Jeremiah was born to a priestly family in Anathoth, not far from Jerusalem. He was called as a prophet in the thirteenth year of the reign of King Josiah, he had received God’s call at a young age and began preaching in spite of great personal trial and tribulation. For around forty years, Jeremiah spoke to the people of Judah as a prophet of God before it ultimately fell to Babylon and they were led away into captivity around 721 BC. His messages had not been well received, the people turned against him as he warned of the horrors that were to befall Judah. No one wants to hear bad news and the people refused to listen to him.
After several years of preaching even Jeremiah’s family turned against him and considered him a disgrace and plotted to kill him. Over the years, he was whipped and put in stocks, attacked by a mob, threatened by King Zedekiah the son of Josiah, and ridiculed. Some of King Zedekiah’s princes had Jeremiah arrested, beaten, accused of treason, and thrown in jail (Jeremiah 37:1-15), from whence he was then thrown into a deep empty well (Jeremiah 38:1-6). He lived through the siege of Jerusalem along with the rest of the populace and was there when they were taken into captivity. Jeremiah lived alone and was never allowed to marry, his family had abandoned him.
This is one of the most striking prophetic statements made as God spoke His mind through the mouth of Jeremiah. Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17: 5-10)
The foregoing scripture indicates that there is nothing other than only good or evil, white or black with no shades of grey. There is no such thing as a white lie or a little fib. We must become conscious to the understanding that the motive behind our every thought, word and action is subject to the judgment of God as either good or evil. Jeremiah understood this and was compelled by God to speak out against the evils of his generation, and it cost him the loss of his friends, his family and his freedom as he was vilified, tortured and pummeled by those around him.
The world we live in today is no different than it was in Jeremiah’s time and those like him who have drawn close to the Lord and who read the bible and abide in Him see the world more clearly through the prism of His word, and understand more fully all that is about to unfold. It is as if God gives us new eyes that see things clearer along with a clear sense of understanding. Jesus described this more clearly here; Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode′mus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicode′mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1-8)
(“Born of water” was referring to a baptism of repentance)
The question is, do we have the nerve to address these things before others and risk being socially ostracized, and risk the loss of friends and family by speaking the truth in a world surrounded by liars and their nefarious lies? Jeremiah called for Israel to repent, to turn away from evil and do what is right. The difference between then and now is that after Jeremiah’s time Jesus appeared and paid the price for all of mankind’s evils. And God offers all who repent of their sin and acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord a place beside Him in eternity. Will we be comfortable to stand by and say nothing as friends, neighbors and even family are destined for perdition?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John3: 16)