March 17, 2021

Jeremiah’s Suffering

Jeremiah 20:1-6

[Pashhur] had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks . . . at the Lord’s temple.

—  Jeremiah 20:2

Pashhur was a priest who was in charge of the temple of God in Jerusalem. But he was corrupt. He had the prophet Jeremiah beaten and put in stocks. Jeremiah told the truth about God and urged the people to turn back to God and repent from wrongdoing, but Pashhur and others would not listen. Instead, he preferred to listen to prophets who told lies and went along with people who disobeyed God.

So Jeremiah said that, later, when God would punish Judah for their corruption and unfaithfulness, Pashhur would be taken away in exile to Babylon. Pashhur and all his household would die there and never return to Judah and Jerusalem.

What can we learn from this? First, we can learn that God is serious about obedience. God calls us to live for him and to follow his ways, not the ­selfish, greedy, and corrupt ways of the world. We can also learn that we should respect people who speak the truth of God.

Jeremiah had a very difficult calling from God—to preach to a rebellious people and urge them to turn back to God and repent of their stubborn, corrupt ways. “I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me,” Jeremiah complained (20:7). But he could not stop preaching God’s words, no matter how difficult it was for him.

Let us listen to God’s servants who speak the truth. Let us ­examine our hearts and seek to live faithfully for God.

Holy God, have mercy on us. Give us the faith to serve you and to stand up against corruption, wherever it is. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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