Correct me, but with judgment - Let not the punishment be to the uttermost of the demerit of the offense; else we shall be brought to nothing - totally and irrecoverably ruined.
The lamentation of the daughter of Zion, the Jewish Church, at the devastation of the land, and her humble prayer to God for mercy.
Grievous - Rather, “mortal,” i. e., fatal, incurable.
A grief - Or, “my grief.”
tabernacle - i. e., “tent.” Jerusalem laments that her tent is plundered and her children carried into exile, and so “are not,” are dead Matthew 2:18, either absolutely, or dead to her in the remote land of their captivity. They can aid the widowed mother no longer in pitching her tent, or in hanging up the curtains round about it.
Therefore they shall not prosper - Rather, “therefore they have not governed wisely.” “The pastors,” i. e., the kings and rulers Jeremiah 2:8, having sunk to the condition of barbarous and untutored men, could not govern wisely.
The “great commotion” is the confused noise of the army on its march (see Jeremiah 8:16).
Dragons - i. e., jackals; see the marginal reference.
At the rumour of the enemy‘s approach Jeremiah utters in the name of the nation a supplication appropriate to men overtaken by the divine justice.
With judgment - In Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 46:28, the word “judgment” (with a different preposition) is rendered “in measure.” The contrast therefore is between punishment inflicted in anger, and that inflicted as a duty of justice, of which the object is the criminal‘s reformation. Jeremiah prays that God would punish Jacob so far only as would bring him to true repentance, but that he would pour forth his anger upon the pagan, as upon that which opposes itself to God Jeremiah 10:25.
Cruel were the mockings he was called upon to endure. His sensitive soul was pierced through and through by the arrows of derision hurled at him by those who despised his messages and made light of his burden for their conversion. “I was a derision to all my people,” he declared, “and their song all the day.” “I am in derision daily, everyone mocketh me.” “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.” Lamentations 3:14; Jeremiah 20:7, 10. PK 420.1
But the faithful prophet was daily strengthened to endure. “The Lord is with me as a mighty terrible One,” he declared in faith; “therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be really ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.” “Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for He hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.” Jeremiah 20:11, 13. PK 420.2
The experiences through which Jeremiah passed in the days of his youth and also in the later years of his ministry, taught him the lesson that “the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” He learned to pray, “O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.” Jeremiah 10:23, 24. PK 420.3Read in context »