I hear people whispering, “Terror is on every side.” Jeremiah 20:10
The biggest problem for Jeremiah was that people simply would not take him seriously. He was speaking about urgent eternal matters, and he heard people whispering, “Terror is on every side.”
It seems very likely that this was a nickname that they gave to Jeremiah. He was always talking about the terror of the coming judgment and so they called him “the all-around terror.”
What Jeremiah was saying is: “I am getting absolutely nowhere with this message that you have given to me. I pour everything that I have into this ministry, but people in this city don’t believe your word or take it seriously. What you have called me to do is a complete waste of time.”
The Beatles caught the flavor of this in their song Eleanor Rigby: “Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name: Nobody came. Father Mackenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave: No one was saved. All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”
The deep disappointment of his experience gives rise to deep questions that are like waves beating against his soul.
Have you ever felt that the thing God had called you to do was a waste of time, and that you weren’t making any progress?