Jeremiah: A Profile of Courage

Two important things are woven into the fabric of this entire prophecy. One concerns the fate of the nation, and the other concerns the feelings of the prophet. And both of them are instructive.

Bible Studies in the Book of Jeremiah

Overview the Book of Jeremiah

from Adventuring Through the Bible

What if some present-day preacher stood in his pulpit and persistently declared that God was on the side of the communists? That God was against America and that he was raising up the communists to be his people and his servants? That God cared nothing for the Declaration of Independence or the American Constitution or the long heritage of religious worship that our nation has had? In fact, that the things we emphasize were an offense to God?

And what if this preacher even advocated that Christians renounce their loyalty to their country and join the Communist Party? And what if the preacher -- subjected to house arrest, or flung into prison, or slapped in the face in public and his writings burned, or half-drowned in a pit of slime -- would not only stubbornly refuse to take back one word of what he had said but would only repeat it again? Well, this is something like the situation that is recorded in the book of Jeremiah. This is exactly what Jeremiah was called to do.

Imagine yourself as that preacher. Imagine how you would feel when no one listens to you and persecution hounds you every step of the way. You are unable to seek comfort in marriage because the days are too difficult and God has said to remain unmarried. You feel abandoned, and alone; all your friends turn from you.

And if you try to quit, and refuse to be this kind of a preacher, you find that you cannot quit -- that the word of God burns in your bones and you have to say it whether or not you want to. And despite the message that you are called upon to deliver, your love for your country is genuine and deep -- as you see it surrounded by its enemies and ravished and conquered and despoiled, you are overcome by a deep sorrow that breaks out in grief's lamentations.

Now, perhaps, you can understand why Jeremiah, of all the prophets, was unquestionably the most heroic. Isaiah wrote more exalted passages and perhaps saw more precisely the coming of the Messiah and the fullness of his work. Other prophets speak more precisely concerning some of the future events that were to be fulfilled, but Jeremiah is outstanding among the prophets as a man of heroic, dauntless courage. For many years he endured this kind of persecution in his life without quitting. That is an amazing record, isn't it? As you read through this book you can see that here indeed is an amazing man.