Jeremiah lived a hard life. The Babylonians were the mortal enemy of Israel. They ultimately ended the kingdom of Judah, destroyed the Temple and gates and sent them all into exile. God gave Jeremiah the job to tell the people to surrender to the Babylonians. So, the people from top to bottom hated him. God had him live as a traitor to his own people. He began as a normal prophet telling the people to repent or God swill destroy them. Then, the siege of Jerusalem began. He preached:
Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives
When Osama Bin Laden brought down the World Trade Center Towers, it would have been tough to have the job in NYC to say he is great and did a great thing. Jeremiah was saying we need to surrender to Bin Laden and have Sharia justice in the US. God gave just such a message to Jeremiah to speak.
In the crisis of the siege, when everyone needs courage and hope to continue, Jeremiah was the worst kind of enemy. So, the government put him in stocks. Then let him out. Jeremiah said:
You deceived[a] me, Lord, and I was deceived[b];
you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
He goes on to say:
Cursed be the day I was born!
May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
who made him very glad, saying,
“A child is born to you—a son!”
Why did God let these word in the Bible? Satan is the great deceiver and here is Jeremiah saying God deceived him and is like torturing him! Jeremiah feels God has dealt him a bad hand. Should not the Bible say good things about God? God is much bigger than that. He shows here that he is open to our complaint. Our complaint may not be right, but God accepts and hears us. God certainly knew Jeremiah had a tough assignment. Finally, God uses Jeremiah to write the deepest lament we can find. God does not hide Jeremiah’s complaint or his lament.
On another note, would you accept a pastor who told you that you were wrong? Do you want a pastor who tells you to surrender? God is the God of all comfort. He is also the one to make us so uncomfortable. Jeremiah did not always complain. Yet, he is seen complaining twice in the
Bible. He had a tough job. And God lets us see Jeremiah’s complaint as is glad we can speak our heart to him.
We wish our earthly bosses could be so good. Can they accept our complaints? God can. Let us seek him with all we have. He is ready, and will lead us to true thanks.