Then I said, "What sadness is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who has threatened to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay -- yet they all curse me."
The LORD replied, "All will be well with you, Jeremiah. Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf in times of trouble and distress.
Can a man break a bar of iron from the north, or a bar of bronze?
Because of all my people's sins against me, I will hand over their wealth and treasures as plunder to the enemy.
I will tell their enemies to take them as captives to a foreign land. For my anger blazes forth like fire, and it will consume them."
Then I said, "LORD, you know I am suffering for your sake. Punish my persecutors! Don't let them kill me! Be merciful to me and give them what they deserve!
Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.
I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I burst with indignation at their sins.
Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook. It is like a spring that has gone dry."
The LORD replied, "If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak words that are worthy, you will be my spokesman. You are to influence them; do not let them influence you!
They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall. They will not conquer you, for I will protect and deliver you. I, the LORD, have spoken!
Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)