Jeremiah had a lot of bad news to deliver – and people don’t like to hear bad news. He had to warn people that the way they were living was going to end in their destruction. People didn’t want to hear it. They just wanted to live their lives their own way and be left alone.
But Jeremiah had no choice. His relationship with God was deep enough that he couldn’t just sit by and watch his nation be destroyed by their own choices. He cared enough about his countrymen that he delivered the messages God gave to him – even at a high personal cost.
In Jer. 26
, things had escalated to the point that the crowd to which Jeremiah was preaching became a mob that was ready to take his life. Still he held on to the truth. All he had to do was offer some promise of peace (like so many other false prophets were doing) and he would have been spared. Just go with the flow, and the people would have let him be.
But as the crowd called for his death, and some royal officials arrived to “hold court”, he would not let go of the truth. You see, Jeremiah had ‘stood at the crossroads’ and found the ancient way. He’d determined to walk in it – in obedience to God no matter what. So now he says to the court, “I’m at your mercy – do whatever you think is best. But… if you kill me, you kill an innocent man. I didn’t say any of this on my own. God sent me and told me what to say.“
Despite the objections of ‘the priests and prophets’, the court lets Jeremiah go. Finally, it seems, someone had believed him. Even some of the leaders got it. They remembered another prophet who had truthfully delivered news of impending destruction. Hezekiah, the king then, listened and prayed for mercy from God. And God spared the people of that time because they heard Him.
We need to decide what we’ll do with the message of God today. Will we listen? Will we obey? Or will we ignore His Words to us? God has plans to care for us, not abandon us. But if we won’t listen to His plans, we’ll miss out on His future.
So “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it…”
See you at the crossroads.