warning. Fear of the enemies of God will bring not only suffering but shame. The man who goes out to fight for his country, and turns in cowardice on the day of battle, only escapes the enemy to die a disgraceful death at the hands of his own people. To meet the threatenings of men, we must have in our hearts not only the strength of God but the fear of God. Those who turn from the weapons of God's enemies, whom in God's strength they should meet and conquer, find God himself in arms against them. He himself visibly and signally confounds the unfaithful, and thus even in the unfaithfulness of the messenger he who sends him is all the more honored. As yet, of course, Jeremiah had not been tried, and all through his prophecies there is no sign that personal fear ever entered his mind. He had a very sensitive nature; he was often, almost continually one may say, the subject of depressing emotion, but the fear of no man, however dignified and powerful that man might be, deterred him from a plain exposure of his misdoings. And yet, although the prophet did not fall into unfaithfulness, it was well to warn him beforehand. Warning never comes unsuitably to any servant of God. He who stands should never take it amiss if he be exhorted to take heed lest he fall. And all the securing words with which God follows up the warning here do not make that warning one whir less needful. The prophet was to become like a fortress, as far as God could surround him with protection; but all the protection would avail him nothing, if he became careless as to his own believing connection with God. When faith fails, the whole spiritual man becomes vulnerable, and to become vulnerable soon leads to being actually wounded. - Y.
And they shall fight against thee.I. THE VEHEMENCE OF OUR FOES.
1. Formerly this virulence was manifested in revolting cruelties; lit fires of martyrdom; crowded prisons with sufferers for conscience' sake; drove thousands into exile; even disturbed ashes of pious dead to emphasise the execrations of the living.
2. Now opposition resorts to more secret, though not less deadly means. Seeks to prison confidence and joys; impede progress, disturb peace, destroy spirituality.
II. THE CERTAINTY OF OUR SECURITY. Saints may be weary, maimed, fearful, but cannot be ultimately defeated. False professors will fall a prey: indeed they tempt the tempter; but true men are sure of victory.
III. THE SOURCE OF OUR CONFIDENCE.
1. The abiding presence of the Lord.
2. The constant manifestation of the power of the Lord.
(R. A. Griffin.)
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