Jeremiah 12 Commentary
Chapter 11 recorded for us a plot to kill Jeremiah at Anathoth. The LORD responded by promising to punish Anathoth. He would bring disaster to the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment. The prophet had prayed and hoped to see the LORD’s vengeance on the plotters.
Yes, the LORD would punish Anathoth but at His own pace – in the year of their punishment. Was the prophet unimpressed with the LORD’s answer? Well, who would be? “Vengeance is mine,” says the LORD. But who loves this scripture? Painfully fine, but won’t the LORD be mindful of time?
Facts first: the LORD is righteous; always right. Consequently, the timing of Anathoth’s punishment is also right. Another fact: the wicked prosper and live at easy. Then an important question following fact number 2, why? Won’t it contradict the justice system of the LORD? Jeremiah wants an answer.
Won’t it just be right that the wicked suffer instead of the righteous? We all think so; we are on the same page with our brother Jeremiah on this one!
God’s response is very interesting. How will you be called a champion without competition? The statement is a repeat of what the LORD said to the Apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you.” You are good enough for it. Stop complaining! Out and get going with the competition!
Or, I haven’t thrown you into the ring to fight against an opponent that you cannot defeat. You are in the victor’s corner, trained and managed by the LORD God Himself. In fact, I have prepared you for bigger opposition and here you are wetting yourself against a very weak opponent! Out and get it done.
Again, we can remind ourselves of the words of the LORD to Joshua. “Be strong; be courageous. Be very strong.”
The LORD God can always be this confident about the saint because the LORD has done a good job. He knows no weapon fashioned against His soldier would prosper.
Then the LORD mentions Jeremiah’s relatives. The prophet shouldn’t trust them. “That is the situation with my children,” the LORD seems to imply. My own children have risen up against me. The LORD seems to want Jeremiah to have a simplified version of the LORD’s pain. What an honor!
Jeremiah’s experiences expand into a global situation. It becomes the battle of God against wickedness. All of Israel’s wicked neighbors will have their own day before the Creator God. It becomes a picture of the Boby of Christ against the wicked world. In the year of their punishment, the LORD will avenge Himself.
But there is still hope for the individual and the nations. Can they learn the ways of the LORD’s people?
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