Jeremiah’s Message of Judgment

English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) learned that it was more important to please God than to please men. Knowing that he was doing what was honoring to the Lord kept him from discouragement when he was falsely accused by his enemies. At one point in his ministr … More


The armies of Babylon are already marching in their direction and Jeremiah is sent by God to give a final word of warning before judgement falls. Jeremiah’s message of judgement was rejected by the temple priest, Pashhur, who was second in authority to the high priest (vv. 1-2). He had Jeremiah seized and beaten with 40 lashes (Deut. 25:2-3) and then put in stocks for public ridicule. This was at a public gate of entry into the temple and for the rest of the day, in addition to the physical suffering, he was subjected to the scorn and ridicule of the citizens of Jerusalem as they came When Jeremiah was released from his chains the next day he refused to change his message. Because Pashhur refused to head Gods message, he would see the outpouring of God’s judgement as his friends fell by the sword and his family was exiled in Babylon where they would die (vv. 3-6).

We see the thoughts of Jeremiah while he was in the stocks (vv. 7-18). He faced these difficult circumstances in much the same way as we do. He opened his heart to God and expressed his inner feelings. He felt that God had deceived him by letting him be ridiculed by the people for his message. Discouraged, Jeremiah wanted to quit the ministry (vv. 7-9). Even his friends were watching for him to slip up so they could take their revenge on him as a false prophet (vv. 10-12). Jeremiah even gives in to despair and cursed the day of his birth. We see his mood fluctuating between confident faith (vv. 11-13) and utter misery (vv. 14-18).


The reason Jeremiah couldn’t stop telling the truth was because the Word of God was not an external body of information; it had been internalized, and it controlled Him. I pray that my life may also be controlled by the Word of God and that it will never be just a body of information.

Jeremiah 20:1-18 (English Standard Version)

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