“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16).
The prophet Jeremiah was living during a politically difficult time in Israel’s history. Israel had suffered a drought and various invasions by surrounding nations because of her departure from God. “My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
Jeremiah was describing a political upheaval and the inward depression it was causing him. Israel had forsaken the Lord, departed from His word, and failed to listen to prophets who were warning her. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and other countries had arisen and were invading Israel. Her borders had shrunk and would continue to do so. Israel was devastated.
The text verse shows the godly attitude of the prophet: “Thy word was unto me the joy of my heart” and his agony at the plight of Israel: “Oh . . . that I might weep day and night for . . . my people” (Jeremiah 9:1). Compare Jesus as He mourned for Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together . . . and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37).
Might not the plight of Israel be applied to our day? Where do we find help? Troubles ought to drive us to the Book, the Bible. The apostle Peter understood the function of trials in the lives of Christians and exhorts the New Testament saints as follows: “Rejoice, though . . . ye are in heaviness through . . . temptations (trials) that . . . your faith . . . might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:6,7). JLG