|@July 7, 2023||ESV (2016)||ESV Prophets Plan 2023|
- The Lord will not relent
- Jeremiah’s complaint
The chapter opens with the LORD referencing Moses and Samuel, and that even though they had stood before Him in prior years, His heart was set against the rebellious people. Even the faithful patriarchs would not be able to persuade God’s decision to enact judgment.
In Jer. 15:2, the people ask, “Where shall we go?” when sent out of God’s sight and the LORD gives them some specific routes: 1) to pestilence, 2) to the sword, 3) to famine, 4) to captivity. All options are grim and unappealing.
In Jer. 15:3, the LORD appoints four kinds of destroyers over the people: 1) the sword to kill, 2) the dogs to tear, 3) the birds in the air, 4) the beasts of the earth. Through these methods, God will make His people “a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth” (Jer. 15:4). This is all due to what Manassah (king of Judah and son of Hezekiah) did in Jerusalem. Manasseh was Judah’s most wicked king and the evil he introduced would bind Judah to destruction despite even the revival brought by his grandson, Josiah, in 621 BC (2 Kings 23:26).
In Jer. 15:5-9, the LORD gives context to their punishment that, because their rejection of Him, He will stretch out His hand and destroy them (Jer. 15:6). There is a listing of the various means of judgment and if there are any left who do not fall to them, they will be given over “to the sword before their enemies.” (Jer. 15:9).
Jer. 15:10 begins a dialogue between Jeremiah and the LORD, initiated by a lament of Jeremiah over his mother who bore him and that he now has to endure “strife and contention”. The LORD responds in Jer. 15:11 that He has good purpose behind everything, even persecution and suffering. Jeremiah then asks the LORD to remember him and take vengeance on his persecutors for the sake of His name (Jer. 15:15). However, even in the face of opposition, Jeremiah still speaks of his joy and the delight of his heart being rooted in God’s words (Jer. 15:16).
In the final verses (Jer. 15:19-21), God responds to Jeremiah and tells him that He will protect His earthly representative. He declares to Jeremiah that, “I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.” (Jer. 15:21).
Jeremiah is taking some serious heat and understandably wondering if God is with him. The difficult conversation that closes the chapter captures a powerful and relatable sentiment. It is easy to be mindful of God’s presence in times of prosperity but when the storms come we can so easily slip into despair and forgetfulness.
The assurance we get from the gospel is one of sustained intimacy with the Lord. As members of His flock, our close company with Him is in no way impacted by circumstance. He is steadfast in His promise to His elect that that He will never leave them nor forsake them. We would do well to steal away from whatever darkened thoughts we may have in times of trouble and to be washed anew in this beautiful truth.
Scripture Journal Notes
Commentaries & Resources
- ESV Study Bible. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008)
- Faithlife Study Bible (Lexham Press, 2016)
- Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
- CSB Study Bible Notes (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Guardian Press, 1976)
- The Bible: A Reader’s Guide (Sterling Publishing, 2011)
- The Infographic Bible (Zondervan, 2018)
- ESV Digital Scripture Journal (Crossway, 2019)