Jeremiah Vs.the Rock

 “Jeremiah Vs. The Rock.” This title sounds like opponents in a wrestling match, and in a way, it is. This blog is about how Jeremiah wrestled in his ministry to Judah.


God gave Jeremiah one of the most thankless tasks in Hebrew history. Jeremiah spent approximately forty years warning his peers of the dangers of rejecting God. The prophet urged them to repent and return to God. Only two converted: Baruch, his scribe (32:12; 36:1–4; 45:1–5); and Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch who served the king (38:7–13; 39:15–18). He endured an incredible amount of persecution from his fellow citizens. Consider this list of difficulties he faced.[1]

  • Jeremiah’s family turned against him and even plotted to kill him (Jeremiah 1:8, 11:21-23, 12:6).
  • He was whipped and put in the stocks (Jeremiah 20:1-3)
  • He was attacked by a mob (Jeremiah 26:1-9)
  • He was threatened by the king (Jeremiah 36:26) and ridiculed (Jeremiah 28).
  • Some of Zedekiah’s princes had Jeremiah arrested, beaten, accused of treason, and thrown in jail (Jeremiah 37:1-15)
  • From prison he was then thrown in a deep empty well (Jeremiah 38:1-6).
  • He lived through the siege of Jerusalem along with the rest and was there as the people were taken away as captives.
  • Perhaps worst of all, Jeremiah was alone. He was not allowed to marry (Jeremiah 16:2), and his family abandoned him. The people turned against him and didn’t believe him. He was alone with the knowledge of the horrors coming for Judah.


As you can see from the above list, Jeremiah had a difficult ministry and life. His job as God’s prophet was to condemn the people’s actions and urge their true repentance. The people of Judah would not listen and rejected the message and the messenger. The issues Jeremiah faced were so harsh that he wanted to “throw in the towel.” But he could not give up the ministry God gave him. Notice his words in Jeremiah 20:9 (NKJV):

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.


The story of Jeremiah and Judah is not unlike the story of Patriot Pastors and America today. Wouldn’t you say that America has gone headlong into idolatry? So did Judah. Wouldn’t you say that a handful of Pastors are calling for Americans to return to God? So did Jeremiah. What are the reactions of the people who heard the call? For the most part, the reaction is the rejection of the message. In some bring retribution to the messenger. So did Judah.


Years ago, I heard an illustration that reminds me of Jeremiah. It also reminds me of our day. God told a preacher to push on a massive boulder. The preacher did and was unable to move it. Day after day, the obedient preacher pushed the rock, and day after day, it wouldn’t budge. Finally, the preacher stopped pushing. God asked the man, “Why did you stop pushing the rock?” The preacher answered, “I couldn’t move it, so I stopped.” God responded, “I didn’t ask you to move the rock. I asked you to push on it. I can move it.”


Jeremiah did not get the results he wanted in serving God, so he wanted to quit. Maybe you are like me and have similar feelings. It is hard to keep going when you can’t see progress.


We can’t quit! God’s word is in our hearts! I may not be the greatest preacher, podcaster, or author, but my job isn’t to move the rock. My job is to push on it. God will move the rock when He is ready. He moved the rock-hardened heart of Judah by sending them into Babylonian captivity for the seventy years Jeremiah predicted (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10). The Jews received a “new heart” there based on Jeremiah 31:31-34.


You may be discouraged because your family and friends aren’t paying attention to your warnings about the future. The key to removing the crises we face is an all-out return to the Lord. If we repent, He will avert destruction just as He promised the people of Judah through Jeremiah. Our friends may reject that notion, too.


Rather than pushing people away with argumentative attitudes, let’s push them forward by “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Let’s live out our faith and be ready to “give a defense [or an explanation, PMG] to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” (1 Peter 3:15, NKJV). God is always the key to our issues.


General Francis Marion led a Brigade of the South Carolina Militia in our War for Independence. He was known as the “Swamp Fox” because he and his men would attack the British and then escape to the South Carolina swamps. While Marion was a battle-hardened warrior, he was also a man of faith. He recognized our need for God. Hear his words:

I know but one religion, and that is hearty love of God and man. This is the only true religion; and I would to God our country was full of it. For it is the only spice to embalm and to immortalize our republic. Any politician can sketch out a fine theory of government, but what is to bind the people to the practice?…. The heart is sometimes so embittered, that nothing but divine love can sweeten it; so enraged, that devotion only can becalm it; and so broke down, that it takes all the force of heavenly hope to raise it. In short, religion is the only sovereign and controlling power over man. [2]


Keep The Light of Faithful Determination Burning!

[1] Roat, Alyssa. “Who Was Jeremiah – the “Weeping Prophet”?” Bible Study Tools, 2 Mar. 2020,

[2] Cummings, Brad, and Lance Wubbels, editors. The Founders’ Bible. Newbury Park, CA, Shiloh Road Publishers, 2012, p. 1745.