Gracious Father, each day I face a negative world. Keep me mindful of Your healing power, infinite love and eternal salvation.
Consider: It is not easy, but we must trust God completely, whatever the outcome. In this instance, Jeremiah was spared (24), but this was not the case for the prophet Uriah (20-23). We are always in God's hands.
Jeremiah was given another task. He was to preach to the worshippers at the Temple every word given by God (2). He was not to dilute, distort or tone down the message to escape trouble. The message focused on the urgent need to listen to God (note the repeated use of the word "listen"); otherwise curses awaited the people (4-6). The ungodly priests and prophets did not like Jeremiah's sermon and arrested him, bringing him to the officials to be judged. They demanded the death sentence (11).
We may wonder what poor Jeremiah was feeling, but his words spoke of his faithfulness and courage. Without missing a word, he repeated his message with the same intensity and clarity: repent or suffer destruction. Furthermore, he did not plead to be spared but he warned the officials that if they failed to do what was good and right, they would suffer the consequences (14,15). This was not a threat but a statement of fact. Interestingly, when things looked bleak for Jeremiah, he received support from unexpected quarters. First, the officials, with the support of the people, declared that he spoke God's message and they would not sentence him to death (16). Then the elders stepped forward to argue the same, using case studies from the past. Finally Ahikam, an official during Josiah's reign (2 Kings 22:12), threw in his support (24). Jeremiah was spared; he was not alone after all. God was there, and God used others to protect his faithful prophet.
"We are immortal until God's work is done" (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892). When we faithfully serve God, he is with us and will protect us, however strong the opposition or fierce the persecution. In his own difficult hour, Paul said, "The Lord stood at my side...The Lord will rescue me" (2 Tim. 4:17,18). How true!
Make a list of the times when you felt lonely or alone, but were aware of the Lord's presence. Keep the list for future reference.
Almighty God, some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are facing the possibility of death for their faith. I place them in Your hands. Grant them courage and grace.
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