Many commentators call Jeremiah the weeping prophet, and that’s certainly true of him, but this man also brought us the most joyous promise in the Old Testament. Through him, God gave his people this incredible assurance, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me” (Jeremiah 32:40, NKJV).
Now, that’s good news. The prophecy Jeremiah gives is full of mercy, grace, joy, peace and goodness. The personal history behind each of Jeremiah’s words here, though, includes a brokenness far beyond the capacity of any human being.
Jeremiah wrote, “O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war” (Jeremiah 4:19) and “Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jeremiah 9:1).
The prophet was weeping with holy tears that weren’t his own. Indeed, he actually heard God speak of his own broken heart. First, the Lord warned Jeremiah that he was going to send judgment on Israel. Then he told the prophet, “I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains, and for the dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation” (Jeremiah 9:10). God himself was weeping over the judgment to come upon his people, and Jeremiah shared in that lament.
What happens when we share God’s burden of weeping? The Lord shares with us in turn his very mind and thoughts. Jeremiah testified of this. He was given a discerning knowledge of his times that enabled him to see what was coming. “For the Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you… Now the Lord gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for you showed me their doings” (Jeremiah 11:17-18). Any broken, Word-saturated saint will be given a discerning sense of the times but also a joyous recognition of God’s promises.
Precious men of God are privileged to share in the feelings, the joy and pains of the eternal heart of God.