Jeremiah preached the words God gave him, and what did he get for that? “And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, ‘You shall die!’” (26:8) Jeremiah, though, remained faithful: “Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, ‘The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you’” (26:12-13).
Reading through Jeremiah and remembering all the opposition that he faced, I cannot help but think of so many who have gone out through the world declaring the Word of the Lord even in the face of great opposition and danger. How faithful they have been and continue to be! As we pray for their care and protection, we need to pray for these that, like Jeremiah, they will always be bold and faithful and, surely, one day, they will see the great fruits of their labors. In every age, God’s faithful servants are able to sing along with Philip Doddridge:
The God of life, Whose constant care
with blessings crowns each opening year,
My scanty span doth still prolong,
And wakes anew mine annual song.
Thy children, panting to be gone,
May bid the tide of time roll on,
To land them on that happy shore
Where years and death are known no more. –Philip Doddridge (18th century)