One of the things I love about the Bible is that even its heroes are imperfect. It’s their imperfections that give me hope for myself.
Jeremiah was God’s man. Out of all the prophets of Israel, God saw something in Jeremiah that made him say, “Now there’s a guy I can use to preach for me. He’s the kind of man I’ve been looking for.”
But even Jeremiah had his moments.
In chapter 18, after “his congregation” had enough of Jeremiah’s negative preaching they began to criticize him, gossip about him, and even plot against him. So what does Jeremiah do? Does he ask God, “Forgive them father for they know not what they do”? Does he go and try to find a compromise with the people. “Listen, guys. I think there’s been a little misunderstanding here. When I said you were going to be like **** (dung) on the ground I wasn’t really talking about you specifically.”
No, Jeremiah doesn’t do any of those things. Instead, he prays that God will starve their children to death, that their wives would become widows, that their sons would be killed by a sword. He even prays, “Do not forgive their crimes or blot out their sins”. (You can read the details in chapter 18).
Wow! I think Jeremiah was a little upset. He definitely wasn’t being a “compassionate conservative”.
There’s hope for me. If God can use a guy like Jeremiah, he can use me. . . and he can use you.