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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 15

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-21

Chapter 15

Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go foRuth ( Jeremiah 15:1 ).

Now it is interesting that when God chooses examples of men of great intercessory prayer, He chooses Moses and Samuel. There is an interesting characteristic about both Moses and Samuel and they were men who had the ear for God. You remember Moses was out in the wilderness and he saw the burning bush and he approached it and God spoke to him out of the burning bush. He heard the voice of God. He had the ear tuned to God's voice. Men of prayer, powerful men of prayer, are men who are tuned to the voice of God. Because the purpose of prayer is to get God's will done always. The purpose of prayer is never to get your will done. Prayer is not...God is not a genie. Though so many times we sort of approach Him as that. "God, I've got three wishes. Please grant them to me, you know."

You heard about the three fellows who were on the deserted island and about ready to die. A bottle came floating up on the beach. One guy went down and got it and rubbed it and genie popped out and says grant you three wishes. First fellow said, "I wish I was back in London now. Just to be in London again. Back in my own bed." Back in his own bed. Second fellow said, "Oh, if I was only back in Italy sipping coffee. Once more, just on the streets there in Rome. Oh, to be in Rome sipping coffee." Back in Rome sipping coffee. Third fellow says, "Oh, I'm so lonely without my two friends I wish they were back here with me."

You see what we could do with wishes? We could really mess up the world. So prayer is not to get our will done. It isn't that God is just going to grant our wishes.

Samuel, when as a little boy, brought by his mother to Eli, and there as he was sleeping he heard the voice, "Samuel, Samuel." He went running into Eli. Said, "Did you call me?" "No, I didn't call you. Go back to bed." Got back in bed and he heard, "Samuel, Samuel." Went running into Eli again and said, "You called me." "No, I didn't call you. Go back to bed." And again he heard this voice, "Samuel, Samuel." Went running in and Eli said, "Look, if you hear the voice again, just say, 'Speak, Lord, Your servant hears.'" So he got back into bed again and hears, "Samuel, Samuel." And he says, "Speak, Lord, Your servant hears." And God began to tell him all about the sins of Eli the priest. And so Eli the next morning said, "Well, what happened?" He had a tough time. But he heard the voice of God. He was tuned in. His ear was tuned. Men of prayer are always men who are tuned to the voice of God.

So God uses two examples-Moses and Samuel. But they are men who had the listening ear. And the listening ear always precedes the life of prayer, of powerful prayer. Hearing the voice of God. Knowing the will of God makes for powerful prayer. So though Moses and Samuel, God said, these two shining examples of men of intercessory prayer capacities. You remember Moses said, "Lord, forgive their iniquities. And if not, then I pray You'll blot my name out of Your book of remembrance." Intercessor before God. "But though Moses stood before Me," God said, "My heart can't be towards them. Though Samuel stood before Me, My heart can't be towards them. Cast them out of my sight. Let them go forth."

And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: there will be the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and to destroy. And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the eaRuth ( Jeremiah 15:2-4 ),

And God goes back now.

because of Manasseh ( Jeremiah 15:4 )

That horrible, wicked son of Hezekiah that introduced these people to this pagan idolatry.

the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem. For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how you are doing? Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, you are gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with changing ( Jeremiah 15:4-6 ).

Now an interesting verse, because we know that God does not change. God does not repent. "God is not a man, that He should repent; nor the son of man, that He should change" ( Numbers 23:19 ). But we are limited in talking about God to human terminology. So we have to describe God's actions in human terms. So we are faced with the dilemma how do you describe what apparently is a change of attitude by God. It would from my end look like God has changed His attitude. Not so. God has already, always known from the beginning. God doesn't change. He knows. His foreknowledge. So from my standpoint it looks like God has changed. He has pronounced judgment is going to come. The people pray. They repent and so God forestalls the judgment. You say, "Oh, God changed." No, He always knew that He was going to forestall the judgment. He really didn't change, but it would appear that He changed but I have to describe it in human language. We don't have divine language with which to speak of God.

