Day 93: A Serious Look at Persecution

Jeremiah 20:14-18

Cursed is the day in which I was born.
Don’t let the day in which my mother bore me be blessed.
Cursed is the man who brought news to my father, saying,
“A boy is born to you,” making him very glad.
Let that man be as the cities which Yahweh overthrew,
and didn’t repent.
Let him hear a cry in the morning,
and shouting at noontime;
because he didn’t kill me from the womb.
So my mother would have been my grave,
and her womb always great.
Why did I come out of the womb to see labor and sorrow,
that my days should be consumed with shame?

Jeremiah is one of the men in the Bible that curses his own birthday. Job did the same thing as we read in his book. Both men were chosen by God to suffer persecution at the hands of their own friends. Since we know the end of Job’s story, it’s pretty obvious that Jeremiah is going to be taken care of in the end, but going through persecution is not a good thing. If it were, I’m sure that God would arrange for us all to be persecuted forever in Heaven someday. That doesn’t make any sense does it? Neither does pretending like persecution is good. Jesus did tell us to rejoice when we are persecuted, but He also told us why. Let’s look at that again:

Luke 6:22-23

Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.

Jeremiah didn’t have these words from Jesus yet. These words have been entrusted to us along with the example of Jeremiah’s life. It makes sense that Jeremiah would be given space to complain by God. I’m not sure that Jeremiah and Job were given the knowledge of the fact that there are rewards in heaven. We were told and it is written into the Bible now. We are the ones who know without any doubt that we are going to receive a great reward because we have been treated like Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Job. We have a great deal of good to look forward to, but the pain and suffering we receive here, are not good. Jeremiah’s words remind us of that fact. We should not have a morbid desire to be persecuted, but we should be happy that we are going to be rewarded with men like Jeremiah for what we had to go through.