Jeremiah 7, 8, 26
Focus Verse: Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard.” – Jeremiah 26:12
After Jeremiah had finished speaking the word of the Lord – a word that was by no means nice – to the cities of Judah, he was grabbed by the priests and the prophets and all the people and threatened with death. Imagine that! The priests and prophets grabbed Jeremiah because he spoke the word of the Lord to them – the same Lord that they claimed to worship. Not only did they grab him, they threatened to kill him – a sin! – something which priests and prophets weren’t supposed to commit.
I’m sure Jeremiah must have been perplexed. Like: Yo, God, I obeyed You. I said everything You told me to say – the good, the bad, and the ugly…well, just the bad and the ugly because there wasn’t any good in those words. But still, I obeyed You, and now this? I’m being threatened with death! Can’t a guy get a break?
Regardless of what Jeremiah thought about his situation, however, he wasn’t about to disobey God. Even when threatened with death, Jeremiah remained faithful. When questioned about why he spoke the way he spoke and why he prophesied what he prophesied, Jeremiah said, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard.” This wasn’t Jeremiah’s doing. Truth be told, he probably wouldn’t have minded living a safe and comfortable life that didn’t require him to be grabbed and threatened with death. But because God sent Jeremiah to speak, he spoke. Because God told Jeremiah to prophesy, he prophesied. And he never spoke or prophesied what he wanted to say or what he thought should be said, but only what God wanted him to say.
Because Jeremiah’s faith in God was firm, he knew his life was in God’s hands and that nothing could happen to him unless God allowed it to happen. Because Jeremiah’s obedience to God was unquestionable, it didn’t matter what he was faced with, it wasn’t going to cause him to stop doing what he had been called to do.
When He was here on earth, Jesus the Christ lived in complete obedience to His Father. Everything that His Father wanted Him to do, He did. Every word that His Father wanted Him to say, He said. Every place that His Father wanted Him to go, He went. But where did Jesus’ complete obedience take Him? To the cross. To pain. To betrayal. To hate. To death.
Complete, unquestionable obedience to God does not mean a safe life or an easy life. In fact, the more we do what God wants us to do, the more we will experience persecution by those who are not doing what God wants them to do. That doesn’t mean, however, that we should stop doing what God has called us to do. We should remain faithful. We should follow the path of obedience no matter where it takes us, keeping in mind that present persecution and present pain can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.