Jeremiah 18-20

Thursday Evening Bible Study

February 17, 2005

Jeremiah 18

:1-10 In the potter’s hands

:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

This is Jeremiah’s ninth message.

:2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

:3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Jeremiah is told to go down to the house of a potter where he watches the man molding the clay. God is going to teach him something by watching the potter mold the clay. As the potter works with the clay on the pottery wheel, a flaw develops in the lump of clay. So the potter smashes the work and starts over again.

:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

God was the potter and Israel was the clay. Even though a fatal flaw was found in Israel, God would be remaking the nation into something useful. As the potter, God has the right to do what He wants with the nation.

:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

repentnacham – (Niphal) to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion; to be sorry, rue, suffer grief, repent

God has the right to change His mind about things. If a nation repents, God has the right to be merciful.

:9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

:10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

God also has the right to bring judgment on a nation that turns its heart from the Lord.


God’s work in my life

Paul picks up on this notion when he talks about the sovereignty of God:
(Rom 9:18-24 NLT) So you see, God shows mercy to some just because he wants to, and he chooses to make some people refuse to listen. {19} Well then, you might say, "Why does God blame people for not listening? Haven't they simply done what he made them do?" {20} No, don't say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to criticize God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who made it, "Why have you made me like this?" {21} When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? {22} God has every right to exercise his judgment and his power, but he also has the right to be very patient with those who are the objects of his judgment and are fit only for destruction. {23} He also has the right to pour out the riches of his glory upon those he prepared to be the objects of his mercy-- {24} even upon us, whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.

God has the right to do whatever He wants in our lives. He’s the potter.

The Teacup
An American couple went to Europe, to England and they were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Both the man and the wife were connoisseurs and fanciers of pottery, antiques and China. When they came to Sussex they went into a Little China shop. Their eyes singled out a beautiful little tea cup on the top shelf. The man said, “Can I see that, that’s the most beautiful tea cup I’ve ever seen.” And as he was holding the tea cup the tea cup begins to speak.
It said, “You don’t understand, I haven’t always been a tea cup. There was a time when I was red and that I was clay. My master took me and he rolled me and he patted me over and over and over. I yelled out “Let me alone” but he only smiled and said, “Not yet”. And then I was placed on a spinning wheel, suddenly I was spun around and around and around. “Stop it I’m getting dizzy,” I said. The master only nodded and said “Not yet” Then he put me in an oven, I’d never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me and I yelled and I knocked on the door and I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips. As he nodded his head he said “not yet.” Finally the door did open “whew”, and he put me on a shelf and I began to cool. “That’s better” I said. And then suddenly he grabbed me and he brushed me and he began to paint me all over. I thought I would suffocate, I thought I would gag, the fumes were horrible. And he just smiled and said, “Not yet”. And then suddenly he put me back into an oven, not the first one but one twice as hot, and I knew that I was going to suffocate. And I begged and I screamed and I yelled, and all the time I could see him through the opening, smiling and nodding his head, “not yet, not yet. And then I knew that there was no hope, I knew that I wouldn’t make it. I was just ready to give up when the door opened and he took me out and he put me on a shelf .Then an hour later he came back and he handed me a mirror and he said “Look at yourself”. And I did. And I said, “That can’t be me, I’m beautiful!” “I want you to remember,” he then said, “I know that it hurt to be rolled and to be patted but if I would have left you, you would have dried out. And I know that it made you dizzy to spin you around and around on a spinning wheel but if I had stopped you would have crumbled. And I know that it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven but if I hadn’t put you there you would have cracked. And I know that the fumes were oh so bad when I brushed you and when I painted you all over, but you see, if I hadn’t done that you wouldn’t have hardened and there would have been no color in your life. And if I hadn’t put you in that second oven you wouldn’t have survived for very long. The hardness would not have held. But now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

He is the potter. We are the clay. Be careful about fighting what He wants to do in your life. It goes easier if you just yield to Him.

Sometimes we see difficult times coming and we want to run away.

But what if those difficult times are the very thing that God is using to mold us and shape us.
(Rom 5:3-5 NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. {4} And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. {5} And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
What do you consider the key events in your life that have molded you and made you the person you are today?
For most of us, we would probably look back to certain difficult times. It was then that God either worked to get our attention, or He taught us how to trust Him and serve Him.

:11-17 Judah is rebellious

:11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

:12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.

When God warns the nation about the coming judgment, their response is that it’s useless to try and turn. There’s no hope. They just can’t change.

Yet God would not ask us to turn from our sins if it were not possible.

