Jeremiah Index

Jeremiah Chapter 20


  • Jeremiah 20:1 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.

It is interesting that the very persecutors of those who preach truth are those of the established religion in the area in which the truth is being preached. Here is a priest or son of a priest of the House of the Lord. He was supposed to know the word of God himself. He should have known all the things Jeremiah were prophesying.

In the days of Jesus Christ, it was the religious crowd that gave Jesus the most trouble. It was the religious leaders that later had Him crucified. Sinners who Jesus came to save, loved Him. Ordinary people followed Him. It was the religious rulers of that day that rejected Him and later influenced others to reject Him.

I don't know if religious leaders feel threatened in some way if people follow someone else instead of them. Maybe they fear losing their income. While religious leaders should always be mindful of false teachers, and warn against such, they should never have to fear permanent loss if they are right with God, are teaching things that are truly God's word and have a heart after God. If God has called them to serve, God will take care of them. No need to fear another person or denomination. Just stay faithful in one's own calling. If someone preaches something you think is false, then speak of the doctrine and warn against it. Never persecute, bad mouth, and harm a person who believes differently than the established religion. They may be the one in the right. Speak your mind then leave it to the Lord. 

To persecute and cause someone to be put to death for their teachings shows a fear that is not normal. If you feel threatened by someone's faith or words, then it may show that you are not sound in your own faith.

  • 1John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
  • 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 
  • 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
  • 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

A man of God need not fear because if He is filled with the true Spirit of God then what you have is greater than what the enemy has:

  • 1John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

If you are of the truth than what you have is greater than those that represent Satan. There is no need to fear them or be threatened by them. There is no need to persecute those who believe different than you do. Those of the truth win in the end. Persecuting others only show that you may not be a person of the truth. It is usually those on the wicked side or rebellious side of religion that persecute.

A true preacher of righteousness is to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. They are to be gentle and kind yet fervent people of truth. We are not to lift up a hand against those who disagree with us. God is the one that repays disobedience. We are not to hurt anyone. I'm glad its that way because we are weak and would make countless mistakes as many have done in the past, if we were the ones who had to choose the wheat from the tares and destroy the tares. That is God's job.

  • Jeremiah 20:2 Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.

God in His mercy and wisdom does give His servants periods of rest from persecution but the the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy saying:

  • 2Timothy 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
  • 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 
  • 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

This is a choice that we may or may not have to make but those that live godly lives usually suffer some kind of persecution because people are convicted by the righteous living of those that they see living godly lives. It's the ones that reject the truth and godliness that are the persecutors. If someone persecutes another he or she is resisting the truth and is in rebellion.

If you find yourself persecuting or speaking evil of someone who lives godly, beware, you may not be living right yourself. The only thing we should speak out against is a false doctrine some may be preaching. We don't have to tear down the person or their character but we must expose false teaching and doctrine. This is why our good Lord gave us the bible to teach us what is true and what is false. We do have to be careful in doing this though. We may be the ones in the wrong.

We see Pashur here taking the precious prophet Jeremiah and putting him into stocks. He was trying to stop his message. Jeremiah's only desired is to obey God and warn people what was to come. He wanted people to repent so that the bad would not happen. He did not want his people to perish. Pashur did not show the love for the people that Jeremiah did. I say today. Those that show true love are those that tell you the truth.

  • Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
  • 5 A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

Those that flatter and made people feel good are not always the ones who are speaking truth. This doesn't mean that there are not times when God uses us to comfort those that are hurting. Its okay to tell someone they do something well and to give them an occasional sincere compliment to encourage is not wrong but someone who flatters just to gain favor and followers are those that we can't really count on to speak to us truth.

  • Jeremiah 20:3 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib.

Magormissabib- terror on every side. Because of Pashur's resistance to the word of God terror is to become his life.

  • Jeremiah 20:4 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.
  • 5 Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.
  • 6 And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.

Those friends no doubt lived to see and understand that Pashur was not a faithful witness of God but lied to them and failed to warn them of God's judgment.

How many false preachers and teachers who did not warn people of sin and the judgment of God, will face those they deceived one day. I believe they will. We must warn people that their sins will destroy them. We must warn that failure to repent and seek God for forgiveness and deliverance will destroy both them and others they influence. Whether we think we are sinners or Christians, we will not get by with ignoring the Word of God.

That is why God went to all the trouble to get this word to us after all these years. Many were persecuted for translating the bible in different languages so that all could understand the word of God. People were burned at the stake for translating the bible. Some wanted to keep the bible in the dark and not allow common people to read and understand. Why do we feel threatened if someone reads God's word?

The only reason to be afraid is that one may desire control or power over a group of people and if they begin to understand that they can know God themselves and they can understand the word of God themselves, control over them might be lost. A true minister of God will desire all to understand the word, they will not fear when people understand. 

  • Jeremiah 20:7 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.
  • 8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.

At times we may feel like Jeremiah if we've been faithful. Sometimes it may seem as if it is for nothing. Sometimes it may seem as if all our effort is in vain. But God sees and records every good work done in His name. He sees every act of obedience and faithfulness. He is with those that stand firm in His will and do not forsake His good way. Jesus said:

  • Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
  • 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The best life someone can live is a life that brings souls to Jesus Christ and introduces them to eternal life. Everlasting joy and peace awaits those that abide in Christ.

  • Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

So it will be to all who love God and love His word. If God calls one to preach, they will not be able to rest or be quiet. That word will burn inside like a fire. The word of God has to go forth with power and it will not return empty. It will not be in vain. Be strong faithful warrior. God will not forsake you.

  • Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

God's word doesn't die out. It will be done. He commanded the earth to be created. It was done. At His word nations rise and nations fall. Our hope is in God not man.

  • Jeremiah 20:10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. 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.

Those that resist the word of God will feel this way toward the ones that bring the word.

  • Jeremiah 20:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

This is so true. In the end, in the long run the faithful will be rewarded and those that resist God will suffer everlasting destruction.

  • Jeremiah 20:12 But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause.
  • 13 Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

God will always reward those that are faithful Him and suffer persecution. Praising God in song and with our voices brings us joy and peace in the midst of the storms of this life.

  • Jeremiah 20:14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.
  • 15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.
  • 16 And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;
  • 17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.
  • 18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

This is sometimes the way a faithful servant of the Lord feels when things go bad and people are hurting them. God sees all this and they will be rewarded. God will bring vengeance upon those that cause the persecution against His servants. We can repent and get right with God at any time if we've been a persecutor of any person who is faithful to God. We can repent and escape the judgment of God for that sin or any sin. Let us now choose the right way, God's way and be kind to those presenting the gospel.

Here is a word to all of us:

  • Matthew 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 
  • 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Jeremiah 21