Out of Weakness Made Strong
Jeremiah 37:20
Therefore hear now, I pray you, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray you, be accepted before you…

Jeremiah 37:20. "Out of weakness made strong." This verse an utterance, not of a sturdy invincible soul, but one of a gentle, shrinking, and often timid nature. Note -

I. THE PROPHET JEREMIAH belonged to the company of those who, out of weakness, God has made strong.

1. By nature and temperament he was the reverse of strong. Proof in this verse. Suffering was ever terrible to him. Hence he piteously pleads for the king's help. And passim we have indications of the gentleness of his nature (cf. Jeremiah 1:6, "Ah, Lord, I cannot;" and homily on Jeremiah 4:19-30, "The fellowship of Christ's sufferings," vol. 1. p. 100). But:

2. Notwithstanding this, see how strong he became. When it came to the test, how he endured (cf. Jeremiah 1:10, 17, 18)! Nothing would induce him to alter his word towards the king, the prophets, and the people generally. He softened not one line of his message, although it would have been so much to his advantage to have done so. Now -

II. THIS IS THE GLORY OF GOD'S GRACE ALWAYS. There will be glory by and by, an outward glory on every child of God. "Eye hath not seen," etc. But the present glory of God's grace is this, that out of weakness it makes its recipients strong. See what it did for the apostles, and especially for St. Peter - they the recreants and the denier of the Lord, but afterwards his valiant and undaunted witnesses. And grace has done the same for not a few in prospect of suffering and trial from which beforehand they would have utterly shrunk away. Women and children were amongst the number of the martyrs; and in the moral martyrdoms of this softer age they are so still. God strengthens his servants "with might by his Spirit in the inner man? And this is the glory of his grace. Not the numbers of the Church, nor her wealth, rank, gifts, or aught of such sort, but the spiritual strength that characterizes her. "I can do all things," said St. Paul, "through Christ which strengtheneth me." And it will be so yonder in the better world hereafter. The glory of that day will not be the golden streets, the gates of pearl, the foundations of precious stones; not the vast throng of the redeemed, nor aught that belongs only to their circumstances, happy as they will be; but it will be the character of them all. And this will be their security also. The defences of that condition of the redeemed will not be outward, but inward. They, having been strengthened with might by the Spirit of God in the inner man, will have come to be rooted - like the giant oak, which no tempest can uproot from the ground - and grounded - like the deep-laid foundation of the temple, which naught can overthrow - in love, and so Christ will dwell in their hearts. Yes, their glory will be their defence also. CONCLUSION. Seek, therefore, this grace of Divine strength. Bow your "knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," that, "according to the riches of his glory," he would grant you this. Then, though weak and wavering by nature, steadiness and strength shall be given to your will, your heart, and so God will make you as he did his prophet - as "a defenced city, an iron pillar, a brazen wall" (Jeremiah 1:18). - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore hear now, I pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee, be accepted before thee; that thou cause me not to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.

WEB: Now please hear, my lord the king: please let my supplication be presented before you, that you not cause me to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.

The Secret Question of a King and the Bold Answer of a Prophet
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