Jeremiah 20

Jeremiah 20

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Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur

20 Now Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the LORD. The next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The LORD does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.”

  O LORD, you have deceived me,
    and I was deceived;
  you are stronger than I,
    and you have prevailed.
  I have become a laughingstock all the day;
    everyone mocks me.
  For whenever I speak, I cry out,
    I shout, “Violence and destruction!”
  For the word of the LORD has become for me
    a reproach and derision all day long.
  If I say, “I will not mention him,
    or speak any more in his name,”
  there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
    shut up in my bones,
  and I am weary with holding it in,
    and I cannot.
  For I hear many whispering.
    Terror is on every side!
  “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”
    say all my close friends,
    watching for my fall.
  “Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we can overcome him
    and take our revenge on him.”
  But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior;
    therefore my persecutors will stumble;
    they will not overcome me.
  They will be greatly shamed,
    for they will not succeed.
  Their eternal dishonor
    will never be forgotten.
  O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous,
    who sees the heart and the mind,
  let me see your vengeance upon them,
    for to you have I committed my cause.
  Sing to the LORD;
    praise the LORD!
  For he has delivered the life of the needy
    from the hand of evildoers.
  Cursed be the day
    on which I was born!
  The day when my mother bore me,
    let it not be blessed!
  Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,
  “A son is born to you,”
    making him very glad.
  Let that man be like the cities
    that the LORD overthrew without pity;
  let him hear a cry in the morning
    and an alarm at noon,
  because he did not kill me in the womb;
    so my mother would have been my grave,
    and her womb forever great.
  Why did I come out from the womb
    to see toil and sorrow,
    and spend my days in shame?


Jeremiah 20 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Truth divides.

From the strong leader to the broken in spirit, Truth comes in and draws a line.  Responses depend upon our heart and reveal many things about who we are.  I’ve witnessed this many times when a leader is drawn into accountability who thinks they’re all that.  They boast in their accomplishments.  They believe every single decision they make is right.  They act in such confidence that when a challenge comes forward because of their pride or self-determination they reject.  They are absolutely not teachable or willing to look at where they’re in need of growth. 

Within each, I’ve witnessed this and in the end, it did not go well for them.  This happens within the secular world but sadly within Christian organizations as well.  When it comes to the latter, God takes quite an interest for His name is at stake.  More on point, because He loves all people, even the self-sufficient Christian or by name only Believer, His longing, in the end, is for their pride to be broken and them return to Him.

Jeremiah has spoken unreal truth concerning the future of Judah using shards of pottery.  We read the results in this chapter.  Pashur the priest was in charge of the temple at the time.  He also was one who prophesied falsely again and again about Judah’s future.  Let’s be honest.  Pashur was a coward, played the political games and because the words of Jeremiah cut to the core and exposed him, he did the natural thing in his mind.  He had Jeremiah beaten and thrown in public stocks.

This man was not following God and most definitely not led by the Spirit.  Know someone like this? Dealing with someone not dialed into the Spirit of God is hard.  And if you’re called to speak Truth in the situation usually you pay for it in some way.

Jeremiah was ridiculed, harassed and beaten.  He was humiliated for speaking Truth and locked up.  But remarkably Jeremiah’s life would go on as the calling of God began as a prenatal commission.  There was no way he could escape what God had ordained for this man to do and say… even when it cost him.

There are 2 things to consider.  Truth exposes the heart of all.  It shows what we’re made of.  We can’t hide the evidence of whatever the challenge may be when Truth comes marching in.  Your response in such times reveals your heart and the deception you’ve believed.

The second thought is for a renewal of purpose if God has called you to speak Truth in some situation.  God is using this opportunity even though it may cost you on some level to bring a work in others or a situation.  Don’t compromise.  Don’t let the enemy sidetrack you with the brush fires of someone’s reaction to Truth and how it may even affect you by their lashing out.  Continue to be drawn into the Spirit of God each day.  Let Him work in your mind and heart.  Let Him take charge of the peace only He can give.  Let Him strengthen you to do the right thing.

There is always purpose when God brings about a work for Truth being spoken.  If you find yourself in such a situation know He who has called you to do so has purpose behind it.

Jeremiah 20 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Are you overwhelmed by Jesus right now?

Yes, it’s a convicting question, but it reveals so much. Jeremiah was consumed by the Lord and from that relationship would come the conviction to lead others. However, it was difficult when no one was listening. So, Jeremiah decided to quit. Yes, he says that here in Chapter 20.

Whenever I speak, I have to cry out and shout, “Violence! Destruction!” LORD, I am ridiculed and scorned all the time because I proclaim your message.

Jeremiah 20:8 GNB

Jeremiah was continually humiliated. He was mocked and scorned, much like our Savior Jesus Christ. They even came up with a nickname for him.

For I have heard the whispering of many, “Terror on every side! Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!”

Jeremiah 20:10a NASB

The Hebrew word translated “terror on every side” is ‘Magor-missabib.’ Apparently, Jeremiah must have used this term quite often because the people referred to him as old ‘Magor-missabib.’ Naturally, when this happens to us, we want to stop. We are ready to throw in the towel and escape to some kind of comfort or pleasure. Jeremiah wants to quit as well.

But when I say, “I will forget the LORD and no longer speak in his name,” then your message is like a fire burning deep within me. I try my best to hold it in, but can no longer keep it back.

Jeremiah 20:9 GNB

What a powerful image! Though he felt the humiliation from man and wanted to give up, the fire of God burned inside of him until he couldn’t contain it any longer. So I go back to my original question – are you overwhelmed by Jesus right now? When Jesus overwhelms us with grace and truth, we will be empowered with a fire that cannot be stopped. We will rise above others’ opinions, cultural norms, and even death itself in order to serve our Lord and Savior. Is this you today? What needs to happen for you to be overwhelmed by Jesus?

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