Shut In

by Jun 9, 2020Devotional

“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison…”


It seems that every time I spend time in Jeremiah, I want to write about him.  I feel like I’ve become Jeremiah’s friend.  Reading through, I have felt part of his sorrow.  Jeremiah never asked for the job!  He didn’t want it!  God told him not to go to celebrations but to mourn!  I can’t imagine having that burden being placed on me for the rest of my life!  But he obeyed. 

That just amazes me…isolation, no family, no friends, misunderstanding, but he faithfully kept proclaiming the evil of his people! 

I only like to tell people what they want to hear, and yet he had to tell them where they were breaking God’s laws.  When I see people close to my heart start to walk away, my tendency is to want to hide.  I feel like I cannot handle the anguish, so it’s better not to face it.  It’s easier not to think. 

Jeremiah was not given that option.  It was black and depressing, and he was not allowed to walk away, to leave.  He had to face it.  As Jeremiah faced it, they blamed HIM.  They seized him and shut him up in the court of the prison.  It seems that one of the most intriguing verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 33:1.

“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison…”

God went out of His way to tell us where He talked to Jeremiah. How wonderful!  God speaks when you are shut up!  God speaks to people in prison.  God’s word comes in the midst of the depression and darkness.  Right in the middle of the dire circumstances and upheaval, God’s light shone right in!   Even if we had never been told what God said, this would still be one of my favorite verses. 

But we ARE told what He said in chapters 32 and 33.

God said, “Jeremiah, I am the Lord!  I am the One who has made it all, formed everything, and brought it to pass.  That is Who is talking to you!  I know the plans I have for you.”

The context is so powerful!  “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Jeremiah gets the vision of God.  He utters things like, “The Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name!”  And, “Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee!” 

God echoes back to Jeremiah, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?”

God shows the future plan that these people (part of whom had just mistreated Jeremiah, hated him, and thrown him in prison) will end up having one heart and fear Him.  They are going to turn around.  He will rejoice over them as they do good. He will bring health and a cure.  His people will have abundance, peace, and truth.  The captivity will be over, and they will be built back up.  “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me.”  They are going to be restored and pardoned.

Even though their streets were desolate, deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismal and depressing emptiness, things were going to change!  “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth forever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD.  For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first,” saith the LORD.  It may be depressing, Jeremiah, but there are great things coming!  The sound of praise and a return to God are coming “in this place”! 

God says that he will cause a “Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David.”  Judah would be saved; Jerusalem shall dwell safely!  They would be called, “The LORD our righteousness.”

God said that His promises were so sure that if you could break the covenant of having day, night, and seasons, “then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant.”  What God promised was as sure as the covenant of the heaven and earth!  He would not cast away the seed of David, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He would cause the captives to return.  He would have mercy.

And to think that God spoke ALL OF THIS in Jeremiah’s prison!


Some midnight hour if you should find

You’re in a prison in your mind

Reach out and praise, defy those chains

And they will fall in Jesus’ name

 Elizabeth Goodine, 2003

I Bless Your Name lyrics copyright BMG Rights Management