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It is one thing to speak the truth and to have people simply reject your message but it is quite another thing to be threatened with death for doing so. Such was the case with Jeremiah who again declares God’s message of warning to his listeners (vv. 4-6). This time, rather than ignoring Jeremiah, the community together with its prophets and priests grab Jeremiah and say that he should die. What offends them is that Jeremiah would dare to speak against their place of worship suggesting it would be like Shiloh, another prominent worship centre that was in ruins.
On the witness stand Jeremiah holds firm and despite being under the threat of death, repeats God’s message: “…change your ways and start obeying God” (v. 13). Incredibly he continues by saying “You must decide what to do with me. Just do whatever you think is right” (v. 14).
Jeremiah had other options; he could have retracted his words or at least tried to tone them down. He could have passionately pleaded for his life or he could have simply given up. He did none of these things and therefore stands as an example to us of courage in the face of confrontation, integrity in the midst of dire circumstances and complete trust in God in the face of death. His response not only challenges us but foreshadows the response of Jesus centuries later.
Lord God of truth and righteousness, in this passage I am reminded again of the courage of Jeremiah. He stands as a great example to me so that when I face opposition, I am always in your hands. Grant me your grace through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.