Friday 04 March 2016

Bible Book:

“…he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.” (v. 16)

Jeremiah 26:12-16, 24 Friday 4 March 2016

Psalm: Psalm 49


When the officials came to the temple gate to pass judgement itmay have been tempting to Jeremiah to tone down his message,leaving out the parts about the destruction of the city and thetemple. Maybe he remembered God's instruction not to "hold back aword" (Jeremiah 26:2) because he gave them the fullmessage: judgement and the possibility of deliverance.

Jeremiah recognised the risk he was taking when he acknowledgedthat he may be put to death (verses 14-15). Despite this, he didnot resort to clever arguments or oratorical skill. He simplyreminded them that the guilt would be upon them - as his authoritycame from God.

Now we finally hear the officials who have come to judge betweenJeremiah and the priests and prophets. The verdict that Jeremiahshould be spared death is not down to his convincing case, we don'teven know whether they agreed with his pronouncement. However, theyrecognised that he truly spoke in the name of God.

It is interesting to note the role of the crowd in this scene.When Jeremiah had finished preaching they were with the priests andthe prophets laying hold of Jeremiah and calling for his death (Jeremiah 26:8). Now, they are siding with theofficials saying that he should be spared. We cannot know whetherthese were the same people or not; but it is reminiscent ofChrist's trial which we shall shortly remember, with the crying of"Crucify him!" by the crowd (Luke23:18-25). The difference is that on Good Friday the crowdsremained united with the religious leaders of the day.

Jeremiah's final rescuing is at the hand of Ahikam, son ofShaphan. Shaphan was an important figure in the royal court of KingJosiah (2 Kings 22) and so no doubt knew Jeremiah.Other members of Shaphan's family appear throughout the story ofJeremiah (for example Jeremiah 36:10; 40:5-16) always providingsupport to the prophet.

Lest we think Jeremiah's life wasn't in such danger, Jeremiah 26:20-23 provides the account ofanother prophet, similar to Jeremiah, who did not benefit from asimilar deliverance.

To Ponder

  • We often hear politicians and religious leaders speakingpublicly about current affairs. How can/do you judge whether or notto accept their view?
  • In what ways can you help and support those who are verypublicly serving God?
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