And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; and I will bereave them of children, and I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways. Their widows are increased to me above the sands of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city. She that hath borne seven is languishing: she hath given up the ghost ( Jeremiah 15:7-9 );

Or she has died.

her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she has been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the LORD. Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet they are all cursing me ( Jeremiah 15:9-10 ).

Of course, Jeremiah was not saying things that were very pleasant. They were being angered by what this prophet had to tell them from God. Oftentimes a true prophet of God is not a popular man. They do generate a lot... people don't want to hear the truth. People want to hear a lie. When people come in for counseling, so often they want to hear a lie. They want to hear you say, "Well, it's just all right. Go ahead and do it. God doesn't care." "Oh, you're a great counselor. Oh, love you, brother." If they come and you say, "Look man, you persist in that and you're going to hell. That's a part of the works of the flesh and we know that they who do those things will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. You better get right with God." They go out angry, cursing, kicking. "Horrible counselor. He told me the truth. I don't want to hear the truth. I want to hear pleasant words." Jeremiah was telling them the truth. They had other prophets who were telling them lies. They were popular men. Jeremiah was unpopular.

The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with the remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction ( Jeremiah 15:11 ).

Though the people are going to be destroyed, there will be a remnant that will be saved. They'll be taken captive to Babylon and they're going to do well in Babylon. Well, they did. They prospered in Babylon. In fact, the Jews were so prosperous in Babylon. They were basically farmers. But when they got into business they were fantastic. And soon they were running the best operations in all of Babylon, becoming very wealthy men. So that when they were able to go back from the Babylonian captivity, some of them were so prosperous they didn't even want to go back. "Why should we go back to that hard life in Jerusalem? We got it made here." And so a lot of them did not return because they had become so prosperous.

So God here declares that it's going to be well with the remnant though they are in captivity in the time of their affliction.

Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel? Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all of your sins, even in all of your borders. And I will make you to pass with your enemies into a land which you know not: for a fire is kindled in my anger, which shall burn upon you ( Jeremiah 15:12-14 ).

He's predicting the Babylon captivity. Jeremiah responds.

O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your long-suffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke ( Jeremiah 15:15 ).

Well, that's good. Jesus said, "Blessed are ye, when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for so persecuted they the prophets before you" ( Matthew 5:11-12 ). He's referring to Jeremiah. He says, "Lord, for Your name's sake, because I have spoken in Your name's sake they're persecuting me. They're rebuking me."

For thy words were found, and I did eat them; and the word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart ( Jeremiah 15:16 ):

Can you say that of God's Word? To me it is the joy and rejoicing. How I love the Word of God! How I enjoy finding beautiful truths in God's Word that minister to my spirit and my soul. It's the joy and rejoicing of my heart. Just to get into the Word and to read and study it, sort of devour it. And here's Jeremiah saying, "I found Your Word and I devoured it and it was the joy and the rejoicing of my heart."

for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of your hand: for you have filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? Therefore thus saith the LORD, If you return, then will I bring you again, and you will stand before me: and if you will take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brass wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD. And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the awesome ( Jeremiah 15:16-21 ).

So God's promise to His prophet. "You go out to them, they will come to you again and I'll make you like a brass wall. I will be like a brass wall around you and though they will come against you to fight against you, they will not prevail because I am with you." So God's promise of the future, His sustaining of His prophet as he speaks forth the word of the Lord in the name of the Lord.

Shall we pray.

Father, we thank You tonight for the opportunity that You have given to us to again study Your Word. O Lord, may we devour Thy Word. May it be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts that we learn of Thee and we walk according to all that You have commanded. God, help us to hearken unto Your Word and to do it. May we not be hearers only, living in deception. But may we be doers of that which is right. God, help us that in these desperate days we might become desperate before Thee and in prayer. Make of us, Lord, men of prayer, women of prayer. Men and women of Your Word. In these last days, O God, help us that we might be able to lift others from the destruction that is coming upon the earth. That they might walk with You in Your kingdom. God, use us as Your instruments to speak Your truth. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/jeremiah-15.html. 2014.
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