Tuesday, March 16, 2010

He Smote a Prophet - Jeremiah 20

Jeremiah 20:1-2 "Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD."

First off, it was the previous chapter Pashur was referring to where Jeremiah broke the vessel in the valley of the son of Hinnom causing it to be a place of death and the origin of the name for everlasting punishment that we have in our New Testament (which is hell).

Secondly, Pashur did not like the prophesy and got angry enough to hit Jeremiah over it. He tossed him in the stocks then called for him the next day.

It is amazing to me that the governor of the house of the LORD would have stocks so handy, that he would smite a prophet and be so far from God that he would hurt the messenger instead of being concerned about the message. It shows how far away from God they really were.

v3 "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib."

These are important names. Pashur means freedom. Magormissabib means 'terror on every side'. So by the symbolic name change the destiny of this priest governor is changed for his actions toward the prophet of God.

v4 "For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the and of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword."

v5 "Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labors thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon." See II Kings 20.

We see in these verses the surroundings of the governor Pashur stripped away. He looses his friends and the treasures he apparently regarded as his own taken away. Now we see his personal sentence.

v6 "And thou, Pashur and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies."

Now, he learns that he will loose his position, his life and that he will not be buried in the precious tombs of Zion where the kings are buried. As we will see in the next chapter, he will live long enough to ponder these things.

The balance of the chapter deals with Jeremiah and the distress he must have felt over the situation, for he said he tried not to speak of it anymore but that it was a fire inside him and he could not refrain.

v9 "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name, But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."

He seems to feel very depressed for it was a depressing situation. He had to tell the truth but he stood as the only human who told the people the truth. Yet, he knew the outcome, that captivity was coming. Maybe he said to himself, as we do, 'what's the use'. But he kept on. He even wondered why he was born. After all, it was Jeremiah's nation too.

v18 "Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?"

Even prophets get discouraged. Yet he kept on. see I Kings 19:10

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