Jeremiah loved Jerusalem.
It was not in his heart
that this be a city
to suffer under the rule
of another nation.
And certainly not
one that would destroy
the holy House of God.
Taking it's treasures,
stripping it of sanctified servants,
grabbing all it's golden goblets,
only to use them for serving men
rather than God.
But Jeremiah was a prophet
obedient to the call of God.
And his job was to pass along
a message without changing it,
regardless of his feelings
for how it might be received.
And the people of this city,
and this nation
had been rebellious of heart.
They were under the rule of a king
who did not have a heart faithful to God.
And so the people knew no different.
So Jeremiah did as he was told
I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah
according to all these words, saying,
“Bring your necks under the yoke
of the king of Babylon,
and serve him and his people, and live!
Jeremiah 27:12 NJKV
Tell one king that he was to put his neck
under the yoke of another king?
That's a pretty harsh thing to say!
And Jeremiah didn't soften the blow
by changing the verbiage any.
He actually made a yoke for himself
and wore it to the meeting with
King Zedekiah while he spoke it.
That would certainly make the picture
a little more clear to the listener.
But certainly not any easier to hear.
And possibly this could be taken
with great offense.
I mean, what if the king
thought Jeremiah was saying...
See, this is what a fool you'll look
to ol' King Nebuchadnezzar!
When actually, God had told him
to make himself a yoke and wear it.
As if to say...
Look, I'm in this too!
So there he stood...
this wooden yoke on his neck
taking on the humble burden;
rejection of this harsh message
to a king in need of humility.
But all to save the city
that he loved.
All to honor the God
that he served.
certainly a faithful servant,
certainly a humble prophet.
Then came another prophet.
This one told King Zedekiah
exactly what he wanted to hear.
In fact, he took the wooden yoke
off of Jeremiah's neck and broke it
to make a show for himself
and told the people not to worry.
That the yoke of the King of Babylon
was no more.
But sadly, this man was a false prophet.
And the Lord told Jeremiah
to continue the same prophecy.
Nevertheless hear now this word
that I speak in your hearing and
in the hearing of all the people:
The prophets who have been
before me and before you of old
prophesied against many countries
and great kingdoms...
of war and disaster and pestilence.
As for the prophet who prophesies of peace,
when the word of the prophet comes to pass,
the prophet will be known
as one whom the Lord has truly sent.
Jeremiah 28: 7-9 NKJV
For only the Lord can declare peace.
It is not a message that can come
from the mouth of men.
And Jeremiah knew
that we are to be
but faithful and humble servants.
Obedient to what God asks of us;
not making His word into pretty phrases
that fit our convenient life.
But rather truth that guides and governs.
Sometimes causing our hearts
to bend and break
our will to His ways.
And the hardest part
can be in the waiting for understanding.
Sometimes it comes.
And sometimes we must act
out of obedience without it.
For if we reason too long,
we will simply never move into action...
following the hard truth
we know is directly from Him.
Word of God
train me, today...
To be a servant of action,
humble and ready when You call.
To submit to the yoke of Your word,
which will be easy and light
when I am obedient and humble.
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