Jeremiah 11:18-23 says, “And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.”

This chapter begins with the Lord telling Jeremiah to remind His people of the covenant He had made with their fathers.  There were great blessings to be found if they heard His voice and obeyed Him.  However, there were great consequences if they did not hear and obey the Lord.  Because of their continual disobedience and having other gods, the Lord declared in Jeremiah 11:17, “For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.”

In verses 18-23, it is revealed to Jeremiah all the plans and intentions of the people against him. 

Verses 18-19 – Jeremiah was ignorant of all their activities.

Verse 21 – The people had determined to kill Jeremiah.

Verses 22-23 – The Lord promises vengeance upon His people.

The men of Anathoth had threatened Jeremiah’s life, waring him not to prophesy in the name of the Lord.  The Lord provided retribution to Jeremiah against those who sought to harm him.  How comforting to know that the Lord is ALWAYS aware of what we are going through.  He knows if we are being persecuted for our faith in Him.  He would tell us to cease from worry.  He will make sure to take care of those who mean us harm. 

We need to allow the Lord to take vengeance on our behalf.  We should never seek to do that.  We read in Romans 12:19-21, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

Realizing that the Lord is going to deal with those who seek to hurt us, we should simply concentrate on showing the love of God in all circumstances.  For us, vengeance is not an option.  It’s simply not our jobs to seek to punish others for their evil deeds.  The Lord will take care of that.  We are instructed to show His love, to manifest His provision, and to overcome evil with good.

It’s said of the Lord Jesus in 1 Peter 2:23, “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”  May we seek to behave like the Lord Jesus did in this situation and allow the Lord to execute judgment as He pleases.  (386.4)