The Scriptorium

Two Threats

To Jeremiah, and to Judah. Jeremiah 26.1-11

Yokes All Around (1)

Pray Psalm 56.1-4.
Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up;
Fighting all day he oppresses me.
My enemies would hound me all day,
For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?

Sing Psalm 56.1-4.
(Morecambe: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart)
Savior, be gracious, gracious unto me!
Weary, I seek the shelter of Your wings.
Till trouble passes, till my sighings flee,
I seek the Lord Who for me does all things.

When I’m afraid I’ll put my trust in You,
You, Lord, Whose everlasting Word I praise;
I will not fear what foes to me might do,
but will in faith to You my crying raise.

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 26.1-11.

1. What threat was made against Jeremiah? Why?

2. What threat did God make? Why?

Here is another flashback from Jeremiah’s ministry. Jehoiakim was the second King of Judah following his father Josiah (Shallum, or Jehoahaz, having been taken prisoner to Egypt, never to return to Jerusalem). The Lord wanted Jehoiakim to know from the get-go just what He expected; so He sent Jeremiah in the king’s first year of reign (v. 1) to call the people to repentance.

Jeremiah stationed himself in the “court of the LORD’s house” where he preached to those from throughout the land who were coming to worship (v. 2). Jeremiah was to preach hopefully, it seems (v. 3). But he was to be plain and clear about what was at stake: Repent, or fall under the judgment of the Lord (vv. 4, 5).

God did not make empty threats. As the people would learn the hard way, God would keep and completely fulfill every word of judgment He had pronounced against them. He would make the temple “like Shiloh” – His Presence gone from it, and it fallen into the hands of their enemies (cf. 1 Sam. 4.4-11).

In response to Jeremiah’s preaching, the priests and prophets issued a threat of their own. They threatened to kill the prophet (vv. 7-10). They seized Jeremiah and dragged him before “the princes of Judah”, where they insisted on his death (v. 11). Here Jeremiah foreshadowed the arrest and trial of our Lord Jesus. For his faithfulness to God, sinful people demanded his death. They did the same to Jesus, and Jesus promised that they would hate us, too (Lk. 6.22, 27). But we must look to Jesus and Jeremiah and all the faithful saints of Scripture, and continue faithfully, the threats of the world notwithstanding.

1. Why were the people so upset with Jeremiah? Should we expect people to get upset about the Gospel? Why?

2. Why does God send us to proclaim the Good News, when He knows that some people will hate us for it?

3. What can we do to be faithful in our witness like Jeremiah and Jesus?

By these words, Except ye hearken to me, to walk in my law, God intimates, that he mainly requires obedience, and esteems nothing as much, according to what he says, that it is better than all sacrifices. (1 Samuel 15:22.) John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 26.4-6

Today, Lord, I will have opportunities to give a witness for You. Help me to…

Pray Psalm 56.7-13.
Call on the Lord to make His Presence known to you throughout this day, and in the midst of its trials, challenges, and tasks.

Sing Psalm 56.7-13.
Psalm 56.7-13 (Morecambe: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart)
Wickedly how my foes distort my words;
constant attacks and snares await my way.
Pour out Your wrath, consume them, mighty Lord!
Bring evil to its end, O Lord, I pray!

Lord, see my wand’rings, see my anxious tears!
Help me to trust and praise Your holy Word.
Gladly I know that when I call You hear;
I will not fear but trust in You, O Lord.

I will not fear what foes might do to me.
I give You thanks, my vows will I renew.
You have redeemed me, set my spirit free,
And ever in Your light I’ll walk with You.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore