JEREMIAH – CHAPTER 15:15-21; 16


Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


In the face of imminent judgement, Jeremiah cries out in anguish to the Lord to remember him.  The Lord comforts Jeremiah as we are comforted as we watch the righteous judgment of God pass over our nation.  Let us take comfort in God’s words to Jeremiah. 


Jeremiah 15:15-19:  O LORD, you know.  Remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors, take me not away in your longsuffering.  Know that for your sake, I have suffered rebuke.  Your words were found, and I did eat them.  Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD GOD OF HOSTS.  I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced.  I sat alone because of your hand; for you have filled me with indignation (K.J.V.).


Jeremiah feels like God has let him down.  He can bear the reproach and loneliness, but he cannot bear the thought of his God, his refuge, strength and hope being like a deceptive, disappointing stream of unreliable waters.  This we know to never be true because all that God does toward his servants is for good and for His Kingdom purposes.  The Lord loves his faithful servant so much, he assures Jeremiah that both the Lord and Jeremiah share their grief.  When we weep in sorrow, all of our tears are bottled up in heaven.


Psa. 56:8: P.T.: You have kept track of all my wandering and my weeping.  You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle---not one will be lost.  You care about me every time I have cried.  For it is all recorded in your book of remembrance.

 Pulling Jeremiah close to Him He said: 


Jeremiah 15: 19-21:  If you return, then I will bring you back.  You shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from the vile.  You shall be as My mouth.  Let them return to you.  But you must not return to them.  I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall.  They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you.  For I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the LORD.  I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked.  I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible (N.K.J.V.).


Without addressing Jeremiah’s complaints, or offering healing for his wounds, God blesses Jeremiah with a three-fold promise:


1.       He will be allowed to stand before the Lord.

2.      He will have the extraordinary honor of being the Lord’s mouth.

3.      He must continue in his path of separateness from the world.  If he obeys, the world will turn to him. 


Verse 20 restates almost verbatim the promise given to Jeremiah on the day of his calling, a promise that must carry far greater significance for him now that he has firsthand face-to-face experience with the fierce opposition that was promised him on that day. 


Chapter 16 is another chapter I skipped when I taught Jeremiah in 2008.  It was probably because I didn’t have enough mettle to preach it. Perhaps I hoped because of the grace of Jesus Christ, we as a nation would never face these judgments.


It would seem obvious to all, that Judah and Jerusalem represent any nation or citizenry who have reaped God’s judgment.  Their acts of maneuvering and repeated self-delusion stand as a witness to the righteousness of God in punishing His people.  Theirs sins brought captivity.  It must be clear that for those who leave God out of their reckoning and deny Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, all will incur the same judgments for the same sins. 


We see a pattern in Jeremiah.  He cries out to the Lord in intercession.  The Lord answers, then He requires Jeremiah to proclaim another oracle of judgment even more severe and agonizing than the ones before it. 


Jeremiah 16: 1-4:  The word of the LORD also came to me saying, ‘You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.  For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers. They will die of deadly diseases.  They will not be mourned or buried but will be like refuse lying on the ground.  They will perish by the sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth (N.I.V.)


We could ask why was the prophet forbidden to marry?  Many have opinions, I don’t know.   I would assume if he had married and had a family, his grief would have been greater and his loyalty would be divided between the well-being of his family and his commission from the LORD.  God did not want Jeremiah to be a participant in this judgement.  As we know in raising a family, as they are growing- up, they have to overcome the spirit of the age before they fully embrace God.


Also, we see clearly Yahweh’s ownership of the Prophet.  Jeremiah is given a command to be single and childless for life with no opinion offered and no opinion requested.


This judgment was on those families who had forgotten God.  Their deaths would be unlamented.  They would not be able to have a proper Christian burial.  We saw this happen during the COVID plague; families were not allowed to have funeral services.  This my friends, according to the Word of God is a judgment.


16:5-9:  This is what the Lord says:  Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal.  Do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pity from this people, declares the Lord.  Both high and low will die in this land.  They will not be buried or mourned, and no one will cut himself or shave his head for them.  No one will offer food to comfort those who mourn for the dead---not even for a father or a mother---nor will anyone give them a drink to console them.  Do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.  For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:  Before your eyes and in your days, I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in this place (N.I.V.).


