from Lynda Lindsey
God to Jeremiah: If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before Me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as My mouth.
They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord.
I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless. Jeremiah 15:19-21
At one time Judah’s cisterns were filled with fresh, clear water, the land yielded bounteous crops, and Judah’s people and livestock were well nourished and well tended. But as Babylon’s army moved toward Jerusalem, Judah was in the grip of a drought that left both people and the land desolate and in ruins. No rainfall led to dry, empty cisterns and crop failure. But even worse, God’s people were in the midst of a spiritual drought. Their sin and stubborn refusal to amend their ways and deeds, to turn from their wicked ways and seek God’s forgiveness brought spiritual drought and ruin.
God, holy and just, will not allow constant rebellion against His sovereign, gracious rule; Judah’s persistent rejection of the Lord and her unwillingness to repent insured God’s coming judgment: pestilence, sword, famine, captivity. Jeremiah, lamenting that he, God’s prophet and spokesman, would suffer along with the nation, was promised God’s protection and deliverance; however God did not spare Jeremiah persecution. Jeremiah, symbolically “eating” God’s words, joyously consuming and reveling in God’s words and ways, questioned why he should suffer along with the ungodly.
Why do the righteous suffer with the wicked? God’s promises are certain; if we repent, return to Him, forsake worthless speculations, and utter only God’s precious words, God will restore us, allow us to stand in His presence, and save and deliver us out of the hands of wicked, ruthless men. The promise is deliverance out of worldly troubles into eternal life; not necessarily deliverance from troubles, trials, and wickedness in this life. God saves, delivers and redeems us out of the refiner’s fire, whose flame removes our dross. Our responsibility? Faithfully speak His precious words!