what God was putting him through. We are going to see in these verses that he faced circumstances just as we do, at times praising the Lord and at other times turning away from the Lord, at least mentally. If you have ever found yourself in an unexpected, difficult situation, you will be able to identify with Jeremiah as we look at these verses.

Jeremiah Feels God has Lied

The first thing he feels is that God Himself has been lying to him. Look at verse 7:

Jeremiah 20:

7 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed…

Let's stop there in the middle of verse 7. In fact, Jeremiah is actually charging God with having lied to him, with having popped him into a ministry, told him things that weren't true in order to get him to go into that ministry, and having taken advantage of him because He is bigger. Let's be honest. Haven't you ever felt that way toward God? “God, why did You get me into this? If I had known what was going to happen by following You, I would have never done it. It's Your fault, God.”

It is a dangerous place in life because it is on the verge of blasphemy, but I have to admit that I have felt that way, and I think maybe some of you have, too. If you haven't felt that way, be on your guard. You may very well feel that way at some point.

Maybe Jeremiah was thinking back to the promise that God gave him at the beginning of his ministry, recorded in the chapter 1. Turn back to chapter 1 for a minute. There God had called Jeremiah as a young man and had given him his assignment. Jeremiah had objected that he was too young. In verse 7, we read:

Jeremiah 1:

7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

Perhaps Jeremiah, as he charges God with lying to him and with bullying him here in chapter 20 is remembering this promise that God made to him. Maybe he is saying, “What happened, Lord? What happened to these promises that You made to me? You said that You would be with me to deliver me, and now look at this. Here I am in these stocks, beaten and bloody, and they are threatening my life. You said that You would deliver me, Lord. You deceived me.”

One thing we do know, that whatever the reason for Jeremiah's problems, it could not be because God lied to him because that is one of the things that God cannot do. God cannot lie. James, chapter 1, verse 13, says that He cannot be tempted with evil; neither does He tempt any man. God cannot lie. He cannot be unfaithful to Himself and Who He is. But Jeremiah feels, as sometimes we do, that God hasn't kept His promise. He has failed to do something that He promised He would do.

I don't know how many times over the years people have said to me, when I have suggested some verse of Scripture to them, “Oh, that may work for you, but it doesn't work for me. You can claim that promise if you want to, but I don't believe it. God hasn't made that true in my life,” or words to that effect. You see, that is just another way to say that God is a liar, that God has deceived me. That was Jeremiah's predicament here.

What is the answer? Why do we think that way and why did Jeremiah think that way? I believe it was because Jeremiah made the mistake that many of us make and that other Bible characters made down through the years; that is, to take God's promises in our interpretation or in our context and to read something into a promise that God really may not have said, to make assumptions about what God said that is not really what God said. Apparently, as Jeremiah thought about that promise, he assumed that what God meant by that was when God said, “I will deliver you,” that God meant, “I will not let you get hurt. I will never let you be disappointed. I will never let you be frustrated.” But that is not what God said. What God had said was down in verses 18-19 of chapter 1:

Jeremiah 1:

18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

Notice that God says, “I will be with you.” In fact, He says, “I will deliver you.” Now, someone is thinking, “Well, Jeremiah was right. God didn't do what He said, did He?”

Keep a marker here and turn to Daniel, chapter 3. Daniel, chapter 3, is the story of those three young men who were in the burning, fiery furnace, or who were about to be thrown into the burning, fiery furnace. They wouldn't bow down to the idol that the king had made, and they were given a second chance to bow down to the idol that the king had made. In verse 27, they said to the king, who had threatened them with the fiery furnace:

Daniel 3:

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Notice in verse 17: “God is able,” they said, “to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand. God is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace but He may not do it, even though He is able to. Even if He allows us to go into the fiery furnace, we will then be delivered from your hand because we will be in His presence. You see, that is the promise of God. The promise of God is that we will be delivered from those burdens and those problems and those difficulties that He may allow us to go through. That deliverance may, in fact, be through our very death and being brought into His presence, but what better deliverance could there be than that—to be in the very presence of God?

