Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Go back to the mountain
August 30, 2020

Go back to the mountain

August 30, 2020

Jer 15:15-21

15 Lord, you understand;
    remember me and care for me.
    Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering—do not take me away;
    think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
16 When your words came, I ate them;
    they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
    Lord God Almighty.
17 I never sat in the company of revelers,
    never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
    and you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending
    and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
    like a spring that fails.

19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“If you repent, I will restore you
    that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
    you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
    but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall to this people,
    a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
    but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
    to rescue and save you,”
declares the Lord.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked
    and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”


15:10–21 A confession—and God’s loving response

Jeremiah again expresses his own grief that derives from the burden of his call. Vs 10–21 are structured as two appeals to the Lord on the prophet’s own behalf (v 10 answered by v 11, and vs 15–18 answered by vs 19–21). His regret that he was ever born (10; cf. 20:14–18) effectively doubts God’s personal assurance to him (1:17–19). The Lord therefore reiterates the substance of that promise, even going beyond it, when he says that Jeremiah’s enemies will come to need him in their distress. This is fulfilled in Zedekiah’s dependence on him in the last days of Judah (e.g. 37:3).

The next verses (12–14) continue the reassurance to Jeremiah that judgment on the people is determined (even if this is mixed news for him). The unbreakable iron from the north probably refers to the invincibility of Babylon, compared with Judah; it also recalls, however, the promise that Jeremiah himself will be made like an iron pillar against his enemies (1:18). The oracle addressed to Judah in vs 13–14 also serves, in this position, as an affirmation to Jeremiah that the Lord does mean to fulfil his words against the people.[1]

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Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

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Point 3

Notes from Point 3


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  1. J. Gordon McConville, “Jeremiah,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 685.


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