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

:13 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.

:14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?

:15 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

(Jer 18:14-15 NLT) Does the snow ever melt high up in the mountains of Lebanon? Do the cold, flowing streams from the crags of Mount Hermon ever run dry? {15} These can be counted on, but not my people! For they have deserted me and turned to worthless idols. They have stumbled off the ancient highways of good, and they walk the muddy paths of sin.

:16 To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.

:17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

Because Judah was so undependable, God would scatter them.

God is looking for people He can count on.

We call this quality “faithfulness”.

(Mat 25:20-21 KJV) And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. {21} His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

:18-23 More plots against Jeremiah

:18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

(Jer 18:18 NLT) Then the people said, "Come on, let's find a way to stop Jeremiah. We have our own priests and wise men and prophets. We don't need him to teach the law and give us advice and prophecies. Let's spread rumors about him and ignore what he says."

:19 Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.

:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.

People have different ideas of what is “good” for them.

In reality, though Jeremiah’s messages have been tough on the people, they are the very thing they need to hear. His messages HAVE been “good” for them.

Yet for the people, they just want to be told how good and nice they are. They don’t want to hear difficult things.

:21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.

:22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.

:23 Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

Jeremiah prays for God to get these people who are trying to hurt him.

One moment he’s praying and weeping for the people, the next he’s upset and asking for God to destroy them.


Difficulties in serving God

Ministry can be a “love/hate” kind of thing. We know that we’re supposed to be loving and kind to one another, but frankly sometimes people can be quite mean and hurtful.
After a community worship service, a farmer invited the local pastor, reverend, and priest back to the farm for dinner. At the meal, each of the three clergy was served a whole young chicken. As the three returned to their cars, a rooster was seen strutting about, chest puffed out and held high. “He sure seems full of himself,” commented the pastor. “He has good cause to be proud,” answered the farmer. “He just had three of his children go into the ministry.”
Sometimes serving the Lord is a lot like being eaten for dinner.
Among pastors and those trying to serve the Lord, we often joke that “Ministry would be a great thing if it weren’t for the people”.
Yet serving the Lord is ALL ABOUT people.
When you look at Pastor Chuck and the impact he’s had on people, you can kind of get the idea he must just wave a magic wand and great things are done. But think about some of the people Chuck has had an impact on and how they’ve impacted others:

Mike MacIntosh – he was so messed up on drugs that he was convinced that half of his brain had been blown away by a gun.

Greg Laurie – a young kid from a very messed up family. His mom had been married and divorced five times.

Raul Ries – a very angry man, a Viet Nam vet, and a killer.

Steve Mays – a homeless drug addict living in the gutter.

Jeff Johnson – a drug dealer

Though these fellows experienced a new life in Jesus Christ and were changed dramatically by Jesus, there was also a process of lifelong change helped along in part by someone being patient and loving toward them. All these guys tell stories of how they would call Chuck for advice and the patience and grace that Chuck showed them.
And yet even with Chuck has had people turn on him. Over the years there have been all sorts of people who have split off of Calvary Chapel. Some are quite antagonistic. A couple of days ago there was a fellow standing outside of the church parking lot holding a sign that says, “Calvary Chapel is Satan’s church”.

Do you quit when you face opposition or disappointment? No. You keep going.

Jeremiah 19

:1-9 Prophecy against the valley of Tophet

:1 Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;

bottlebaqbuk – flask, bottle; the word probably comes from the sound of water being poured out, chugging. It’s a narrow necked pottery flask.

:2 And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,

eastcharcuwth – potsherd; this gate was called the “potsherd” gate because when people had trash like broken pieces of pottery, they would go out this gate on the way to the trash dump located in the valley of Hinnom. The gate was also called the “dung” gate.

valley of the son of Hinnom – the Hebrew is “geh ben hinnom”, sometimes shortened to “the valley of Hinnom” or, “ge-hinnom

This valley was located south of Jerusalem.

A place in the southeast end of the valley was called “Tophet” or “place of fire”. It was in Tophet that some of the Jews worshipped Molech.

Molech was formed as a bronze statue with his arms outstretched. He was heated in the fire until he became red hot, and then the little children would be placed in his arms as a sacrifice as the priests beat their drums and yelled their chants to drown out the baby's screams as it died in the arms of Molech.
It was in this valley that even King Manasseh sacrifice his son to Molech (2Ki. 21:6).

Later, King Josiah would tear down the pagan altars there and defile them.

