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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Jeremiah 9

Verses 1-26

The Wish to Escape

Jeremiah 9:2 ; Jeremiah 40:4-6

Jeremiah had cried wildly, 'Oh that I could escape'; but when escape was possible he turned his back or. it. He went to Mizpah with Gedaliah, and though only the dregs of Judah had been left there, still dregs or no dregs they were his own people, and like a gallant soul he would not leave them.

I. We all feel sometimes the longing to escape. To escape from what? in the first place from monotony.

Or again responsibility may cause it the pressure of responsibility and care not the weary weight of this unintelligible world, but just the burdens that lie at our own doors.

But to most of us there come hours when the great longing is to escape from ourselves.

O that a man might arise in me,

That the man I am might cease to be!

II. This longing betrays itself in many ways.

1. It betrays itself in day-dreams. It is one of the great offices of imagination to be a refuge when we are in rebellion against facts.

2. It betrays itself in pleasure, and especially in the craving for exciting pleasure. The very charm of excitement lies in this that it helps men for a little to forget.

3. And then does it not betray itself in theories? How easy it is to blind ourselves to facts, when we once adopt some theory about them! When I see, and I see it every day, how men turn away from the straight gaze of Christ, and when I see how they run to philosophies and theories which have no cry in them, no cross, no blood only harmonious and flattering music to me at least that is another betrayal of the strange yet quenchless longing to escape.

III. The duty of a Christian is to crush it. However instinctively this wish may rise, it must when it rises be sternly combated. This is our duty every day we live, because of the example of Christ Jesus. 'O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me!' What is that, but the wild cry of all humanity, to flee from its Calvary and be at rest? Yet immediately, 'Not My will, but Thine be done. I am here not to do My will but Thine, O God.' And that instant recognition of the Father, and the immediate owning of His will, tells how in the very moment that the wish was formed, the wish to escape, to flee away was crushed.

G. H. Morrison, The Unlighted Lustre, p. 102.

References. IX. 2. A. Ramsay, Studies in Jeremiah, p. 47. G. A. Smith, British Weekly Pulpit, vol. ii. p. 309. IX. 7. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxviii. No. 2274. IX. 23, 24. J. P. Gledstone, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxvii. 1890, p. 150. A. E. Tonkin, ibid. vol. xliv. 1893, p. 122. J. Parker, Hidden Springs, p. 153. X. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. 1. No. 2893.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/jeremiah-9.html. 1910.