Rev Brian Huizinga on Jeremiah 20:13-18.
A blessed Biblical message for those who may be severely depressed and those pastoring them.
Jeremiah’s woeful curse may have been uttered well before the preceding verses. Compare James 3:10. But this is how he felt and his later testimony must be “God lifted me out.” He had seen and experienced much to depress him—child sacrifices to Molech, ten years of the people’s hardening under his ministry, the death of the last good king of Judah (Josiah), no wife by his side and continual verbal abuse and threats to his life from his own townsfolk.
He saw no hope of relief, no end in sight, nothing positive to come, as though held down under water, never to rise.
What he needed was:
- Comfort, encouragement and hope.
- His sin to be exposed—his lament called down murderous curses.
- His doubts, depression and self-centredness were from not trusting God, his promises and history of covenant faithfulness.
- All men have only small beginning of obedience (they remain with a totally depraved old nature).
- The prophet was only a type of Christ and failed. Christ won the battle through worse suffering.
- Look ahead. God has a purpose/ plan for all of us (Jer.29:11).