JEREMIAH – STANDING FOR THE TRUTH

This morning I was reading in Jeremiah 37, and something really struck me in this chapter. In verses 6-8, we read: 6Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet: 7″Thus says the LORD, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army that came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land. 8And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city. They shall capture it and burn it with fire.” This was not uncommon in the prophetic books of the Old Testament. The Word of the Lord would come to the prophet, and it was his responsibility to share that Word with the people. In this case, Jeremiah was faithful to his assignment and did just that. However, he ran into a little snag shortly thereafter, as the captain of the guard accused him of “deserting to the Babylonians.” Jeremiah denied the accusation but it was to no avail as he was arrested and imprisoned. After being in a vaulted cell in a dungeon for a long time, he was finally brought before King Zedekiah. Without hesitation, the King asked him, “Is there any word from the Lord?” (verse 17) Now, before I give you Jeremiah’s response, I want you to think through what has just transpired. Jeremiah had given the prophecy even though he knew it was unfavorable and that it would not be well-received. Following that, he was imprisoned even though he had done nothing wrong. Now, he is standing before the King, the most powerful person in the land. What would he do? Would the prophecy be the same or would he dumb it down and make it more favorable and acceptable to the King? I think you know the answer. Back to the question: “Is there any word from the Lord? Yes, Jeremiah replied, you will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” Wow! It is not so much that this was not out of character for Jeremiah. Even though he was not met with much ministry success over his career, he faithfully conveyed the Word of the Lord to the people over his long ministry. It is more so the circumstances that amazed and struck me about this story. Jeremiah was standing before a man who could kill him or send him back to prison. It would have been so easy and tempting to adjust the message and make it more favorable to the King, but he didn’t. Jeremiah was eventually thrown into a cistern and soon Jerusalem would fall at the hands of the Babylonians. Throughout the Scriptures and over the course of church history, we have countless examples of those who stood for the truth. Jeremiah is one such example. No matter what it cost them, they faithfully communicated the Word of God. I want to encourage you to stand for the truth of God, no matter what it costs you.

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