Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This week's lesson (November 7-13): the crisis continues

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.
-- Philip P. Bliss (1873)
Jeremiah never stood alone.

And yes, it's easy to think he did -- to think of him as a solitary prophet, preaching to to an uncaring crowd, risking opprobrium with his unpopular message . . .

Just as we must do so today -- right?

But for someone with such an unpopular message, Jeremiah sure seemed to have a lot of friends.
  • Consider Baruch ben Neriah, for instance -- the aristocratic scribe who records and spreads his message (cf. Jeremiah 36).
  • Or Ahikam and Gedaliah -- both descendants of the same court secretary who delivered the Law to Josiah (cf. II Kings 22), and both officials who protect Jeremiah (cf. Jeremiah 26 & 40).
  • When "priests and prophets" all agreed Jeremiah should die, it's the "officials" and "elders of the land" who defend him (Jeremiah 26).
  • Then you have Ebed-Melech -- the Ethiopian eunuch who rescues Jeremiah from certain death in a cistern (Jeremiah 38).
  • And when Jeremiah is bound in chains and ready to be carried into exile, he is freed by Nebuzaradan, the commander of Babylon's imperial guard (Jeremiah 40)!
To be sure, Jeremiah faced all kinds of opposition.
But he also had friends, supporters, and protectors.
And the same should be true today. 
You may not be called to speak for God, after all, but you can support those who do.
No, you may not be called to be another Jeremiah -- but you can be another Baruch, Ahikam, Ebed-Melech, or even another Nebuzaradan.
Yes, to paraphrase an old song:
Stand with Jeremiah!
He must not stand alone!
Help to make get his message out!
Help to make it known!

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