Jeremiah 37:15-16  [The Israeli officials] were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.  Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained a long time.

It is especially helpful for us today to read through the prophecy of Jeremiah, because what must have been very confusing for this faithful prophet to have to live through becomes very clear to us as we see the LORD’s sovereign hand at work carrying out his plan of salvation in the events of history, leading to the fulfilment of this first stage in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, his Son.

We are in a very similar position as we wait for the final fulfilment of all human history in the Second Coming of Jesus in glory and power.  There is much happening that might leave us as bewildered as Jeremiah.  We are seeing the cruel persecution of faithful believers in various parts of the world and we wonder why our loving God would allow this horrible sort of thing to happen in his world.  Even in our own culture, anyone who, like Jeremiah, faithfully declares God’s revealed Truth that runs counter to popular opinion based on human ‘wisdom’, runs the risk of ridicule, rejection and even imprisonment because our culture has already made it illegal to do so.

So, let us take heart from the Book of Jeremiah!  From our perspective, we understand clearly how God has used historical events involving human suffering, like the Babylonian Captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem, his City of Zion, and his t

emple which was so significant in his relationship with his chosen Covenant People, as a fundamental part of the preparation for sending his Son to suffer and die and rise again in order to redeem us.  So let us learn from all this never to despair as if everything is out of control and without purpose or direction.  Things may often have ‘seemed’ like that to Jeremiah (although his personal faith and commitment to God’s sovereign will and rule enabled him to keep speaking out the truth in spite of the consequences), but we, from our perspective, can see how it all fits in with God’s Eternal Plan.
We also have the advantage of knowing Jesus’ promise concerning what we must expect in the events leading up to his glorious Return: “When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth-pains. You must be on your guard.  You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.  On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.  And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.  Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say.  Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.  Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child.  Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.  All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:7-13).

May our Sovereign God give us all the grace and strength, as he has done for Jeremiah and countless others throughout history, to ‘stand firm to the end’!
– Bruce Christian