“For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (Jeremiah 21:10).TEXT — Jeremiah 21:1-14
The quote, “Truth seldom is pleasant, it is almost invariably bitter” is credited to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian novelist. One of the most famous Soviet dissidents, and an outspoken critic of communism, he helped raise global awareness of the political repression in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was later imprisoned in the Gulag system where many people died through forced labour. He was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970.
From our text, Jeremiah spoke boldly against Israel and her rulers. When King Zedekiah sent a delegation to him to pray for the deliverance and safety of Jerusalem from the invading army of Nebuchadnezzar, he told them plainly that the city cannot be saved. Israel will go into captivity because God was done with them. There was no remedy. The cup of their iniquity was full. The city of Jerusalem will be burnt together with the temple, as God Himself will fight against His people for their iniquities.
King Zedekiah and his counsellors, with the priests of the temple, had for a long time ignored Jeremiah’s prophecies. At other times, they persecuted him and had him punished for speaking the truth. They instead believed the false prophets who deceived them with their erroneous prophecies that they were safe; and that God had broken the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah’s prophecies proved true and now the Chaldeans laid siege to the city.
Truth is not just bitter, it is risky and dangerous at times. And because many so-called prophets and pastors in our days fear how the people will respond to the truth, they decide to preach lies and deceive them with sweet messages.
We must ask the Lord to give us the boldness and courage to speak the truth at all times. If we tell lies to save our necks, we are not His.
Thought for the day
Only the truth can save.
- in one year
- HABAKKUK 1 – 3