Then I said, “What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay— yet they all curse me.”
The LORD replied, “I will take care of 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?
At no cost to them, I will hand over your wealth and treasures as plunder to your enemies, for sin runs rampant in your land.
I will tell your enemies to take you as captives to a foreign land. For my anger blazes like a fire that will burn forever. ”
Then I said, “ LORD, you know what’s happening to me. Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors! Please give me time; don’t let me die young. It’s for your sake that I am suffering.
When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies.
I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled 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, like a spring that has gone dry.”
This is how the LORD responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must 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 of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue 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.”