Everybody loves a good story. We took a little diversion today with Jeremiah’s story of being threatened for doing the very thing God told him to do. Couldn’t you just picture the scene unfolding? It was bound to happen considering the unpleasant nature of message Jeremiah was preaching in front of the Temple.
This story comes years before Babylon comes to tear down Jerusalem. However, Jeremiah has been preaching God’s messages since King Josiah was reigning. Jeremiah will continue to prophesy about the fate of God’s people all the way up until the Babylonians conquer Jerusalem.
The life of a prophet can be daunting. We are seeing how Jeremiah is being treated by his community. The threats were serious and real. People’s “feathers were ruffled” at the claims Jeremiah was making. (Side note: the prophet Uriah was hunted down and killed by Jehoiakim for proclaiming the same disaster as Jeremiah!) They had to do something to keep him quiet. Do you ever feel like you are being stifled from sharing your faith?
What did you notice about how Jeremiah responded to this situation? He didn’t seem to be afraid. Did he sense the LORD’s protection? His faith and devotion to God are to be admired in the face of such adversity. “For it is absolutely true that the Lord sent me to speak every word you have heard.” He could have died! Would you have been so trusting and reliant on God’s provision? Have you ever endured criticism or threats for your beliefs?
Was there anything in today’s reading that surprised you? For me it was how Micah’s words were still being remembered. It speaks to the oral tradition necessary before Bibles would be printed and available. In this instance, the remembrance of the “wise old men” was intended to help Jeremiah’s case. Micah was not killed for saying the same thing, and the people even listened and repented! How do you think this story would play out if the people of Judah had listened to Jeremiah?
A great take-away from today’s reading would be to have bold faith knowing that God is there beside you. If you have something else that spoke to you, fantastic! Do take some time today to rest in the promises of God. Recall God’s call on Joshua: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for how you have created me abnd filled me with the desire to follow. Grant me the bold faith of Jeremiah to stand strong in the face of adversity. Protect me from the evil one’s schemes that threaten to derail me and my confidence in you and your provision for my life. Use me and equip me, Lord, for your purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.