God also means promises like this in terms of Isaiah, chapter 43, verse 2. Turn back to Isaiah, and notice chapter 43, verse 2:

Isaiah 43:

2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

You see, God didn't tell Isaiah and God doesn't tell us that we won't go through the fire. In some cases it might even be literal fire, but He is using this as a euphemism for all kinds of burdens and problems that He may allow us to go through. When you go through the waters, He doesn't say, “You are never going to go through deep waters.” He says, in fact, “When you go through the waters, I will be with you in the midst of those problems.” That is His promise. You see, the kind of deliverance that God speaks of is the deliverance that He gives as He walks with us and ultimately, if worst comes to worst from a human standpoint, deliverance out of this life and into His presence.

As we come back to Jeremiah, chapter 20, this is the kind of thing that God said to Jeremiah, but Jeremiah was like so many of us. Things got tough, and things got tougher for Jeremiah than they probably ever will get for any of us, although anything is possible. Things went extremely tough for Jeremiah and evidently Jeremiah thought that God would just keep him from getting hurt in any way as he delivered God's message to the people. But when things didn't work out that way, Jeremiah charged God with having lied to him.

Jeremiah Feels People are Laughing at Him

That is the first part of his exclamation. The second thing that Jeremiah complains to God about is laughter. He felt as if people were laughing at him. Back in Jeremiah chapter 20, verse 7, we read:

Jeremiah 20:

7 …I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

Have you ever felt that way trying to stand up for the Lord, trying to be a witness in school or in your office or wherever it may be, and people laughed at you? Naturally, this message of Jeremiah was unpopular. Nobody liked to hear that the barbarians were at the gate when you couldn't really see any outside evidence of it. When the economy is in good shape and when the ruler seems to be doing such a great job that he can get by with anything, nobody likes to hear, “Listen, the wheels are about to come off.” That was what the citizens of Judah were facing under Jeremiah's ministry, but the people couldn't deny the truth of God's prophet. So they did the only thing they could do. They began to ridicule him personally. They began to put him down. They began to attack him with words because he was not politically correct. They began to find things to besmirch his character or just to make a laughing stock out of him. When sinful people can't handle a logical argument, when sinful people can't handle the truth, they turn and begin to attack the messenger and try to destroy him personally. They laughed at Jeremiah. They poked fun at him. They ridiculed him. Mockery is hard to take and this was getting to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah Tries to Leave the Ministry

There is a third charge in his exclamation to God. It is leaving the ministry. Just a few chapters back in chapter 15, Jeremiah had said at a time of being thrilled at the glory of God:

Jeremiah 15:

16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

That is the wonderful feeling that many of us have had too, isn't it? Just to be thrilled with the power and the glory and the awesomeness of God and of His Word. Now look at chapter 20, verse 9:

Jeremiah 20:

9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name…

Now he says, “Lord, Your Word is a reproach to me and a derision to me, and I wish I had never even heard it.” Have you ever been there? I don't mean just normal fear some of us have of witnessing to other people, perhaps, but through some disappointment, or maybe through some sin that built a barrier between you and God, deciding, “I am not going to serve Him any longer. I am not going to try to obey Him. I am not going to walk with Him, I am just going to turn my back on God. I don't want any more to do with him.”

Maybe what is even harder than that is you have a loved one who has done that, a son or a daughter or a spouse or some close friend. They've turned their back on God. What a painful thing that is for those who haven't turned their back on God. If you are in that situation or if you have a loved one in that situation, you are going to like what the last line of this verse tells us about the nature of God's Word and about God's children. Look what happened to Jeremiah's resolve in the middle of verse 9:

Jeremiah 20:

9 …But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

You see, Jeremiah was torn with this inner tension. Things were going so terrible for him when he had been faithful to God that he said, “Okay, that is it. I am not going to represent the Lord any more. I am not going to speak any more in His name.” Yet, as he tried to quit speaking for God, he found that he couldn't because the fire of the truth of God's Word was within him and he had to speak it out sooner or later.

Do you know anything about that? Have you ever had experience where, in the midst of a time away from the Lord, some truth of Scripture would come back to haunt you? Some of the most interesting conversations I have had about the things of God have been with people in jail. When I was in college I worked with a state prison ministry and went there every weekend for the last couple of years that I was in college. I was amazed at some of the the biblical truth that some of the prisoners knew. Sometimes now, as I go to the city jail, and I hear the same from others who go to the state prisons, that there are people who have a great knowledge of the Word of God who are in serious trouble in various ways. Yet, that truth of God's Word keeps coming out, though they may be trying to hold it down. There are lots of other examples of that. Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 12, explains that:

Hebrews 4:

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It cannot be held down or squelched forever. You may try to sit on it, but if you are truly a child of God and you are trying to ignore Him and His Word and live whatever way you want to, let me tell you that sooner or later the fire of the Word of God will eat through your heart and you will have to yield to its presence in your life, whether you want to or not, and ultimately share it with others because that is the very nature of the Word of God itself. It may take years for that to happen if the heart is hardened. The Spirit is tenacious and sooner or later it will come because it can't be held back. The Word of God in the heart of a child of God must be brought forth. To use Jeremiah's terminology, it can't be held back.