Church I am here to proclaim to you this day that America and every nation in the world has been under this judgment due to the COVID plague.  God removed his peace from the people.  It is also of great interest and a mystery to me, that the LORD called the remnant to come out of that judgment, to proclaim the Word of God against the evil and to call the Church to come out.


Jeremiah 16:10-13: When you tell these people all this and they ask you, “Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us?  What wrong have we done?  What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?” Then say to them, it is because your fathers forsook me, declares the LORD, and followed other gods and served and worshiped them.  They forsook me and did not keep my law.  But you have behaved more wickedly than your fathers.  See how each of you is following the stubbornness of his evil heart instead of obeying me.  So, I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.


One answer covered all three questions:  Because your fathers have forsaken Me and you have done worse than your fathers, said the Lord.


The FORSAKERS are a category of sinners who have brought judgment on a nation.  These FORSAKERS have abandoned God.  These walked after, served and worshiped other gods.  Power and wealth were two of their gods.  Pleasure and societal acceptance were twin aspects of their “other gods.”  The new generation walked after their own imaginations.  Their collective punishment was, “I will cast you out of this land.”


The mass immigration into our nation from other nations is fast becoming unsupportable.  This results in loss of wealth by the native-born citizenry, coupled with the transfer and loss of the lands.  These massive spending bills implemented by congress is a form of transfer of wealth.  Freedom is taken away with each descending decision.


Captivity becomes then but a step away.


The days are coming, declares the Lord, when men will no longer say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt, but they will say as surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.  For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers.  But now I will send for many fishermen, declares the Lord, and they will catch them.  After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill from the crevices of the rocks.  My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.  I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.


Oh, what a glorious promise in the midst of a chapter with so much judgment and pain!  The scattering will be so great in coming days people will remember the regathering from the north and the ends of the earth rather than the exodus from Egypt, the last act being more momentous than the first.


Yes, there was the return under Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and Ezra which was glorious, but even more glorious was the return which began in 1948 and we now see the glorious establishment and repopulation of the State of Israel.  How incredible that we are alive to witness this glory.


But first He says that He will repay double for their iniquity and their sin.  What if today, all the iniquity of the nations abruptly stopped?  And God repaid double for all their sins. Who could bear the sorrow and pain those national misdeeds have caused? What measure would be used to determine the time when the double payment was complete or the measure finished? 


Only God determines when the cup of wrath was fully drained.  We believe that the wrath poured out on Jesus at the Cross covered all of our sins.  Oh, let us not take His death on the Cross for granted or treat it lightly.  God declared His act of grace, “For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.”


 Jeremiah 16: 19-21: O LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.  Do men make their own gods?”  Yes, but they are not gods!  Therefore, I will teach them---this time I will teach them my power and might.  Then they will know that my name is the LORD. (N.I.V.)


Where were these nations to come?  Not to territorial Israel, but to the Lord.  There would be a time for the Gentiles.  At that time, they would be well acquainted with three things: His Power, His Might and His Name.


This prophecy was given 500 years before Christ.  We now know the Holy Spirit is our teacher.   


We remember the passage in chapter twelve:


Jeremiah 12: 15-17:  After I have plucked them out, then I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to is heritage and everyone to his land.  It shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ and they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. 


The Gentiles would know the Lord without an intermediary.  Before Simon Peter’s sheet came down; or Paul opened the gate wide for our ingathering; or before the Disciples were scattered abroad to witness to them---their day was spoken of by Jeremiah.


I was captivated by the Lord affirming that the people will swear by his name, “As the LORD lives.”  I did a search on “As the LORD liveth.”   The exact Phrase is used 27 times in the Old Testament to affirm an absolute.


Matthew 5:33-35: Jesus said, Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’  “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; “nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.


Psa. 18:46: The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.



The Lord Liveth by Petra:

So shall I be saved from my enemies, oh yeah
I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised
So shall I be saved from my enemies

The Lord liveth and blessed be the Rock
And let the God of my salvation be exalted
The Lord liveth and blessed be the Rock
And let the God of my salvation be exalted

I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised
So shall I be saved from my enemies










Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V.; N.K.J.V.; P.T. and N.I.V.

I entered into the labors of Jeremiah by Michael Brown; The Road to Captivity by C. R. Oliver.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.    


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