like a mirage
Jeremiah 15:10-21 (JDV)
Jeremiah 15:10 Tragedy has come to me, my mother, who gave birth to me, a man who incites dispute and conflict in all the land. I did not lend or borrow, yet everyone curses me.
Jeremiah 15:11 Yahveh said: Haven’t I set you loose for your good? Haven’t I punished you in a time of trouble, in a time of distress with the enemy?
Jeremiah 15:12 Can anyone smash iron, iron from the north, or bronze?
Jeremiah 15:13 I will give up your wealth and your treasures as plunder, without cost, for all your failures in all your borders.
Jeremiah 15:14 Then I will make you serve your enemies in a land you do not know, because my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you.
Jeremiah 15:15 You know, Lord; remember me and take note of me. Avenge me against my persecutors. In your patience, don’t take me away. Know that I suffer disgrace for your honor.
Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, because I bear your name, Lord God of Armies.
Jeremiah 15:17 I never sat with that band of revelers, and I did not celebrate with them. Because your hand was on me, I sat alone, since you filled me with indignation.
Jeremiah 15:18 Why has my pain become unending, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You truly have become like a mirage to me – water that is not reliable.
Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore, this is what Yahveh says: If you return, I will take you back; you will stand in my presence. And if you speak noble words, rather than worthless ones, you can be my spokesman. It is they who must return to you; you must not return to them.
Jeremiah 15:20 Then I will make you a fortified wall of bronze to this people. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, because I am with you to save you and rescue you. This is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 15:21 I will rescue you from the hand of evil people and redeem you from their terrible grip.
like a mirage
In one of Jeremiah’s complaining fits, he accuses God of being “like a mirage.”
I have been seeing a lot more things that are not there lately. I hope I’m not losing my mind! Out in the woods – especially – I am seeing shacks and towers where I expect them, and they turn out to be rocks and trees.
That’s what a mirage is. It is the mind filling in the gaps so that the eyes see what the expect to see.
Jeremiah was God’s representative – a seer. He was supposed to see things other people could not see. He was supposed to have divine perspective. But he confesses that he is not always confident that what he sees is really there.
It takes faith to stand up for God when everybody else wants him to not be there.
Lord, give us strong faith to stand for you – to declare your existence and power in a world that rejects both.