July 18, 2021
"The officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for it had been made into a prison."
“The officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, for it had been made into a prison. So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon and stayed there many days. King Zedakiah later sent for him and received him, and in his house privately asked him, ‘Is there a word from the Lord?’ ‘There is,’ Jeremiah responded, and he continued, ‘You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.’” Jeremiah 37:15-17
One of the downsides of sharing God’s Word is that many people will reject it. For some people, it is not enough to simply say, “no.” They will seek to harm you. Still, it is incumbent upon us to share the truth in love and with boldness. This is nothing we should be surprised about, for Jesus told us we should expect such things.
“If the World hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the World, the World would love its own. Yet because you are not of this World, but I chose you out of the World, therefore, the World hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also.” John 15:18-20
While Jeremiah faced severe persecution, the Lord was always with him to ensure his ultimate wellbeing. Notice God’s grace and provision in the midst of Jeremiah’s trial.
“Then Jeremiah said to King Zedikiah, ‘How have I sinned against you or your servants or these people that you have put me in prison? Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, claiming, “The king of Babylon will not come against you and this land? So now, please listen, my lord the king. May my petition come before you. Don’t send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I will die there.’ So King Zedekiah gave orders, and Jeremiah was placed in the guard’s courtyard. He was given a loaf of bread each day from the baker’s street until all the bread was gone from the city. So Jeremiah remained in the guard’s courtyard.” Jeremiah 37:18-21
Jesus also predicted the same type of persecution and prayed for us that the enemy would not prevail against us. Like Jeremiah, our calling mixes persecution and provision.
“I have given them Your word; and the World has hated them because they are not of the World, just as I am not of the World. I do not pray that you should take them out of the World, but that you should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:14-18
Alongside expecting persecution for our faithfulness, we should count it as a blessing.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” Matthew 5:10-12