2Ki 23:10 And he defiled Topheth, which [is] in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. (AV)

Eventually it was turned into a garbage dump where the fires were kept burning to consume worm infested garbage, animal carcases, and dead bodies like the abandoned dead bodies of criminals. It became a vivid picture of hell. The name “Gehenna” became the Hebrew term for “hell”.

:3 And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.

:4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

:6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

slaughterharegah – a killing, slaughter

The valley would be known as “ge-haregah

This is not talking about how the valley would be a picture of hell. Here the idea is that the valley would be the place of the slaughter of the people killed by the Babylonians in the coming judgment.

:7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

:8 And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

Not only would the valley be a place of slaughter, but Jerusalem would also be wiped out.

:9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.

Cannibalism during the siege of the Babylonians against Jerusalem.

:10-15 More against Tophet

:10 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee.

:11 And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.

In the last chapter, the idea of the potter’s vessel was one where the potter could mold and shape the clay.

Here they clay has been fired and hardened. Instead of being “repaired”, it is being destroyed.

:12 Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:

:13 And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.

:14 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house; and said to all the people,

:15 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.

Jeremiah 20

:1-6 Pashur’s persecution

When the people had earlier devised a plot against Jeremiah, they said,

(Jer 18:18 NLT) Then the people said, "Come on, let's find a way to stop Jeremiah. We have our own priests and wise men and prophets. We don't need him to teach the law and give us advice and prophecies. Let's spread rumors about him and ignore what he says."

They had their own prophets and priests to tell them what they thought God was saying.

Jeremiah has also talked about the prophets who misled the people by telling them that everything was going to be all right.

(Jer 6:14 KJV) They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

Now we’re going to meet one of these fellows …

:1 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.

Pashur is the “chief officer”, probably in charge of maintaining order in the Temple.

:2 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.

smote – Jeremiah very likely received 40 lashes.

stocks – so Jeremiah would face public ridicule.

:3 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.

PashurPashchuwr – “freedom”

MagormissabibMagowr mic-Cabiyb – “terror on every side”

:4 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 hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.

:5 Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours 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.

:6 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.

It has been suggested that Pashur was taken in the second Babylonian captivity in 597 BC, the same deportation that took the prophet Ezekiel to Babylon.

Ultimately one of the tests of whether or not a person is truly a prophet or not is whether or not their words come to pass.

(Deu 18:21-22 KJV) And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? {22} When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Pashur would be shown to be a false prophet.

:7-13 The burning heart

:7 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

Jeremiah feels like God has made a fool out of him.


Live and Learn

Fred and Ethel Mertz and Ricky and Lucy Ricardo are traveling by train to the Super Bowl. At the station Fred and Ethel each buy a ticket and watch as Ricky and Lucy buy just one ticket. “How are the two of you going to travel on only one ticket?” asks Fred, astonished at what he is seeing.

“Watch and learn,” answers Lucy. They all board the train. Fred and Ethel take their respective seats but Ricky and Lucy cram into a toilet together and close the door. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the toilet door and says, “Ticket, please.” The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.

The Mertzes see this happen and agree it was quite a clever idea, so after the game they decide to try a similar plan on the return trip. When they get to the station they see the Ricardo’s at the window buying a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Ricardo’s see that the Mertzes don’t buy any ticket at all. “Aren’t you taking a terrible chance by traveling without a ticket?” says Lucy. “Live and learn,” answers Ethel.

When they board the train the Mertzes cram themselves into a toilet and the Ricardo’s cram into another toilet just down the way. Shortly after the train leaves the station, Fred leaves their toilet and walks over to the Ricardo’s toilet, knocks on their door and says, “Ticket, please.”

Jeremiah feels tricked by God.

God had promised Jeremiah at the beginning of his ministry that it would be tough, but God also said:

(Jer 1:18-19 NLT) For see, today I have made you immune to their attacks. You are strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. None of the kings, officials, priests, or people of Judah will be able to stand against you. {19} They will try, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the LORD, have spoken!"

Now Jeremiah feels like God has not kept His part of the bargain.
We feel let down when we get to think that God’s promises means some certain thing, like perhaps never being whipped and put in the stocks (like Jeremiah had just experienced).
The problem isn’t with God’s promise; the problem is our idea of what the promise means.

:8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.

Everything that God has Jeremiah say is about doom and gloom. His negative messages haven’t made him any friends.

:9 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.

Jeremiah decides he’s going to stop speaking for the Lord. But when he’s silent, his heart burns.


