The Light of Life Magazine
A ministry of Christian writing

November 2009

Esther Robinson

If you are blessed with a mission from God, would it be possible for you to stand bold before a boisterous mob, even if it meant death? This question does sound frightening, doesn't it? Yet, the strange thing is that these days everyone desires to receive a direct mission and vision from the Almighty God, unwilling to take risks even at the minimal standards. Standing still on a call from God requires much more grace than receiving a call from God.

"This man deserves to die!" (Jer.26:11)
"This man does not deserve to die" (Jer.26:16)

Unexpected Turn

The first statement is contrary to the second one. In other words, it symbolises an unexpected turn of tides. There are four characteristic groups involved in this particular incident viz., priests, prophets, people and princes. Jeremiah, a young man, is chosen by God to be His prophet. He is sent with a mission directly assigned by God to stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that He commands without diminishing a word. God had a great expectation that people perhaps would listen and turn from their evil way, so that He may relent concerning the calamity which He purposed to bring on them because of their evil doings.

Furthermore, the Lord told him as follows, "If they will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before them, to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to them, both rising up early and sending them (but they have not heeded), then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth."

At the first instance, when Jeremiah conveyed what the Lord told him, it was in the presence of priests, prophets and people. The priests and prophets, who were well known for keeping up their traditional pride, impressed the people into believing that Jeremiah was a rebellious person and a threat towards keeping pace with their traditional values. Therefore, they convinced the people to support them in pronouncing that Jeremiah deserves death. In the second instance, when Jeremiah conveyed what the Lord told him, it was in the presence of princes, people, priests and prophets. The tone of Jeremiah is bolder than before. His message does not change in the presence of those who are privileged with authority. Without fearing his death, he stands still and dares to say, "As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you. But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing."

Changed Verdict

It was then that the verdict changed. The death sentence decreed initially by the priests, prophets and people finally boiled down to a contradictory statement that was made by the princes and people to the priests and prophets. Then the elders begin to reason what had happened earlier and how God had relented from doing what He intended to do when they cried out to Him.

Although Jeremiah anticipated death, the hand of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hands of the people to put him to death. This was the Lord's doing in saving Jeremiah for having stood still in carrying out His mission boldly.

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