Within the past year I have heard of three specific people of whom this has been true. After being brought up in Christian homes and then going far away from the Lord, the very Word of God that was buried, squelched, pushed down deep in their heart, burned its way through and they returned to a walk of fellowship with the Lord. In two of those cases, it was more than thirty years since the childhood of a Christian home and the learning of the Word of God, and then another ten or fifteen years, and yet the truth came through and God brought them back to Himself.

That is another reason, incidentally, to bring your children up under the sound of the Word of God. Next Wednesday night we are starting the AWANA program and one of the many reasons that we appreciate the AWANA program is that it is based on the Word of God. An integral part of that program is the memorization of Scripture. In our Sunday School classes here we try to teach the Word of God. In the Junior Church program they have a sermon that is based on the Word of God. I don't think they call it a sermon, but they have a teaching time based on the Word of God. The children who are old enough to be in these services and who furthermore listen to what is being said are exposed to the Word of God. The only hope for the future of our nation and the only hope for the future of your family is to have that fire of the Word of God in the heart of a child. He may turn from it. He or she may push it down. It can happen to the best of us, to the best of homes, but it is there in the heart and somehow God brings that back into play in their life.

Jeremiah's Loss of Friends

The last thing that Jeremiah mentions in his exclamation is the loss of friends and the resulting feeling of insecurity that he has. Look at verse 10:

Jeremiah 20:

10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.

You see, there is nobody Jeremiah can trust. He feels like everybody is against him. Even his friends are whispering against him. He says, “There is fear on every side. They say that to me mockingly. They think that is what I am preaching and so they chant that in my ears.”

We saw that Jeremiah felt that even God had deceived him. Now, he feels like all of his friends and even his acquaintances are looking for ways to do him in. That is a vivid description of the way our fears can get hold of us, can grip our minds and distort reality to such an extent that we believe that God Himself is not being faithful to us. In fact, it is an accurate description of an attack of Satan, which I think is exactly what this was in Jeremiah's life.

When we begin to look at our circumstances and at people around us rather than at the Lord, something within us locks onto that if we allow it to and everything begins to look utterly black and dark. That is what the influence of Satan does to us when we try to see life in our own strength, by our own standards. It twists things out of shape; it brings up all kinds of fear and doubt and uncertainly, which appear to be actual realities.

Jeremiah's Faith Strengthens Him

It is very important to notice in verses 11-13 that for Jeremiah, faith comes to his rescue and begins to strengthen him. There we find the enlightenment which God gives to this tottering, weakening prophet. The perception that God gives is in verse 11:

Jeremiah 20:

11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

In response to that vision, to that perception, he does the right thing. The prayer that he prays is in verse 12:

Jeremiah 20:

12 But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.

You see, this is the way to handle any frightening situation. Instead of getting our mind focused on people, turn our hearts to God. You can be almost sure that the way you see it as you look at it with your human vision is not really the way it is. The only answer is to begin with God, the unchangeable One, the mighty One Who sees things the way they really are, and work backward from that to the place where we are. Start with Him and what He told you—the promise of His Word—and work back to the situation where you are in the situation that is confronting you and you will see it in an entirely different light. That is what Jeremiah does here. He starts with God in verse 11, if you will look at it again: “The Lord is with me.” That is the first thing to remember. God has promised, “I will be with you, even if you do go through the fire,” even if you wind up in the stocks like Jeremiah in the public square.

“The Lord is with me and He is a mighty, awesome One. He knows how to fight. He knows how to repel attacks against me. Therefore my persecutors will stumble. Their plans against me are not going to work out. They will not overcome me,” he says. “In fact, they will be greatly ashamed, for they will not succeed.” You see, by faith, Jeremiah realizes that all of that is going to happen. History shows that he was right. We will see in the next few chapters that they are the ones who are overthrown and he was the one who succeeded and was spared.

