Righteous and holy God, let us hear You and follow after You with fear and reverence.
What do you see in Jeremiah?
Another king, another disappointment. Jehoiakim was clearly not an avid student of history, because he hadn't learned from Zedekiah's failed attempt to silence Jeremiah. Here is a sober lesson in people reinforcing their rejection of God and his ways. Instead of Jeremiah's chastening prophecy generating repentance in the hearts of the hearers (3,7), it served to reinforce Jehoiakim's rebellion against God. What unbridled arrogance of the man to not only refuse to listen but cut up the scroll, painstakingly piece by piece, and burn it (23,24)! He would not listen to the few good men around him (25), and the consequences for Jehoiakim would be terrible for him and his descendants (30,31). Can God be mocked or defied?
Jeremiah and Baruch showed true grit in faithfully delivering God's message. Courage is a quality that we increasingly need today as our culture turns away from God. Sometimes, preaching the Gospel will only serve to make people reject us all the more, because the light that is shone reveals their darkness. Like Jeremiah, God sometimes calls us to tell the bad news about people's sin and need of repentance before the Good News of his saving grace can be heard and responded to.
When God brings a word of correction, do you receive it as a blessing of love? Ask God to help you to do so (Psa. 141:5).
My King, I bow before You. Give me a soft heart that turns at Your word and receives Your correction as oil on my head.