July 13, 2021
"This is the Word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar."
“This is the Word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time, the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem and Jeremiah the prophet was imprisoned in the guard’s courtyard in the palace of the king of Judah. Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying. ‘Why are you prophesying, “This is what the Lord says: Look, I am about to hand this city over to Babylon’s king, and he will capture it. Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the Chaldeans; indeed, he will certainly be handed over to Babylon’s king. They will speak face-to-face and meet eye-to-eye. He will take Zedekiah to Babylon where he will stay until I attend to him – this is the Lord’s declaration. You will fight the Chaldeans, but you will not succeed”?’”(Jeremiah 32:1-5)
It isn’t easy being a prophet! Tell the truth, then get thrown in jail. But that was the job. With the Word of the Lord comes Responsibility, Accountability, and Liability.
There is a Responsibility, because the Lord has chosen to reveal His Truth to us. When we read the Bible and pray, “Lord, give me something today, and someone to share it with,” is He not faithful to answer that prayer to both ends? First, He reveals some deeper understanding to us, which draws us closer to Him. But He doesn’t simply pour His Word into us so that we can be filled and capped off. God reveals His Truth, so we can share it with those He leads to us. We are responsible for sharing His revelation. It is why we exist: to know Him and make Him known. That is worship. (Jeremiah 1:1-10)
In addition, we are Accountable. Along with the responsibility that comes with knowing God’s Word, we are held accountable for how we live up to that responsibility. For instance, you may be convinced of some Biblical Truth and given a Divine burden to share it with a specific individual, yet you may choose to ignore that responsibility. For that, we are held accountable. (Jeremiah 15:19-21)
Then, there is Liability. Obviously, if the Lord holds us accountable for how we respond to the revelation of His Word, there is a liability (discipline, rebuke, punishment) attached to our disobedience. In today’s chapter, we learn there is also a potential liability connected to our faithfulness. Because Jeremiah chose to be responsible, accountable, and free of divine liability, he was contemptibly held “liable” by Zedekiah. He was put in prison for telling the truth of God’s Word!! Yet, he could not remain silent. (Jeremiah 20:9)
There is an excellent lesson for us. We should recognize these realities; that Jesus is Lord, the Rock of our salvation, but He is also a rock of offense to most who do not believe. That being said, I would rather be persecuted by men for correctly following the Lord than rebuked by Him for cowering before those who can kill the body but not the soul!
“Stop being afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” Matthew 10:28