Jeremiah may have been the most tested prophet. He never won a soul. Nobody turned back to the Lord from his preaching. He was about the end of the line before the captivity of Israel. We can identify with Jeremiah. David came to fight Goliath because he said “is there not a cause.” Here Jeremiah said he opened his cause cause to the Lord. We have many causes. Rather than abandon our cause, our mission for God, take it to the Lord.
Jeremiah 20:7 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Verse 1 tells us about the governor and he plays a role here. The house of the Lord was in terrible shape. The nation of Israel had fallen from God. They misinterpreted scripture on purpose and taught it to others. Jeremiah had the courage to share the Word of God. Even though people wouldn’t listen, he kept on going. When he came against the governor, he was arrested and thrown in prison and put in stocks. He was physically suffering because of his dedication to the Lord. We’ve not come to that place. Many have. Many are suffering for the cause of Christ. We have challenges, but our battles are with our flesh, battles with discouragement and just the battles of life.
Jeremiah had gotten to the point of not being able to trust his friends (his familiars). When friends betray you is a bad shape to be in. I’m glad for my friends and family. We ourselves need to be trustworthy so that we can give help and comfort in times of need. Jeremiah was a man all alone. He got down. He was human. We get down and defeated. Serving in hardship is hard to do. Our spiritual life is challenged every which way. Jeremiah was put down all the time. He probably started thinking “I’m not like Ezekiel” or “I’m not like Isaiah.” No. He was Jeremiah. That’s what God expected of him. You don’t have to meet anyone else’s agenda. Meet God’s.
Jeremiah was down. He was going to close the book on his cause. Have you? Stopped reading the Bible? Stopped praying? Do you say to yourself “what good is it?” The more Jeremiah tried, the harder it got. He was going to stop but he said it was like fire in his bones. He had to let it out. He realized that even if no one stood with him, God did. Claim that. That’s how mighty our God is.
Jeremiah didn’t win anybody to the Lord. Well, that’s what we say. He was old. He had worn himself out. The captivity had begun. People may have been shaking their fist at him. BUT, there were at least four people who must have listened: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and Daniel. We know those first three as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Look what an impact these four men had!
Don’t abandon your cause. You never know what will come of it. Our labor is not in vain in the Lord. The Bible tells us this. One day someone may say to you “I would have never made it if not for you.” Don’t abandon your cause. Keep on for the Lord!