Read Jeremiah 26
Sinners resist the Word and try to execute the messenger (Jer. 26:1-15). The priests and the people are all warned: Thus saith the Lord (27:16). Check out the "yoke." Sin's "yoke" is heavy and leads to death (chap. 28) while the "yoke" God provides is light and leads to abundant life (Matt. 11:28-30).
About twenty-two years before the defeat and destruction of Jerusalem, God commanded Jeremiah to speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's House (Jer. 26:2) at Jerusalem. The judgment of God was compared to that of Shiloh. He warned that this House (the Temple) would be left as empty as Shiloh (26:6). Shiloh was the place where the Tabernacle was first erected by Joshua after he entered the promised land (Josh. 18:1). But God eventually forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh because of the nation's persistent sinning (Ps. 78:56-60). In Jeremiah's time, Shiloh was nothing but empty ruins. Today, no one is sure of its exact location — a reminder of how sin can destroy a nation (Jer. 7:12-14).
Jeremiah faithfully delivered a fearful, devastating message from God: This House (Temple) shall be like Shiloh. He was arrested and all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the House of the Lord (26:9). The priests and prophets said: This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears (26:11).
Jeremiah was ready to die rather than to allow fear of his outcome to keep him from being faithful to God (26:14-15). He did not let any concern for himself keep him from foretelling the destruction, desolation, and curse that was upon the Holy City. As for me (26:14) — this great prophet considered that what became of him was wholly unimportant compared to his nation's greater danger. Urijah prophesied according to all the words of Jeremiah (26:20); this repetition made the king determined to silence the prophet and his message. Urijah fled to Egypt for protection but was caught there, brought before King Jehoaikim, and slain. But Jeremiah did not flee and, as he was promised when he was called (1:8), his life was spared. Jeremiah's courage equals Paul's martyr spirit: I am ready . . . to die at Jerusalem. . . . I could wish that myself were accursed (under a great curse) from Christ for my brethren (Acts 21:13; Rom. 9:3). Self was unimportant when he knew his people were nearing destruction.
Today Christians in many countries face fierce persecution for no other offense than pleading, like Jeremiah, with the wicked to forsake their sins and idols and to worship the One True God.
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the Truth (II Tim. 2:25).
Thought for Today:
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19).
By Jeremiah, who was falsely accused by the priests and the false prophets (Jer. 26:8-9). Our Lord was also threatened and falsely accused by the religious rulers of His day. The elders . . . and the chief priests and the scribes. . . . began to accuse Him, saying, We found this Fellow perverting (misleading) the nation, and forbidding to give tribute (pay taxes) to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King (Luke 22:66 — 23:2; also John 8:48,59).
26:14 meet light; 27:19 the sea the bronze laver at which the priests cleansed their hands and feet before entering the Temple; residue remainder.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored For Love of Jesus • Staff: Bill Beach • Government Officials: Sen. John Tester (MT) and Rep. Timothy Griffin (AR) • Country: Switzerland (7 million) in central Europe • Major languages: German and French • Religious freedom • 53% Roman Catholic; 41% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: