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CHAPTER 3 Sep. 2 
I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. 2He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light. 3Surely against me He turns his hand again and again all the day. 4My flesh and my skin He has made old; He has broken my bones. 5He has built against me, and surrounded me with gall and travail. 6He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead. 7He has walled me about, that I can’t go forth; He has made my chain heavy. 8Yes, when I cry, and call for help, He shuts out my prayer. 9He has walled up my ways with cut stone; He has made my paths crooked. 10He is to me like a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places. 11He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; He has made me desolate. 12He has bent His bow, and set me as a target for the arrow. 13He has caused the shafts of His quiver to enter into my kidneys. 14I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day. 15He has filled me with bitterness, He has sated my thirst with wormwood. 16He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; He has covered me with ashes. 17You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity. 18I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh. 19Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me. 21This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope.
God's Compassion
22It is because of Yahweh’s graces that we are not consumed, because His compassion doesn’t fail. 23They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 24Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. 25Yahweh is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. 26It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh. 27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 28Let him sit alone and keep silence, because He has laid it on him. 29Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be that in this case there may be hope. 30Let him give his cheek to Him who strikes him; let him be filled full with reproach. 31For the Lord will not cast off forever. 32For though He cause grief, yet He will have compassion according to the multitude of His graces. 33For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. 34To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth, 35to turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High, 36to subvert a man in his cause, the Lord doesn’t approve. 37Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn’t command it? 38Doesn’t evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High? 39Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
A Call to Repentance
40Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Yahweh. 41Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens. 42We have transgressed and have rebelled; You have not pardoned. 43You have covered with anger and pursued us; You have killed, You have not pitied. 44You have covered Yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through. 45You have made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the nations. 46All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us. 47Fear and the pit have come on us, devastation and destruction. 48My eye runs down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49My eye pours down, and doesn’t cease, without any intermission, 50until Yahweh look down, and see from heaven. 51My eye affects my soul, because of all the daughters of my city. 52They have chased me relentlessly like a bird, those who are my enemies without cause. 53They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone on me. 54Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
Jeremiah’s Reflects on His Redemption from the Dungeon
55I called on Your name, Yahweh, out of the lowest dungeon. 56You heard my voice; don’t hide Your ear at my breathing, at my cry. 57You drew near in the day that I called on You; You said, Don’t be afraid. 58Lord, You have pleaded the causes of my soul; You have redeemed my life. 59Yahweh, You have seen my wrong. Judge my cause. 60You have seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me. 61You have heard their reproach, Yahweh, and all their devices against me, 62the lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day. 63You see their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song. 64You will render to them a recompense, Yahweh, according to the work of their hands. 65You will give them hardness of heart, Your curse to them. 66You will pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Yahweh.


3:7 Jeremiah felt himself totally identified with sinful Judah. Instead of turning away in disgust from God’s sinful people who had so abused him, he instead strongly identified with them and on that basis pleaded with God for them; and in this he sets us an amazing challenge and pattern. He was “afflicted” (1:9; 3:1; as Judah, 1:3,7; “built against”, :5, as Judah was, Jer. 52:4; “made old”, i.e. prematurely aged, :4, as Judah, Ps. 102:26; 50:9; 51:6; felt his prayers not heard, :8, as Judah’s weren’t; walled about and inclosed,:7,9, as Judah (Hos. 2:6); had God act to him “as a bear”, :10, as He was to Judah (Hos. 13:8; Am. 5:19); and “as a lion”, :10, as He was to Judah (Jer. 5:6; 49:19; 50:44); God bent His bow against him (:12), as He did against Judah (2:4 s.w.); suffered affliction and misery, :19, as Judah did (1:7 s.w.); drank gall (:5,19) as Judah had to (Jer. 8:14; 9:15; 23:15); had none to comfort him (1:21), as Judah didn’t (1:9); bore a yoke (:27), as did Judah (Jer. 27:8,12).

3:13 Notice how Jeremiah’s innermost being was turned for his people, because he felt that he had shared in their sin. The arrows of God entered into his kidneys, and this is why he so cried out. But God’s arrows were against a sinful Judah (2:4). Yet Jeremiah so identified with them that he felt they had entered him; and this is why he could cry out in the way he did. Even though he hadn’t sinned as they had, he felt that because they had, so had he, as he was so identified with them. He reached such a level of grief through identifying himself so closely with those for whom he grieved. Time and again, the descriptions of his personal suffering and grief are expressed in the terms of the very sufferings which he had prophesied as coming upon a sinful Israel. And so with us, if we feel and show a solidarity with the people of this world, with our brethren, then we will grieve for them. If we maintain a selfish, postmodern detachedness from them, then we will never have a heart that bleeds for them. Jeremiah could so easily have shrugged his shoulders and reasoned that Judah had had their chance; and it wasn’t on his head. But he didn’t. His attitude was that he had to seek the sheep until he found it.
3:15- see on 2:15.
3:38 Evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High- As in Is. 45:5-7 we see that both positive and negative experiences come from God; He is truly almighty and doesn’t just provide the good whilst the evil, or disaster, comes from some sinful ‘Satan’ being. This isn’t taught in the Bible; in fact, the very opposite.
3:40 God now tries our hearts (Job 7:18; Ps. 11:4; 17:3; 26:2; 139:23). In likely allusion to the these descriptions of God searching and trying our hearts in the Psalms, Jeremiah says that we should search and try our hearts- we should seek to know ourselves as God does, seeing ourselves as He sees us.
3:45 Paul described himself as the offscouring of all things- using the very language of condemned Israel (1 Cor. 4:13). Paul so wanted to see their salvation that he identified with them to this extent. By doing so he was reflecting in essence the way the Lord Jesus so identified Himself with us sinners, as our representative, "made sin" [whatever precisely this means] for the sake of saving us from that sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
3:48-51 What he saw with his eye affected his mind / heart. Let us not see the doom of others, the pain and suffering of another life, and walk on by not permanently moved. What we see should affect our heart- if we have a heart that bleeds. And a bleeding heart doesn’t merely bleed- it does something concrete, in prayer and action. Consider other examples of the bleeding heart of Jeremiah in 1:16,20; 2:11.