Telling a lie was never an option for Jeremiah. Are you willing to speak the truth no matter what?
Lord, help me to desire truth, whatever it requires of me. I want to live to please You alone.
What responses to Jeremiah are represented?
This chapter needs to be read in conjunction with chapter 7. They relate the same narrative but from different perspectives. It's 609 B.C. and Jeremiah's public ministry has reached its zenith. These two passages center on Jerusalem's imminent conquest by a foreign power and the destruction of the Temple. In less than 15 years Jeremiah's warnings will be fulfilled.
Whereas chapter 7 is the proclamation of this judgment, chapter 26 relates the corresponding response. Jeremiah is now in deep and dangerous conflict with the authorities. Like Jesus several centuries later, he dares to question the nation's greatest symbol of national identity--the Temple, God's "headquarters" on earth. Speaking against the Temple is deeply unpatriotic and an insult to the God whose dwelling this place is. But telling lies is never an option for Jeremiah.
In contemporary terms, this isolated prophet has his counterparts in Desmond Tutu, Oscar Romero, possibly Pope Francis I. Like John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth, they are all part of a dynamic tradition of dissent.
Are you willing to speak an unpopular word? To hear one? Seek God on it and journal about what he reveals to you.
Father, help me to be willing to dissent when it is right, but to do so with love.