19 Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.
KJV - 19 Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.
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I would say that Jeremiah's repentance was required for the words that he had said (or written) in the preceding verse (Jeremiah 15:18). Jeremiah was feeling (perhaps understandably from a human perspective) very depressed because of the manner in which he had been treated/persecuted by the people of Judah and Benjamin for obeying God's call and commands, despite the fact that he had not engaged in the same practices that were causing God to punish the people of those tribes. However, in Jeremiah 15:18, he sinfully allowed this state of mind even to affect his attitude toward God Himself when he said (speaking to God), "You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails," because he felt that God had not come sufficiently to his defense or aid. In response, God told Jeremiah (in Jeremiah 15:19-21) that Jeremiah himself needed to repent of those words, and not turn further toward the attitudes and behavior of the people to whom he was preaching. God also reassured Jeremiah that, if he did repent, he would continue to be saved and delivered.
First, see the big picture: Jeremiah—A Study 1 A Supplicant—for Preservation Jer. 15:15 2 Suffering—from Persecution Jer. 15:15 IN PRAYER (SUPPLICATION) WE’RE ABLE TO TELL OUR DEEPEST/MOST SINCERE THOUGHT TO GOD, EVEN IN COMPLAINT. We need not cover them up. Like Jeremiah, we may pour out our hearts to God and be confident that the Lord will answer us. Sometimes, like here, God’s answer may shock us. We may need to repent, too. See Jeremiah 15:19 NIV. We also, because of our own attitude toward God and the ministry He has given us, might be about to forfeit our ministry! Jeremiah had stooped to self-pity (Jeremiah 15:10). He also showed distrust of God’s wise plan when He became impatient with God and wanted swift vengeance on his enemies (Jeremiah 15:15). God called these 2 attitudes “worthless words”, calling for Jeremiah’s repentance and utterance of “worthy words.” WE’RE HERE TO INFLUENCE OTHERS FOR GOD (and not vice versa: lift up others and not be dragged down to their level.)
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