Can’t stop – the “heartburn test”

I think this is one of those tests to see if something is really a work of God or not.
If you try and stop, but are more miserable than ever, then it’s a “God thing”.
It’s not an infallible test because it’s very difficult to know just what’s really going on in your heart. But here are a couple of times where I’ve seen it at work in my life:
Years ago I was a youth pastor at the Baptist church. As a youth pastor, I taught two to three times each week. When we left our ministry with youth at the Baptist church to pursue ministry at Calvary Chapel, I went for a period of six months where I didn’t do any teaching. And I was horribly miserable. I finally started teaching a very small home study with just Deb, myself, and two other people.
Sometimes I use this “burning heart” test when we are taking time to wait on the Lord. I may get a scripture, a thought, or a phrase that comes into my mind and I wonder if it’s something I just made up or if it might be something that God is speaking to me. If I’m not sure, I’ll try keeping it to myself. If it keeps burning in my heart, then I begin to wonder if it isn’t God trying to say something.

:10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.

(Jer 20:10 NLT) I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me "The Man Who Lives in Terror." And they say, "If you say anything, we will report it." Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. "He will trap himself," they say, "and then we will get our revenge on him."

:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

:12 But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.

:13 Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

:14-18 Cursing the day of his birth

:14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.

:15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.

:16 And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;

:17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.

:18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?


Victory and depression

In one breath Jeremiah is praising God for helping him (vs. 13) and in the next breath he wished he had never been born.
I’m not sure it’s realistic to think that we’re always going to be “up”.
Depression seems to be something pretty common to mankind. And in particular, it seems to hit those who take a stand to serve the Lord.
Some of our favorite people in the Bible went through some pretty low times.

Moses went through some times of despair, feeling like he couldn’t handle the weight of responsibility in leading the nation. He wanted to die (Num. 11:15).

Elijah experienced a time of great darkness, even after having had the most incredible high anyone could imagine, having called down fire from heaven, yet when Jezebel threatened his life, he too wanted to quit and die (1Ki. 19:4).

Charles Spurgeon, becoming a pastor at age 16, addressing crowds of 5000 by the age of 20, was known to have gone through extreme times of depression. In the “Minister’s Fainting Fits”, Spurgeon wrote,

“Knowing by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means, being visited therewith at seasons by no means few or far between, I thought it might be consolatory to some of my brethren if I gave my thoughts thereon, that younger men might not fancy that some strange thing had happened to them when they became for a season possessed by melancholy …”

Spurgeon goes on to talk about the kinds of times we can get depressed. Sadness can hit before a great achievement. It can hit during a time of great success. We can become depressed when after a time of hard work we are simply physically exhausted. Sometimes it comes after some crushing blow. He describes a time in his own life, after there was a tragic fire at one of his special meetings and for weeks Spurgeon was so depressed he thought about quitting the ministry:

“To the lot of few does it fall to pass through such a horror of great da4rkness as that which fell upon me after the deplorable accident at the Surrey Music Hall. I was pressed beyond measure and out of bounds with an enormous weight of misery. The tumult, the panic, the deaths, were day and night before me, and made life a burden… From that dream of horror I was awakened in a moment by the gracious application to my soul of the text, “Him hath God the Father exalted.” The fact that Jesus is still great, let his servants suffer as they may, piloted me back to calm season and peace. Should so terrible a calamity overtake any of my brethren, let them both patiently hope and quietly wait for the salvation of God.

:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one

mightygibbowr – strong man, brave man, mighty man

This is the word used to describe David’s “mighty men”.

terrible one‘ariyts – awe-inspiring, terror-striking, awesome, terrifying, ruthless, mighty; from ‘arats – to tremble, dread, fear; to inspire with awe, terrify

This word seems to usually be used to describe bad people, bullies, people who “terrify” you.

(Jer 20:11 NKJV) But the LORD is with me as a mighty, awesome One.

(Jer 20:11 NLT) But the LORD stands beside me like a great warrior.

(Jer 20:11 NASB) But the LORD is with me like a dread champion;

(Jer 20:13 NLT) Now I will sing out my thanks to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For though I was poor and needy, he delivered me from my oppressors.


God’s help

Jeremiah tasted depression, but he also tasted victory.
His moments of victory came when He remembered who was on his side. God was on his side.
And God is far bigger than any of his problems.
(Psa 124:1-3 NLT)  If the LORD had not been on our side-- let Israel now say-- {2} if the LORD had not been on our side when people rose up against us, {3} they would have swallowed us alive because of their burning anger against us.
(Psa 40:1-4 NLT)  I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. {2} He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. {3} He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD. {4} Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols.