Today’s bible study is Jeremiah 20:11: The Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.
We tend to think of the Lord as many things, most often associated with kindness, goodness, forgiveness and love. We see him as one who forgave easily, helped those in need and preached goodness and mercy. Now Jeremiah portrays the Lord as a warrior. This is a difficult portrayal, since most of us are so used to a Lord of love.
But, will the Lord act as the mighty warrior so that Jeremiah’s persecutors will stumble and not prevail? Will the Lord cause them to fall and to be disgraced? Will their dishonor be remembered? I believe that the answer is a resounding yes.
Yes, the Lord will stand beside us as a mighty warrior so that our persecutors will not prevail. He wants justice and equality and fairness to prevail. The Lord wants no one to be persecuted. The Lord is the very embodiment of love and grace and wants that love and grace to be spread to all His faithful followers. So, if someone persecutes us, the Lord will stand firm and not allow it to happen.
He will make our persecutors fall and be disgraces. Some of us have seen this happen in our own little worlds. We have had friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even relatives who have tried to persecute us. They have been cruel, unjust, unfair and thoughtless. They have had only their own small minded selfish interests at heart. But, so many times, we have seen them fall. We have seen them defeated. We have seen them stumble upon their own words and actions.
Will dishonor be forgotten? I believe that we have to make a distinction between forgiveness of sins and dishonor. Yes, our sins will be forgiven if we give our hearts and minds and souls to God through Jesus Christ, His only begotten son. And, throughout the bible, forgiveness is taught by Jesus himself.
We are told to turn the other cheek, to turn our swords into plowshares and to forgive all who hurt us. I’ll let you I on a little psychological clue that you may already know here. Being unwilling to forgive will hurt you more than the person who has hurt you. You will carry a miserable little piece in your heart and soul that will erode the goodness and love that should be there. It’s like a cancer and will grow and spread. It will affect us negatively, But what of the person we can’t forgive? Generally they are going about their business not thinking of us. Their actions are not eating away at their hearts as they are at ours. So, forgiveness is a healthy blessing, both emotionally and spiritually.
But forgiving does not mean forgetting. Many things can be forgiven but, unless we succumb to dementia or amnesia, little is forgotten. The bad places in our lives may be tucked away in the far recesses of our unconscious; they may be covered, layered, walled in and even forgotten consciously. Yet, they are a part of us. I have a few personal secrets that I have been unable to face them during most of my adult life. I’m sure that many of you also have them. They are consciously forgotten sometimes, yet are never truly forgotten and removed from our unconscious. They become a part of us and only the love and grace of Christ can help to light those dark corners of our souls. We are human. We do not always have the capacity for easy forgiveness. We nurture our hurts. Like Jeremiah, we do not forget.
You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Evangelical Examiner, Jake Jones
- Atlanta Christian Living Examiner, Taylor Powell
- Atlanta Bible Study Examiner, Donna Sundblad
- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
If you enjoyed this bible study, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.