Friday, August 21

Swimming upstream

Scripture: Jeremiah 28-30, 1 John 3

Observation

Jeremiah faced opposition from many sides: the priests, the king, the people—and from other “prophets.”  In these chapters, we see a battle between “dueling prophets.”  Jeremiah, who spoke for the Lord, squares off against Hananiah, Ahab, Zedekiah and Shemaiah.  They are predicting the Judah will come home within two years; God showed Jeremiah it would be 70 years.  They wanted Jeremiah arrested and silenced; God silenced them.  

Everyone wanted to believe these false prophets.  Even Jeremiah said, “Amen.  I wish everything you said was true!  But it’s not.”  

Once again, Jeremiah found himself swimming upstream.  Jeremiah had told the people not to resist Babylon, but to surrender and go into captivity and live.  He must have seemed like a traitor.  It must have been hard.

But Jeremiah is remembered and revered as a prophet; the other dueling prophets are footnotes in Jeremiah’s story.  It pays to follow the Lord.

Application

Following Jesus isn’t easy.  You will often find yourself swimming upstream, going against the cultural current.  It requires courage and commitment, a willingness to stand alone and face ridicule and opposition.  Jesus never said it would be easy; He calls us to take up a cross, and there’s nothing easy about that. 

Follow Jesus even when it means bucking the tide!

Prayer: Thanks Lord for Jeremiah’s example of courageous commitment.  Help me to be as committed to You and courageous speak the truth in love.