Posts tagged with 'Pray'

Lessons from Jeremiah 26

  • Posted on April 21, 2020 at 9:03 pm

Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people that the priest and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, You shall surely die. … Then spoke the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying This man is worthy to die; for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears. ~ Jeremiah 26:8, 11

Jeremiah was the son of a priest. When he was young, probably a teenager, God called Jeremiah to speak for Him. Being a prophet was the most thankless job at that time. Not only did prophets not get paid, they didn’t even get thanked for their obedience. At best, they were mocked. At worst, they were murdered. And yet, when God called, you could not very easily say, “No thanks. Find someone else.” Jonah tried that and ended up in the belly of a stinky fish.

What struck me as I was reading the above verses is that this time, it was not the people who wanted to stone Jeremiah; it was his friends and family! They did not like what he had to say and, for that reason alone, they wanted to put him to death. Being the brave lot that they were, however, they weren’t going to take it upon themselves to do so unless they had the multitude’s approval. Interestingly, the people didn’t agree.

Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God. (v. 16)

It amazes me that the princes and the common people recognized the word of God, but those who professed to be God’s servants did not. It seems to me that not much has changed in that department. Many times unbelievers know more how Christians should act than professing Christians do. I wonder if it was the descendants of these unbelieving priests that ordered Jesus to be crucified many years later. Somehow, they forgot why they were called, and they became haughty and self-righteous.

Discernment is as important today as it was back then. When God is speaking, we must hear and be quick to respond. But we should also know when a voice is not the Father’s.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  ~1 John 4:1

The priests of old did not test the spirits. They had preconceived notions of what was acceptable and did not want to hear anything that would stir them out of their comfortable position. True prophets brought forth messages that weren’t popular, and the priests wanted nothing to do with that.

Who do you relate to in this story? Do you have a heart to hear God’s voice no matter how difficult a message it may be? Or do you shy away from people who make you uncomfortable because their convictions are different than you, and you may become challenged to change? Jesus had some harsh words for the Pharisees. He called them hypocrites and snakes. Not only do I not want to be called those things, I don’t want to be those things!

Father, help Your people who are called by Your name to humble themselves and pray and seek Your face. Bring conviction where we need it and make us willing to repent so that we can be better used of You. Give us the boldness we need to proclaim Your words, and discernment to know when a word is not from You. Give us a greater burden for studying Your word and spending time with You so that we are better able to know what is true from Scripture. You are so good to us, Father, and we love You. May we be faithful to pray without ceasing and rejoice always. In Jesus’ name, Amen!