A new believer in Jesus was desperate to read the Bible. However, he’d lost his eyesight and both hands in an explosion. When he heard about a woman who read Braille with her lips, he tried to do the same—only to discover that the nerve endings of his lips had also been destroyed. Later, he was filled with joy when he discovered that he could feel the Braille characters with his tongue! He had found a way to read and enjoy the Scriptures.
Joy and delight were the emotions the prophet Jeremiah experienced when he received God’s words. “When your words came, I ate them,” he said, “they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). Unlike the people of Judah who despised His words (8:9), Jeremiah had been obedient and rejoiced in them. His obedience, however, also led to the prophet being rejected by his own people and persecuted unfairly (15:17).
Some of us may have experienced something similar. We once read the Bible with joy, but obedience to God led to suffering and rejection from others. Like Jeremiah, we can bring our confusion to God. He answered Jeremiah by repeating the promise He gave him when He first called him to be a prophet (vv. 19-21; see 1:18–19). God reminded him that He never lets His people down. We can have this same confidence too. He’s faithful and will never abandon us.
The prophet Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet.” One reason is that he openly weeps over his wayward Jewish brothers and sisters and the discipline their disobedience requires. The word weep appears twelve times in Jeremiah, including 9:1: “Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.” Jeremiah also bears this title due to his book of laments, which we call Lamentations. In the book, Jeremiah uses the word weep three times, including Lamentations 2:11: “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed.”