Day 90: Magormissabib

Jeremiah 20:1-6

Now Pashhur, the son of Immer the priest, who was chief officer in Yahweh’s house, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks that were in the upper gate of Benjamin, which was in Yahweh’s house. On the next day, Pashhur released Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, “Yahweh has not called your name Pashhur, but Magormissabib. For Yahweh says, ‘Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They will fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes will see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them captive to Babylon, and will kill them with the sword. Moreover I will give all the riches of this city, and all its gains, and all its precious things, yes, I will give all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies. They will make them captives, take them, and carry them to Babylon. You, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house will go into captivity. You will come to Babylon, and there you will die, and there you will be buried, you, and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.’ ”

It’s interesting that when Jeremiah was preaching in the place that represented Hell, he didn’t get harmed, but when he showed up in the place that represented Heaven, he was attacked. This same thing happened to Jesus as well. Pashhur was a man with a very high official position in the temple. It appears that he not only was considered to be a priest, but was also given operational and administrative authority over the temple. This was a man with a resume. We also learn that he had been prophesying in opposition to Jeremiah, but the things he had been saying were just made up. His message didn’t actually come from God at all.

We read here that Pashhur also took it upon himself to physically attack Jeremiah and lock him up in stocks for a night. This would have probably been quite humiliating to Jeremiah but God must have been helping Jeremiah stay true to God’s truth in his mind because when he was released the next day, He immediately spoke a word from God against the man who had just locked him up. Jeremiah was told by God that He had renamed Pashhur: Magormissabib. Now that name doesn’t sound good but it also has a very horrible meaning. I am told by modern translators that it means: “terror on every side.” I think that God struck Pashhur where it hurt him the most. It appears that Pashhur was a believer in his own title. He was highly respected by people in that he was given a high religious office, but to God he was greatly dishonored. Pashhur had taken it upon himself to speak for God even though God had not given him anything to say and then he took God’s messenger and dishonored him. God told Pashhur that his future title would be one of great shame to both himself and those who listened to his lies.

What we want to do is to seek God’s power to be like Jeremiah and avoid any similarity to Pashhur. We shouldn’t believe in the titles given to us by people. Only what God says about us matters. What God says about us is so important that even when we are dishonored and embarrassed in front of the world, we need to stand strong like Jeremiah and trust God’s word until He allows us to escape. We must not be intimidated by the people who have high positions in this world but continue to speak the truth to their so-called “power.”