Jeremiah 26:1-15

Jeremiah Threatened with Death

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD: “Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.’”

The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

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. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.” — Jeremiah 26:1-15 ESV

We have been reading that the kingdom(s) that Jeremiah has been prophesying to weren’t really listening. They were in fact, quite obstinate in their response, wouldn’t you say? Even to the point of murder. It is a classic case of “I don’t like what you say, so you should die.” Apropos in this political climate. However, did you notice what Jeremiah’s response was? Read it again.

“But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you.”

Do we have that kind of confidence in the Lord?

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  1. I very much appreciate this insight, that Jeremiah first spoke all that the Lord commanded him to speak, then he was able — after he obeyed to the best of his ability — to have faith in God to take care of him in the face of murderous reactions. These people could have blown up in his face unexpectedly at any time. John 18:36: Jesus said that if His kingdom were of this world, His servants would [physically] fight back. But His kingdom isn’t of this world so forget the low-road response. His courage was moral courage, that of the high road. Same with Jeremiah. (Some of these thoughts stolen from Oswald Chambers [grin].)

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