Saturday, September 7

Be faithful under fire

Scripture: 2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 40-41, Revelation 12

Jeremiah 40:4–5 “But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.” 5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.” 

Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go.

Observation

For years, Jeremiah had been prophesying what sounded like treason.  He told his countrymen that Babylon would conquer them and take them into exile.  If they surrendered, they would live; if they resisted, they would die. Can you imagine?  Jeremiah sounded like a Babylonian agent.  He was accused of being a traitor and threatened with death.  

And then it happened—Babylon conquered Judah and took them into exile.  But the Babylonian officials gave Jeremiah freedom to come to Babylon or stay in Judah, and when he decided to stay, they gave him provisions and a gift (one assumes it was money).  Anyone watching would assume it was a payoff!  It reinforced the perception that Jeremiah was a traitor in league with Babylon.

Jeremiah knew that he would be perceived as a traitor and what it could cost him, but he was faithful to speak the Lord’s word anyway.

Application

Be faithful under fire.  Be faithful even when you’re misunderstood and mistreated.  Be faithful when you know it will cost you.  Be faithful even when it threatens what is most dear to you.  

Jeremiah faithfully obeyed God and spoke His word for years, even though he knew he would be misunderstood, mistreated, and branded a traitor.  I want to be faithful to God like that.  Many of the early Christians—and many of our brothers and sisters today—were/are misunderstood, persecuted and killed, but remained faithful under fire.  We can do no less. 

Prayer: Lord, help me like Jeremiah to be true to You and Your calling no matter the cost.