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I. Jeremiah understood what it meant to be broken by affliction.
A. Jeremiah had suffered along with his people. He affirmed, “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.”
1. The Hebrew term used here is a word that can be literally translated as club, inferring that this was a weapon God used against Judah in judgment.
2. The actual inflicting of the wounds was done by humans, but they were simply acting on the Lord’s behalf.
3. He compared his experience to darkness, being smitten repeatedly, and the frailties of old age.
4. He likened himself to a city under siege, a dead man in eternal darkness, a prisoner, and a traveler forced to walk uncharted detours.
5. Jeremiah’s hopelessness reaches its climax when he says that he has lost his peace, or the sense of well-being that should have been the mark of a healthy relationship between God and his people.
B. Jeremiah felt as though God had built a wall around him and bound him with heavy chains to make sure there was no escape from his affliction.
1. Like a prisoner in a dungeon, his cries to God went unanswered. Like people seeking their way out of a maze, whatever direction they turned for relief was blocked.
2. One of life’s darkest moments is to experience the absence of God and have one’s prayers seem to go unanswered.
3. God is now compared
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