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Quiet Time in Jeremiah 20

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Jeremiah 20 (HCSB)

Jeremiah Beaten by Pashhur

1 Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer and chief official in the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2 So Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate in the Lord’s temple. 3 The next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord does not call you Pashhur, but Magor-missabib, 4 for this is what the Lord says, ‘I am about to make you a terror to both yourself and those you love. They will fall by the sword of their enemies before your very eyes. I will hand Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will deport them to Babylon and put them to the sword. 5 I will give away all the wealth of this city, all its products and valuables. Indeed, I will hand all the treasures of the kings of Judah over to their enemies. They will plunder them, seize them, and carry them off to Babylon. 6 As for you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, you will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon. There you will die, and there you will be buried, you and all your friends that you prophesied falsely to.’”

Jeremiah Compelled to Preach

7 You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived. You seized me and prevailed. I am a laughingstock all the time; everyone ridicules me.

8 For whenever I speak, I cry out, I proclaim, “Violence and destruction!” because the word of the Lord has become for me constant disgrace and derision.

9 If I say, “I won’t mention Him or speak any longer in His name,” His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in, and I cannot prevail.

10 For I have heard the gossip of many people, “Terror is on every side! Report him; let’s report him!” Everyone I trusted watches for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived so that we might prevail against him and take our vengeance on him.”

11 But the Lord is with me like a violent warrior. Therefore, my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. Since they have not succeeded, they will be utterly shamed, an everlasting humiliation that will never be forgotten.

12 Lord of Hosts, testing the righteous and seeing the heart and mind, let me see Your vengeance on them, for I have presented my case to You.

13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord, for He rescues the life of the needy from the hand of evil people.

Jeremiah’s Lament

14 May the day I was born be cursed. May the day my mother bore me never be blessed.

15 May the man be cursed who brought the news to my father, saying, “A male child is born to you,” bringing him great joy.

16 Let that man be like the cities the Lord demolished without compassion. Let him hear an outcry in the morning and a war cry at noontime

17 because he didn’t kill me in the womb so that my mother might have been my grave, her womb eternally pregnant.

18 Why did I come out of the womb to see only struggle and sorrow, to end my life in shame?


SIN (verse 18): I have at times thought this way in my life, just as Jeremiah did in this moment. Please forgive me for this “woe is me” thinking that I’ve done here and there over the years. Forgive me for often harping on the negativity in this life instead of the joy and happiness it is filled with. Forgive me for sometimes wallowing in my own negative thought life instead of going to You for counsel and wisdom. Thank You for always showing me the positive side of this life through You. Thank You for always being there to lift me up when I allow myself to fall due to my own self-pity at times.

PROMISE (verses 11a, 13b): You make two very important promises in these verses, Father. The first promise is that You are always with us like a warrior, ready to fight for us if we allow You to. The second is that You are the great rescuer of those in need from the hands of evil people. Thank You for always being on the ready to fight for us and to rescue us, even if sometimes it means allowing us to go through some things that we may not want to go through. Only You can see the big picture for how things will impact us, so I thank You for knowing what’s ahead for me and knowing how certain experiences will impact me. Thank You for always doing what is best for me according to Your will and not my own, Father.

ATTITUDE (verse 13a): Far too often, I tend to default to a self-righteous attitude of praise where I talk myself up for my accomplishments instead of giving praise to You, God. Please forgive me of this self-righteous act. Help me to be better at keeping my focus on You through all things instead of on myself. Help me to remember that anything I am able to do in this life is all because of You and not myself, so I should remember to give praise to You through it all.

COMMAND (verse 13a): This command is quite simple, yet so difficult for me to do on a consistent basis for some reason. You simply tell us to sing to You and to praise You. Why is this so difficult for me to do consistently, Father? Why do I get so stuck in my own selfishness that I neglect to praise You through the various experiences of this life? Please continue to remind me to turn to You through anything I experience in this life, Father. Help me to remember to praise You on the bright sunny days, but also on the storm-filled days, so that I am in a constant state of praise towards You and nothing else.

EXAMPLE (verses 7-13): Jeremiah was beaten, tortured, mocked, ridiculed, and disgraced by his own people quite often, yet Jeremiah did not sway from his faith in You. In these verses he starts off saying things that started to make me think he may begin to sway from his faith a bit, but then that oh so important transitional word comes out—but. He says, “but the Lord is with me like a violent warrior.” How powerful is it to know that no matter what is going on in my life, that You are there ready to fight for me like a “violent warrior” through my experiences, Father!

*DAILY NOTE: Thank You so much for giving me Jeremiah as a practical example to learn from as a lot of his thoughts and experiences seem to be similar to my own or at least close enough for me to truly empathize with him. I often struggle to understand things the first time around and maybe even the second time around, but You seem to have a way of speaking to me in this relationship where I can typically understand the basic principles You are trying to give me in the moment. Thank You for speaking down to my level of understanding, Father. Thank You for knowing me so well that You know exactly how I need to be spoken to at any given time through Your word.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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