In verse 13, we see the praise that he gives to the Lord. In verse 13, he cries out:

Jeremiah 20:

13 Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

That sounds a lot like the incident in Acts, chapter 16, where Paul and Silas were thrown into the dungeon at Philippi. At midnight they were singing hymns of praise to God and God delivered them from that imprisonment because their faith was focused on God, not on their circumstances. This is what Jeremiah learned to do, to sing praises to God.

Jeremiah Again Sinks into Despair

It would be great if we could end that account right here because things don't continue to go that way. Jeremiah is a very human human being. In the next verses he does as we often do; he sinks back into even greater despair. We are not going to take the time to read these verses, but in verses 14-18, we see that he is just engulfed with pity and he goes back to that kind of thinking that he was doing. He says, “I wish I had never been born.” It must be probably three o'clock in the morning by this time. He had been doing all right but in the last hour or two scrunched over in those stocks, he is once again overcome with his problem and he begins to curse the day he was born. Maybe you have been there, too. “Why was I ever born? I wish I had never even been born.”

What can help Jeremiah now? The Scripture doesn't tell us what takes place, but if you go back to verse 3 and read what happens the next morning, you will see that between these statement of despair in verses 14-18 and the things he says to Pashur the next morning, we find a different man.

The Coming Desolation Prophesied

In chapter 20, verse 3, we see the prophecy which God gives through him. Notice:

Jeremiah 20:

3 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, but Magormissabib.
4 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends…

To understand this fully, you have to know that the name Magormissabib means “terror on every side.” If you are looking for a name for your new baby or grandbaby, keep that one in mind. It describes some of your grandchildren, doesn't it? Terror on every side. That is what Jeremiah himself had experienced during the long night, and Jeremiah says to Pashur, “You are going to go through such terror. You are going to go through such suffering that that will characterize your life. The name Pashur means “a cleaver, a splitter, or a divider”—a person who sows discord among brethren. And God says through Jeremiah to Pashur, “You are going to face terror on every side and people will blame you for the terror that they are going through.

Then in verse 4, he talks about the numbing desolation that is coming. He says:

Jeremiah 20:

4 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy 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 into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.

Then in verses 5-6, he talks about how all of the wealth of Judah is going to be carried to Babylon to all of the prominent people. In the last part of verse 6, he says:

Jeremiah 20:

6 …and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.

You see, now Jeremiah is bold and decisive, steady as a rock. What happened between those hours of despair when he wished he had never been born and this dawning of the day when he speaks this prophecy of God to Pashur? The text doesn't tell us, but I think we can surmise from what we have already seen. I think that probably sometime during those long hours that that fire of the Word of God burning in the bones of Jeremiah triumphed over the tremblings of his heart. I believe that Jeremiah discovered what many of us have discovered in the hour of pressure, what the Word of God tells us: “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Jeremiah probably began to think back over the Word of God and the power that he had seen it accomplish in the past. Somewhere faith began to take hold of this weak, punished man and strengthen him so that when Pashur came in the morning, he was able to confront him with the very Word of God.

There is a New Testament parallel in Paul's second letter to Timothy. Let me just mention it to you. Paul wrote to Timothy in a time of great turmoil in the world of his day. He said in II Timothy, chapter 2, verse 13, “Timothy, even if we are faithless, He [Christ] remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself.”

Maybe Jeremiah remembered during the night what God had said back in chapter 1, verse 12: “Jeremiah, I am watching over My Word to perform it.” You know, that is a wonderful, beautiful promise. We talked about it several weeks ago when we were looking at Jeremiah, chapter 1. God is watching over His Word to perform it.

You may be in a time of testing right now or someone you love may be. You may be thinking you wouldn't want the rest of us to know you are thinking this and you wouldn't want God to know you are thinking this, but you are thinking, “Where are those promises of God? Why isn't He doing what He said He would do?” Will you remember that He is watching over His Word to perform it? That implies among other things that He will perform it at the perfect time, at the right time. Surely that must have gone through Jeremiah's mind that night there in the stocks, and it strengthened him and he was able to stand again and be counted for God.

Conclusion

As you face your time of testing, even though it may take a while, even though things don't go right at first, don't be shortsighted and blame God. Remember that He is watching over His Word to perform it in your life and in the lives of those whom you love. His promises are true; His timing is perfect; His love is complete.


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