In Jeremiah 19 we have the sign of the potter's earthen vessel further developed. Now the valley of the son of Hinnom is brought forward, which is always significant of judgment. "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter." Tophet indicates the great judgment which the Lord will execute when He Himself comes. It is not merely the place of execution by man. Plainly, the judgment of Jerusalem is the topic.
Then we have an historical passage (Jer. 19:14 - Jer. 20:18), dealing with the persecution of the prophet by the priests. Now Pashur, the son of Immer the priest, was extremely vexed, and he used personal violence towards the prophet. Jeremiah tells him that his name should be called Magor-missabib, that is, Fear round about. This man who was so bold against Jeremiah would soon be humbled and filled with fear because of what was about to come to pass upon him. This attack by Pashur leads Jeremiah to an unfolding of his deep inward feeling. His language is very beautiful to my mind. There was no kind of steeling his heart against the persecution. His mouth was like one of steel, no doubt, but his heart was very soft indeed, and experienced deep agony on account of what he was obliged to utter against his adversary. So the very man that seemed as if nothing could bend him in truth was bound in the greatest grief before God, and at last he vents it to the Lord. "Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad."
Jeremiah, however, is in wonderful contrast with the blessed Lord, Who, when most rejected, was most happy in a certain sense. The reason was that He sought not His own things, but, as He said in Spirit, "The reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon Me." He was here simply to magnify God. If the greatest suffering would magnify God the most, He was ready to receive it. He could not pray for what was worst of all; He could not desire that God should forsake Him. Such a plea was impossible. It would show real hardness, and not perfection; but the Lord Jesus was perfect in everything, and in every way.